More and more students want to prepare a business start-up during their years at SKEMA. To accompany them from idea to creation and then the launch of their start up, SKEMA created the Venture Factory, a unique incubation system deployed on all our campuses.
SKEMA Venture Factory: Ideas generation
SKEMA's international dimension and establishment of campuses internationally represent a powerful stimulus for student innovation and business creation opportunities: identification of an opportunity abroad, change of business model from one country to another, reverse innovation thought up in Brazil, then tested in France, ...
The stimulation of innovative ideas is also encouraged in courses and events. This is the case of the courses of design thinking, crowd-driven entrepreneurship, or the Challenge IE, the Défi innovation, Hackathon KM, but also start-up Kafés.
The projects then apply to the Venture Factory incubator.
SKEMA Venture Factory: Selection for the incubator
The process of entry into the incubator starts with the submission of the entrepreneurial project on the SKEMA Venture Factory website. The entrepreneur-student describes the key elements of the project in order to allow the Venture Factory coaches committee to appreciate the potential for innovation and the project’s level of maturity. Through the website , the coaches can ask for additional information to help assess the applicants’ motivation and their ability to develop their project.
This first filter is essential and immediately puts students in an entrepreneurial posture confronted with the questions of potential customers, co-founders, business partners, or investors.
In addition, in order to allow some project holders to rework their idea, another selection process takes place during a bootcamp. This gathers students from different campuses for three days. Entrepreneur-students advance their projects through the collective dynamics and the contribution of coaches from the Venture Factory and partner incubators. The first bootcamp was held in Lille on 4, 5 and 6 April 2016 in partnership with Euratechnologies.
SKEMA Venture Factory: Incubation
Incubation may extend for up to 18-24 months.
If the project is accepted, a referent-coach is appointed who will accompany the entrepreneur-student in the construction and development of the project. This referent will act in close cooperation with the other coaches of the Venture Factory.
Additional support can be provided by graduates of the alumni-entrepreneurs clubs present in the different territories. Their experience is particularly useful for understanding local contingencies and access to local markets.
The alumni are also regularly asked to provide expertise on the local sectoral situation at conferences.
The students who do the MSc Entrepreneurship & Innovation
are de facto in the Venture Factory and have a reinforced accompaniment during the MSc’s courses and collective projects.
SKEMA Venture Factory: The power of the network
SKEMA participates on its French campuses in local collective initiatives and in particular in PEPITEs (student centres for innovation transfer and entrepreneurship). These institutions, managed by local universities, allow students to share courses and events, and can award them the status of student-entrepreneur
. In Sophia Antipolis SKEMA is a founding member of the PEPITE PACA-EST
Cre@tude. In Lille, SKEMA is a member of the PEPITE Lille Nord de France
. In 2016 and 2017, several dozen SKEMA students were granted the status of “etudiant-entrepreneur”.
Once the startups have been created, entrepreneur-students often become young alumni-entrepreneurs. They can be co-incubated by a partner incubator or accelerator, which complements post-incubation support and provides assistance in the implementation and financing phases.
Among the key partners, SKEMA announced in July 2017 a close partnership with Le Village By CA of Sophia Antipolis, Paris and Lille.
In Lille, SKEMA manages the incubator TONIC
reserved for technological innovations and collaborates with the rich environment of other incubators of the local ecosystem.
In Suzhou, China, SKEMA has partnered with the XJ-SKEMA incubator.
In Raleigh, SKEMA students benefit from the entrepreneurial environment developed by the local actors. In 2017, they participated in the Bootcamp co-organised with the NCSU Entrepreneurial Clinic
In Belo Horizonte, SKEMA has set up a partnership to support start-ups with SEED Accelerator.