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About the program

The program NETVA – Start in America has a triple objective for French deeptech: learning best entrepreneurial practices on the other side of the Atlantic, building technological partnerships, and developing international prospects.

With this in mind, through an annual call for projects, the program selects French early stage and deeptech startups, and offers its laureates a two-stage training program:

  • a training seminar in Paris, in cooperation with Bpifrance, consisting of workshops led by French and American innovation professionals, tackling the specificities of the North American technology ecosystems and approaches to communication, strategy, intellectual property, investment and human resources issues;
  • an immersion in the United States, in one of the seven highly innovative American ecosystems proposed by La Synapse, during which entrepreneurs take part in workshops to confront their business model to the North American reality, one-to-one meetings with key players in their field, and events enabling them to make the first strategic contacts with French, Francophile and American entrepreneurial communities.

Eligibility criteria

The NETVA program is aimed at French deeptech and early-stage startups; to be eligible, startups must have been incorporated in France for less than 5 years, with sales of less than €2 million and no more than 15 full-time employees.

Participation fees

There is no application fee.

In the event of selection, a monetary contribution is requested from the winners to cover part of the costs of training and immersion in the United States. This contribution amounts to:

  • 2,000€ for Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Washington DC;
  • 2,300€ for Chicago, Los Angeles;
  • 2,600€ for Boston, San Francisco.

The air transportation expenses to the United States are also the responsibility of the laureates.


  • Applications open: September 27 to November 6, 2023;
  • Selection interviews: December 15, 2023 to December 20, 2023;
  • Announcement of laureates: January 15, 2024;
  • Training seminar in Paris: dates will be announced soon;
  • Immersion weeks:
    • Los Angeles: week of March 18;
    • Chicago: week of March 25;
    • Houston and Miami: week of April 15;
    • San Francisco and Washington DC: week of April 29;
    • Atlanta: week of May 6;
    • Boston: week of May 13.


La Synapse’s thematic competencies are focused on 10 scientific and technological fields. However, the NETVA program is open to all early-stage deeptech startups in France, with the emphasis above all on disruptive innovation.
The 202 startups that have benefited from the program use a variety of technologies and apply them to a wide range of fields. The main fields of application are biology, medicine and health, information and communications technology (ICT), and energy and environmental challenges. However, startups in the fields of sports, real estate and art were also received. The fields of application do not, however, represent the diversity of the startups’ technological sectors. In this sense, interdisciplinarity is at the heart of innovation for almost half of the winning startups; many use artificial intelligence (16%), ICTs (12%), heavy industry technologies (9%), nanotechnologies (4%) and quantum technologies (1%). For example, of the 88 startups in the biology, medicine and health sectors, 20% use artificial intelligence and 10% use ICTs.

Number of startups by city between 2010 and 2023 in the United States

BOSTON, 64 startups
ATLANTA, 5 startups
CHICAGO, 10 startups
LOS ANGELES, 8 startups
SAN FRANCISCO, 55 startups
HOUSTON, 6 startups
WASHINGTON DC, 40 startups
TORONTO (Canada), 14 startups

Origin of startups

Most of the NETVA laureates come from research laboratories associated with the “grandes écoles” (higher education institutions), universities and public research organizations. The geographical origin of the startups reflects in part the presence of major research institutions and recognized innovation centers. Even though a large proportion (43%) of laureates are located in Ile-de-France, the Paris metropolitan region, 25% are based in Occitanie, around Toulouse and Montpellier, and in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, around Lyon and Grenoble.
Since technological innovation in these regions is crucial to their economic development and the jobs of tomorrow, La Synapse pays particular attention to supporting deeptech throughout the French territory.

Number of startups by region between 2010 and 2023 in France

Ile-de-France, 86 startups
Occitanie, 25 startups
Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, 24 startups
Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur, 14 startups
Grand-Est, 12 startups
Nouvelle-Aquitaine, 10 startups
Hauts-de-France, 8 startups
Bretagne, 6 startups
Pays de la Loire, 5 startups
Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, 5 startups
Normandie, 3 startups
Centre-Val de Loire, 2 startups
Corse, 2 startups

Fields of activity

In 2010, the Office for Science and Technology (OST) at the Embassy of France in the United States created New Technology Venture Accelerator (NETVA) to meet the internationalization needs of French deeptech startups developing innovative, high value-added products. The NETVA program is aimed at French deeptech and early-stage startups; to be eligible, startups must have been incorporated in France for less than 5 years, with sales of less than €2 million and no more than 15 full-time employees.

Initially offered in Boston, under the name New England Technology Venture Accelerator, the program has evolved over the years to adapt to the development of French deeptech and its needs, and has been extended to other North American ecosystems: first San Francisco in 2012, then Washington DC in 2013, Chicago and Houston in 2019, Los Angeles in 2020 and Atlanta in 2021. All these ecosystems are now offered to startups for their immersion week. Between 2015 and 2017, the program was also organized in Toronto, to enable discovery of the Canadian market and technology ecosystem. This encouraging experiment, suspended for administrative reasons, could be repeated in the future, in Toronto and beyond, to extend the prospects for cooperation and internationalization to the whole of North America. Between 2010 and 2023, 202 startups were selected and supported by NETVA in 8 North American cities.

What happens to the laureates?

Nearly 84% of the startups that have participated in the NETVA program since 2010 are continuing their technological and commercial development, 10% have ceased operations since their participation, and 6% have been acquired by other companies. These liquidation or acquisition events take place on average 6 to 7 years after the startup’s creation, i.e. 4 to 5 years after their participation in the NETVA program. The most recent acquisitions are Cornis (NETVA 2012) bySITES Group in 2020 and Flightwatching (NETVA 2014) by Revima in 2019.

The success and disruptive nature of an innovation can also be measured by the number of patents: over 332 patents have been filed by almost half of NETVA’s alumni to protect their intellectual property. Patents are mainly filed by laureates in the fields of biology, medicine and health, agriculture and agri-food, energy, aerospace and ICT. By way of example, Exoes (NETVA 2013) has filed 27 patents and Uwinloc (NETVA 2017) has filed 22.

Fundraising is another indicator of the success of startups following their participation in the NETVA program. In total, NETVA alumni have raised over €1B, including more than €800M after participating in the program. Notable fundraisings include Pasqal (€125M – quantum technology – NETVA 2021), Dynacure (€100M – biotech – NETVA 2017), Treefrog Therapeutics (€87M – biotech – NETVA 2019), Wandercraft (70 M€ – medical technology – NETVA 2016), et Delair-Tech (43 M€ – aerospace – NETVA 2014).

Following their participation in the NETVA program, several French startups chose to expand in the United States, such as Treefrog Therapeutics and Genoskin (NETVA 2016) in Boston, Preligens (NETVA 2017) in Washington DC, InariX (NETVA 2021) in Chicago, Sensome (NETVA 2016) in Los Angeles, Shortways (NETVA 2013) in New York, and Adaxis (NETVA 2022) in Chattanooga near Atlanta; others have set up technological partnerships with US-based players, such as Pasqal with theUniversity of Chicago and CarThera with Northwestern University.


The success of the NETVA program since its inception has been made possible by the support of its partners, notably Bpifrance and the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research. The complementary nature of the i-Lab competition and NETVA has enabled many French deeptech startups to benefit from both programs to accelerate their development. Further partnerships with research organizations such as the CNRS, INRAE, INRIA, CEA, INSERM and CNES will enable us to identify the most promising deeptech startups and support them in their acceleration process.

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the NETVA program