Law firm Wildgen celebrates the first anniversary of the Wildgen 4 Innovation program, its legal hub for startup businesses. Partner and Head of IP/TMT, Emmanuelle Ragot looks back on the highlights of this first year and shares the most popular legal questions asked by startups.
You’re celebrating the first year of Wildgen 4 Innovation. What stands out to you from the year?
The best moments were at 3 levels: the motivation of the employees of the firm, the partnerships concluded and the support for startups itself.
The confidence and strong motivation of the firm and especially our team of 5 people dedicated to the Legal Hub for Startup Businesses made it possible for us to perform real substantive work for entrepreneurs and ensure effective responsiveness. Involvement in the project was a unique source of enrichment.
We forged partnerships with major players in the public and private sectors of the ecosystem who came to us in view of the promising results of Wildgen 4 Innovation. We are happy to now be an in-house partner at nyuko.
Finally, supporting innovative and exciting startups and guiding them in their success left a mark on me. As examples, we should mention the first €640,000 fundraising secured by SESAMM, a very promising FinTech startup. There were also many successful BioTech and GreenTech projects, Wildgen’s award at the first Mind & Market forum for Braingineering Technologies, the monitoring of imaginative projects for Zeilt Productions, iNUI Studio and its “digital signage,” and finally a 100% success rate in our litigation in the area of intellectual property.
Compared to the initial program plans, did you make any adjustments or specific changes?
Our original program was very thoughtful and based on over 15 years of support to startups and the feedback we’ve received. We have a lot of experience in Luxembourg on matters concerning intellectual property, corporate law and litigation. So, from the start, we formalized our working methods and established a team, creating a disruptive model compared to other law firms. Of course, we will innovate and adapt to changing demands of the ecosystem as they arise.
The most frequently asked questions were regarding corporate management, IP management strategy, fundraising and exit.
What were the most frequently asked questions by entrepreneurs and startups?
There were a lot of very complex and challenging questions, varied in terms of subject matter. Many issues arose regarding various branches of law. The most frequently asked questions were regarding corporate management, IP management strategy, fundraising and exit. But each startup has specific demands related to its shareholders, its technology sector and its market segment, which means every entrepreneur has different questions and matters specific to them that they need to handle.
Our goal through this program is to simply and truly contribute to the Luxembourg startup nation.
What are the goals of the program for the coming years?
Our knowledge of startup initiatives taken by Luxembourg in various countries, for example, the economic mission to Israel and Startup Nation in October 2015, and our multicultural team of lawyers within Wildgen, which includes 15 nationalities, position us as a leading law firm in supporting startups.
Our goal through this program is to simply and truly contribute to the Luxembourg startup nation. We have the ability to receive foreign innovative startups and present them to institutional partners of the ecosystem. We will continue our efforts in this direction. We will continue to represent our startup ecosystem abroad through conferences, such as the one we attended in April 2015 in San Diego, California. Our ambition is to strengthen the interactions and relationships between the startups in our community with those in other communities.
Luxembourg continues to be positioned as an ICT – Big Data hub.
What is your feeling on the evolution of Luxembourg’s startup ecosystem and what trends do you think are emerging in the Grand Duchy?
The growth of the Luxembourg startup ecosystem has been quite strong judging from the feedback we receive from our clients. However, we regret that there is still a lack of talent and technology skills when it comes to certain sectors, and that the company formation phase entails a rather arduous administrative process.
There is an increased awareness that innovation must certainly be infused into the service and industrial sectors. The stigma of failure in entrepreneurship seems to be disappearing and entrepreneurs are more readily accepting the fact that success rarely comes after the first attempt.
Luxembourg is shining more than ever as a hub for foreign talent. FinTech is becoming a very important sector in Luxembourg. The Biotech and GreenTech sectors are seeing heavy investments and these sectors will make a significant and direct impact on our lifestyles in the near future. Luxembourg continues to be positioned as an ICT – Big Data hub.