It is now possible for fledgling companies to get help from a business incubator while simultaneously forging international ties.
This is made possible thanks to the partnership formalized between the French accelerator at Kedge Business School and French Square. French Square is a London-based organization founded in August 2016. It is the only French-speaking incubator outside France. The two entities first met in London under the auspices of Provence Promotion, the economic development agency that is supporting the partnership.
Brexit or no Brexit? Franco-British relations were reshaped in 2016. A few months after the English start-up XRapid opened its research center in Provence, a partnership has been established between the Daniel Carasso Accelerator at Kedge Business School founded in 2016 in Marseille, and French Square, an association created in August 2016. Their membership already includes some 600 Francophone business leaders.
Christophe Mouysset, Director of Business Relations for Kedge Business School, met Jean-Viry Babel, President of the French Square association and the start-up XRapid, during the “Attract Talent” campaign.
The campaign organized in April 2016 by Provence Promotion at the London Google Campus, was designed to recruit British talent.
A French Square investment fund is currently assisting five start-ups in high-potential sectors (food-tech, fintech, etc.).
“We have every reason to work together. With Brexit, British companies are canvassing France while Marseille-based entrepreneurs want to do business in London,” explains Jean Viry-Babel.
Interaction and collaboration with Kedge
The two ecosystems plan to build a bridge over the English Channel to facilitate connections. “We are pooling our skills. We will be a bridgehead for businesses incubated in Marseille that plan to target the English market. The community of Kedge Business School students will have the opportunity to work as interns at French Square or one of the start-ups it nurtures. We are offering our British counterparts incubation seminars with mentoring, coaching and facilities,” adds Christophe Mouysset.
In more concrete terms, Kedge’s young students can participate in the projects launched by the accelerator’s member start-ups. One example is the R&D department at XRapid, an English company that specializes in the automatic diagnosis of life-threatening diseases. “Start-ups – especially those relating to healthcare – can take advantage of the support and resources provided by Kedge students and our specialists. In fact, in September 2017 we will introduce a master’s degree in healthcare innovation management to train biotech engineers, pharmacists and physicians to manage innovation in the health sector from the cell to the bedside,” explains Christophe Mouysset.
The Daniel Carasso Accelerator located on the Luminy campus was established thanks to a gift from Daniel Carasso, an alumnus of the business school and founder of the Danone Group, through the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation. The Kedge Daniel Carasso Business Accelerator includes an incubator (Kedge Business Nursery) that has facilitated the creation of 15 start-ups in three years. It is also home to a service that provides assistance to external business projects and start-ups (Business Pulse) and an innovation center (Innovation Lab) based in Toulon in partnership with TVT Innovation and ISEN.