The EMLYON Incubator focuses on businesses in high technology, services and the social economy. It works with start-ups, supporting them from ideas to business model development to business plans. It also offers them operational support to raise funds and develop their products and services.
Partners of the incubator include Ernst & Young, Societe Generale, French bank CIC and Swiss telecoms firm Finarea.
The Incubator is home to a wide range of companies from TV and media firms to health care services, to social media and internet start-ups to clean technology providers.
In 2010 one of its "Premium" firms, Poxel, raised one of the largest biotech investments in Europe since 2005. The €16 million investment was for its research into treatments for Type 2 Diabetes.
Some of its current exciting start-ups include: eCap Partners, a firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions of internet assets; Dago Bear, creators of men’s underwear sold in wooden boxes akin to the traditional cigar box; Lets Pik, an online community for crowdsourcing art photographers; Verycook, makers of very sleek and colourful planchas; and Capseo, a tech company focused on increasing the visibility of websites and other social media forums.
The Incubator currently supports 31 firms in total. Firms are grouped into two categories: Nos Espoirs “Our Hopes” and Nos Premiums “Our Premiums”.
The 'Hopes', normally recent graduates of EMLYON’s International MBA gain residency at the Incubator for a year and their tenure is renewable only once. Their residency includes an office space, 30 hours of tutoring, access to workshops and seminars and access to experts and partners of the Incubator.
Premiums have the Incubator’s support for as long as three years. They are offered the possibility to rent an office space at the Incubator, as well as the tutoring, workshops and so on.
Ossematrix is one of the Incubator’s "Premiums", specializing in the design, manufacture and marketing of bioceramic implants used in rehabilitation surgery for people who have suffered major bone losses.
Osseomatrix’s technology has received awards for Best Emerging Company and Best Creative Development at the French Ministry of Research’s National Contest for Innovative Companies.
Project Leader Didier Nimal, the MBA who founded Osseomatrix, said that the incutor allowed him to step back and "take advantage of its expertise in the field of entrepreneurship.
"The workshops provide specific insights on key issues. Establishing a relationship with manufacturers who have gone through these stages of creation is very beneficial."
Didier particularly benefited from one-to-one advice from Laurent Viviani, a former HSBC banker and EMLYON MBA grad who is now a VC investor based in Lyon, and has invested in three successful medical engineering firms.
Viviani's "commando-style" work sessions, in which Didier had to get his business plan ready within three days, were particularly useful!