Google is going french with their efforts to educate the public on how to innovate and bring great ideas to life. Last week, a team of Googlers from 10 countries met in Paris to spend time with entrepreneurs and startups at Le Camping, an accelerator program for the digital frontier.
Le Camping actually takes place in what used to be the French Stock Exchange building. Every six months, 12 promising new startups are chosen, then they are educated by over 60 business savvy experts who are focused on making the startups a success.
Google comments on their work the past year with Le Camping and the Silicon Sentier association:
We’ve already seen great success from the program. Out of the 24 teams from first two seasons, 40 percent of the startups have raised funds, 60 percent have paying clients and all of the startups belong to a strong and reliable community. The program does not take equity in the startups or charge them to take part; all that’s required is vision, passion and the desire to address a global audience.
This is just one of our efforts to support entrepreneurs in France. Last year we also launched Startup Cafe, an online platform which provides access to educational video content from several business schools designed for entrepreneurs, tools to help start a business and, with the help of the Agency for the Creation of Entrepreneurs, a map of public organizations that can help entrepreneurs.
We believe that the Internet and entrepreneurship are key drivers of economic development. A study from the European Commission highlighted that small enterprises are the driver for growth and employment: they generate nearly 70 percent of jobs in Europe and 60 percent of economic value added. McKinsey’s "Impact of Internet on the French economy" reported that when French SMEs use more web technologies, their growth is faster, their operating revenues are higher and their profitability is stronger.
This is only the third season of Le Camping, but the program has been enormously successful. Essentially, there's still six more months of the current season and the startups have a long way to go. The following video shows us a little more about what goes on during Le Camping and how it influences the participants.
Take a look: