MyScienceWork is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary scientific portal providing free access to a catalogue of over 30 million articles, and serves an international community of half a million researchers and science enthusiasts.
MyScienceWork is an ambitious, international project. After starting in Paris, the founders quickly decided to relocate to Luxembourg in 2012. Luxembourg’s economic environment, dynamic approach to startups and international influence all helped convince the founders to set up the company there.
The startup is supported financially by Luxembourgish shareholders and an investment fund. In 2013, it was chosen by the Government of Luxembourg to participate in the Jeune Entreprise Innovante (Young, Innovative Business) program. The almost €600,000 in funding MyScienceWork received, contributed significantly to the company’s growth. The technical and R&D teams are based at the Luxembourg headquarters, as is all of the company’s intellectual property.
Luxembourg helped MyScienceWork expand internationally by choosing it to participate in an incubator program based in the U.S. The program at Plug and Play Tech Center gave the team the opportunity to spend three months in the heart of Silicon Valley in 2014. “This was a decisive moment in the evolution of the company. The program let us test our business model for the Polaris institutional archives — a turnkey solution personalized for research centers and institutions — on the American market. These platforms combine an archive for dissemination and promotion of their research with professional analytical and communication tools,” said Ph.D. CEO Virginie Simon.
Following this positive experience in the Valley, in October 2014, MyScienceWork announced the opening of its San Francisco subsidiary. In just a few months, the company had acquired some 20 references, equipping prestigious institutions like Stanford and UCSF with its Polaris solution. The company offers one of the largest free databases, open to anyone and everyone to consult, annotate and download its documents. “Having a branch in California is a necessity to be able to break into this market. Being located in Silicon Valley lets you be at the epicenter of technological innovation, constantly absorb new ideas and, especially, to move fast, very fast!” praised Ms. Simon.
Ms. Simon also discussed how Luxembourgish startups are perceived in the Valley: “Startups from Luxembourg are thought very well of in Silicon Valley. Having your company headquartered in Luxembourg is clearly a positive point. Americans are very attentive to the political and economic stability of a foreign startup’s country of origin when it opens a branch in Silicon Valley. Investors, entrepreneurs, bankers and other American players see Luxembourg as very dynamic and dependable on the economic level, which, of course, is an advantage for us.”
According to Ms. Simon: “Luxembourg already attracts a lot of startups and generates a great deal of innovation. To become a major startup hub, the whole country, that is, across its large companies and centers for research and innovation, should put even more trust in its startups. That means giving them more chances to generate contracts and create strategic partnerships.”