2017, here we come!

2016 has been a year of extensive transformation and growth for NUMA. But wait until you see what's coming in 2017...

2016 has been a year of extensive transformation and growth for NUMA. First, we opened offices in 2 new countries (Spain and Mexico) and we launched 2 new business lines: Corporate Education and our new software Selecteev.io.

Our staff doubled and we are extremely proud of our team of over 100 NUMAns now. We are thrilled to have met and welcomed incredible new people at NUMA. This is probably one the most promising achievements of all: continue growing, though keeping our spirit and mindset.

In our 6 NUMA offices around the world, 320 promising startups have now benefited from our acceleration programs. Besides that, a dozen of large organizations have trust us to support them in their digital transformation.

Our Open Innovation platforms reached new horizons, bringing the collaborations between corporates and startups to new levels. For instance:

digital-industry.io is bringing a brand new IoT platform for startups willing to disrupt the Industrial world with General Electric.

datacity.world aims to solve the challenges of smart cities thanks to entrepreneurs.

This year, more than ever, we have proved that entrepreneurs have the power to solve many of the challenges that we face. We are here to empower them in doing so.

In 2017, we are committed to intensify this support. We will scale our offer to startups, communities and corporates. Keeping our values and spirit in mind, we will discover new territories, extending our brand to new horizons.

Throughout this journey that will take us to a new level, the key is keep our mission in mind: shape unique and responsible leaders for tomorrow’s economy. Whether they’re Entrepreneurs or Corporate Directors. Or both.

“Our task is not to foresee the future, but to enable it” wrote Antoine de St Exupéry. 2017 will be the year that NUMA, with your help, will enable a brighter future.

Happy 2017!

And before starting this amazing new year ahead of us, we thought it’d be good to have a little look back on 2016…


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mVenturesBcn and NUMA commit €4.8M to attracting growth-phase digital startups

- The programme has received applications from 37 countries of 4 continents to take part in the first edition of the acceleration programme which begins on 1 November.
- The startups participating will receive initial funding of €30,000 to develop their project.
- The first NUMA Barcelona programme will culminate in a Demo Day at 4YFN 2017.

Barcelona, 14 September 2016 – mVenturesBcn, the programme launched by Mobile World Capital Barcelona (MWCB) to create and support new digital projects and businesses, and NUMA, the French global innovation network, have today presented NUMA Barcelona, the first European acceleration programme for growth-phase digital startups. The initiative will invest 4.8 million euro in attracting digital talent to the city, in addition to supporting and developing their projects, with particular focus on their scalability and global impact.

NUMA Barcelona will accelerate 30 startups over the next 3 years, and will launch its first programme on 1 November. The international reach of this programme is clearly illustrated by the applications that have already been received from 37 countries on 4 continents – Africa, America, Asia and Europe – in this first call for proposals.

The 10 selected startups will follow a 4-month programme (November to February) which will culminate in a Demo Day on the main stage at 4YFN 2017 during the GSMA Mobile World Congress. Each startup will receive initial funding of €30,000 at the beginning of the programme to develop their project, as well as consulting services, mentoring and offices, among others. Also, NUMA Barcelona will acquire a 5% equity stake, allowing the accelerator to become involved in and monitor the project once the programme has come to an end. For this reason, the initiative has allocated a further €1.5M for possible financial contributions after the programme has been completed. These investments will be made in startups whose proposals possess significant international potential in addition to a strong innovative element.

NUMA Barcelona has a solid network of international mentors who will provide the business teams with constant support. They include, among others, leading figures such as Ali Partovi, investor and consultant in projects such as Facebook, Uber, Airbnb or Dropbox; Gary Shainberg, ex-Vice President of Technology and Innovation at British Telecom and one of the first promoters of Tech Pioneers in the World Economic Forum; Jorge Carulla, ex-Marketing Director of eDreams and cofounder of ShakeUp; and Francisco Pérez, cofounder of Hawkers.

According to Aleix Valls, General Director of Mobile World Capital Barcelona, “NUMA Barcelona is a reflection of the talent and innovative potential in our city. We are generators of ideas, but we have an extraordinary capacity to provide the environment necessary for developing digital projects and making the leap to the international arena.” Along these lines, Pep Gómez, Chairman of NUMA Barcelona, points out that “Entrepreneurs from 37 countries, including Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, India, Cameroon, Russia and Canada, among others, want to take part in our initiative. We are offering to accelerate ventures in the mobile capital. This is unique in the world.” NUMA’s CEO, Marie V. Le Barzic, concludes that “The cooperation between NUMA and mVenturesBcn will allow the strengthening of relations between Paris and Barcelona and the establishment of a true bridge of knowledge and digital innovation between both ecosystems.”

Barcelona: a hub of digital innovation

mVenturesBcn strives to strengthen Barcelona’s role as a business environment for entrepreneurs, startups and investors with initiatives that are scalable on an international level. To this end, mVenturesBcn has opened new offices in Pier01, the centre of reference for digital entrepreneurs in Barcelona backed by Barcelona Tech City that was opened in July.

mVenturesBcn currently hosts 2 leading worldwide acceleration programmes: the first is in the field of the Internet of Things, with Startupbootcamp IoT & Data; the second is NUMA Barcelona, a pioneer programme in Europe for growth-phase startups, sponsored in conjunction with the French innovation network NUMA.

mVenturesBcn also focuses on the acceleration of technological transfer and the creation of new digital-based companies as a catalyst for economic growth. The call for submissions in this area will open in October, in conjunction with universities and research centres. The programme aims to accelerate 20 investigation-based business ventures over 3 years.

