The 13th and 19th arrondissements of Paris, along the Boulevard Périphérique ring road, have never been a focus for economic activity. But now they are increasingly sought after by innovative enterprises, according to a study by Knight Frank, a firm specializing in office properties.
This is borne out by the new incubator built by the city of Paris, in old warehouses on Boulevard McDonald in the 19th arrondissement in the northern part of the city. With 15,000 m2 (160,000 ft2) divided among six floors, “Le Cargo” (which means “the freighter”) is also an architectural success, with its long facade featuring huge porthole windows that make it look like a ship, the origin of its name. But its value is, above all, symbolic.
In the southern sector of the capital, in the 13th arrondissement, the Halle Freyssinet project is planned to open in 2016. It will provide approximately 30,000 m2 (330,000 ft2) to host a thousand startups.
Paris is clearly working hard to attract the most innovative companies – including foreign ones – as demonstrated by the regional “Plug&Start” business accelerator and the “Paris French Tech Ticket,” two support programs for international entrepreneurs who want to establish their startup in Paris. The technology sector is particularly active in Paris.
These two incubators are essential elements of the “Innovation Arc (Arc de l’innovation),” a showcase project of Paris’ public officials. They are actively promoted by local authorities via competitive purchase prices and development opportunities.