An incubator has been initiated at the Central Campus of ISU to accommodate start-ups. The first start-ups have installed themselves but still a few offices are available. The creation was based upon a survey with ISU alumni. This study revealed that 80% of the recent alumni were in favor of such an ISU Incubator.
It was therefore decided to create a local ecosystem in the first place to allow to provide an incubation service to alumni at the ISU campus.
The strong advantage of this localization are the resident staff but, at least equally important the many visiting lecturers. This provides not only an interesting source for advice, but also, in the case of Agency and industry related persons, a potential relationship with clients.
Once the project is approved either via ESA-BIC or via the local funding option (which is a choice of the start-up), the start-up is offered accommodation in a dedicated part of the ISU Building. A number of offices are available, between 15 and 27m2 depending on the needs. All the offices are equipped with basic furniture.
A rental agreement of 2 years is foreseen and the incubatee will benefit from preferential tariffs thanks to the support of the local community, i.e. the Eurometropole of Strasbourg for ISU start-ups.
In order to become part of the local ecosystem and benefit from local support, the start-up has to be registered in this phase as a local company.
ISU has for this purpose organized a template for company registration and, if necessary, working permit organization and can refer to a specialized local legal office.
Additional facilities such as a shared meeting room and audiovisual equipment are available, as well as access to the ISU building as a mailing address (e.g. for package deliveries). Other shared services like reception and IT support can be obtained from ISU at favorable conditions.
During this 2 years-period, the start-up will be supported by the whole ecosystem (ISU, locals, government bodies like BPI) to make the project successful. The incubation period can leverage up to incrementally 200K€ from public grants over a period of two years and more from private partners.
The ISU incubator will mainly assist you in the technical proof of concept whereas the partner organization, SEMIA, will provide guidance on how to mature a startup (in particular in the case of a B2C component). This combined support will allow you to rapidly develop and scale up your endeavor. An important aspect during incubation is the access to numerous visiting faculty for advice or even business relations. In addition, several start-ups have benefitted from the presence of high-level ISU students either for internships or even for recruitment.