In third place Messin Bliiida, the fourth edition of Digital Day, organized by Grand Est incubator network Quest for Change, brought 70 start-ups. The opportunity to evaluate the economic health of the young shoots of the territory, which managed to raise more than 100 million euros in 2021.
One carries a plastic recycling solution, the other designs medical software that supports the decision for skin lesions. As for this businessman, from private sales to the world of video games he drew his business. A total of 70 digital innovation prodigies were on Bliiida on Thursday June 9 for the fourth edition of Digital Day organized by the Grand Est incubator network called Quest for Change (which brings together The Pool in Metz, Quai Alpha in Épinal , Semia in Strasbourg and Mulhouse, Innovact in Reims, Rimbaud’Tech in Charleville-Mézières). The opportunity for young entrepreneurs to discuss their day-to-day issues, to develop partnerships with each other, but also to attend two conferences planned about cryptocurrency and fundraising.
A total of 234 start-ups make up the network and generate a total amount of 12 million euros in turnover. Poor for a number of companies? Whatever. Because what is important in the first years of a start-up’s life, is its appreciation, its capacity to raise funds and enter the marketing stage, after industrialization. There, the numbers speak well: by 2021, Quest for Change network start-ups have raised 102 million euros, are worth more than 250 million euros and involve 400 project leaders and 700 jobs.
“We are at the level of an ETI (medium-sized company, editor’s note) distributed throughout the Grand Est”, summarizes Stéphane Chauffriat, director of Quest for Change. Especially since the most interesting is yet to come: according to the director, the support offered by the network, along with incubators, should allow innovative companies to multiply their activity by three, four or even five in three years. … Exponential growth that will make it possible to cross the bar of 3,000 people involved in start-ups in the Grand Est region. “Being united means relying on a common legal structure, arranging days like this Digital Day, and pushing Paris investment funds to cross the ring road to get to us. The possibility of seeing 234 start-ups at once is an asset “, the director explained.” This network organization also makes it possible to get the best out of each incubator and duplicate it across all territories. research potential is actually stronger in Alsace but it benefits the whole of the Grand Est ”, admits the mayor of Metz, François Grosdidier.
What are start-ups in Grand Est?
If we zoom in on the 102 million euros raised in 2021 by network start-ups, 43% of the envelope was used to fund projects focused on biotech, 13% on medtech and 11% on e-health. Healthcare start-ups also make up two-thirds of the value of the entire Quest for Change ecosystem. “We’re talking about Boston as the global capital of health change, but the Grand Est is also very good on these issues,” François Grosdidier rejoices. Quest for Change is also the first health incubator in France.
Digital start-ups also performed well and accounted for 9% of the total, while industrial ones, 7%. The network of incubators estimates that they will need 407 million euros of investment over the next five years to supply their future production lines, factories, and manufacturing processes. “This emphasizes the strategic nature for the creation of new local industrial jobs, provided that they are accompanied by the stage of industrialization that remains dangerous”, commented Stéphane Chauffriat.
In total, for all start-ups, 55% of financing is dilutive (indicating loss of independence and shareholding by opening up capital to business angels, seed funds, venture capital, family office, etc.). . The remainder, non-dilutive (without any loss of shares for unitholders and which includes honor loans, bank loans, subsidies, etc.), is specifically provided by Grand Est and Bpifrance.
Thanks to support and access to funding, Quest for Change start-ups have risen to a sustainability rate of 89% three years after their creation, and 84% within five years. The world of start-ups is far from as fragile as one might think.
How to succeed in fundraising?
In the waiting room, the pressure rises, inevitably. Behind the door, the string of investors who will decide the future of the start-up by choosing to draw funds, or not, is sharpening their questions. Sharp. How is the competition positioned? What market? What is the method of market access? What is your reaction to this problem? And the export? On this day of Digital Day, Quest for Change organized a conference focused on fundraising mechanisms to understand the subtlety. “You have to prepare like you would for a job interview. Repeat over and over, “recommends Stéphane Chauffriat, director of the Quest for Change incubator network.” Exactly like a top athlete, “added Marc Berthold, founder of gamingprivé.com.” We’re not looking for the perfect project. Anyway, there is always a start-up that will do better. The biggest enemy of the project leader is certainty. We must accept criticism and suggest solutions to the problems raised by investors even if they are not immediately resolved, “he pointed out. by Nicolas Ivaldi, from consulting firm EY. “A business angel has risked his money but he also wants to participate in creating the company. Therefore, it should be included,” added Catherine Arbez, director of the Innovact incubator.
If projects may not reach perfection, it is necessary otherwise that carriers be attracted. Before hitting the button, potential funders will largely want to ensure the consistency of the team leading the project, the compatibility of profiles, and charisma. A brief presentation of each person’s background may be welcome. “You have to tell a story in every way. A business angel relies more on his intuition. In 30 seconds, he will know whether he will invest or not,” recalls Catherine Arbez. “Investors bet on a team before a project “, abounds Nicolas Ivadi. Knowing the background of the investors you meet is also a way to promote exchanges.