About NUMA

NUMA is a global innovation network bringing growth and human capital to start-ups. Since 2000, NUMA has emerged as France’s leading innovation practice. In addition to providing its start-ups with commensurate financial and educational resources, NUMA has created an environment prone to their success relying on an influential network of entrepreneurs, corporates and technical experts. Since launching its first programme in Paris in 2011, NUMA has accelerated start-ups in five different countries (France, Russia, India, Morocco and Mexico), and plans to deploy its model in 15 countries by 2019. NUMA by figures: 109 start-ups accelerated, 1M€ average fundraising, 79% still active, 65% have raised funds; 2 programmes in Western Europe, 6 programmes worldwide.

For more information: www.numa.co

About mVenturesBcn

mVenturesBcn, a programme of Mobile World Capital Barcelona, is a key player in entrepreneurship and innovation facilitating the growth and scaling of mobile and digital start-ups, focusing on the globalisation of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and attracting international talent to Barcelona.  Located in Pier 01 – Palau de Mar, the entrepreneurial ecosystem hub in Barcelona, mVenturesBcn runs acceleration programmes in partnership with the best accelerators around the world. It also collaborates with the top research centres and universities to build technology transfer programmes and support the creation of technology based start-ups.

Mobile World Capital Barcelona, an initiative driving the mobile and digital transformation of society to help improve people’s lives globally, hosts the Mobile World Congress and delivers 4 Years From Now [4YFN], a business platform for the start-up community.

About Mobile World Capital Barcelona

Mobile World Capital Barcelona is an initiative driving the mobile and digital transformation of society while helping improve people’s lives globally.

With support of the public and private sector throughout Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain, MWCapital focuses on three areas: the digital empowerment of new generations, professionals and citizens; the digital transformation of industries; and the acceleration of digital innovation through entrepreneurship.

Collectively, our mSchools, mHealth, mLiving, mVenturesBcn programmes are positively transforming the health and education system, the industry, and the economy.

MWCapital hosts the Mobile World Congress and delivers 4 Years From Now [4YFN], a business platform for the start-up community.

Visit www.mobileworldcapital.com

For further information:


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NUMA’s international strategy revealed

In a little bit more than one year, NUMA, the leading player in the French entrepreneurial ecosystem, extended its operations on four continents and five countries: Russia, India, Morocco, Spain and Mexico.
Are they playing darts over a giant world map?

The French are famous for being analytical, right? Since we made the decision to go global, we analyzed 80 countries, interviewed 200+ people, crunched thousands of data and traveled 760 000 kilometers (twice the distance to the moon), to find the right spots and the right people to build joint ventures. Here’s the story behind NUMA’s international strategy…

There is method behind the madness

Let’s explain the method with our most recent case study: Mexico.

In 2010 we launched the first-ever acceleration program in France, thus planting a seed for the subsequent exponential growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. If we could find a country at the same level of development as France six years ago, could we once again spur this exponential? 

NUMA Mexico is the result of this quest in the Latin American region. First, we did some desktop research and graded each country in this region using four indicators:

Chart NUMA International 1

  • Economic attractiveness: Economic Indicators (GDP per capita, business environment), Market Indicators (population, education, tertiary education), Infrastructure Indicators (general infrastructure, ICTs), Institutional Indicators (political environment, regulatory environment).
  • Entrepreneurial spirit: Entrepreneurial Attitude (opportunity perception, startup skills, risk acceptance, networking, cultural support), Entrepreneurial Ability (technology absorption, human capital, competition), Entrepreneurial Aspiration (product innovation, process innovation, high growth, internationalisation, risk capital), Entrepreneurial Activity (early stage entrepreneurial activity rates).
  • Level of innovation: Research & Development, Knowledge Workers, Innovation Linkages, Knowledge Creation, Knowledge Impact and Knowledge Diffusion.
  • Level of investment: VC investments (amount of equity invested), Size of market capital, Liquidity of market capital, M&A activity, IPO activity.

We backed up these theoretical analyses with 40+ remote interviews with local players. Eventually, analyzing the dynamic of these indicators over 4 years, we determined that Mexico was showing every aspect of an ecosystem on a tipping point, like France had been six years ago.

Chart NUMA International 2

We do joint ventures with like minded partners

Partenrships 1

Throughout our long history, we have helped many people start their innovation programs, and one thing we’ve learned is that your concept, successful as it may be in your territory, cannot be simply pasted in another. Innovation services are not like Starbucks coffee recipes. An understanding of the ecosystem, the people and the culture is crucial. There is no credible way to implement these services well if you’re not a native.

For us, opening a new location is thus first and foremost about identifying a great local partner who, like us, has been working for years on the ground with entrepreneurs and deeply understands the needs of the ecosystem. A partner who is running a coworking site, or an accelerator, or a venture fund, and is eager to develop the full systemic concept of NUMA.

We usually shortlist three potential partners that stand out as leaders of the ecosystem, and cross-check their reputation with local entrepreneurs, investors, journalists and public institutions and grade them according to four criteria:

  • Working operations (are they running Coworking, Events, Acceleration, Open Innovation?)
  • Network (are they connected to Startups, Mentors, Corporates, Public, International?)
  • Facilities (is their place suitable for NUMA activities and well situated in the city?)
  • Cultural Fit (do we share the same values and vision?)


In Mexico, Venture Institute was the perfect match: they had been running an accelerator and a fund for five years with an excellent track record, had successfully delivered open innovation programs with corporates, and were actively seeking ways to further strengthen their community. And above all: the founders and team are passionate about making an impact on the ecosystem across all of Latin America.

