Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center
HEC – 42 Start-Up Launchpad
Each March at Station F, after condensing months of research, analysis and creative thinking into a 3-minute pitch, teams present their start-up ideas to a jury. This is Launchpad, where ideas are launched..Learn more
Designed with a ‘learning-by-doing’ (applied pedagogy) approach by HEC Paris, in partnership with School 42, the Launchpad program aims to help student entrepreneurs launch their startup within 10 weeks. This program is not a simple course in entrepreneurship, but an accelerator for the launch of start-ups.
More than a method, the Launchpad is a community; an approach built on the experience of entrepreneurs and customer development methodologies.
A Word from the Director
“Each entrepreneur will go through the same steps, and we provide the ecosystem. By sharing methodology and experience, we can optimize your chances of success and save you valuable time. Whatever the results of your project, the experience will be invaluable. It is this experience that will propel early-bird entrepreneurs in their careers.”
This program is offered to students from HEC Digital, X-HEC Entrepreneurs, HEC MSc Data Science for Business, HEC MSc Sustainability and Social Innovation and Ecole 42, E-Arstup.
Business, Engineer, Coders, Designers... This program benefits from a great diversity of profiles, welcoming students on various double degrees as well as those from HEC Paris' many partnerships. The program is also offered to all members of a team, even those that include external members: diversity is one of the pillars of the Launchpad.
As the name suggests, the Launchpad focuses on preparing you for the launch of your company. To do so, you will go through a certain number of steps, the objectives of which are:
• Bring together a team of entrepreneurs and establish your common vision and goals
• Identify an existing growing market of sufficient size with unresolved issues (field observation)
• Identify the major sources of dissatisfaction and frustration experienced by clients with current solutions (field observation)
• Carry out work for the discovery and evaluation of current competing solutions
• Imagine and design a solution that provides unique added value for prospective clients
• Validate this solution with identified prospective clients by constructing a value proposition and a prototype
• Set up a promotional sales-support system to generate early traction
We will provide you with the methodology and tools to achieve these objectives.
Each stage consists of professional and specialist classes with a largely practical focus. The teams are assisted by a mentor. Entrepreneurship conferences and networking opportunities are all part of the package. Students pitch their project to a professional jury at the end of each stage.
In addition, a learning expedition is organized during which participants will discover the London technological ecosystem and pitch their projects.
On the final day of the program, groups present their project to venture capital company directors and business developers.
At the end of the nine weeks, every participating team will have attempted either starting up a new activity, raising funds or joining an accelerator in France or abroad.
The start-up launch program at Ecole 42 lasts for 10 weeks, from the beginning of January to the end of March.
HEC : 15 ECTS
Ecole 42 : T4
This program exists thanks to many stakeholders from the HEC entrepreneurial ecosystem and its partners.
Head of program
Guillaume le Dieu de Ville
Fabrice Graff (HEC)
Pauline Frey (Ecole 42)
Schools and programs related
The Launchpad is an IDEA Center program : Julien Levy / Jean-Rémi Gratadour
HEC Digital: Stéphane Madoeuf
X-HEC Entrepreneurs: Bruno Martinaud / Alain Bloch / Ambroise Collon
HEC Data Science for Business: Vincent Fraitot
HEC SASI: Deborah Keraghel / Jeremy Ghez
HEC London Office: Marguerite Gallant
NYU Stern: Lisa Butcher
Saclay Seed Fund
To date, 100 teams have followed the launchpad and 50 startups have been launched.
Many of them are still in business, some have been sold and others have evolved into something new.
Here are some featured startups of the latest editions :
Ontheprairie - Sold
To participate you must have a team of at least 2 people, at least one of whom must be from the HEC programs (Digital, X-HEC Entrepreneurs, Data for Business, SASI) or Ecole 42.
The team composition is therefore left to students’ independent assessment and can include members who don’t study at HEC Paris, Ecole 42 or Paris-Saclay.
To help in the team composition (two person minimum), in the first term, regular meetups are organized.
The selection of the launchpad is done in two steps:
1- November/December : The Application Form
Validation of an application form demonstrating a good assessment of the targeted market (before the rush weekend).
2- Mid-December : The Rush Weekend
Participation in a rush-weekend, where you will present your project to professionals.
The jury is made up of HEC representatives, top business developers and top VCs. They will assess the team, the project and its potential.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the program director at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org