>> Emmanuel Macron's startup nation may not actually be so startup friendly. When he was Economy Minister the now French President once championed this business idea, Sea Bubbles, flying water taxis that preserve their batteries by rising out of the water on legs at speed. Creator Alain Thebault wants to use them as clean and fast transportation on city waterways starting here, on the River Seine in Paris.
But French government restrictions and administrative bureaucracy have repeatedly held them back. Thebault says it's taken months to lease two cars and register the company, something that could've taken just hours in another country. The big obstacle is convincing Parisian authorities to raise the speed limit on the Seine something they've so far rejected.
Thebault has already won backing from private investors though and expects to raise between 50 to 100 million Euros by the end of September. He says if it’s too tricky to startup in France, Sea Bubbles has plenty of interest from other cities around the world. It's a common problem among France's now bursting new business scene.
But investors say startups are being held up by red tape and label laws, not money. Investment bank BPI France pumped 191 million Euros into the industry last year, and investor confidence is still growing after the election of business friendly Macron.