However, it’s common knowledge that even when two partners like each other a lot, compatibility is not always guaranteed. To mitigate this, our way to engage with partners follows a test & learn approach: before signing a joint venture, we run a due diligence process for 3 to 6 months, with training sessions and experimentations, where we carefully check that our partner has the capability to adapt and deploy NUMA concepts, and conversely that we bring real value to the ecosystem.

The result in Mexico speaks for itself: NUMA Mexico has settled in a gorgeous mansion in the centre of Mexico City where we organised numerous events, featuring people like Michael Seibel (YCombinator) or Dave Mc Clure (500 Startups). We successfully launched a crowdfunding campaign to convert a part of the mansion into the first free coworking space in Mexico City, mirroring what NUMA Paris did three years ago. The application period for the 14th acceleration batch recently closed and we’ve just signed the first open innovation program with a corporate (to be revealed later). What else?

The last step in our process is signing the Joint Venture. At NUMA we strongly believe in the phrase: “do as you are”. We nurture diversity in the way people think and work in our teams, giving autonomy and freedom of initiative, trusting them a priori. The same approach is applied to our joint ventures, where our partner is the major shareholder. We want to be involved in the management, but they deserve the driving seat. The result of the vetting process outlined above is that we know our partners share our values and mission, both dreaming big and delivering fast. They therefore have our full trust and support, and we look forward to learning from them.

Why did we decide to go abroad in the first place?


We constantly tell our entrepreneurs that their markets are too small, that competition is global and that they should go international from day one. They appear to take our words at face value: according to the 2015 Compass Study the number of startups that either opened second offices elsewhere or moved their headquarters from one ecosystem to another region was multiplied by 8.4 between 2012 and 2014.

In the first 12 months after following our acceleration program, 20% of startups cross the ocean and thrive in the USA with the support of fellow accelerators like YCombinator or Techstars. This is good, but going West, is not the only option: Blablacar developed in 22 countries, but preferred Russia and India to the USA. Why? F. Mazella (CEO) correctly reasoned that in the USA their value proposition might not work (long distances between towns, not enough incentives for the driver), while in the emerging markets they would solve a real pain point. And they did well: according to Nicolas Brusson (COO), at least 50 percent of their growth was from emerging markets.

With this in mind, we set out to identify an efficient way to support our entrepreneurs to spread their operations anywhere in the world.

During the last three years, we engaged with the best networks of fellows like Google for Entrepreneurs, Global Accelerator Network and ATALANTA which gave us a solid understanding of the ecosystems worldwide. We organised an accelerator summit and gathered 100+ ecosystem leaders, enabling them to share about their challenges and envision future trends, the findings of which were published in a white paper. We confirmed that struggling to find a sustainable business model and eagerness to learn from more experienced organisations is a global phenomenon. And most importantly, we heard that NUMA’s balanced and systemic model, resulting from 15 years of bottom-up innovation, was consistently appealing, particularly in growing ecosystems.

NUMA began as a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in France as a way to improve our economy and our society. In early 2015 the organisation became for profit, and successfully raised funds with a broader mission in mind: creating a global innovation network.

NUMA’s international strategy

We established a three-fold international strategy depending on the maturity of the ecosystem in question and its individual context, trying to answer two questions: what are the challenges of these ecosystems and what is our added value?

1. Early stage ecosystems: few entrepreneurs, lack of public or private support

These markets are too nascent or too small to allow fruitful fields of cooperation between startups, communities and corporates to emerge, which is the core value of our approach. At this stage, education is the key to inciting change. Our strategy is to work with public institutions like the World Bank or private companies willing to support entrepreneurship locally. We train incubator managers, advise public authorities, and promote modern digital policies with the objective of bringing the ecosystem to the next level of maturity.

2. Growing ecosystems: many entrepreneurs, insufficient support to early stage

In these countries, the startup community is quickly growing but there is a missing piece in their support: not enough mentors, unexperienced accelerators, lack of interest from the corporates, lack of seed investment … This is typically the situation in Mexico, Bangalore, Moscow, Casablanca, and this is where our experience as an ecosystem catalyst can make the biggest difference.

Our strategy is to set up NUMA operations in the fastest growing ecosystems, and help them pass the tipping point to exponential growth. In these situations, we rely on experienced local partners, providing them with knowledge and active support, but letting them lead the local operations.

3. Mature ecosystem: high competition, insufficient support to scale-up

In the USA, we have many trusted partners who help our entrepreneurs enter various markets across the country. In Europe, our established partnerships work very well for early stage startups, but market fragmentation across countries makes the situation far more difficult for entrepreneurs in the later stages of growth.

This led us to open our first growth-focused acceleration program in Barcelona, building on our assets as an experienced accelerator, the active involvement of the city hall of Barcelona and the Mobile World Congress organizers in Spain.

We will annually select at least 10 startups in mobile technologies and help them scale their businesses worldwide. This is a model we hope to replicate in other cities; we’re currently discussing opportunities in Europe and other regions of the world.

What’s next for NUMA’s international development?

The team : Aviva, Raphaëlle, Clarisse, Olivier and Fred

We are now present in 6 countries and plan to be in 15 countries by 2019. One of the biggest challenges that lays ahead of us is to strengthen this network and encourage synergies between all of our offices.

Building a global innovation network is truly the next big thing for our team.

