IN­NO­VA­TION

Silicon Luxembourg - - CONTENTS -

Work­ing To­gether to Help Star­tups Grow in Lux­em­bourg

Re­searchers & Star­tups: An Un­sur­pris­ing Match

Set­ting the Scene for the Data Econ­omy

Long-term Vi­sion is a Must

Zoom­ing in on To­mor­row Street

lux fu­ture lab: More Than an In­cu­ba­tor

Find­ing Vis­i­bil­ity in Ve­gas

EY LUX­EM­BOURG, A LEAD­ING PRO­FES­SIONAL SER­VICES FIRM, AND LUX­IN­NO­VA­TION, LUX­EM­BOURG'S NA­TIONAL IN­NO­VA­TION AGENCY, HAVE AN­NOUNCED THE SIGN­ING OF A PUB­LIC-PRI­VATE PART­NER­SHIP TO HELP SUP­PORT AND SET UP STAR­TUPS IN THE GRAND DUCHY. BRICE LECOUSTEY, PART­NER AD­VI­SORY, EY LUX­EM­BOURG, AND JEAN-MICHEL LUD­WIG, HEAD OF STARTUP SUP­PORT AND SME PER­FOR­MANCE, LUX­IN­NO­VA­TION, TELL US MORE ABOUT THEIR COL­LAB­O­RA­TION AND THEIR COM­PLE­MEN­TARY VI­SIONS FOR LUX­EM­BOURG'S ECOSYS­TEM.

WHY DID YOU DE­CIDE TO WORK TO­GETHER?

B. L. For EY, it started with three thoughts. First of all, we have a real drive to bring to­gether the star­tups in Lux­em­bourg and pro­vide them with our pro­fes­sional ser­vices. When we talk about star­tups, we are re­fer­ring to com­pa­nies that are al­ready present or de­vel­op­ing in Lux­em­bourg, or com­pa­nies we are try­ing to bring to the coun­try through our net­work. It was im­por­tant to for­mal­ize this com­mit­ment and work with Lux­in­no­va­tion to de­velop eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties around star­tups. We also want to show that gov­ern­men­tal bod­ies and pub­lic ac­tors can and must work to­gether to of­fer a com­plete ser­vice of­fer­ing to these in­no­va­tive com­pa­nies. To achieve this part­ner­ship, we ex­changed and lis­tened to feed­back from the Lux­in­no­va­tion team to bet­ter un­der­stand what com­pa­nies were ex­pect­ing from us to help them grow in Lux­em­bourg. Our col­lab­o­ra­tion is not a one-off but will be main­tained over time.

EY, along with Lux­in­no­va­tion, wants to use this part­ner­ship to high­light the coun­try's at­trac­tive­ness and the tools that the ecosys­tem is put­ting into place to bet­ter serve star­tups. J-M. L. On the Lux­in­no­va­tion side, we first sought to bet­ter un­der­stand what pri­vate ac­tors like EY were do­ing for star­tups. From the very be­gin­ning, we had dis­cus­sions that made us re­al­ize that there were high value-added ser­vices ded­i­cated to the star­tups – ser­vices that were com­ple­men­tary to those we of­fer. So we nat­u­rally de­cided to set up a win-win-win part­ner­ship, for us, for EY and es­pe­cially for star­tups.

The se­cond ben­e­fit we saw was the abil­ity to cap­i­tal­ize on the deal flow of EY'S list of cases and not rely on ours alone. EY has its own sources to find rel­e­vant projects and star­tups, giv­ing us a more com­pre­hen­sive view and al­low­ing us to, not only cap­i­tal­ize on the at­trac­tive­ness of the coun­try for star­tups, but also take tar­geted ac­tions, na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally.

WHAT DOES IN­NO­VA­TION MEAN TO YOU?

B. L. In­no­va­tion is all about in­vest­ing time and pro­vid­ing the right ser­vices and ex­per­tise to ben­e­fit star­tups that align with Lux­em­bourg's dig­i­tal and tech­no­log­i­cal strat­egy and have growth and key de­vel­op­ment po­ten­tial.

At EY, this in­vest­ment hap­pens at two lev­els.

