[email protected] Launches Its Village Awards

Organized by Crédit Agricole’s Business Accelerator, the European competition gives priority to unexpected, effective and responsible collaborative projects between startups and large groups. The best entries will participate in the Grand Finale in Paris next September.
by: Marc Auxenfants
photo: Zoom
featured: Charles-Louis Machuron, Emilie Bechet and Amélie Madinier

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In the context of the current health and economic crisis, [email protected] resists and persists. Crédit Agricole’s business accelerator and forum for meetings between startups and large companies is launching its second edition of the Village Awards Luxembourg.

The competition recognizes the best collaborative projects between startups and corporates. This year, the event is organized in partnership with the Luxembourg Open Innovation Club (LOIC) (an initiative by the House of Startups) and Silicon Luxembourg.

“This national contest is a concrete way for corporates to showcase their innovation projects in tandem with a startup, while highlighting the ecosystem in terms of Open Innovation”, says Emilie Bechet, Corporate Innovation Manager of the LOIC. “We hope that the competition will encourage additional corporate/startup pairs to apply for the next Village Awards to come!”

Initiated in 2018 by the Le Village by CA network (34 sites in Europe), the competition aims to highlight the business successes of startups, regardless of their sector of activity. 16 regional accelerators of the banking group will take part in the initiative: 14 in France, the other two in Milan and the Grand Duchy.

“It’s an interesting competition that has a good track record and is initiated by a strong corporate.”

Valuing business success

“The aim is to promote business success between startups and corporates”, explains Amélie Madinier, Director of [email protected]

The competition has four distinctions:

  1. Prize for the most effective startup/corporate cooperation;
  2. Award for the Most Unexpected Startup/Large Group Cooperation;
  3. Special prize for the most beautiful responsible collaboration, rewarding the positive impact on the environment and/or society;
  4. Special Jury Mention.

Candidates must submit their applications no later than midnight on Sunday, May 10. Projects must have been launched between January 2019 and March 2020.

“Each startup/great band duo will have to produce a selfie/amateur video pitch, which will then be published on the Village Awards mini-site,” explains Amélie Madinier. “The finalists will be announced on 15 May.

“This is a unique opportunity for startups and large groups to showcase their commercial successes.”

Interesting vintage

When life you gives you lemons, make lemonade! In this pandemic context, the director of [email protected] does not rule out an interesting 2019-2020 vintage, with projects whose impact will never have been as effective, unexpected and responsible as it is today.

At a national level, a jury composed of two successful Luxembourgish entrepreneurs (startups or ex-entrepreneurs) and Charles-Louis Machuron, Founder at Silicon Luxembourg, will select the eight duos. The announcement will be made on 15 May.

“It’s an interesting competition that has a good track record and is initiated by a strong corporate. Many hackathons are organized here and there but keeping the link alive between corporates and startups is also vital at the moment as both parties need each other to innovate and move forward,” comments Charles-Louis Machuron.

At the European level, a second jury comprising of Yves Vilaginés (head of the Entrepreneurs and Special Reports department at Les Echos) and two of last year’s winning business leaders will meet on 18 May to choose the 24 best projects from 16 villages.

In a second phase, these same jurors will select only four duets (one per category), which will then take part in the grand finale on Thursday 24 September at the Village in Paris. Originally scheduled for 18 June, the event has been postponed by one quarter due to the pandemic.

Unique opportunity

“This is a unique opportunity for startups and large groups to showcase their commercial successes and the great innovations they have put in place over the last few months and weeks,” says Amélie Madinier. “The winning duos will have the opportunity to present themselves in the pages of ‘Echos Entrepreneurs’.

Next September, the confinement should be lifted. As in previous years, the champions will have the opportunity to meet partners and potential clients, among the 200 people invited to the event.

“This visibility will therefore not only be in the media”, explains the director of [email protected] “It is also a great opportunity for startups and major groups to meet and develop business relationships at the Village Awards ceremony and to make themselves known to the Crédit Agricole Group’s innovation ecosystem”.

To apply: click here.

Link to the Village Awards website: click here.

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