Julien Morel is understandably proud of ESSEC Ventures, a resource for the most entrepreneurial of ESSEC students. It is home to more than 60 start-up companies which are developed in their incubators each year, and a network of 35 partners which are able to invest seed capital in ESSEC Ventures companies. The move to Silicon Valley seeks to give ESSEC students a platform allowing them to develop their businesses in the United States,
On the move to Silicon Valley, Julien says ‘Our start-up companies have very strong aspirations to be in Silicon Valley: more than half of the companies have a significant web division. Last year alone, no less than 3 companies left and set up camp in California (OneFeat, Bankin, and eLive) and the majority of the other companies would, at some point, like to develop their businesses in the United States. This all ties in to our mission at ESSEC to allow our student entrepreneurs to have a global vision of business.’
This is where Hubtech 21 steps in. HubTech 21 is an accelerator for entrepreneurs who wish to develop their businesses in the U.S. In collaboration with Atelier BNP Paribas, they provide coaching and dedicated workspace to companies with high-tech projects, and they also enable these start-ups to access the well-established “frenchy” network in Silicon Valley. Julien mentions that ‘HubTech 21 is also a partner of New Technology Venture Accelerator (NETVA), which is a program that provides personalized coaching, helps companies analyse their opportunities, and assists in the development of technology partnerships between France and the U.S.’ This French-American connection is justifiably an area of interest, as crossing the Atlantic is a big step for any business which hopes to compete internationally.
That is not to say that the international ambitions of ESSEC Ventures are limited to the United States: they’re also developing their network and companies in Asia. As Julien says, ‘With one of our campuses located in Singapore, this offers a perfect hub for growing and expanding in China and in BRICS. We are in discussion with the government on how to significantly augment our entrepreneurial presence. We also have other expansion projects in France where the entrepreneurial effervescence of ESSEC Ventures has the most impact.’ With such ambitious plans for growth worldwide, ESSEC are sure to produce some of the biggest entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Watch this space...