Which French Entrepreneurs Are Actually Leaving France?

When President François Hollande took office earlier this year, I wrote a brief post on what this would mean for France – or more specifically, French startups. As a result of the President’s proposed 75% tax, many of France’s wealthier entrepreneurs and investors were rumored to be planning their relocation to neighboring Belgium, Switzerland, the UK or even the US (for those who can secure a visa) – including Pixmania cofounder Jean-Emile Rosenblum, which I wrote about here.

However, naturally not all of the rumored departures are true. So here’s a look at which of France’s top entrepreneurs are actually leaving the country.

Dude, get your facts right.

Photo: A truckload of baguettes.

This past week, French magazine Challenges came out with a little overview of the French entrepreneurs that were leaving France and those that were staying. In the article, Partech Capital’s Philippe Collombel is quoted saying that “truckloads” of French entrepreneurs are arriving in the US. But hasn’t this always been the case? Entrepreneurs from around the world flock to the US every year, obviously French entrepreneurs included. Plus, numerous French entrepreneurs have been doing business in the States, well before Hollande took office. Therefore,  I think Collombel’s quote may have been taken slightly out of context.

Majority of the top tech entrepreneurs and investors are still in France.

Photo: Top entrepreneurs and investors Xavier Niel, Marc Simoncini and Jacques-Antoine Granjon all still here. 

Sure, there have definitely been entrepreneurs who have left, and Pixmania cofounder Jean-Emile Rosenblum is perhaps the best known and most visible Internet entrepreneur to do so. However, the rest of the big guys are still here: Iliad’s Xavier Niel (who also happens to be behind Kima Ventures), Vente-Privées Jacques-Antoine Granjon, PriceMinister’s Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet…even Meetic, Sensee and Jaina Capital’s Marc Simonini who once threatened to leave says he is planning to stay. In fact, everyone on the French A-list and the 9 French entrepreneur names to know list who was living in France is still here. Surprise, surprise.

75% and dropping.

The 75% tax did make a lot of noise around the world. However, the pigeon movement (essentially the voice of the entrepreneur/investor community) has been equally noisy in France and definitely hasn’t gone unnoticed by the government. While the final decision is still to be made, it does seem that the pigeons are making progress. Which could in turn result to even fewer entrepreneurs leaving the country than planned.

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