On one hand, we of­fer priv­i­leged sup­port to help com­pa­nies set up, es­tab­lish them­selves as a le­gal en­tity and op­er­ate from Lux­em­bourg. On the other hand, we pro­vide se­lected star­tups with sup­port and ad­vice, for ex­am­ple, on de­vel­op­ing a busi­ness plan. In this in­stance, we re­ceive pay­ment based on fundrais­ing suc­cess, which re­quires us to en­gage fully in the project. In ad­di­tion to a busi­ness plan, we im­ple­ment a mon­e­ti­za­tion strat­egy, prod­uct de­vel­op­ment at an in­ter­na­tional level, etc.

It is es­sen­tial for us to in­vest in star­tups that fit into the na­tional de­vel­op­ment strat­egy. Given this am­bi­tion, Lux­in­no­va­tion is a key player that we could not do with­out. It is vi­tal for us to work to­gether at the right time and in the right place.

“At Lux­in­no­va­tion we don't put any bar­ri­ers or lim­its on the stages of de­vel­op­ment we ac­cept. Through its net­work, EY has the abil­ity to ap­proach both young, high-po­ten­tial com­pa­nies and more ma­ture com­pa­nies.”

OUR COL­LAB­O­RA­TION IS NOT A ONE-OFF BUT WILL BE MAIN­TAINED OVER TIME.

J-M. L. I would add that the com­pa­nies we tar­get are an­other es­sen­tial as­pect of the part­ner­ship. At Lux­in­no­va­tion we don't put any bar­ri­ers or lim­its on the stages of de­vel­op­ment we ac­cept. Through its net­work, EY has the abil­ity to ap­proach both young, high-po­ten­tial com­pa­nies and more ma­ture com­pa­nies. In­no­va­tion can come from the idea, from the busi­ness model or from the in­come streams.

IS THERE COM­PE­TI­TION BE­TWEEN THE PRI­VATE AND PUB­LIC SEC­TORS TO CAP­TURE THE SUC­CESS OF STAR­TUPS?

B. L. There is real con­ti­nu­ity in the na­tional Dig­i­tal Lux­em­bourg strat­egy. For the past ten years, the in­vest­ments and the will to cre­ate an ecosys­tem around dig­i­tal, com­puter and tech­no­log­i­cal themes have never lost mo­men­tum, quite the con­trary. We see this in the ICT Clus­ter, which has fully got­ten be­hind data pro­tec­tion, cy­ber se­cu­rity, ro­bot­ics and even con­nected ob­jects. The strength of Lux­em­bourg is its abil­ity to carry out long-term poli­cies and make them known. To­day, we are able to at­tract star­tups whose B2B and B2C ac­tiv­i­ties are sen­si­tive to is­sues of se­cu­rity or data ex­change, for ex­am­ple. We are mainly look­ing for star­tups in these ar­eas. A pub­lic-pri­vate ap­proach is there­fore in­evitable and ben­e­fi­cial.

J-M. L. Lux­em­bourg's de­vel­op­ment and di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion strat­egy is clear, con­sis­tent and long-term. If we take the ex­am­ple of the Dig­i­tal Lux­em­bourg strat­egy, the coun­try has pro­vided world-class in­fra­struc­ture while de­vel­op­ing re­search and de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties in ICT at the Uni­ver­sity of Lux­em­bourg, LIST and other re­search cen­ters. The ob­jec­tive now is to cap­i­tal­ize on these in­vest­ments by sup­port­ing com­pa­nies that will use these skills and abil­i­ties to de­velop and shine in­ter­na­tion­ally. All this co­her­ence in terms of gov­ern­ment strat­egy mo­ti­vates pri­vate part­ners to come on board. An­other ex­am­ple worth men­tion­ing is the pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship that cre­ated the Dig­i­tal Tech Fund, where pri­vate part­ners have come to­gether with the gov­ern­ment to in­vest in star­tups.

We also see many more com­pa­nies cre­at­ing in­cu­ba­tors, ac­cel­er­a­tors and ded­i­cated funds. In Lux­em­bourg, this mu­tual trust be­tween the pri­vate and the pub­lic sec­tors strength­ens al­liances. As a semi-pub­lic or­ga­ni­za­tion whose startup ac­tiv­i­ties are largely sup­ported by the gov­ern­ment, we join forces with pri­vate sec­tor play­ers and don't see them as po­ten­tial com­peti­tors. On the con­trary, there is strength in unity.”

“TO­GETHER.” THIS WORD SEEMS TO BE THE GOV­ERN­ING PRIN­CI­PLE OF YOUR PART­NER­SHIP. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU?

