by Vincent Deltrieu

In an open and competitive world where a proper use of technology will make the champions of tomorrow, innovation is essential to guarantee the competitiveness of our industries and protect sovereignty. This question and thus innovation financing is a key issue, as the France and Europe Recovery Plans rightly emphasize.

As early as the 1970s in the United States, tech giants such as Cisco and Intel quickly understood the value of developing a close entrepreneurial ecosystem in order to innovate faster than their competitors. From there, the VC was born, able to identify game changers and help them grow. Gradually, the worlds have become more open: open innovation has become a reality and collaborations between large companies, research centers and start-ups have multiplied.

These collaborations play a key role in the development of our startups. On the one hand, they enable manufacturers to meet the permanent challenge of innovation. On the other hand, they enable “researcher-entrepreneurs” to bring to market the technologies they have thought about.

To bring these collaborations to the next level, the VC plays an essential role, accompanying the “researcher-entrepreneurs”, supporting the risks at the earliest stages and setting the first industrial milestones.

For over 30 years, INNOVACOM has been supporting the emergence of digital and technological leaders by forging collaborations with industrial investors. The news of the France and European Recovery Plans gives us the opportunity to illustrate this essential facet of our DNA with three operations completed, despite the uncertain context around the COVID, and the opportunity to thank once again our entrepreneurs and partners who share these stories with us.

ARYBALLE TECHNOLOGIES, a specialist in digital olfaction, welcomed Samsung and Groupe SEB to its capital, the culmination of a fruitful collaboration between startups, research structures and leading industrials aiming to digitalize odors!

The sale in April 2020 of EXAGAN, a developer of “Gallium Nitride” power electronics semiconductor materials for the energy transition, to STMicroelectronics, six years after its creation, also proved that technological revolutions can, with appropriate support and skills, take place over short investment cycles.

Lastly, the latest addition to our technocom3 funds recently acquired a stake in the start-up ANTAIOS, a spin-off from the CNRS, alongside leading corporate investors like Applied Material Ventures.

This sequence shows the relevance of the collaborative approach with the industrial, academic and financial worlds.

It also provides us with the keys to future entrepreneur/VC tandems that we are working on.

To boost reindustrialization and give substance to the idea of technological sovereignty, our industries need the technological treasures that cutting-edge laboratories know how to create. Our contribution is to enable these technologies to exist in the real economy and to transform them into “competitiveness engines”.