Alain Asquin, Academic supervisor for entrepreneurship programs, University of Lyon

You have decided to support Big Booster. What’s your main motivation to join this brand new international startups acceleration program?

The University of Lyon wants to give the opportunity to the academic population running an entrepreneurial project to benefit of the services offered by the Big Booster team. In addition to french students we mobilized our academic partners around the world to encourage their young entrepreneurs to join the program.

Wherever they come, this generation of young entrepreneurs is sharing a collaborative attitude. They have the support of their university, they cooperate with laboratories, they benefit of the support of incubators… These entrepreneurs have the keys for innovation in the fields targeted by Big Booster.

But Big Booster partners will especially help them to think broader and to encompass the international dimension since the start of their project. This is a tremendous key success factor.

In what way Big Booster appears to be different from other acceleration programs?

The Big Booster program appears unique because of its non-profit model. That makes sense for young entrepreneurs who need to concentrate all their resources and their energy on the design of their new business. This is a valuable time, a sort of gift compared to other accelerator models.

How Big Booster program could benefit to your institution?

The University of Lyon is committed to the development of entrepreneurship among the academic community. Each University, each school of engineers of the area runs programs about entrepreneurship, but each of them has decided to join a collective program at in order to go further, and this program is also open for graduate students.

It’s by far the larger program about entrepreneurship for students in France. We help students and graduates find complementary skills proposed by other students from the different universities, we find solutions to test their proto, to join to fab-lab, to protect their technology and to help to patent…

The Big Booster program will benefit at the University of Lyon by giving an international dimension since the early stage of the businesses created by its students. But the University of Lyon has also many skills on entrepreneurship and bring together a broad community of scholars and entrepreneurs.

The Big Booster program will be an opportunity for some of them to be mentors and to mobilize their abilities for entrepreneurs coming from abroad. This will reinforce the international reputation of the University of Lyon on these issues.

Which relationship will be settled between selected start-ups and key partners?

Each key partner will decide the nature and the intensity of the relationship to settle with startups. But, I do no doubt the strength of their respective commitment. The relations will be on the sharing of experience, access to their corporate network, to various facilities that can help entrepreneurs… The key point is quality the encounter. Things will naturally follow.

How can Big Booster help a startup company develop its network on an international level?

There is many possibilities. Lyon is a metropolis with the world. Its network is impressive and it has been developed thanks through the experience of the teams of the Metropolis. This is a solid foundation to help entrepreneurs understand how to do business in these different countries, and possible source of quick contacts there. As for the University of Lyon, international partnerships is a cornerstone of our culture. We could help by introducting our academic partners the entrepreneurs seeking for local skills.

For startups that would be interested in working with some of our laboratories to improve their innovations, they could join some of our international programs be associated with visits abroad with scholars. The local economic partners appreciate the credibility of these collaborations and entrepreneurs receive special attention.

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