What is startup scouting? As companies grow, they sometimes lose their agility but there are a growing number of startups positioning themselves in cutting-edge markets, using ultra-reactive technologies. Startup scouting is the link that brings these two worlds together. It is in this segment that Novable – a contraction of “enable” and “innovation” – is positioned. Laurent Kinet and Olivier Beaujean, founders of Novable, launched it out of this desire to use artificial intelligence sourcing to serve companies looking for innovation.
by: Aurélie Mohr-Boob
featured: Laurent Kinet
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Why bring corporates and startups together?
A company may want to get closer to startups for several reasons. First of all, for innovation monitoring (anticipating the future, disruptive shocks and ensuring a technological watch, for instance) but also to add the skills of a more agile structure and establish a partnership in subcontracting. It may also want to take shares in promising startups (corporate venture capital) and this can go as far as mergers and acquisitions to accelerate the group’s growth. These are all reasons that led Laurent Kinet and his partner Olivier Beaujean to create Novable. They founded Swan in the early 2000s (an artificial intelligence platform for marketing services aimed at prospects), which was acquired in January 2017 by the Swedish company Bisnode. At the same time, they set up a private equity fund which allowed them to enter the startup ecosystem from the inside. Novable was born out of this desire to use artificial intelligence sourcing to serve companies looking for innovation.
“Novable offers corporate clients an ultra-precise sourcing platform thanks to algorithms crawling the websites of startups and machine learning, based on a written brief.”
Laurent Kinet, co-founder of Novable presents his concept as follows: “Databases and linking do exist, but today, it is done in a traditional way, without structure or technology”. Until now, companies looking for solutions had little choice: B2B events, subscriptions to a database platform, consulting… The same search requested by two different companies will give the same results. “Convenient, but not personalized. Corporate strategies are very specific. “Novable offers corporate clients an ultra-precise sourcing platform thanks to algorithms crawling the websites of startups and machine learning, based on a written brief. This intelligence, which is continuously updated, makes it possible to identify the most relevant startups to meet their needs. “Our technology starts from the identification of the company. We save them precious time by applying the principle of Pareto’s law*. It’s not a consulting mission. It’s much more efficient than a database search: we can have a match on the maturity of the startup, their customers, and the projects they are working on.”
“Currently, Novable has five people, including two founders, and hopes to create two more positions by the end of the year.”
Novable was created at the end of 2019. The tech startup is currently in its launch phase in Belgium, France and Luxembourg and is being beta tested with several companies. By the end of March, Novable hopes to have around ten customers and to launch the marketing of its tool in the second half of the year, via a fundraising campaign. “Luxembourg responds well because the country is “startup friendly” with a dense and innovative ecosystem. There are many initiatives between the state and the players in place, more than in Wallonia. “Currently, Novable has five people, including two founders, and hopes to create two more positions by the end of the year.”