B. L. We have set the ob­jec­tives of this part­ner­ship to­gether and it is ob­vi­ous that we are stronger as we act to­gether when it comes to help­ing star­tups grow in Lux­em­bourg. When a startup hears a gov­ern­ment speech say­ing that it is bet­ter here than else­where, it ex­pects pub­lic and pri­vate ac­tors to co­or­di­nate to meet its needs. We must strengthen the coun­try's pos­i­tive im­age and show that in­sti­tu­tions have been in­vest­ing in the dig­i­tal and tech­no­log­i­cal ecosys­tem in a co­her­ent and con­sis­tent way for years.

J-M. L. In­deed, we can only talk about hav­ing an ecosys­tem when a large num­ber of ac­tors co­op­er­ate and ev­ery­one finds their place. The strength

AS A SEMI-PUB­LIC OR­GA­NI­ZA­TION WHOSE STARTUP AC­TIV­I­TIES ARE LARGELY SUP­PORTED BY THE GOV­ERN­MENT, WE JOIN FORCES WITH PRI­VATE-SEC­TOR PLAY­ERS AND DON'T SEE THEM AS PO­TEN­TIAL COM­PETI­TORS. ON THE CON­TRARY, THERE IS STRENGTH IN UNITY.

of Lux­em­bourg's ecosys­tem is the short paths be­tween dif­fer­ent de­ci­sion mak­ers. This prox­im­ity makes it pos­si­ble to take de­ci­sions to­gether.

HOW DOES THIS PART­NER­SHIP FIT WITHIN THE FRAME­WORK OF THE EYNOVATION PRO­GRAM?

B. L. Our proven pro­gram con­tin­ues to evolve. We are al­ways in­vest­ing more and more time in help­ing de­velop the daily ac­tiv­i­ties of a num­ber of star­tups: strat­egy, meet­ing with in­vestors, etc. Our com­pen­sa­tion is not tra­di­tional since it de­pends on the suc­cess of fundrais­ing. It is a sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment that draws upon the in­sights of our lo­cal com­pany and our in­ter­na­tional net­work. Our col­lab­o­ra­tion with Lux­in­no­va­tion is, there­fore, im­por­tant be­cause we also want to of­fer star­tups these priv­i­leged con­nec­tions. The Eynovation pro­gram has been agile since its in­cep­tion. Beyond strate­gic al­liances with key play­ers in the mar­ket, we are very proud of our agility and rapid re­sponse to the needs of star­tups. We are re­view­ing the port­fo­lio of star­tups that we sup­port, as some of them have al­ready ben­e­fited from six months of free of­fer­ings. These star­tups have al­lowed us to re­fine our ser­vices and be able to of­fer this new type of in­vest­ment in time, ad­vice and ex­per­tise. That's where our strength lies.

J-M. L. At Lux­in­no­va­tion, we aim to work for star­tups and SMES. When we see that pri­vate ac­tors pack­age ser­vices with­out adapting to the needs of the mar­ket, we know that there will be a gap be­tween sup­ply and de­mand. That's why we wel­comed EY'S of­fer, which is a con­tin­u­a­tion of the Eynovation pro­gram.

WHAT DO YOU EX­PECT FROM THIS PART­NER­SHIP?

B. L. We want lo­cal star­tups to hold us to our words and star­tups abroad to come get to know Lux­em­bourg. Part­ners like us can clearly help them grow.

J-M. L. We al­ready have a pilot pro­gram that will be an­nounced shortly. We have also for­mal­ized our co­op­er­a­tion in writ­ing. We are cur­rently try­ing to at­tract a very promis­ing startup – spe­cial­iz­ing in data man­age­ment and mon­e­ti­za­tion – to Lux­em­bourg by high­light­ing our added value. Lux­in­no­va­tion will iden­tify all the pos­si­ble and imag­in­able av­enues in terms of pub­lic fund­ing and EY will ac­com­pany the startup in re­al­iz­ing its busi­ness plan in Lux­em­bourg.

You will be in­formed of this first suc­cess soon!

WE ARE CUR­RENTLY TRY­ING TO AT­TRACT A VERY PROMIS­ING STARTUP – SPE­CIAL­IZ­ING IN DATA MAN­AGE­MENT AND MON­E­TI­ZA­TION – TO LUX­EM­BOURG BY HIGH­LIGHT­ING OUR ADDED VALUE.

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