Creation of Polytechnique Ventures, École Polytechnique Alumni Investment Fund
Resulting from the École Polytechnique alumni community’s desire to support the school’s growth in technological entrepreneurship as well as École Polytechnique’s ambition to be equipped with a professional financing tool backed by its incubator, the Polytechnique Ventures fund will work to create strong synergies between alumni and high-potential start-ups.
In order to expand École Polytechnique’s actions in the area of entrepreneurship, the fund will invest in the emergence and growth of innovative companies, thus contributing to structuring the school’s ecosystem and strengthening its international attractiveness. The funded and supported start-ups will be selected among the projects stemming from the École Polytechnique ecosystem. They must be founded by one or more alumni of the school (diploma from the Ingénieur Polytechnicien program, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Executive Education, Doctorate, post-doctorate), incubated by the school (within the X-Up or X-Tech program), or come from one of the laboratories.
Focused on early financing, in co-investment, the investment strategy of Polytechnique Ventures is based on the average initial amount of €250K to €500K in pre-seed and seed stages, and the desire to continue in Series A financing, with up to an average amount of €2.5 million per company. The main criteria for assessment will be the quality of the founding team, the uniqueness of the technologies implemented, the company’s development potential and its societal contribution. Priority will be given to ambitious deep-tech projects that could profoundly transform the targeted industrial sectors. Polytechnique Ventures will thus be able to draw on the accumulated experience of the alumni network, the school’s research, innovation, and teaching community to support entrepreneurs.
Polytechnique Ventures, advised by Polytechnique Ventures SAS and managed by Equitis Gestion, has raised €20 million to date, with a final target of €30 to €40 million. The fund’s first two investments were in the companies:
- Néolithe, specialist in the recycling of industrial and non-recyclable waste into mineral aggregates that can be used in the construction industry,
- Okomera, specialist in prognosis tools for precision cancer medicine.
For Eric Labaye, President of École Polytechnique, “This fund will be a major accelerator in the development of start-ups from our incubator and I am very pleased that the alumni are coming together to support the impressive entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem at École Polytechnique. The school thus joins most of the major international institutions of higher education, by offering an essential lever to attract and support the best entrepreneurs”.
For Denis Lucquin, President of Polytechnique Ventures SAS, Partner and former President of Sofinnova Partners, “At the origin of Polytechnique Ventures is the idea of engaging alumni with young entrepreneurs from the school’s ecosystem. A wealth of experience serving a multitude of initiatives. Thanks to the exceptional foundation of innovations that stem from École Polytechnique, this entrepreneurial, industrial, and financial community aims to reinforce the emergence of talented entrepreneurs and successful companies, which address the technological, environmental, and societal challenges of tomorrow”.
About École Polytechnique
École Polytechnique, also known as L’X, is the leading French institution combining top-level research, academics, and innovation at the cutting-edge of science and technology. Its various undergraduate and graduate-level programs – Bachelor of Science, Ingénieur Polytechnicien (Master’s level program), Master’s, and PhD – are highly selective and promote a culture of excellence with a strong emphasis on science, anchored in humanist traditions. As a widely internationalized university, École Polytechnique offers a variety of international programs and attracts a growing number of foreign students and researchers from around the globe (currently 41% of students and 40% of faculty members).
École Polytechnique offers an exceptional education to prepare bright men and women to excel in top-level key positions and lead complex and innovative projects which meet the challenges of 21st century society, all while maintaining a keen sense of their civil and social responsibilities. With its 23 laboratories, 22 of which are joint research units with the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the École Polytechnique Research Center explores the frontiers of interdisciplinary knowledge to provide major contributions to science, technology, and society. École Polytechnique is a founding member of Institut Polytechnique de Paris.