Has France cracked the YC recipe?

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For the first time, France was one of the best-represented countries in Y Combinator’s Summer 22 group. Three of the eight French startups selected by YC are also former residents of Station F Campus in Paris, so we spoke to its director Roxanne Varza to find out how it happened and what others can learn from it. Let’s dive in. Anna

Meet the French

France was among the first five countries represented in YC’s S22 batch, with eight of the startups joining the latest accelerator cohort. This is less than the US, India, the UK and Israel. But that was more than Germany, which sent six startups to YC this year—almost a record for the country, but also less comparatively impressive given its larger population than France’s own.

In absolute terms, France only equaled its own S21 record, but this batch had 390 entrants. As TechCrunch reported last month, the YC S22 batch was much smaller, with about 240 teams. This means that the French representation is proportionally increasing, which bodes well for France aims to be home to 100 unicorns by 2030.

Let’s add a caveat that we’re following YC in the loose use of “French” here — almost every one of these eight teams has a remote component, and some also have a presence in the US or other countries. However, this is not specific to France, as YC noted that among the startups in its latest batch, 35% were remote and 37% were remote-friendly.

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