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Laurence Goussu - 3/01/2018

Accelerate the researchers transformation into business creators

Inria supports the creation of technological start-ups using the results of its research. The project owners, researchers or engineers are world-class in their fields; however transforming these scientists into business creators is a complex process. In order for the project owners to be better prepared and find their way more quickly, Inria and emlyon business school have joined forces; they are offering a tailor-made action programme, the aim of which is to assist seven start-up projects during the first year, before reaching an annual rate of 20 to 30 projects over three years.

A partnership between two major actors in entrepreneurship and innovation

In 1984, emlyon business schoolwas the first school in France to create an incubator. Today, around 180 entrepreneurial projects are supported annually by the incubator and the school's network of experts and mentors. The survival rate of the business creation projects assisted by emlyon business school reaches 85% after five years.

Inriahas supported the creation of over 150 technological start-ups in the field of digital technology over the last 30 years and, for this, relies on a national network of value-creation officers and its IT-Translation subsidiary which provides seed funding expertise.

In order to take advantage of the richness of Inria technologies via the creation of businesses and to attract even more talent, Inria and emlyon business school have decided to put in place a partnership aimed at rolling out a programme of specific actions to support entrepreneurial project owners originating from the institute's research teams. This partnership is part of Digital Start-up, a programme created by Inria, whose aim – together with IT-Translation - is to support the future business creators with the non-technological aspects of their project and the project holders’ mindset.

A programme of tailor-made actions for the Inria project holders

This action programme is being rolled out in close collaboration betweenInria'sDirectorate-General for Technology Transfer and Industrial Partnerships,IT-Translationand the emlyon business schoolincubator.

It is based on a few simple principles:

  • Year groups of teams with an idea for business creation;
  • A monthly get-together of these teams for training, experience-sharing and pitch training sessions;
  • Support for each project from coaches and mentors;
  • Preparation for the French Ministry of Research i-Lab competition.

The first seven projects taking part in the 2017 edition of this programme met for the first time in October at a week-long immersion seminar. Each month, this same group comes together to work on the key elements of the presentation of a business project: building up the team, the start-up mindset, segmentation marketing (from technology to market), value creation, business planning and seeking funding. The sales approach will then follow - a key point in the transition to market and vital goal in the development of a company.

Keywords: Emlyon Start-ups Partnerships Entrepreneurship I-Labs