  • We strongly encourage internal staff mobility. In 2016, at least 2 NUMA Paris staff will join one of our international offices in order to diffuse NUMA methods and culture.
  • We encourage startup mobility. Some startups will benefit from a mobility grant to help them test their value proposition in countries where NUMA operates. If there is a proven opportunity, our local team can assist in recruitment, business introductions and media exposure.
  • We organize mentor exchanges between all of our locations in order for a mentor from one country to meet on a regular basis with a startup from another.
  • We scale our open innovation programs globally. For the second edition, we want to operate the datacity program simultaneously in France, Morocco, India and Mexico.

Such a big journey over the past year, but it’s just the beginning… Stay tuned for more announcements by the International Team in 2016! Our International Strategy has just begun…

Fred fait l'avion

Article written by:

Frédéric Oru, International Director

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Start-ups: apply 365 days a year!

As we launch the selection process for the 9th season of the acceleration programme, we have introduced two big novelties: we are moving from 2 to 3 batches per year, and you can now apply all year long.

The growing drive for entrepreneurship in France and the success of our acceleration programme have resulted in almost 3000 start-ups submitting their applications to NUMA in the last five years.

Our programme’s selection process had not changed since its creation in 2011. Following an in-depth study of these many applications and in order to better meet your challenges and ours alike, we have decided to implement some changes.

Up to now, our year was punctuated by short periods of calls for projects during which applications were received from start-ups wishing to join our programme. We are keeping our traditional pace of several batches per year but from now on, you can submit your project at any time, starting now.

Another significant change: we are moving from 2 to 3 four-month seasons per year.

Our method is the same, only the selection process is changing

Our acceleration model per four-month season has amply proved its effectiveness. The cohesion between start-ups in the same season is a major lever for each of them. The programme’s intensity over a defined period also significantly boosts their development.

Our model and our methods therefore remain unchanged. We are simply increasing the number of seasons, from two to three per year, and making the selection process continuous.

This means that the new selection process takes place in three phases:

  1. Submission of your application on-line at any time 
    To submit your application to us, you must complete a questionnaire of around fifteen specific questions via the apply.numa.co site. This questionnaire is then assessed in the following days by the acceleration team and experts in the NUMA network, in France and abroad (entrepreneurs, technical experts and specialists in your industry).
  2. Selection for individual interviews
    You will receive word within four weeks at the most, informing you whether you have been selected to continue the process and present your project in front of a panel. The following week, you will meet a panel made up of NUMA members and experts selected specifically in line with your application.
  3. Confirmation of your acceptance 
    You will be informed in the following days about the outcome of your application and your possible acceptance onto the next season. If you are accepted, you will enjoy a close relationship with NUMA and its teams until you join our programme.

Crucial selection

We carefully select the start-ups that have been making up our batches for eight seasons now. Out of the many applications we receive, only a small number of start-ups join our programme following a very stringent selection process. This highly selective method is a strong pledge of the quality of our assistance. The best start-ups and the best mentors create the best programme over the seasons.

The entire team is passionate about the selection process which involves the broader NUMA ecosystem and its alumni. We review hundreds of applications and are fortunate to meet many teams, all of whom are highly motivated. This work is also gruelling due to its scale. We know that making a selection mistake could impact the destiny of a structure and of course that of its co-founders.

For each season, we select around 15 start-ups. We fill the places on the season gradually through regular panel sessions. Please note that if we fill the season during the first sessions, applications do remain open for the following season.

To conclude, we encourage start-ups not to wait until the last day before the start of a season to apply. We have more time to review applications from start-ups who submit early. This responsiveness also tells us a lot about your ability to take action quickly. Rest assured that many other criteria come into play when assessing your project.

Well-honed selection criteria

We are often asked what makes a start-up stand out and which are the prominent qualities of the start-ups we select. The thousands of applications that we have reviewed have enabled us to increasingly fine-tune our selection criteria.

The quality of the application

The quality of the application is as important as the application itself. The care taken in presenting your start-up can be decisive. Fiodor Tonti, one of our Resident Experts, has written an excellent article “How to apply successfully” on this subject. To gain an understanding of the required level of quality, we also recommend that you read the article from the Zero to Heroes blog.

The quality of the team

This criterion is both the most important and also the most difficult to assess: personalities, aspirations, knowledge, focus, leadership: all these individual facets come together to make dream teams. It is important to note that we do not accept teams with a single co-founder or in which the main co-founders are not invested full-time. It is impossible to make progress quickly enough without a full team.

The team’s full availability

Full-time presence is required. We do not accept teams who cannot be on-site, in Paris, for the four months of acceleration. The programme only works if the founding team is fully present.

A technical co-founder

You must be able to iterate your project and to grow very quickly. To do this, the active and constant participation of a technical profile is essential.

The project’s potential and market approach

We carefully consider the level of relevance with which the team has validated a demonstration of interest from its users: user testing, MVP, iteration.

The level of knowledge of the current, past and future competitive playing field is part of this demonstration. Who are the competitors? Which start-ups have already failed? Why did they fail? What is the maturity of the different players? What are the entry barriers? In short, all the factors that let you be sure that your company is going to revolutionise the market.

Knowing how to adapt, to be flexible, to understand your market: this is what we recommend to you, and it also applies to us.

If you would like to benefit from the assistance offered by our acceleration programme as early as season 9 starting on 20 June 2016 :

> APPLY NOW on apply.numa.co <

We can’t wait to find out about your project.

The NUMA Acceleration Team

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#FounderStories: Renaud Visage, co-founder of Eventbrite

This time, we are honoured to welcome Renaud Visage, co-founder and CTO of Eventbrite, who agreed to take part in our “Founder Stories”. Over an evening, Renaud Visage shared with us his incredible experience and answered questions from the start-ups in the acceleration programme.

Like many others, Eventbrite’s story started with an encounter: that of Renaud Visage, with Kevin and Julia Hartz, in San Francisco in 2006. What followed is totally extraordinary. At the time, many on-line ticketing platforms existed for major gatherings such as sporting events and concerts. However, there was no service to create, organise and manage more intimate events. That is how Eventbrite came about.

Leveraging this opportunity, the three co-founders developed their product, mainly used for tech events in San Francisco’s Bay Area. The service was simple and free of charge. Its rise was meteoric. “One of the keys to our success is the virality of our product. Each event organiser brings users to the platform. These users then create their events. Almost one third of event organisers on Eventbrite are former participants”.

Eventbrite joins the Unicorn Club

In 2008, the time came for the first venture round: $1.5M. The rounds then continued at a dizzying pace – $6,5M in 2009, $20M in 2010, $50M in 2011, $60M in 2013 – until in 2014, the start-up completed a round at $60M, which valued the company at over one billion dollars, thus ensuring its entry into the prestigious “Unicorn Club”. The total amount of the successive venture rounds represents the impressive figure of $200M. When asked by an entrepreneur why they didn’t raise a higher amount earlier on, Renaud Visage advised: “be careful not to be too greedy at the start. If you raise a lot of money, it makes it very difficult to justify your value at a later date”.

While the trio held out for two years, they started to hire in 2008. Eventbrite now has 550 employees and offices in eight countries. “You are bound to lose some of the spirit of camaraderie when you jump from 3 to 550 employees, but we maintain an excellent atmosphere in the teams. It’s very important to us. A company’s culture comes first and foremost from its employees. Select them carefully,” he advised NUMA’s start-ups.

Eventbrite also knows how to pick its support. Its Board of Directors includes Sean Moriarty, former CEO of TicketMaster, and Lorrie Norrington, former Chairperson of eBay Marketplaces. “Their experience is a significant asset”.

International strategy

Renaud Visage insisted on the platform going global as of 2011. He was the main driving force behind this. With his persuasion skills, he started to install Eventbrite on the European market in 2009. “First, focus on your product. Perfect it. Then go global as soon as possible.” The multilingual website was created in 2011. A key moment, according to its co-founder. The start-up then had offices in eight countries (USA, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Holland). Through this platform, events were organised in 187 countries!

Ten years on from the start of this venture, Eventbrite has sold more than 200 million tickets on-line, the equivalent of $5 billion in ticketing sales. “I don’t suppose you need the money anymore… Why do you carry on?” asked an entrepreneur. “Why did we create Eventbrite? I like to think that we help people to get together. We facilitate meetings. I created this company out of passion. I still have that passion ten years on”.

Our warmest thanks to Renaud Visage for coming to advise the start-ups on NUMA’s acceleration programme. We wish them all similar successes!

To recap:

  • For ultra-fast development, think of a product that is intrinsically viral.

  • Do not raise too much money at the outset. It would be subsequently difficult to justify the company’s value.

  • Pay special attention when hiring your first employees. They are the pillars of your corporate culture.

  • Think about global expansion from the outset.

A few key dates and figures:

  • Date of creation: 2006

  • Co-founders: Kevin Hartz, Julia Hartz and Renaud Visage

  • Employees: 550

  • Total amount of venture rounds: $190M

  • Tickets sold: 200 million

  • Website: http://eventbrite.com

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NUMA Mexico is here!

Venture Institute teams-up with NUMA to launch NUMA México and boost Mexico City's start-up ecosystem.

  • NUMA’s international community expands to Mexico City through a joint-venture with Mexican top startup accelerator, Venture Institute, founded by Federico Antoni, and Fernando Lelo de Larrea, to launch NUMA México.
  • NUMA México will play a leading role as a catalyst between startups, communities and corporates in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • NUMA México launches a crowdfunding campaign to raise MXN$700K to open the first free coworking space for entrepreneurs in the country. A meeting space to bring together the startup,VC, and corporate community.
  • NUMA México will be a key hub of NUMA’s global innovation network, aiming to spread the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in all Latin America.

Mexico City, April 6, 2016 – Venture Institute, founded by Federico Antoni and Fernando Lelo de Larrea, joined forces with french ecosystem accelerator NUMA to launch NUMA México, and speed-up the consolidation of Mexico City’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Starting today, Venture Institute becomes NUMA México and strengthens its startup accelerator, corporate, educational and community programs.

This joint-venture brings together Venture Institute’s 5 years expertise in the Mexican ecosystem with NUMA’s 15 years of experience in France and international markets. “We are excited about announcing our joint-venture to present NUMA México. Mexico City will be the gateway to the 400 million Spanish speaking consumer market for startups in Mexico and Latin America”, says Federico Antoni, founding partner at Venture Institute.

Mexico shows all the signs of an entrepreneurial ecosystem on the brink of exponential growth. The team at Venture Institute has an impressive track record and is incredibly passionate about spreading the entrepreneurial mindset. Together we hope we can help the city to pass the tipping point. The connection to Europe and other growing ecosystems will give fresh market opportunities to Mexican entrepreneurs“, adds Frédéric Oru, International Director at NUMA.

Mexico City is NUMA’s fifth international endeavor,following openings in Moscow (Russia),Bangalore (India), Casablanca (Morocco), and Barcelona (Spain). Building on the success of NUMA Paris, NUMA will expand its global network to 15 cities during the next three years, aiming to accelerate 700 companies, install 250 open innovation programs for corporates, and thrust entrepreneurial communities.



Building a strong entrepreneurial community is a core activity at NUMA México, in order to create a sustainable ecosystem. NUMA believes in the pay- it forward culture, where successful entrepreneurs share their knowledge, discoveries and experiences, and serve as inspiration for other founders that are just starting, and people with an entrepreneurial drive. NUMA México collaborates with all of the actors involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem; startups, education institutions, both large enterprises in the tech industry and companies with an innovation mindset, government, incubators, accelerators, Venture Capital funds, andAngel investors.Creating a large network of mentors and people who share the conviction that collaboration is the fastest way to innovation. Globally, NUMA hosts 1,400 events per year, bringing together 80,000 attendees.



NUMA believes in openness and diversity. To that purpose, NUMA México Startup Mansion – a 1,000m2 space located in Campeche 233, Hipódromo Condesa, Mexico City- will be open to all startup founders, corporates, SME’s, communities and public institutions to consolidate a sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem. “We are raising MXN$700Kto truly fulfill our mission of co-building an open and collaborative entrepreneurial community. NUMA México will offer free coworking space for startup founders, and will open its doors to serve as a meeting point for all the actors involved in the ecosystem”, said Coni Riveros, General Manager at NUMA México.



Applications for NUMA México’s first batch will open inApril, and next July 20 startups will join its portfolio in a 5 month long accelerator program in exchange of a small percentage of company equity. NUMA México will give entrepreneurs the opportunity to benefit from 1,000m2 at the heart ofthe Mexican financial, innovation and startup capital. NUMA México accelerator program will attract 40 startups to Mexico City on a yearly basis, from Mexico, Latin America, and international founders, whose value proposition appeals to the spanish speaking market. “With 130 companies in our portfolio, NUMA México, formerly Venture Institute, is the most active startup accelerator in the country,” said Fernando Lelo de Larrea, founding partner at Venture Institute.



Shifting enterprise mindset to build an innovation culture via training, intrapreneurship and open innovation will also be one of NUMA México’s main goals. In 2015, NUMA doubled its corporate innovation team and developed no less than 60 projects involving large worldwide companies.“If Companies wantto grow or simply to exist in the future, they need to reinvent the way they innovate: their processes,their methods,the role of their employees and partners and their management system. The good news is that entrepreneurs are everywhere and companies understand more and more that the key to Digital Transformation is Entrepreneurship and not Technology.” Claudio Vandi, Director of innovation programs.


Discover NUMA Mexico

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#FounderStories: Nicolas Brusson, co-founder of BlaBlaCar

Recently, we caught up with Nicolas Brusson, co-founder of BlaBlaCar, as part of our Founder Stories meeting forum for NUMA Paris start-ups. It was quite simply an honour to welcome one of the greatest icons of French entrepreneurship to our premises.

Does BlaBlaCar still need an introduction? If you have been living in a cave and have suddenly turned up in a city, “BlaBlaCar connects people who need to travel with drivers who have empty seats”. And, incidentally, BlaBlaCar is the global ride-sharing leader (if this term means nothing to you, go back to your cave). 

The company is present in around 20 countries, boasts no less than 25 million users and has raised several hundred million Euros for a market capitalization that sends chills down the spine.

Other than that, how are things going Nicolas?

From 0 to unicorn

Nicolas’ arrival at NUMA has an amazing magnet effect. A Slack and a few announcements on the various floors are enough to gather quite a crowd. Who would miss the visit of the man behind the most amazing French success story of the last twenty years?

Nicolas happily sits on the sofa on the third floor, in front of an audience keen to learn his tips for success.

Stubble, trainers, jeans and cotton t-shirt: this sober look conceals a very unique adventure.

It all started with a love story. Nicolas lived far away from his girlfriend and was looking for a way to visit her at little cost. At the same time, Frédéric Mazella wanted to visit his family over the holiday season and came up against a lack of transportation. At first, they thought of a service that would enable employees in the same company to share a journey and the expenses incurred.

From then on, the magic was quick to happen: passengers and drivers rushed onto the platform, originally known under the name covoiturage.fr and which constantly evolved into the current version.

Of course, it would be totally naive to think that this story ran so smoothly that it never encountered difficulties. The company’s figures read like a crazy rollercoaster ride prior to its current success.

Nicolas tells us that, faced with difficulties, himself and his co-founder managed to find the energy to start again, and to move even closer to users to offer an experience that significantly meets their needs.

Nico’s tips

  • If you think you have a good idea, step up a gear, raise funds and go global. It is highly probable that others have had the same idea, and only those who can operate on a very wide scale will win the race.
  • Find the right co-founder. Yes yes, of course you know that already. Here’s one more story that should urge you along in your quest.
  • Don’t get bogged down in the legal details. Yes, it is important but it should not hinder international expansion. “JUST GO FOR IT”.
  • Surround yourself with mentors, good mentors, the best. A good piece of advice could make all the difference.
  • Push back the limits, always think further, bigger, faster. 

Thank you Nicolas for taking us on this very invigorating ride!

BlaBlaCar: key dates and figures

  • Launch date: September 2006
  • Last venture round: $200 million
  • Audience: 25 million users – 10 million travellers per quarter
  • Employees: 500
  • Facebook fans: 4 million
  • Website: https://www.blablacar.fr


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#FounderStories: Jessy Bernal, co-founder of Doctolib

At the start of the month, we were delighted to welcome Jessy Bernal, co-founder and CTO of Doctolib for NUMA’s monthly Founder Dinner. We would like to thank him again for speaking to us about the incredible adventure that this little French gem has been on.

Doctolib, a little-known story

Meeting up on LinkedIn, joining forces and then going from 3 to 200 employees in the space of two years? This is the very real and a little crazy story of Doctolib, as recounted by its co-founder Jessy Bernal at the last Founder Dinner. This meeting format designed for the start-ups supported by NUMA invites a remarkable entrepreneur once a month, to hear an inspiring story and to give a kick-start to anyone striving for business success.

Jessy’s story fits the bill perfectly.

A graduate of EPITA, Jessy started his career at OCTO Technology. He tells us, very humbly, that he is none other than one of the founders of Massive Music Quiz. You’ve probably heard of this blind test game which brought together several million users in France.

Buoyed by this initial success, he then joined the teams at Skillstar, a project financed by the BetClic Everest Group, to develop the first Skillgames website, on which players can face each other live on television, via the Internet. The venture was not a success.

After a few months working as a freelancer, in 2013, Jessy was contacted via LinkedIn (note to self, update profile) by Stanislas Niox-Chateau who had an idea and was looking for co-founders.

His approach was both clear and surprising: Stanislas proposed to Jessy, and to his school friend Ivan, to “revolutionize the medical sector”.

After a few discussions, Jessy, Ivan and Stanislas began to work together.

The dream team was created, the success story could begin.

Genuine programming prodigies Jessy and Ivan developed an initial version of the product (the famous MVP) in a very short space of time while Stanislas perfected the business model. The principle of Doctolib is simple: making it easier to make an appointment with a healthcare professional.

+ Business model
+ Dream team
= Fund raising.

In the space of two years, the winning trio raised almost €23 million and hired more than 200 employees.


If this happens to you, what should you do?

You, too, could have your (updated) Linkedin profile consulted by a pioneer who asks you to revolutionize an outdated technology.

Jessy shared some tips with the entrepreneurs present at the dinner:


  • Pay special attention to your recruitment: only hire the best, organise several interviews and ask applicants to complete tests. This is obvious but essential: success is very closely linked to the team you create.
  • Define your culture: Jessy admits that it’s difficult to hold culture meetings when you only have a handful of team members. The exercise may appear artificial and there are many other urgent things to deal with. However, giving your start-up this foundation is essential: with it, the structure will stand tall and make great progress. Clearly, it works: Doctolib has taken giant steps. Defining your values means making them official, sharing them and providing group moments with employees (i.e. going out for a drink).
  • Put processes in place. This is inevitable. For a start-up, processes are like props for small plants: totally superfluous at first but then absolutely essential for elegant, and above all efficient, growth.
  • Forge ties as soon as possible with VCs. Don’t wait until you have a totally pampered product to pitch it to potential investors. Your users’ feedback is important, that of your potential shareholders is just as much.
  • Be ready to step into the spotlight. You are now a rock star, that’s the way it’s going to be. So try to be nice to the crowds and find yourself some time to relax away from watchful eyes.

In short, it was really nice, simple and inspiring. Just the kind of chats which leave you full of energy. Thank you Jessy.

Doctolib: key dates and figures:

Launch date: October 2013
Raised funds: €23 million
References: 7000 healthcare providers, 220 clinics, 80 healthcare facilities
Audience: 3.5 million UV/month
Employees: 200
Website: https://www.doctolib.fr/


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Discover the 8 finalists of the first Google Startup Exchange

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the first Google Startup Exchange organized by NUMA, in Paris. The 8 finalists will spend 1 week in immersion among our team, our batch of alumni as well as experts and entrepreneurs, to discover the French market.

Since our beginnings, Google for Entrepreneurs has supported NUMA in many ways. Being member of the GFE Tech Hub Network, we are taking part in the Google Startup Exchange by welcoming startups from other member accelerators, incubators, and coworking spaces of the GFE Tech Hub Network.

What is this exchange about? « Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange is a week-long immersion program that bridges the gap between startups, experts, and new markets.  Each Exchange session brings together entrepreneurs from around the world in a specific industry together to improve their product, gain access to new markets, prepare for funding and meeting potential clients. »

NUMA is currently running the UR link program, focused on the retail industry and Data City program, focused on Smart Cities. These are the first vertical acceleration programs powered by NUMA. That is why for the Google Startup Exchange, we selected 4 startups from the retail industry, and 4 from the Smart City industry. 

We received great applications from more than 20 different countries and we would like to thank all the participants.

And now, time for the winners! Please find below a brief description of the selected startups:


GFE Retail winners


INST-ORE solved the no-links problem for brands & publishers who ant to convert their Instagram followers into more traffic & sales. With their smart bo link, users get straight to the content they want.

countBOX-logoCountBOX – is a service that generates detailed foot traffic statistics. Visitors counting, revenue, conversion ratio, time spent at location, time between visits, gender, age and race – all the essential metrics under your fingertips. They act like offline Google Analytics. They grab data from devices and start delivering insights for your business immediately

Capture d’écran 2016-03-18 à 11_22_34

Effy makes smart scheduling simple. We take in-store data to ensure retail stores have the right staff at the right place, at the right time. This increases the conversion rate, facilitates lean retailing and gives control back to the manager.

Capture d’écran 2016-03-18 à 11_26_54

With Placemeter, retailers can measure in real-time how many people walk by their stores, and how many get inside, effectively providing a real-life “capture rate” or “walk-in rate”. It allows brands to compare the attractivity of their different locations together, among many things.

GFE Smart City winners

ParknavParknav sells real-time data about street-parking availability, mainly to the automotive industry. It is the only “no hardware” scalable solution that covers all streets in a city 24/7, with precision that surpasses 80%.

