Frenchepreneur Program F.A.Q.

Is this program for me?

It doesn’t matter if you have little or no entrepreneurship experience, as long as you have demonstrated capability in your field or profession. The Frenchepreneur Program is designed for high-achieving individuals who have a viable business idea they would like to pursue. 

We require that you have:

  1. relevant professional experience (including in the finance, technology, legal, and/or medical industries) or business experience (including business management, business creation, business services and/or business consulting) and 
  2. a business idea with innovation and growth potential

What can this program do for me?

Have you been wanting more from life – personally and professionally? What would it take to propel you out of « more of the same”? The Frenchepreneur Program provides a complete life makeover that combines international adventure, business opportunity, and personal growth. You unplug from the familiar; explore not only a new career pathway but also a different lifestyle.

Through this program, you will get:

  • fast-track admission into the largest startup incubator in France*
  • French Tech Visa (good for 4 years)
  • extensive support to help you and your venture succeed (including training, workshops, executive coaching, networking, mentors, experts, peers, and when applicable, access to funders).
  • boost your career portfolio with
      • your startup venture and its accomplishments
      • international business experience
      • participation in an esteemed startup incubator program
      • new skills and knowledge as an entrepreneur
  • experience living and doing business in Europe
  • networking opportunities through Schoolab’s robust ecosystem 
  • new environment + new experiences -> new version of you -> new possibilities

*The Frenchepreneur Program fast-tracks your entry into the Schoolab’s incubator program (bypassing Schoolab’s standard selection process) and is available for a small cohort of accomplished business professionals each year. The program’s pre-incubation process is designed to prepare you (and your venture) to meet the criteria and demands of the Schoolab incubator. Successful completion of the pre-incubation process provides automatic admission into the incubator.

Why France?

It’s no accident that, for over 25 years, France has been ranked #1 as the world’s most popular tourist destination (according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization). It is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, not to mention its rich culture, gastronomy and commitment to social good (ranked #2 worldwide for environmental performance and in the top 10 for corporate social responsibility).

As for innovation, Paris is ranked one of the world’s top 10 startup ecosystems (per Startup Genome’s 2019 Startup Ecosystem Report). Also, the country actively welcomes foreign entrepreneurs and investors to France – including offering a Tech Visa (good for 4 years).

What is the program format?

The Frenchepreneur Program is an 8-month program that is divided into 2 parts – pre-incubation (2 months) and incubator (6 months).

Pre-Incubation:

The program’s pre-incubation process is designed to prepare you (and your venture) to meet the criteria and demands of the Schoolab incubator. Successful completion of the pre-incubation process provides automatic admission into the incubator.

Module 1: Rewire

The success of a venture depends on the personal capacity of its founders. First, we take you through the personal journey of unplugging, unlearning and rewiring to set you up for success as an entrepreneur. Using holistic and innovative methodologies, there will be a combination of focused workshops, individual and group coaching, and adventure (such as wine tasting, cooking class, and visits to notable venues). During this portion, you will be staying in several different regions in France demonstrative of French splendor, style and gastronomy. 

Module 2: Fastrak

Now, off to Paris – to immerse you in Schoolab’s dynamic startup community and experiencing first-hand the French innovation ecosystem. With targeted coaching and guidance, you will work on your venture to make sure it has the necessary infrastructure and development to meet the Schoolab incubator’s admissions criteria – fast-tracking admissions into the incubator.  There will also be workshops on entrepreneurship and doing business in France.

French language classes are also included during Modules 1 and 2.  

Incubator:

With your preparations complete, you will deep dive into startup life in Schoolab Paris. For 6 months, you are accelerated at our offices in Sentier, the nerve center of Parisian entrepreneurship, alongside 50+ other entrepreneurs. This is a complete acceleration program – supporting you in building your idea, proving your value in the marketplace, launching your business, and (when applicable) accessing funding.  There will be weekly workshops, bi-monthly individual coaching, access to mentors and experts, and acceleration events (such as Bootcamp, Team-building, Salon, Crash Test & Demo Day).

What are the dates for the Frenchepreneur program?

The program takes place from February 10 – October 15, 2020. 

Pre-Incubation:

Module 1, “Rewire” – February 10 – March 6, 2020

Module 2, “Fast-track” – March 9 – April 3, 2020

Incubator*:

“Starter Program” – April 15 – October 15, 2020

*Note: Successful completion of Modules 1 and 2 are required to proceed into the Starter Program.

When are applications due?

Applications for the 2020 cohort must be submitted by December 1, 2019. Participants are admitted on a rolling basis – so it is to your benefit to apply as early as possible. 

How are participants selected?

To apply, the first step is to complete the application form

We mainly select talented and passionate individuals who can both benefit from what the Frenchepreneur Program has to offer and bring something unique to the program cohort. For that purpose, once your application is submitted, there is a subsequent follow up process (which includes an interview) that we undergo with ALL candidates.

Do I need to be able to speak French?

It is not necessary for you to know French to participate. The Frenchepreneur program will be delivered in English. 

Also, to further enrich your experience in France, we include French language classes as a part of the Frenchepreneur Program offering.

How to apply for the French Tech Visa?

Once you are accepted in the Frenchepreneur program, you will receive an official letter from the DIRECCTE attesting to your status as a foreign founder. You are then eligible for a long-stay visa.

To apply:

  1. If you are living outside of France, you should apply for a “long-stay visa” at the French Consulate in your usual place of residence no earlier than 3 months before the date of your arrival in France.  (Once in France, you will present your long-stay visa at your local Préfecture which will then issue your residence permit.)
  2. If you are already living in France: apply at the Préfecture in your place of residence for a change of status.You must apply for the change of status two months before the previous residence permit expires.

For more information, please visit FrenchTech Visa website.

How much does the Frenchepreneur Program cost?

You would pay:

Deposit: $12,000 // 4 Installment Payments: $2750

[Total program fee is $33,000]

The program fee includes*:

  • Pre-incubation program materials and activities: 
      • workshops, 
      • executive coaching, 
      • experiential learning sessions,
      • French language classes, and 
      • cultural activities and excursions
  • Lodging and transportation during the pre-incubation (Modules 1 and 2) 
  • French Tech Visa (good for 4 years)
  • Guaranteed** entry into the Schoolab incubator program (and waiver of incubator program fees) and its benefits, including:
      • weekly workshops
      • one-on-one bi-monthly coaching
      • meetings with mentors and experts
      • acceleration events
      • workspace in Schoolab Paris, located in Sentier

*Program fee does not cover living expenses or airfare.  It also does not include housing during the 6-month incubator program.

**Admission into the incubator program is contingent on successful completion of pre-incubation modules

What is your cancellation policy?

We are committed to delivering on the program promises and welcoming you into a cohort of passionate committed individuals. In return, we ask that you commit fully your time, payment, and engagement.

We understand that life circumstances can come up. We’ve tried to create a policy that would support you at every step while also honoring the integrity of the program for all participants.

Deposit: Once you are accepted to the Frenchepreneur Program, we require a $12,000 deposit to secure your spot. Your deposit is non-refundable.

Program Fee: The rest of your program fee, $11,000, is fully refundable at any time between the time you register and before the first day of the program. Once the program begins, the program fee is non-refundable and must be paid.

Any questions?

Feel free to send an email with all your questions to Cian.