Thanks to its generous sponsors, Fondation Mines-Télécom was able to fund 22 interest-free loans in 2017 for entrepreneurs supported by IMT incubators. A total of €440,000 was awarded to 12 startups. In 2018, the Foundation intends to take its support for entrepreneurship a step further by awarding 30 interest-free loans.
To support the development of startups at IMT incubators, Fondation Mines-Télécom awards interest-free loans to entrepreneurs through the Graduate Schools and Universities Initiative. In 2017, twelve startups selected by the Foundation’s corporate partners benefitted from an interest-free loan. A total of €2.3 million in loans has been awarded since 2008, with an attrition rate of under 8%.
These no-collateral loans ranging between €20,000 and €40,000 help leverage funding for projects. Startups that received these loans have raised considerable funds this year, especially fintech Pledg (€1.2 million) and Seaver, which specializes in the IoT (Internet of Things) for the equine industry. The fact that many of these startups take part in the Las Vegas CES every year also attests to their strong performance. The objective for 2018 is to award interest-free loans to 30 new entrepreneurs to support 15 projects, representing a total of more than €560,000. To help achieve this goal, program partners Caisse des Dépôts and Revital’emploi are renewing their support.
Innovative services and products in the field of digital technology
The startups supported by these loans respond to different needs in the field of digital technology and take advantage of opportunities provided by big data. One such startup, Predictice, provides analytic solutions for court decisions designed for legal professionals.
Many of the startups specialize in connected objects. HEROZ, for example, is a connected accessory that protects smartphones from being stolen, lost, forgotten and also protects against intrusion. Keepen offers an autonomous alarm that everyone can access which is both more convenient and more reliable than current systems.
They also provide innovative services and create new user experiences. ThingType provides an online service for electronic design and creation that makes prototyping simple, easy and affordable, while Bruce, a digital and mobile temporary employment agency, helps businesses meet their needs for temporary employment.
Find out more about the interest-free loan program
Nearly 100 startups and spinoffs are created through the IMT incubator network every year. This is why Fondation Mines-Télécom finances a portion of the Digital Fund of the Graduate Schools & Universities Initiative, part of the Initiative France network, which aims to foster the development of new businesses at graduate schools, universities and research laboratories in France.
The interest-free loans play a key role in the development of startups that strive to expand rapidly, both in France and internationally. The loans provide the project with legitimacy, are accompanied by the incubators’ technical expertise and help leverage funding for startup costs. These loans for an amount of up to €40,000 have a one-year grace period and must then be repaid within five years. Repayments are in turn used to provide funding for loans for other entrepreneurs.