Perched in the land of baguettes, cheese and wine, Villeurbanne is a city in the Metropolis of Lyon in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region in eastern France. The 2nd largest city in the area, it's northeast of Lyon. Downtown Villeurbanne has been inhabited since 6000 BC and has been a part of France since 1349. Once a hotchpotch of little villages separated by fields, today these villages form neighborhoods such as Charpennes, Cusset, Croix-Luizet and Maisons-Neuves to name a few. Here you will find one of the most amazing Art Deco structures in the whole of France, the mind blowing housing complex of 2 towers "Gratte-Ciel" that grace Avenue Henri Barbusse. Created by the innovative architect Morice Leroux, the towers have become the emblem of the city. The city transformed from a rural community to an industrial town in the early 1900s. Today it's an educational hub with numerous institutions littered around the city including the Institut National des Sciences Appliquees de Lyon that is one of the premier engineering institutes of research in the whole world. Villeurbanne has a population of about 148,543 souls meandering its well-trodden alleys, sipping espresso in cafes and hanging out in coworking venues being inventive.
Everything is changing in France at the moment with reforms aimed to help startups rather than hinder them and efforts made to open both its economy and its borders to tech startups. Today it's far easier to hire and fire in France, which has lead to making labor costs far more predictable. France is now offering easy-to-access French Tech visas, so that tech savvy souls can live and work in France. It's interesting to note that 50% of French youth aged 18-24 and 70% of graduates from the prestigious flagship university, Ecole Polytechnique, want to work for startups. The French mentality is evolving and taking into account the whole world, not just its own country.
France is coming into its own in the tech industries race with government and big business supporting and creating a nurturing environment for its creative individuals. The opening of coworking venues is merely one more step in the ecosystem that may see France leading the European scene.
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