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What is the Schoolab International Starter program?

International Starter welcomes english speaking early stage entrepreneurs from all over the world to come to Paris and accelerate their business idea into reality.

We offer mentorship and tailored weekly workshops that help build your business and understanding of the ecosystem in France. Office hours are held with experts in the field to give you feedback on your business idea and answer some of the tougher questions that arise. We hold trainings on how to pitch your product to the public and our network of investors.

The International Starter program is an incentive from President Macron to welcome foreign start-ups into France. Our program helps entrepreneurs build cultural bridges to facilitate working in France and with multiple countries. A four year French Tech Visa is given to participants for our 7-month accelerator program. The Schoolab is located in the bubbling entrepreneurial ecosystem of Sentier in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris.

International Starter helps define and conquer problems that arise during the early stage entrepreneurial process. The Schoolab is a nurturing environment to grow and start your business in France.

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What is the International Starter?

Starter is an international community of passionate students and young graduates who have decided to become entrepreneurs. Each day they take up the challenges facing our world and reinvent the future. The new International Starter Program facilitates non-French entrepreneurs in opening their business in France. We arm them with the right tools to overcome cultural gaps, to understand French values and to implement their business in Europe. Moreover we accompany entrepreneurs through their visa application to attain a 4 year work permit.

Why International Starter?

It is an amazing opportunity to experience the French startup ecosystem from within. We are convinced that the new generations have the capacity to meet the challenges facing our world and to reinvent themselves tomorrow.

We want to bring the best startupers, so that they have every chance to succeed.


We help you to quickly create a startup that has potential, pushing you to confront your customers as quickly as possible.

We mobilize an ecosystem of 100+ mentors and experts to help you make the right decisions and save you time.

We create an environment of collective emulation, benevolence and mutual assistance between the startups of the accelerator.

We teach you to know yourself better and develop your potential as an entrepreneur. Because what makes the difference between two startups is actually how well the two teams work together.


International Starter addresses who?

International Starter is aimed at foreign early stage entrepreneurs. They have an idea that fascinates them, sometimes a product and a few customers.

It is important for us that entrepreneurs come from all backgrounds and all formations (business, engineer, design, medicine, pharmacy, psychology, law, journalism, art ...). What is fundamental is that they are passionate and respond to a real problem.

When are the International Starter programs and when are the applications due?

Every six months, we select entrepreneurial teams. There are two promotions per year that last 7 months each. Every year we accelerate two batch of startups: in February and August. To participate to the February session, please apply before November, and to participate to the August session, please apply before June. Applications remain open all year!

How are startups selected?

To apply, simply complete the application form. We meet ALL candidates because we mainly select passionate and talented teams. In any case, early stage contractors are often pivotal, so the project will evolve in six months.

How to apply for the French Tech Visa?

Once you are accepted in the Starter program, you will receive an official letter from the Direccte attesting of your status as a foreign founder. You are then eligible for a long-stay visa.

To apply:

  1. If you are living outside of France, you should apply for a “Passeport Talent” at the French Consulate in your usual place of residence no earlier than 3 months before the date of your arrival in France.
  2. If you are already living in France: apply at the Préfecture in your place of residence for a change of status.You must apply for the change of status two months before the previous residence permit expires.

For more information, please visit FrenchTech Visa website.

What is the content of the program?

There are 5 highlights in the program:

  1. The program lasts 7 months and includes a month-long acculturation program followed with a 6 month acceleration program.
  2. The Bootcamp: 2 weeks at the start of the program during which entrepreneurs are challenged throughout their strategy (value proposition, UX, business model, pitch).
  3. Team building: 2 days to work on relationships between partners, leadership, vision and goals.
  4. The Crash Test: Entrepreneurs make a 5-minute investor pitch in front of a jury of mentors, experts and partners who challenging them for 30 minutes.
  5. The Show: Entrepreneurs expose their products to hundreds of potential customers.
  6. Demo day: entrepreneurs pitch in front of business angels and public funders.

Apart from these deadlines, there are weekly workshops that help you build skills on key topics. And every other week, from office hours: we bring experts on different subjects (UX, business model, marketing, fundraising ...) and you make an appointment according to your needs, to make you help and challenge.

And Starter is a great environment: you share the same premises with other startups who face or have faced the same problems as you and we organize nice collective moments regularly!

Who are the mentors and experts?

Mentors are successful young entrepreneurs who have set up a box early in their careers, often at the end of their studies, so that they understand your problems perfectly. They help you on strategy, decision making, and can open their network (if you are good!).

The experts are professionals who work in startups, large groups or as independent people and are specialized on different subjects: UX / UI, business model, branding, metrics & analytics, fundraising, digital marketing, SEO ... The network Is continually expanded to meet your needs.

You are also followed by a coach, a member of the Schoolab team, who helps you set and achieve your goals.

Where are the premises located?

Schoolab is a 1800m2 building in Paris, in the heart of the Sentier. It is a bubbling ecosystem gathering students, startups and large groups that create the world of tomorrow. It is also a place full of energy, authenticity, ambition, sharing and mutual aid. Come visit us, you'll love it!

How much does it cost ?

The International Starter Program costs €450 per person per month. For participants needing a Visa, additional fees are charged.

Any questions?

Feel free to send an email with all your questions to Elise.

Start before you are ready

Apply to the Starter program!

For more information, please contact us.