Toulouse: a bustling town of incubators

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Published by Oslo Business Region, 08 December 2020

The city of Toulouse is one of the top 3 cities in France for number of funds raised, startups founded and startup jobs created. Incubators are where ideas are converted into businesses. It is a catalyst tool for startup founders, a helping hand that provides support and guidance during the hardest time of development. In Toulouse, more than twenty incubators assist project holders and entrepreneurs transforming their ideas into valuable businesses.

Guest writer Nadia Ben Mahfoudh is a freelance journalist based in Toulouse and Paris. She rounds up 5 of the most influential incubators in the French city.

Airbus BizLab

Bizlab belongs to the Airbus group and was founded in 2015. It endorses both startups and entrepreneurs from the aerospace field, as well as other fields, such as: artificial intelligence, satellite imagery services, cyber security or data analytics.

Over a six month period, Airbus BizLab offers early-stage projects the guidance and support they need for the conception of customer desirability (benchmark, market study…), solution feasibility and business viability.

In five years, BizLab has hosted 72 startups and 54 Airbus internal projects.

Ethics Biotope

Ethics Biotope aims to help the development of companies evolving in the fields of telemedecine or big data. The «biotopeurs» can be part of the structure for up to three years. Entrepreneurs can meet potential partners and experts that provide help and advices for their development. The incubator gives access to a large network but also to a co-working space.

Ethics Biotope is part of The Good Company, a communication agency that believes «the business for good is also good for business».

Lab Oïkos

Lab Oïkos, also known as «City of CSR and Impact» helps entrepreneurs achieve sustainable growth. The incubator provides a framework and solutions to answer to social, societal and environmental transformations.

Anyone can join the program, small businesses but also large groups. Participants can register online, calculate their CSR balance to assess their environmental impact, or meet potential partners. They can also attend and contribute to events organised by Lab Oïkos.

Première Brique

This social innovation incubator was created in 2012. Première Brique supports companies working on social and environmental challenges. The incubator assists innovative activities and experimentations.

Première Brique’s objective is to support future entrepreneurs in developing a startup with a strong social and environmental impact. It gives the startups the framework they need to carry out tests and prototypes that will help build their economic model or entrepreneurial skills.

Each year, Première Brique selects ten startups for their program lasting 6-18 months. Since the beginning, they have supported the growth of 51 projects.

Le Semoir

Le Semoir was launched in 2018 by the Puropan Engineering School in Toulouse. Initially designed for students aiming to launch a company while pursuing their studies, Le Semoir was extended to graduates and to external entrepreneurs. The incubator specialises in life science, agriculture, agri-food industry, marketing and management.

Each year, the incubator selects two projects that will be supported for a 12-18 month period.

The development of these business incubators made Toulouse one of the most attractive cities in France for foreign investment. In terms of the number of jobs created or reinforced, Toulouse is the second largest city in France right behind Paris.

Oslo and Toulouse

Oslo and the French city of Toulouse have a business partnership dating back to 2015. Since 2019, the collaboration has been extended beyond the original fields of Innovation, Technology and Business development, to also include the topics Green and Smart City and Safe and Inclusive City. You can read more about our work with Toulouse here.