HEC Academics Enjoy Rich Exchange with Station F Startuppers
More than a dozen of HEC’s top faculty members paid a visit to Station F in early December as part of a learning expedition to the world’s biggest startup campus. This was designed to further solidify the strong ties between the business school and this hub of incubating or incubated startups – all the while encourage other academics to enrich their teaching through interactions with nascent enterprises.
Management and human resources, strategy, tax and law, finance, marketing, economics and decision science, accounting and information systems/operation management. All these departments were represented in a 16-strong group of permanent staff members visiting Paris’ state-of-the-art startup campus in the 13th district. HEC has been at the heart of Station F’s development from its inception in 2017 and has been interacting with several of the 90+ incubees through its HEC Incubateur program.
“It’s a win-win situation,” says Peter Ebbes, Professor in the Marketing Department, “there’s free consulting for the startup and data for a research paper written by the faculty member.” Indeed, the school’s researchers are encouraged to pose fundamental questions to the startups in relation to innovation and topics linked to their fields of competence. “As a startup nursery, Station F is a rare window into the future and may reveal new patterns of innovation longitudinally,” adds Marketing Professor Anne-Laure Sellier. “They may even test specific hypotheses by directly manipulation startup development strategies.”
The HEC group was welcomed and guided by Inge Kerkloh-Devif, Senior Executive Director at the HEC Entrepreneurship Center and Antoine Leprêtre, the Incubateur’s Director. They witnessed the dynamism of a campus which is part of a booming French ecosystem. 2021 alone saw the birth of 12 new unicorns and raised over €11 billion (over 200% more than the previous year). HEC’s startups have been part of this trend, led by Fintecture, a next-generation payment infrastructure which hit its funding goals and seems set to further expand in 2022.