The Harlem and France relationship is deep, from the Harlem Hellfighters fighting for France in WWII, Pastry Chef Moha Orchid at Jolie Patisserie, to Chef Alain Eoche, of Chéri at the French Bistro on Lenox Avenue and in 1815, Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother, moving in to the Claremont Inn in West Harlem.
Now the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Paris&Co, the economic development agency of Paris, today announced the NYC-Paris Business Exchange, providing New York City-based start-ups with access to business opportunities in Paris and helping Paris-based companies expand their footprints in New York City.
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The program will help tech, arts, fashion, design, tourism, food and beverage, and sustainability companies overcome barriers that inhibit entry to foreign markets and builds upon both Cities’ shared commitment to global entrepreneurship and innovation.
The NYC-Paris Business Exchange was originally conceived last year during discussions between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Mayor Anne Hidalgo to further support job creation, innovation and economic opportunity by building upon the international standing and bi-lateral partnership between both cities. The program builds upon this relationship, which has been strengthened as a result of the economic development priorities both cities share, as well as the leadership role both mayors play in international efforts to support and create diverse urban economies where families, businesses, and neighborhoods thrive.
“In today’s interconnected world, innovation transcends boundaries and cultures,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen. “We’re excited to host the most cutting-edge companies from Paris and give them a taste of the Big Apple, while ensuring that New York City’s emerging entrepreneurs are tapping into global markets and creating long-term business relationships.
“More than ever before, emerging businesses are thinking about how to operate across multiple countries as a means to grow their companies and tap into international talent and consumers,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “The NYC-Paris Business Exchange will help startups unlock international business opportunities, providing a launching pad for New York City companies to expand abroad and for international companies to grow and create jobs in New York City.”
“This unprecedented partnership between two large cities that are committed to developing innovative projects on their territory will further strengthen the links that unite Paris and New York and to foster economic exchanges between them,” said Jean-François Galloüin, CEO of Paris&Co.
With access to over 500 million customers in the continental European market and home to the European headquarters of many Fortune 500 companies and major international organizations including the OECD, International Chamber of Commerce and Industry and UNESCO, Paris is a central hub from which emerging New York City-based businesses can grow and diversify.
Companies participating in the NYC-Paris Business Exchange must demonstrate strong potential for international expansion, a proven track record of success in their local market, and a well-defined business plan. Up to 10 companies from each city will be awarded six months of free office space in the partner city, as well as access to networking, potential investors, and mentors. Selection will be based on a determination of which companies would benefit most from international expansion and the prospect for the businesses to sustain an expansion in the longer term.
NYCEDC is partnering with the Made in NY Media Center by IFP to host the chosen companies, and with La French Tech NYC to provide mentorship and support during their tenure. La French Tech NYC, an umbrella group launched in June 2015 that includes the French Embassy to the United States, the Consulate General of France in New York City, the French economic development agency Business France, and the French American Chamber of Commerce, aims to give more visibility to New York City-based French start-ups and help other French tech companies grow in New York. Air France, the Official Airline for the program, will provide roundtrip airfare for the chosen companies.
Applications are due on November 30, 2015. Please visit www.nycparisstartups.com to learn more. Winners of the exchange competition will be announced in fall 2015.