Orange is supporting the growth of European start-ups
Orange is convinced that startups are an essential driving force for European innovation.
Today, there are over 600,000 start-ups across Europe. In the first half of 2015, they raised 6.9 billion dollars of funding, up 86% from 2014. Orange is supporting this dynamic development for European startups through several support programs.
The European Commission has also adopted various initiatives to facilitate the development of start-ups and help entrepreneurs with a view to boosting jobs and growth. In connection with the digital single market, the European Union has facilitated cooperation between European start-ups, businesses, investors and the training world since 2014. The aim is to help start-ups to raise funds and establish themselves on international markets. The Horizon 2020 plan has set aside 2.8 billion euros of subsidies for European start-ups.
Open and cooperative innovation
Orange's actions in relation to start-ups are part of an “open innovation” approach targeting innovations in our infrastructures and services, focused on customer needs and uses. Cooperating with a network of innovative start-ups makes it possible to create strong value-added applications and content that will benefit from the complementary features and agility offered by the start-ups.
Orange has launched its own fund, Orange Digital Ventures, which aims to identify and support start-ups in their early stage development. With a budget of 100 million euros, Orange Digital Ventures funds – through minority investments – start-ups providing innovative solutions, disruptive technologies or new business models, focusing in particular on new connectivity, cloud and data services for businesses, as well as payments and the internet of things. This support covers start-ups across all regions.
Alongside this, the Orange Partner program enables developers to have access to Orange's expertise and infrastructures. For instance, a dozen programming interfaces are made available to the ecosystem with a view to creating partnerships and encouraging innovation, particularly for the Cloud or M2M services.
Orange Fab program
In addition, Orange has also been accelerating and developing innovative start-ups internationally since 2013 through its Orange Fab program, present in 11 of the most dynamic digital ecosystems (US, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Senegal, Ivory Coast, etc.). Over a three-month period, Orange helps develop products and services, while offering start-ups logistical support, access to its markets and its partners' markets, or even funding. In February 2016, 150 start-ups benefited from Orange Fab's support.
Orange Fab France enables start-ups based in France to set up commercial partnerships with business units and benefit from targeted advice from 50 experts and mentors, as well as up to 15,000 euros of funding. Orange Fab Poland makes available 40 engineers and analysts as well as experts from the world of telecommunications to help start-ups select and develop their products.
Through its various programs, Orange has set itself a goal to provide support for 500 startups worldwide by 2020. During the recent Viva Technology event in Paris, Orange was able to present its current partnerships with various start-ups.