Moving on…

After almost 3 years and 5 seasons at StartUp42, I will be moving on this summer and leave StartUp42 to launch an exciting new project.

As I am now taking up a new challenge, I wanted to take some time to reflect on what we’ve been able to achieve at StartUp42. In 5 seasons, we accelerated 36 startups, out of which 31 are still ongoing. Together they’re valued at more than 15M€, they generated almost 2M€ of revenue in 2014 and have created more than 100 jobs so far.

I’m very proud of these achievements especially when you know that 90% of these companies incorporated during of just after the program. Moreover I strongly believe that these encouraging results are validation our choice to very early on:

Focus on acceleration
Unlike most schools’ incubators, we decided to create a very selective (7 startups per batch) short-term (4 months) and open to all program, with a strong focus on product creation and customer development, supported by top mentors and partners from the entrepreneurial community.

Look for tech founders
When we launched early 2013, very few accelarators existed in Paris and none were actively looking for tech founded startups. Promoting our tech DNA and sourcing projects in developer communities allowed us to have a very specific deal flow (75% of our founders had a tech background) and offer a strong differentiator to our corporate partners.

Do not take equity…
… and do not charge startups for acceleration, hence removing barriers to entry for the best startups, especially those who were already incorporated or already had revenue. We’re still strongly convinced that equity should be taken only when investing, while providing education and mentoring being part of the responsabilities of being an investor. It made us look for a different business model and we’re glad both EPITA and our corporate partners adhered to this vision.

Our model, specificities and our intimate relationship with EPITA have made StartUp42 a unique acceleration program, not only in Europe but also worldwide. And the future is bright, with the launch of the FrenchTechTicket program early 2016, a renewed partnership with France Télévision and a great v0.6 to come, I’m sure!

Speaking about the v0.6, Maxime Pico, who has done an incredible job as StartUp42 Program Manager during the past months, will be acting as Managing Director for the next season while I will still be involved in the selection process and relationship with our corporate partners. I wish him good luck for these new responsabilities!

Finally, I couldn’t say good bye properly without saying thank you.

So, first of all, thanks to EPITA and its director Joel Courtois, who trusted me back in 2012 when I suggested to do something more impactful than yet another school incubator. Thanks to our corporate partners without whom this program could not exist, especially our very first partner, Econocom, who went ahead and supported us before we had any startups in the program.

Thanks to everyone that was part of the StartUp42 team, sometimes voluntarily, and worked very hard to help our founders. Thanks to all the mentors who travelled all the way to Porte d’Italie to spend time with our founders. Thanks also to my wife and my family for their constant support.

Thanks finally to the 80+ founders who trusted us enough to be challenged, sometimes roughly, and accelerated in the very early months of their existence. Some of them are already on their way to success and the others are right around the corner but they’re all, I’m sure, on the right path!

As of my new project, stay tuned. I will tell more very soon!


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