Bpifrance’s “Hub” is now filled with a loud humming coming from 18 teams of excited entrepreneurs. It’s 8.30 am and they can’t wait any longer. ubi i/o 2016 is bound to start in Paris.
A boot camp at Bpifrance’s Hub to launch ubi i/o 2016
This year, we decided to start ubi i/o in the capital to prepare the entrepreneurs for their arrival in the U.S. They need to be 100% ready to be able to focus on their goals while in North America.
Stephane Alisse, Managing Director of the Technology and Services Practice in North America for Business France, began the day by introducing the program to the audience. He gave them practical insights about our 10 week program and explained how to plainly benefit from the ubi i/o experience. On the second day, it was Nicolas Dufourcq’s turn, Director of Bpifrance, and Henri Baissas, Chief Operating Officer of Business France to welcome the participants.
— ubi i/o (@ubi_io) March 10, 2016
For two days, the 18 selectees had the opportunity to meet with one another and connect with several alumni. This was also an opportunity for the ubi i/o team to meet in person with the startups they will be working with for the next 10 weeks.
A marketing expert to guide our startups before their arrival
One of the main goals of the boot camp was to help the startups adapt their marketing to American specificities. This allows them to gain precious time when dealing with the hustle and bustle of the U.S.
Adapting their marketing, positioning & pitch is a crucial step when entering the U.S market, and this is when Laura Elmore comes in. A messaging expert who specializes in working with management teams, product marketing teams and sales organizations within the technology industry. She handles a series of communication workshops designed to provide a quick & effective way to create, package and deliver a high-impact proposition based on proven methodologies designed to sustain customer mindshare. This will allow our startups to aggressively attack their target market with a razor sharp approach.
During the first morning session, Laura gave numerous insights on how to define a good position statement. The position statement or “elevator pitch” captures strategic conclusions that drive the development and flow of the presentation and all other verbal and written communication channels. With a strong positioning statement, an entrepreneur can answer all questions about his business with confidence. It’s key to be able to convince American VCs or potential business partners.
Going even further, all startups had the opportunity throughout the two days to work individually with Laura. Before flying over to France, she thoroughly analyzed all the various markets of our startups to give them useful insights on adapting their value proposition. The goal in this exercise was to show them how to take advantage of their differentiators to be able to compete with their American counterparts.
You can’t improvise when you arrive in the U.S.
Entrepreneurs often complain about paperwork. Launching a business abroad is always complex, having to comply with tax regulations or incorporations rules is time consuming. That’s why one of our partners – Orrick – gave a presentation during a working lunch to help ubi i/o entrepreneurs with administrative issues. Orrick is the leading global law firm with a particular focus on serving companies in technology, energy and financial sectors. The audience had the opportunity to ask questions as most of them will be setting up their U.S. branch during or right after ubi i/o.
— ubi i/o (@ubi_io) March 10, 2016
After an intense day, what better way to end the evening than with a cocktail party to relax & network with ubi i/o partners & fellow alumni! Sharing their experiences, our entrepreneurs enjoyed discussing the future around a glass of wine.
Financing with Bpifrance
The second day of the boot camp began with a workshop organized by Bpifrance. They presented their various solutions to help startups finance their expansion. No doubt about it, expanding to the U.S. is expensive, so this was a great opportunity to talk about fund raising. Let’s not forget to mention that, at the end of the program, Bpifrance, Partech Ventures & Idinvest Partners will finance the most promising startup with a $1M equity prize.
The rest of the day was dedicated to one on one sessions with Laura Elmore. We also invited several journalists who will be handling the press coverage of our program. It was a good opportunity for them to ask some questions to our CEOs before they fly over to the U.S.
It’s a fact, ubi i/o is an intense program for all its participants, throughout the boot camp it was easy to see that every entrepreneur was more than motivated to conquer the American market. In 10 weeks, they will accomplish what usually takes 10 months, that’s ubi i/o’s promise. Let the excitement begin!
Subscribe to our newsletter to get exclusive updates about our startups during the program