SmartsenSmartSEN is a sensor and data analytics company focused on providing businesses with technology to acquire and analyze remote sensor data.

wam-logo-with-textWorld Around Me is a local discovery app (on Android and iOS) helping people to find places of interest and local services to eat, drink, shop, stay, pray, stay healthy, move, refuel, access money – anywhere in the world. It uses augmented reality to help people visually orient towards the direction of the place of interest.


BwareIT – Israeli Startup that is developine SmartH2O water meter module and water consumer analytics platform. The SmartH2O IOT water meter can be standelone device attached to any water tap, pipe or hose. In additional SmartH2O module can be OEM to any device.

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NUMA announces opening of NUMA Casablanca

NUMA is continuing down its international path and is to set foot for the first time in North Africa – the French accelerator has announced the opening of NUMA Casablanca, in conjunction with Eiréné4Impact.


Paris/Casablanca, Tuesday the 27th of October, 2015 – In conjunction with Eiréné4Impact, one of the premier organizations supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in Morocco, NUMA has announced the opening of NUMA Casablanca. Hot on the heels of Russia (NUMA Moscow) and India (NUMA Bangalore), Morocco is the third step in a world tour of emerging ecosystems outlined by the French innovation catalyst and, above all, an important first step through the gateway to the African continent.


The Moroccan innovation ecosystem is growing fast. Not only is its political world stable, the country is Africa’s second biggest financial district and has the best internet penetration levels on the continent. As far as Africa is concerned, Morocco is the obvious gateway – with its French-speaking culture, not to mention the strength of its diplomatic and economic relations with the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, together with the growing levels of investment from the United States and the Arab-speaking world – the country provides a profile in keeping with NUMA’s internationalization objectives .The numbers don’t lie, since risk capital investment has multiplied by a factor of ten between the years 2013 and 2014, and the number of startups created annually quintupled between 2012 and 2015.

For French and Moroccan startups, NUMA Casablanca will be a bridge between European and African markets, applications for the first acceleration program at NUMA Casablanca will be launched in November 2015, and the accelerator will open its doors in January 2016.

“Our ambition is to accelerate the growth of fifteen emerging ecosystems by 2019. With this is mind, Africa is of course one of our priority targets: half of the population there is under 25 and they have shown a thirst for entrepreneurship. We are convinced that the innovators of the next decade are to be found on the continent and we aim to set up NUMA branches in two or three African countries,” says Frédéric Oru, Head of International Development at NUMA. “Above and beyond any ideas of the ideal strategic positioning that Morocco represents for France and the rest of Europe, at least with regards to Africa and the Middle East, in Morocco’s capital we have witnessed all the tell-tale signs for an uptick in the entrepreneurial ecosystem – the number of startups, public and private investment – the city’s primed and ready for take-off.”

Leyth Zniber, Founder and President of the foundation Eiréné4Impact, is a living and breathing example. He stood down as head of a large company in order to become one of the first business angels in the country and to start the first holistic platform for high social impact mentoring in entrepreneurship & innovation. “With him,” Oru continues, “we know that NUMA Casablanca has found a proud standard bearer for our values of openness and performance.”

“With its exceptional potential for innovation, together with the shared desire for development, not to mention its economic and diplomatic presence, bursting with Moroccan players all over the continent, Morocco has the potential to become the ideal platform for development and a true laboratory for innovation. To achieve this, it is important for our ecosystem to accelerate its professionalization and its innovation dynamic as much with startups as with the major stakeholders, public and private alike,” says Leyth Zniber.

“Today, with NUMA, we are accelerating our local and regional development. In line with what we’ve been doing here at Eiréné4Impact, this partnership reinforces the dynamic of professionalization within the ecosystem, and will enable us to widen our support for entrepreneurship and also to accelerate our activities in the promotion of innovation, particularly open innovation with Moroccan actors, both public and private,” Leyth Zniber says. “NUMA’s experience will allow us to strengthen North-South communication lines and to make Morocco a platform for South-South collaboration within the whole sub-region. In addition to this, this dual-action will help Eiréné4Impact widen the scope of its know-how leading up to 2017.”

NUMA’s International Development Strategy

About NUMA

NUMA [nu:mə] (Paris 2014) p.n. Neologism formed from the French term for “digital” (numérique) and “human” (humain). NUMA is a “catalyst for innovation”, an emblematic actor for the European digital ecosystem. Created in 2000 under the name of Silicon Sentier, NUMA has built its development on the implementation of pioneering services in the domain of collaborative innovation. Its services include La Cantine, France’s first co-working space, created in 2008, and Le Camping, France’s first startup accelerator, created in 2011, since renamed NUMA Sprint.

NUMA’s unique model is today recognized as the driving force behind the European entrepreneurial and digital ecosystem. In 2015 NUMA received more than 650 applications for its acceleration program and will host 1400 events, receiving over 80 000 visitors per year. More than half of the clients involved in its digital transformation and open innovation programs belong to France’s illustrious CAC 40, and 85% of the 82 startups accelerated so far by NUMA are still going strong.

About Eiréné4Impact

At Eiréné4Impact, we think that the size, speed and need for change with which we are confronted today can only be dealt with using the wealth and diversity of local actors, with the support and collaboration of traditional leaders, private entreprise, governments and development organizations. That is why we have the ambition to develop, within the region of the Middle East and North Africa, a dynamic of innovation and entrepreneurship that is socio-economically integrated, so as to provide concrete answers for the real issues faced by independent entrepreneurs and innovators.

Eiréné4Impact is today Morocco’s premier holistic mentoring platform, with high social and environmental impact in entrepreneurship & innovation and one of the pioneers in the MENA sub-region.

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