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Incubating ideas

01/08/2014

In Paris the Agoranov incubator is helping turn R&D ideas into successful businesses

“Researchers are very different from entrepreneurs, they don’t have the same language nor the same culture,” explains David Argellies the manager responsible for the Agoranov Incubator in Paris. “It’s our job to build entrepreneurial competences among researchers.” The successful ESF co-funded incubator for start-ups in Paris was founded in 2000 by several academic institutions, including the Pierre and Marie Curie University where it is now located. Since then it has supported 263 projects while creating 2400 jobs.

Its mission is to encourage the creation of innovative companies based on the results of publicly funded research, although it is open to any good, innovative idea. Examples of Agoranov’s success include Criteo, a company offering online marketing solutions now worth 250 million dollars on Nasdaq; and RunMyProcess recently sold to Fujitsu. The strength of the public incubator model says Argellies lies in its independence: the separation of financing and project selection and the fact that the incubator takes no equity in the start-ups.