Jean-Michel and Jean-Charles Cazes, of Chateau Lynch-Bages, have joined a team of investors in Bordeaux who plan to offer funding to startup companies in wine, gastronomy and tourism.
Jean-Charles Cazes at the 2012 Decanter Bordeaux Fine Wine Encounter
Jean-Louis Triaud, owner of Chateau Saint-Pierre in St Julien, has also signed up the the new private equity consortium, which is named 33entrepreneurs.com and is seeking to accrue a funding pot of €1m.
Its founder, Vincent Pretet, told Decanter.com that the group aims to work like a traditional venture capital company and will focus on business sectors where France is among the global leaders.
‘The Anglo Saxon press has a habit of presenting France as an anti-innovation country, but the force of Bordeaux is that it has a global brand for wine, which offers startups here a great marketing advantage,’ he said.
‘The city has proven success and can offer talent, contacts, mentorships and funding to those who are looking to innovate and disrupt.’
The two Cazes family members and Triaud will be part of a 20-strong investment committee aimed at selecting which businesses will receive the funding, and will also offer advice and mentoring.
The company has a 250m2 working space in the former wine trading district of Chartrons that can be used by the startups.
‘We were attracted by helping Bordeaux develop as a centre of excellence for wine businesses. Often people who have a new idea can feel alone trying to develop it,’ said Jean-Michel Cazes.
Pretet said 500 startups have already contacted 33entrepneurs.
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux