Orange Fab’s applications for its fifth edition are open until 29 April. Corinne Lozé, CEO at Orange Luxembourg and Barbara Fangille, head of communications tell us about their expectations, open innovation and the need to be ambitious.
What are the goals for the fifth edition of the Orange Fab programme?
C. L. This year, we are looking for startups active in the metaverse and all themes connected to it, so VR, AR, and AI. We are looking for new experiences in these categories, no matter the sector they are active in. So this can be about communication, shopping experiences, cybersecurity, health, etc. These themes can really be anything, as long as they are connected to virtual reality in some way.
What are the main benefits for startups participating in your programme?
C. L. By participating in our accelerator program, startups not only gain a lot of visibility, they also get access to our client base where they can test their products which is extremely valuable. This is what they keep telling us. If their project is good, we also basically become their client. Furthermore, after participating in our accelerator for 6 months, there is also an option to get a 6-month extension.
What are your expectations for the applicants?
C. L. We want them to transform a great idea into something that is operational, efficient and can be sold at a good price. We also want them to have ambitious ideas and get inspired by what’s happening in Asia. The Metaverse is not going to create itself, it will require innovative ideas and good leadership. Without ambition, it is not going to work.
B. F. Startups should also think along the lines of 5G connectivity and the services it will enable in the future. How can they harness these technologies to make our lives easier? The ideas are all there, you just need to create the right kind of project.
What did you learn from the past editions?
C. L. I learnt that this accelerator programme is very important for Orange, not only externally but also internally. Our staff at Orange really benefit from the opportunity to work on new projects and get exposed to new ideas, it is very enriching for them.
From the startups’ perspective, working with us has really helped them get more visibility on the national and international scale. Previous participants have also said that they really appreciated our feedback because we are honest and even after the programme remained available to them.
Open innovation is an important principle for Orange. Why is that and how do you encourage it?
C. L. For us, it’s really the capacity which pushes our entire team forwards. Relying on a mindset of open innovation makes our teams more agile and helps them test out new ideas. During Covid-19, it also led us to launch a ‘drive’ shop. In the beginning, our employees came up with the idea as a joke mostly but then they managed to set it up in less than 48 hours. I credit this to our mindset of open innovation.
B. F. We encourage it by hiring young people who are dynamic and full of energy. Having a team that is also diverse definitely helps because we get a wider range of perspectives and ideas.
Interested parties can click here to register or find out more.