Success stories from companies setting up in the Basque Country

BASQUE INVEST provides expert guidance, management and implementation of set-up and investment projects in France. Since its creation, it has harnessed this expertise to help numerous start-ups and entrepreneurs, both foreign and French, to set up and live in the Basque Country. 

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BASQUE INVEST : a major player in setting up companies in the basque country

Over the last 5 years, we’re proud to have helped around 100 projects set up in the Basque Country – some 20 projects a year. 80% of these projects are French, and mainly belong to the service and e-commerce sectors. We’re delighted to have set up high-impact projects that create jobs in the Basque Country. The key business sectors involved have been digital, health and well-being, production, crafts, blue growth, circular economy and aeronautics sectors.

By 2020, we had helped 345 companies set up in the region, contributing to the creation of an estimated 326 jobs over 3 years. Even during the peak of the health crisis in 2020, the BASQUE INVEST team continued to show its agility, maintaining a presence at trade shows, meeting investors and helping companies in need. 

In 2023, we helped 18 companies set up French investment projects in the Basque Country. We also made concrete   with a further 5 companies.

The companies in the Basque Country established by BASQUE INVEST have created 4784 jobs since we first began, with more than 347 in 2023, creating a very interesting dynamic for the local market.

  • 61% of contacts with entrepreneurs, start-ups or established companies come from our network.
  • 30% are linked to our direct prospecting work.
  • The remaining 9% correspond to the communication tools developed by BASQUE INVEST to attract entrepreneurs: our website our LinkedIn page.

Recent companies to set up successfully in the basque country

From foreign start-ups and industrial companies to local entrepreneurs, we present some of the most recent companies to set up in the Basque Country in  2022/2023 thanks to BASQUE INVEST, and how we were able to support them in their location strategy: Optima Aero

Optima Aero

    • A strong aeronautics industry and ecosystem in the Basque Country.
    • Personalized support in recruiting qualified personnel.
    • Proximity to Safran Helicopters (the worldwide helicopter maintenance training center is based in Tarnos).
    • The presence of structures such as ESTIA and its future Turbo lab (a building dedicated to the propulsion energies of the future), Compositadour, and Biarritz airport.

      Specializing in the dismantling and refurbishment of helicopter parts, this Canadian company, firmly rooted in the circular economy, was looking for a European location for its EMEA (Europe Middle East Africa) headquarters. France topped the list of the most attractive European locations, with Bordeaux, Agen, Pau and Biarritz in particular. The responsiveness of BASQUE INVEST, as well as the various advantages of the Basque Country, won over Optima Aero’s management committee: 

    BASQUE INVEST also enabled Optima Aero to recruit its first employees and technicians. Rapid contact with banking institutions facilitated the arrangement of the credit needed to set up in the Basque Country.

    Last but not least, BASQUE INVEST helped Optima Aero set up its communications operations in the Basque region, putting the General Management in touch with local and national press and television (EITB, TV7, France TV, TVPI, Le Figaro, Les Echos, Le Monde).

Intelligence Audio

Intelligence Audio wanted to find out about the ecosystem of companies in its field of activity in the area. After several discussions with BASQUE INVEST, we introduced them to the digital cluster in the Basque Country run by the Pays Basque Agglomeration Community, as well as the various specialized training courses in these fields, such as ESAPB (Ecole Supérieure d’art Pays Basque), which trains students in several locations, including the Villa des Rocailles in Biarritz.

BASQUE INVEST then supported Intelligence Audio in their search for premises, finding a location that met all their specific criteria: industrial zone, ceiling height, location respecting the anonymity of certain artists. We put them in touch with other useful connections to ensure their successful establishment in the Basque Country, such as luxury hotels, banking establishments, politicians etc.; helped them organize the opening of their premises; and helped with the local and cross-border communications. BASQUE INVEST enabled them to envisage collaborations with Spanish cinema players in the Spanish Basque Country, such as Zinemaldia (the Spanish cinema hub in San Sebastian) and the Kursaal cinema hall.

Aqualines

To set up his company in the Basque Country, and more specifically in the Port of Bayonne, Guillaume Catala, Aqualines project manager and investor, got in touch with Karlos from BASQUE INVEST. With their innovative aircraft-boat project, their interest in setting up in the Basque Country was clear: positioning in the port of Bayonne with the possibility of testing on the Adour, proximity to the Biscarrosse seaplane base and links with Compositadour, Aerospace Valley and aeronautical subcontractors such as the Lauak group. BASQUE INVEST introduced them to a number of key players to facilitate their establishment and the construction of their infrastructures, including elected officials from the Port of Bayonne, the Nouvelle Aquitaine region, technicians, the urban planning departments of the Pays Basque urban community, and Bayonne town hall.

Polyola

German start-up Polyola wanted to establish itself in the French surf industry. BASQUE INVEST helped them set up in 2021. We connected them with banks, introduced them to players in the local surfing industry (shapers, companies, surfers testing their products, etc.), searched for premises, prepared applications for grants, and assisted in finding new shareholders to increase their capital. Today, the company is continuing its development with a new successful fund-raising round of €300,000 in January 2023.

Larrun Bikes

BASQUE INVEST supported Larrun Bikes in their move to the Basque Country. Their aim was to get closer to the growing bicycle ecosystem in the area, in particular Pragma Industrie (a group of bicycle and accessory manufacturers). We supported them in their search for premises in Biarritz, with their contacts within the Nouvelle Aquitaine region, with future employees, in the organization of their opening, and in their participation in various trade shows in Europe.

Entrepreneurs satisfied with basque country location with basque invest

100% of the company’s that we have helped set up in the Basque Country are satisfied with our support. They recognize BASQUE INVEST’s effectiveness in creating quality introductions, putting together financing dossiers and finding the right real estate.

Are you planning to set up a business in France or the Basque Country? Please contact us to discuss your project.

 

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