The story of BIME started in a little apartment in Montpellier. Actually, it wasn’t even called BIME at that time. We upgraded to a shoebox when Nico, my co-founder, hired our first engineer. Then we grew to 5 employees and moved into an office that looked more like a shipping container.
In 2013 with 15, we founded our first “real” office in the heart of Montpellier in the former Hotel de Ville. A lot of people thought we were crazy to build a company in the South of France. Sometimes, we thought we were crazy too.
But here we are, 2 years later. We got the attention of San Francisco-based company called Zendesk. We got acquired. We continued to grow the team. We moved into a new office in Montpellier. Lots has changed, and lots more will change. But one thing has remained and will remain constant: our home is France.
France is a fast-growing technology innovation hub with a digital ecosystem that is beginning to rival some of the top performing global regions. We are excited to be a part of it and committed to investing more in the region, especially the burgeoning startup community.
Here are a few of our recent initiatives:
Our new office in Montpellier is three times the size of the former one, providing hiring opportunities and capacity for around 50 employees. Btw, we’re hiring.
Zendesk’s Paris offices is moving to Station F, the biggest startup campus in the world.
We’re launching a partnership with Station F, where we’ll provide 47 seats at the campus to incubate local startups.
The Zendesk Neighbor Foundation is planning to give approximately $50,000 in grants in France, and the local team has committed to around 500 volunteer hours this year to support local causes.
And this is just the beginning. We can’t wait for what the future has in store for us and France.
For some fun reading, here’s some recent press coverage about our initiatives: