Almost unelected in 2017, Emmanuel Macron announced to VivaTech that he wants to make France a “startup nation” to make France fertile ground to bring out tomorrow’s innovations and thus attract talent. Five years later, the expression has lost its luster, caught up in the same way as traditional societies – lack of diversity, difficult redistribution of profits, and so on. On the strength of these findings, The Boson Project opened the debate – during its Tchatche event – on the purpose of these social hypergrowths. Finally, is the “startup nation” fulfilling its initial mission by serving the Nation or is it just acting in the interest of the shareholders? Mounir Mahjoubi, entrepreneur and Secretary of State for digital, and Maxime de Rostolan, environmental entrepreneur, took part in the exercise.
On the usefulness of startups
” in the back in this startup term, I put the rejection of the system as this, the ability to think new where there is nothing, to think new ways of working ” , started by Mounir Mahjoubi, who contributed, to the government, to bring out this famous “startup nation”. This way of looking at things, of thinking about the future, is a kind of risky bet that traders make. The former Secretary of State did not hide this: “L‘eThe entrepreneur will try many times to do things in different ways ” to try to find the right solution, often experiencing failures.
This word is empty of its flesh, he regrets, considering now, ” vs“startup nation” speakers use this term to criticize it. I don’t appreciate that we have poured our pockets of bile into this ecosystem and that we are linking all the technological turmoil in the world, or all that has threatened our democracies ”. Be careful, according to him, not to take shortcuts too quickly, even if it is impossible to deny the excesses and deviation of certain technologies.
Maxime de Rostolan painted an uncompromising picture of these problems to which startups are subject. ” the innovation, it is good, it stimulates, he acknowledges to better rebound on its usefulness. But is change always worthwhile? » , he asked, remembering that few startups have achieved a ” analife cycle analysis of their change » and its positive or negative impact on the planet and society. Technology and digital are good examples of this ambivalence between innovation and the environment.
Talking to people on the other side of the world, learning … No one can deny that the Internet has opened up incredible possibilities. But no one can turn a blind eye to the energy needs of data centers or the working conditions of Web moderators. For the activist, the lack of reflection is a result of the hypergrowth sought by entrepreneurs and their shareholders. ” TheDecision makers are explorers who have an Excel spreadsheet as a compass. In hypergrowth, there is no room for doubt ” he asserts, and so are we ” sI found myself with an iPhone 13 in my hand, made by a child the same age ”.
An innovation vector of development?
Maxime de Rostolan contacted, attacking the Next40 – supposed to represent future French unicorns – with the majority of FinTech, InsurTech and some RetailTech he accuses – for the latter – of driving us towards consumption. One way of indicating that “startup nation” innovation does not actually or always encourage the emergence of solutions aimed at the common good. ” The Taxi drones for the 2024 Paris Olympics are a technological leap and a mismanagement of energy. ” denounced the businessman.
Highlighting the availability of non-tech and more sustainable solutions to certain problems, such as choosing a sailboat to go to Brazil, putting back on night train lines or even returning all of its place to the locker . There are so many tools, which require an examination of our relationship to time and to our way of consumption. This is perhaps, above all, what technology is trying to save us: this precious time, without considering the years of life that the planet sometimes costs.
Mounir Mahjoubi insisted in response to that fact ” IEntrepreneurs wake up in the morning to make an impact ” and answers that innovation is really beneficial everywhere. FinTech and AssurTech itself, for example, have contributed and continue to contribute to the modernization of traditional banks, which are struggling to thrive. These companies, as agitators of the traditional economy, have the ability to understand how to best meet customer expectations. It now remains to include these requirements in environmental considerations, but it is certainly a question of awakening the entrepreneurial energy to serving the environment and not of restricting it by disqualifying it.
Everyone can perform
Final points addressed by the two speakers: the redistribution of profits and access to entrepreneurship. Maxime de Rostolan criticized the tax assistance offered to some companies that do not pay their taxes in France. ” You can’t get Uber and Uber money ” , he launches, thus taking a phrase known to critics of the “startup nation”. The amounts raised by startups continue to rise with the ambition to see some nuggets appear to pay for many losses. In this game, the added value for the employees of these companies and the national economy is not equal, he believes.
The world of startups will be too ” itohe from himself, where the young bourgeoisie was supplied by successful businessmen » without regard to externalities. ” Human and natural capital are not included in financial capital. » In the lack of diversity we have observed in tech, the former member of government, refers to the opposite of the efforts made by the State in this direction. France is looking for “Support entrepreneurs to get them out of their situation, as evidenced by the Startup Banlieue or French Tech programs Springboard ” which aims to support entrepreneurs from suburbs who sometimes do not have a good network to get started or are not familiar with business codes.
Talking to an investor is an art. ” CerSome of these startups seek, through their companies, to respond to the difficulties experienced in suburbs that no one knows better than them ”, added Mounir Majhoubi, to further underline their importance. Depriving oneself of these talents would be a big mistake for businessmen and politicians. ” hindi let’s not kill traders by locking them in boxes “ and denigrating them, concludes the former Secretary of State for Digital. For his part, Maxime de Rostolan wants to call on entrepreneurs to reflect before acting, to avoid plunging into a hypergrowth race that will make them forget what matters: environmental change.
At the end of this verbal contest, the public could not decide between the two speakers. And you what do you think?