Blue Awards: an event to promote French SMEs creating new markets

29 October 2014

Organized by the consulting firm AXESSIO and HEC Paris, in partnership with HP France, the Blue Awards will honor on 24 November eight SMEs whose innovations have created new markets.

Today, while their markets have become increasingly mature, many French SMEs and large companies have managed to reduce competition by creating uncontested market space. Responding to the priorities of their customers, and by reaching beyond existing demand, they have reconstructed existing market boundaries, building a highly differentiated and innovative offering.

This ‘blue ocean’ concept describes these market spaces devoid of any competition. Tablets (created by Apple, midway between computer and mobile phone), water filter jugs (created by BRITA, midway between bottled water and serviced water distribution), and the portable music player (created by Sony) are examples of the iconic blue ocean strategy.

The Blue Awards aim to highlight the innovative French SMEs that have created their own blue ocean.

The ceremony will take place at the headquarters of HP France, in the presence of its CEO, and Honorary Professor at HEC Paris, Gérald Karsenti: “HP France wanted to partner with the first edition of the Blue Awards to reiterate its commitment to SMEs, who are the lifeblood of the French economy. These companies are proof that France is still a land of innovation, and full of talent.”

Eight SMEs to be honored from a short-list of 100

A jury of institutional and academic professionals—recognized experts driving innovation—will honor eight French SMEs (from a short-list of over 100) in the following categories:

-     Consumer products

-     Services to individuals

-     Products for IT professionals

-     Business services

Four honored SME ‘mentors’ will pass the baton on to four developing SME ‘babies’.

A jury of innovation experts


Jo-Michel Dahan, Assistant Director at the French Ministry for Business (‘DGE’)

Sandrine Duchene, Director of Immaterial Services Economy at the DGE

Ahmed Agarbi, Assistant Director of Immaterial Services Economy at the DGE

Patrick Coquet, Managing Director at Cap Digital

Laure Reihnart, Director of Innovation Partnerships at Bpifrance

Florin Paun, Deputy Director of Industrial Innovation at ONERA


Julien Lévy, Associate Professor at HEC Paris

Stéphane Madoeuf, Affiliate Professor at HEC Paris

Delphine Wharmby, Communications Director at HEC Paris

Carole Grosz, Communications Director at MINES ParisTech

Lauren Mathys, representative of the BOS Network


Hervé Amoreau, President of AXESSIO

Alban Eral, Director of Innovation Strategy at AXESSIO

Daniel Villessot, Scientific Director at Suez Environnement

Thierry Oddos, Open & External Innovation Director at Johnson & Johnson

Alexandre Delattre, MD & CTO at Nintendo European Research & Development

Nathalie Boulanger, Director Start-up Ecosystem Orange (Orange)

Bernard Nicolaieff, President (Second-Play)

Florence Pierron, Director Innovation (Jacquet-Brossard)

Gregory Fichet, Key Account Paris (ERDF)

Laurence Venereau, Director General Assistant (Carat)

Sylvain Davril, President (SunTseu)

Daniel Diaz, Director (SunTseu)


Rachel Bohr, Editor of La Revue du Digital

Jean-Pierre Blettner, Journalist at La Revue du Digital

Visit to learn more about the awards.

Les Blue Awards : un événement pour valoriser les PME françaises innovantes

Contact: Alban Eral, +33 (0) 6 63 12 77 44,

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