Since 2019, Raph Crouan has been at the head of one of the most important French technology in Europe in London. He fulfills this mission in connection with the role of account manager in tech that he occupies at Orrick. Passionate about innovations in technology, this former entrepreneur likes to facilitate the imitation of French technology at European level.
While the UK stock market fell behind France’s a few days ago, experts’ forecasts are not very optimistic for the UK economy. How does Raph Crouan see this development? Optimistically, the director of French Tech United Kingdom shed some light on the situation.
Can you tell us about French Tech in London in a few words?
La French Tech in London is one of the first, created in 2014. With 3,300 members, it is the largest in Europe outside of France. It includes three main business sectors: FinTech, DeepTech and Tech for Good.
How does the UK fit into the European startup ecosystem?
The UK is by far the leading tech ecosystem in Europe. American investment groups are very present there, so it is easy to raise money there. The UK also remains a non-negligible gateway to the US.
What is the impact of the current downturn in the economy?
Over recent months we have seen a major setback in the development of start-ups and businesses in the UK. The ecosystem is still burgeoning, but fundraising is more difficult and time-consuming. I don’t think it’s that bad because the system had been running almost out of control lately. We saw fundraising that was not always consistent with the business model of start-ups.
The good news is that there are always so many funds available to entrepreneurs. On the other hand, we see that since Brexit there is a lack of talent. The system encourages us to recruit from the UK, but we are struggling.
You talked about mutual aid in Tech during one of your interviews with BFM, is that really still the rule in tech?
Mutual help is always natural in the same society when you live abroad. Many of the members of the office voluntarily accompany entrepreneurs launching in the United Kingdom, on the sidelines of their already demanding professional activities. But beyond helping aliens, technology has always worked together. It must necessarily be in order to be able to renew itself.
What advice can you give to French tech entrepreneurs?
The first added value I can add to French Tech is, above all, to connect people with each other. I’m not trying to concentrate information and projects, but I’m trying to gather people who could work together. So, because of my experiences, I went through the process with many entrepreneurs. I know what mistakes to avoid.
What is French Tech London’s biggest success for you today?
We have more than 50% women in ours Board of Directors Today. It is a source of great pride for me when we know that women are still not very visible in technology.