When do you step in?
Right from the start. First, I play a dissemination role, in particular with my European ecosystem. I send start-ups, other investors and partners the call for applications until the closing date, 6 December 2015. Then comes the selection process, which takes place in several stages. Personally, I participate in choosing the first 40 projects from online applications. Next, together with my colleagues, I shortlist another 12-15 applications in January. Then, another jury cuts the most promising applicants down to six. In March, the public will be able to vote on these finalists to pick one winner in each of the following categories: “The Connected Home”, “E-Health” and “The Low-Carbon City”.
Could you tell us a little about the sourcing work you mentioned above?
The goal is to detect the most promising companies. To do that, the Electranova team participates in conferences and juries to spot the best ideas as far in advance as possible. Our commitment to the EDF Pulse Awards fully participates in this detective work. It’s a way of spotting trends shaping up in the electrical industry. We invest mainly in companies that have proven their technology and are starting to gain some commercial traction. So we take the baton from incubators, competitiveness clusters and seed funds to speed up our champions’ growth. That’s why it’s very important for us to interact with our ecosystem on a regular basis.