Pride of place was given to three female founders of start-ups as EDF Pulse #WOchange got underway. Here we glimpse behind the scenes of a programme that’s boosting tomorrow’s businesswomen.
With EDF Pulse #WOchange, trailblazing women in tech get to shine!
It’s already been a year since Willa and EDF teamed up to support female and mixed-sex entrepreneurship. So what’s the score today? “Out of the 529 applicants for the EDF Pulse Awards 2017, 40% were female-only or mixed-sex teams”, emphasised Hubert Blanquefort, Director of Digital Communication and Innovation at EDF.
The EDF Pulse Awards 2017 included:
40% of applicants that are female-only or mixed-sex groups
3 female or mixed-sex teams among the 12 finalists
1 female prizewinner in the “Smart Home” category with her business “Howz”
What about tomorrow?
The challenge will be to go even further!
Following this initial success, we need to go up a gear! That’s why EDF and Willa decided to launch a booster programme: EDF Pulse #WOchange. This scheme aims to support, for six months, the development of three promising start-ups in which at least one co-founder is a woman.
It’s still very rare to see women on podiums of these competitions. We want to change that and pave the way for new possibilities!
Caroline Ramade, Managing Director of Willa
Who are the three businesswomen chosen?
The three start-ups that are going to be supported in the Willa incubator this year feature among the EDF Pulse Awards 2017 applicants. “Their innovations are completely in line with EDF’s corporate-responsibility policies”, explains Hubert Blanquefort, “whether they tackle climate change and pollution, issues relating to smart cities and well-being in tomorrow’s towns, or energy supply to isolated sites, in emergencies for example.”
Moreover, the three budding businesswomen chosen are attempting to raise funds. They therefore need the right expertise to support them in this crucial phase of development.
Yet who are best placed to give in-depth presentations of these business plans set to bring progress? The three women who masterminded them, of course...
"Citeazy is the first mobile app for sharing not just journeys on foot, on public transport or by bike, but also real-time alerts to flag incidents. It’s offered to companies, to be used by their employees."
"Cozy Air is the first connected service focusing on interior-air quality that is specially designed for professionals. We offer a comprehensive solution that measures interior-air quality. Above all, we offer a service for improving air quality with a customised action plan."
“At Zéphyr Solar, we are developing solar balloons that bring connectedness and energy independence to places that are completely isolated and energy-deprived.”
This programme – EDF Pulse #WOchange – is all about successful female entrepreneurship, but also about responsible innovation,
Hubert Blanquefort, Director of Digital Communication and Innovation at EDF
On the programme: Six months of assistance to boost the projects and a hundred hours of support at the Willa incubator with around a hundred experts
The challenge of the EDF Pulse #WOchange programme is to help these three promising start-ups develop their project so they can conquer new markets and raise funds. “The female founders of start-ups who have been chosen are currently tackling fund-raising issues, so we’re going to help them in this field”, explains Caroline Ramade, Managing Director of Willa. We’re also going to try to find them the right business model they can take onto a larger scale. We’ll be putting them in touch with our network of experts in finance, law, design of products and services, storytelling, marketing, human resources, and so forth.”
After these six months of support, Alma Guirao, Lamia Malet and Julie Dautel will be invited to give a sales pitch to an audience of investors for the “Demo Day” at Willa. And perhaps they’ll be among the prizewinners at the next EDF Pulse Awards! We’ll know in a few months!