Sophia-Antipolis incubators offer innovative ways to support innovative businesses
On 20th September, three Alpes Maritimes incubators, TelecomParisTech Eurecom Entrepreneurs, Paca-Est incubator and SKEMA Business School, launched their first group initiative aimed at managers of assisted projects.In the presence of DIRECCTE, the project's co-funder, and their partners, the incubators unveiled their innovative assistance program which will be implemented from September 2011 to May 2012.
A JOINT INITIATIVE: AN INNOVATION FOR INNOVATION
Difficulty finding their first few customers is the main obstacle to the development of young companies.
Indeed, before the first sale is made, it is very difficult for start-ups to mobilise the resources they need (financial, human, etc.).
In order to deal with this issue, the three incubators are joining forces to offer 25 incubated companies a specific assistance program.
This joint initiative is unique because it sets the stage for a comparison between the perceptions of project managers and buyers in a real sales situation.
THE PROGRAM IN 4 STAGES
- Group training: 5 modules in 5 half-day training sessions at SKEMA’s Sophia Antipolis campus to help the projects to formalise their sales strategy: validate the offer, identify priority target markets, business model, sales strategy and sales team.
- Individual coaching: finalisation of a sales plan within their incubator and the creation of a network of buyers.
- Boot Camp: sales role-plays with buyers from the identified industries: ICT, life sciences, engineering and internet sciences, potential buyers of their product or solution. This initial application of theory will allow them to acquire critical feedback from the professionals.
- Assessment: general assessment of the initiative, report on the development of the projects' sales offers, progress report on their prospects, feedback.
The success of this program relies on the ability to create a network of buyers and their personal involvement in advising the projects.
- Paca-Est incubator: a non-profit organisation under the French law of 1901, this business incubator is accredited by the Ministry of Research for the Alpes Maritimes and Var departments, and supports the creation of companies involved with public research.
- Telecom ParisTech Eurecom Entrepreneurs incubator (initiative manager): This business incubator specialises in supporting innovative ICT projects put forth by young or more experienced engineers, who, after an experience in the industrial environment, have decided to undertake a personal project.
- SKEMA Business School: Already among the top 5 French schools in terms of student, graduate and professor numbers and also in terms of its budget, SKEMA Business School is a global school that, through its research, teaching programs and international multi-campus structure, trains and educates the talented professionals 21st century companies need. The school now has 6 campuses: 3 in France (Lille, Sophia-Antipolis, Paris), 1 in China (Suzhou), 1 to Morocco (Casablanca) and 1 in the United States (Raleigh).