by Marco Volpato with G.Errico MONACO MonacoTech is the start-up incubator/accelerator created in May 2017 by the Monegasque State, in partnership with Monaco’s telecoms operator, Monaco Telecom, and Xavier Niel, owner of MonacoTelecom.
On May 16 2017, the International University of Monaco (IUM) and MonacoTech Incubator – Accelerator have signed a partnership to support entrepreneurship in the Principality.
On November 9th 2017, MonacoTech was inaugurated by Prince Albert, Minister of Finance and Economy Jean Castellini and Xavier Niel. With more than 800 square metres of open space, including a co-working space, two fab labs and a ping-pong room, MonacoTech has already welcomed hundreds of startups, from various countries including Singapore and Canada.
“MonacoTech is a place for meeting, exchanging, developing, a place for innovating, impregnated with Monaco’s DNA where projects come together, live, develop and spread, an ecosystem, a planet, a universe.” said Xavier Niel. The French entrepreneur and businessman is the founder and majority shareholder of Iliad telecommunications, trading under the Free brand. He is also co-owner of the newspaper Le Monde, co-owner of the rights of the song “My Way” and owner of Monaco Telecom. Partner of Delphine Arnault, executive vice-president of the luxury titan LVMH Group, Niel is one of the most active angel investor in the world, providing capital for business startups and also investing online through equity crowdfounding.
Monaco Tech offers two programs:
The Incubator Program at 150€/per month, directed to entrepreneurs and innovative projects holders in the process of creating their company
The Accelerator Program at 300€/per month for existing startups to increase their international presence and boost their growth.
The Programs include the Establishment in Monaco ensuring Financial and Administration support; the Telecom Package complete with 1 Monaco Telecom Line per person, Web & mail hosting, domain.mc, 1 Cloud Drive per person; the Entrepreneurs friendly network that offers one-to-one meeting with investors, meeting with potential customers and partners, pitch marathon, exclusive conferences; the Partnership with the international university of Monaco that gives privileged access to entrepreneurship & management courses; the Personalized follow-up, a roadmap fitting needs, experts and consultants on request; and the MonacoLab Program consisting in a special fast track tech validation program to test your technology at a city sized scale.
In fact, deploying, testing and validating technologies at large scale can be a struggle. Getting the proper authorization and clearance will take several months or even years.
Through the MonacoLab program, a tech validation fast track, innovative partners will have their proposal green-lighted promptly.
Located in the principality of Monaco, MonacoTech enjoys a dynamic economy and a strategic position right in the centre of the euro zone. This ambitious financial marketplace benefits from a cosmopolitan culture, an extremely well connected territory and a major employment catchment area focused on niche markets. Monaco has become a real test bed and a favourite showcase for any investor or entrepreneur looking for a place to set up.
The Application timeline consists in the application form; then video reviews will take place; finally the face-to-face Jury will choose the applications.
Startup Selection Criteria of the innovative startups projects presented to the Jury are the following:
About Team: Skills & Complementarity – Entrepreneur mindset – Life project in Monaco
About Traction: Minimum value proposition – First tech results or POC – Business model / Roadmap
About Concept: Promising idea – Innovation in any sector – Desire to implant in Monaco
Monaco is Ideally situated at the gateway to Europe and the crossroads of Asia and Africa.
Monaco represents an International showcase: for over 150 years, the Principality has enjoyed a reputation, of course, for its unique location, but most of all for its high level expertise in a broad range of fields. People of more than 120 nationalities can be found in Monaco, making it truly a window on the world. Monaco also hosts numerous cultural and sporting events, on a level with the largest cities in the world. Around 5400 companies are located in Monaco. That represents more than 50000 jobs. It is the most dynamic source of employment in Southern Europe. Its economy is highly diversified. The GDP is generated by more than 10 different sectors. Most importantly, Monaco is one of the fastest growing economy, averaging a good 5% per year. Its GDP per capita is among the highest in the world, right behind Qatar and Luxembourg.
Monaco is a highly accessible destination linked to France and the rest of Europe: Nice-Côte-d’Azur airport 22 km away (direct access by helicopter). Easy access via any other means of transport: air, see, road, rail.
The Principality of Monaco, the world’s second smallest country by area, has an open economy that welcomes foreign investment.
Monaco enjoys a high standard of living and low unemployment. Foreigners (and Monegasques) actually living and working in Monaco are not subject to personal income tax, with the exception of French citizens. Corporations may benefit from various tax incentives. There are no restrictions preventing foreigners and non-residents from buying property or opening bank or brokerage accounts in Monaco, though some banks have levied fees on American accounts. Non-residents likely account for more than half of real estate investments.
Monaco is well known for its security and political stability.