Have you already read these forecasts? Take a few minutes to read them again, slowly this time. Let what they actually mean sink in.
In 2030, the world is projected to face a 40% global water deficit.
More than 40% of today’s jobs will have disappeared.
Climate change alone will have created 100 million additional people living below poverty lines.
To tackle these dangers, mission-driven tech entrepreneurs, the ones who are part of a bigger picture, contribute to the solution.
I know that they are able to develop and roll out sustainable solutions, taking part in solving some of mankind’s key problems. I also know that the development and implementation of these global solutions to global problems will produce future companies on the Unicorn List.
NUMA is striving to seize and foster this opportunity, by empowering mission-driven tech entrepreneurs to solve the global problems of 2030. It is time for us to demonstrate our drive to support the entrepreneurs who provide answers to the key problems of the future. Education, healthcare, food, mobility, energy, work, transparency and security: we will now devote our work to issues requiring urgent action and a relevant technological response. From now on, this will be our mission.
The obsession with value creation
In practice, this mission follows on from and confirms what NUMA has always been about. From the outset, I focused on making NUMA a tool of global action, a value creation tool that is constantly reorganised for maximum impact and to heighten its effectiveness. NUMA’s history and structure have changed as we have gained awareness collectively, as our beliefs have been strengthened and as value creation opportunities have arisen for us.
In 2002, following the “Internet bubble”, I worked to snap the Silicon Sentier association out of lethargy, to bring together digital entrepreneurs, so that they could rebuild their career paths and help each other, to assist them in continuing their actions and impact on the world.
In 2008, a movement was launched around Silicon Sentier. Regular events fostered the entrepreneurial drive and created business and development opportunities. This movement was occasional, sporadically meeting for events. It needed a permanent feature. This is how La Cantine came about in 2008, a hybrid space for events and co-working, a common house for the digital ecosystem in Paris.
In 2011, the environment had changed, events were held on a daily basis across Paris and a generation of entrepreneurs had gone by. These seasoned entrepreneurs created a baseline and some became inspiring role models, setting the milestones of French-style entrepreneurship. This excellence and drive to share their experience were the foundation for an acceleration model, for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. The result was Le Camping, the first start-up accelerator in Paris. Its goal was to add performance to ambition, and ambition to performance.
In 2013, the dawn of this faster, more demanding, cross-cutting entrepreneurial era, which hit the most stable industries, had become a matter of course. Collectively, it was certain that beyond technological issues, organisational and management models were being challenged.
I clearly remember the opening address at NUMA on 14 November 2013 when I asked the question out loud: how can common ground be found between major companies and start-ups? How can we prevent society being divided between the old and new economy? Thousands of companies ran the risk of folding if they did not fully gauge the importance of entrepreneurial culture, while thousands of entrepreneurs ran the risk of failing if the ecosystem surrounding them did not adapt to support them. NUMA’s value proposition was to open wide its doors and model to identify common competitive levers, for the benefit of all, for Paris and France’s global outreach.
Go Inter and Go for Profit
There is no doubt that the model that we had built up in Paris created value for the entire innovation ecosystem and was unique. We received an increasing number of calls from accelerators and cities wishing to duplicate our model. The alternatives offered to them were divisive or focused on only a section of the ecosystem. I therefore decided to launch NUMA’s expansion on an international scale, by opening offices in Moscow, Bangalore, Casablanca, Barcelona, Mexico City, then Berlin and New York this year.
To make this development possible, NUMA became a company. This was also a chance to show that the ideological straightjacket that opposes economic performance and general-interest action is not viable. Economic performance and ambition must serve a broader action than its own advancement. Economic performance cannot be uncoupled from strong values and a drive to make the world a better place.
It is now 2017. The world is full of amazing initiatives to serve entrepreneurs, the digital transformation has become a seemingly infinite market, and the community approach is now an obvious choice for value creation. So, today, in which areas can NUMA still enhance its value creation?
I am convinced that we can enhance our value creation by showing our willingness to steer our ecosystem and by stopping to be agnostic.
NUMA receives some 6000 applications each year worldwide from entrepreneurs with varying degrees of maturity and ambition. Some stand out. They stand out for a shared quality: they live for their mission. They want to take action to improve the world around them, to put their energy and performance into solving global problems.
One mission before one million
I therefore decided to clarify our mission: NUMA empowers mission-driven tech entrepreneurs to solve the global challenges of 2030. I am convinced that in doing so, we will be supporting the future companies of the Unicorn List, for two reasons.
Successful implementation must be underpinned by an absolute requirement of concentration and simplification for the mission. The mission which guides entrepreneurs is the best asset to ensure successful implementation;
The global problems of 2030 are enormous value creation fields, in which entrepreneurs will be able to build up profitable and long-lasting companies.
Remember, according to current forecasts, in 2030, global demand for water will exceed 40% of Earth’s capacity. More than 40% of today’s jobs will have disappeared. Climate change alone will have created 100 million additional poor people.
It is my firm belief, which steers NUMA, that the technological entrepreneurs guided by their mission could prove these projections wrong through their performance.
Behind NUMA’s new mission lies a little naivety and hope and humility in abundance. We are not the first to tackle these issues. We absolutely hope that we will not be the last, the problems we wish to solve are so broad that the entire economic fabric could work to solve them and there would still be plenty of scope for further improvement.
If you think that we can walk part of the way together to support the technological entrepreneurs who make it their mission to meet the global challenges of 2030, please get in touch!