INSEAD Partners with STATION F, The World’s Biggest Startup Campus

New initiative to nurture the next wave of INSEAD entrepreneurial talents and contribute to the development of Paris as a leading global centre for entrepreneurship.

INSEAD, the business school for the world, today announced its partnership with STATION F, the world’s biggest startup campus, to launch innovative tailor-made programmes and activities to nurture INSEAD alumni startups and to support STATION F in its mission to create a new generation of diverse entrepreneurs in Europe.

With the partnership, INSEAD reinforces its entrepreneurial culture, which has propelled it to a leading position among global business schools. From its inception as the first international business school, INSEAD has successfully pioneered the one-year MBA programme, company-specific executive education, and an integrated multi-continent campus model.

The commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation is shared by INSEAD faculty, students and alumni. Entrepreneurship has long had its own academic department within the school, while INSEAD’s alumni have raised over $7.8 billion in venture capital in the last decade (pitchbook.com) far beyond the level of any other business school outside the US. INSEAD’s deep commitment to diversity attracts entrepreneurial talents who are able to think differently and then build successful global businesses.

INSEAD will be leveraging the strengths of its community to contribute to the development of STATION F and of the broader start-up ecosystem blossoming in Paris.

Peter Zemsky, INSEAD Dean of Innovation and Professor of Strategy, states “We are very excited about our partnership with STATION F. We are both mission driven organisations that share many values including diversity, openness and a commitment to innovation in everything we do. We are pleased to offer our students and alumni access to the outstanding STATION F ecosystem, and also proud to be able to help the many promising startups there to realise their global aspirations through access to the unique INSEAD community.”

Roxanne Varza, Director of STATION F, says that, “Paris has an increasingly strong ecosystem for new startups. One of our key challenges is to help them scale and grow internationally.  INSEAD, as one of the top-ranked business schools in the world, has educated many prominent entrepreneurs, investors and more. Their presence on our campus will add another top programme to our community and provide resources and expertise to help our start-ups as they grow internationally.”

INSEAD celebrated the launch with a high-level alumni panel titled the “Do’s and Don’ts of Scaling Globally”.

The panel featured Frédéric Mazzella (France, MBA 2007), founder and President of Paris-based BlaBlaCar, a long-distance carpooling platform with 60 million members in 22 countries; Taavet Hinrikus (Estonia, MBA 2010), the co-founder and Chairman of London-based TransferWise, which has two million customers and operates in 45 countries; and Jo Bertram (UK, MBA 2008) who oversaw the expansion of Uber into ten countries as the Regional General Manager for Northern Europe until October 2017 when she left to join the venture capital firm EQT Ventures.

INSEAD alumni have already taken many well-known French startups global. Michel de Rovira (MBA 2004) co-founded the food company Michel & Augustin, whose products are now available in over 20 countries. Robert Keane (MBA 1997) started VistaPrint in Paris after graduating from INSEAD and his company Cimpress now has operations spanning Europe and North America with a valuation on NASDAQ of $3.8B. Reinold Geiger (MBA 1976) acquired the small French retailer L’Occitane in 1996 and grew it into a global retail network spanning over 80 countries.

Under the partnership with STATION F, INSEAD will launch a series of programmes and initiatives including:

  1. The INSEAD LaunchPad at STATION F: INSEAD will join 25 other top incubator and accelerator programmes at STATION F with a dedicated programme for start-ups founded by INSEAD alumni. True to the spirit of INSEAD, the LaunchPad will welcome a culturally diverse group of founders with start-ups that are targeting a range of sectors, technologies and business models. Support will emphasise access to the INSEAD community as customers, investors, partners and talent.
  2. INSEAD Global Entrepreneurs speaker series: INSEAD alumni entrepreneurs will come forward to share their wealth of knowledge with the startup community at STATION F and the broader Paris tech scene.
  3. Collaboration with INSEAD MBA Programme: INSEAD MBA participants will have the opportunity to engage with and to support STATION F start-ups through project work and internships. High-end talents will be available for STATION F’s start-ups and at the same time, the MBA participants will be exposed to cutting-edge, real world learning. The INSEAD MBA programme has been ranked by the Financial Times as the #1 MBA programme in the world for two consecutive years (2016 – 2017).
  4. Faculty Master Classes: INSEAD’s world-leading faculty will offer 75 minutes standalone classes on topics such as Leadership, Strategy, Digital Marketing, Operations, Finance, Entrepreneurship, and Decision Sciences.

These new initiatives will mobilise the school’s world-leading faculty, its programme participants and its strong alumni network to help boost the start-up scene worldwide, and contribute to further academic research in this area, advancing INSEAD’s global entrepreneurship frontier.

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