28 FEB 2019

The consortium "French Tech Seed Sorbonne Park Paris", led by Sorbonne University, Satt Lutech[1] and Quadrivium Ventures[2], won the call for expressions of interest launched by Bpifrance[3] in July 2018.


French tech seed
Sorbonne University and its partners are among the first winners of the call French Tech Seed © Shutterstock

In order to support startups with high technological added value from the beginning, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced in June 2018 the creation of the French Tech Seed investment fund with a budget of 400 million euros. Managed by Bpifrance on behalf of the State, this fund will help to co-finance upstream entrepreneurial projects with high development potential.

"These projects will be detected, evaluated and accompanied by the French Tech Seed Sorbonne Paris Parc structure. They will demonstrate their technological and innovative characteristics and the relevance of the business project, which will mobilize the ecosystem of private financing," says Jacques Pinget

Among the 46 applications responding to the call launched in July 2018, 18 structures were awarded funding.

The French Tech Seed consortium Sorbonne Paris Parc is one of the first winners whose names were announced on January 17, 2019 by Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation in the presence of the Secretary of State, the Minister of Economy and Finance, and the Secretary General for Investment.

"With founding members Satt Lutech, Sorbonne University and Quadrivium Ventures, this consortium aims to promote synergies in terms of innovation,adds Jacques Pinget.

Its goal is to support Deep Tech startups and to demonstrate their importance so that they benefit from the French Tech Seed fund. To do this by relying on close partners: incubators, networks of investors and business creation coaches.

A portal for business creation

As a true catalyst, the French Tech Seed Sorbonne Paris Park ecosystem brings together all the players in the business of innovation. From the emergence of an idea, to the technological maturation, through the acceleration of high-tech companies and assistance in fundraising, this consortium crosses skills within its ecosystem to detect startup projects and accompany them right from their early stage of development.

The members of the consortium will jointly identify projects with high development potential from spin-off laboratories and their collaborations or on the initiative of Sorbonne University students, staff or alumni and its partners.

Coming from all disciplines, these projects will be analyzed by the consortium selection committee and accompanied before being presented to Bpifrance for additional funding by the French Tech Seed fund.

"Early support for technology startups is a key factor in their future development and success. It is in this spirit that the French Tech Seed consortium Sorbonne Paris Parc was designed and awarded by the Bpi, " said Max Lesaffre, CEO of Quadrivium Ventures.

The incubator at the Institute of Vision, Agoranov and Silver Innnov, but also partners like EIT Health France and Hello Tomorrow will all bring their experience of the creation of startups and will accompany the selected projects in their strategic development, commercial and funding.

Thanks to the business-angel networks (Paris Business Angels, Angels Santé) and the Omnes Capital investment fund, startups will benefit from the support of first-time investors. The French Tech Seed fund will allow them to benefit from a leveraging effect on the private financing obtained -one euro of private investment receives two euros of Bpifrance - giving a major impact on their development.

Awareness-raising activities on entrepreneurship among researchers, professor-researchers and students will also make it possible to detect more innovative business creation projects.

A new lever to prosper the Sorbonne University's entrepreneurial ecosystem

With 145 spin-offs from its laboratories and an equivalent number of startups from its students or alumni, Sorbonne University benefits from a real dynamic in terms of innovation.

Sorbonne University has:

- 10 startups created each year from its research units.

- 4 incubators partners in Île-de-France: Agoranov, Silver innov', the incubator of the Institute of Vision (Sorbonne University/CNRS/Inserm) and incubator of the Institute of Brain and Spinal Cord (Sorbonne University/APHP/CNRS/Inserm).

- 1000 software and patents co-owned.


French Tech Seed Sorbonne Paris Parc estimates there are 40 eligible annual projects from its consortium.

"Sorbonne University's ambition is to inspire all its students, graduates, staff and partners to become entrepreneurial in all areas," says Nathalie Drach-Temam, Vice President Research, Innovation and Open Science at the Sorbonne University.

For the students, this awareness-raising happens notably through various master’s programs. Entrepreneurship training courses are also offered to PhD students, especially at Doctoriales (training programs in partnership with companies), where young researchers can grasp all the stages of the innovation and transfer process.

Sorbonne University also promotes the national student-entrepreneur status through its student-entrepreneur diploma (D2E). This program supports students and recent graduates in the creation of startups through awareness-raising and specific training, coaching or preparation for business creation competitions. With 50 hours of evening classes, the D2E offers solid entrepreneurship training. It also allows a student entrepreneur to benefit from facilities to set up their business and a young graduate to benefit from the extension of its student benefits.

Spaces dedicated to innovation, such as the Fab'lab of the Faculty of Science and Engineering enable multidisciplinary meetings to promote the creativity of communities and meet the challenges of tomorrow. The Fab'lab Celsa, launched in September 2016, is dedicated to supporting young talents in the creation of audiovisual and digital formats in partnership with La fabrique des formats and Satt Lutech.

Student associations, such as PMC Entrepreneurs, or junior companies PMC Junior Conseil and Junior Communication CELSA, help promote entrepreneurship and encourage student startups.

 "Through its services in connection with Satt Lutech and Quadrivium Ventures, the University also supports the recovery and business creation actions of its staff and supports its research units in their entrepreneurial approach," says Nathalie Drach-Temam.

Paris Parc
Paris Park © Sorbonne University

The Paris Parc research and innovation center, which will open in 2021 on the Pierre and Marie Curie campus, will bring together all the players in the innovation chain. As the heart of this ecosystem dedicated to innovation, it will offer exchanges between students, young companies, research teams and business laboratories to be concentrated in common areas. It will represent an iconic place to anchor the entrepreneurial spirit of Sorbonne University.

[1] The objective of the Lutech Technology Transfer Accelerator Company (SATT) is to mature research results. It supports professor-researchers, researchers and students in their business creation projects and promotes more widely the promotion and transfer of technologies. It intervenes in all stages of the transfer of technology: the detection of the inventions and the analysis of the needs of the market, the strategy of intellectual property, the financing of the maturation, the creation of startups or the negotiation of licensing to support the technological developments of existing businesses.

[2] Quadrivium Ventures is a service and consulting company for young startups from laboratories and the academic community (students, alumni, staff). In close collaboration with the Sorbonne University ecosystem, it actively participates in the development of academic entrepreneurship, particularly through raising awareness and support activities. As the interface with the professional investment funds, it is also at the origin of the seed fund Quadrivium 1 (dedicated to the fledgling companies of this ecosystem) and funds that will succeed it.

[3] Bpifrance, a public investment bank, is a French organization for financing and business development. In particular, it is responsible for supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, and innovative enterprises in support of state and regional public policies.