The IoT Valley in South of France: Silicon Valley of Things

Ten years after the creation of one of the first IoT clusters in the south of France: IoT Valley Toulouse, initiated by the founder of Sigfox, we will see how this logic makes profits to all the value chain and whether it can be replicated.

Photo by DAT VO on Unsplash

How it started

If you see the European IoT clusters map (here), you will notice the considerable amount of clusters everywhere on the continent. But only very few of them — if none — are achieving such a wide and profound dimension as the IoT Valley in Toulouse.

The scale-up

If the spark has to come from a private initiative, public funds come in handy for scaling. 42M€ is invested, mostly by the Region (the level we could compare to a US State). It is thus important not only to finance the operation but also to guarantee the future development of the cluster.

A constantly evolving project

If the IoT Valley has already launched an incubator and a training program, we can then see what started as a catalyst for projects, then produce our own initiatives. Conscious of the shortcomings suffered by startups and larger companies, the IoT Valley created its 3 months bootcamp, dedicated to entrepreneurship. Launching such an initiative requires a solid brand, in order to attract motivated students — most of them already obtained a Master’s degree.

So to sum up, we can say that what is important for the success of such a project is:

  • a private initiative, carried by a recognized actor of the industry
  • the previous presence of an engineers community in the area (as engineering schools)
  • a surrounding of worldwide industry actors which already puts the area on the map
  • public funds for scaling and facilitating — second phase
  • a living project with evolving missions and objectives, with flexible rules where everyone can use the place as a test bed
  • an attractive surrounding (sunny, cultural, easily accessible, with a large entertainment offering)

French Marketer specialised in tech and IoT / Malmö and Warsaw / dxm-agency.com

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