ENSCI-Les Ateliers was created on the basis of a teaching model designed to work hand-in-hand with business in the training of highly talented designers. Partnership is central to this vocation, because it helps to familiarise students with the world of business and prepare them for professional practice in that world.
ENSCI is a shareholder in the Lutech SATT* technology transfer acceleration company, and since 2013 has been supporting the career plans of students and recent graduates by producing and protecting their prototypes, and identifying companies keen to develop their projects.
ENSCI has introduced a combined course and incubator programme that gives young designers the vocabulary and references they need to understand the world of business and enter into dialogue with it.
The course provides students with the tools they need, as well as a framework within which to fully develop their role as designers working with innovative projects, whether they are driven by their own entrepreneurship, that of a third party or are working in the context of client-driven projects (intrapreneurship, etc.).
Known as the Grand Bain, the incubator provides a new route to promoting the role, impact and work of ENSCI-Les Ateliers designers as part of entrepreneurial and innovation projects, regardless of the form they take.
Around 10 ENSCI-originated projects have already benefited from the support of this incubator. All need support and assistance.
This incubator acts more as a ‘pre-incubator’ to kick-start innovative company creation projects by offering neutral, supervisory support.
This support system involves an ENSCI designer who may be the originator of the idea, or who wishes to work with an external project leader responsible for originating the idea.
Going beyond the preparation of a formal proposal, the development of a prototype and the validation of a financial model by identifying the initial clients, the support provided by ENSCI is based on providing coaching for the designer/entrepreneur and a partner co-founder with a complementary profile.
The Grand Bain works through its network to focus its efforts on meeting the requirements of young entrepreneurs: identifying partners and convincing initial financial, industrial and/or business partners. With this in mind, the incubator is designed as a hub within ENSCI where young entrepreneurs can meet others in the same ecosystem (other further education institutions, incubators, investment funds, companies, etc.). It is led and coordinated by people with extensive experience in startup incubators and the management of design and innovation projects.
Introduced in 2017 and developed continually since, it currently supports around ten projects.
TWO TYPES OF PROFILE
— ENSCI design students or graduates wishing to develop their career plan on the basis of their work (design work, ideas, degree projects, etc.) or join a startup project initiated by others
— Non-ENSCI startup entrepreneurs wishing to bring in an ENSCI designer as a potential partner
THE SERVICES OFFERED
— Support: strategic coaching and mentoring
— Qualified Networking: the opportunity for project leaders and complementary profiles to meet and build teams of partners
— Co-working: a workspace within ENSCI
— Experts: access to prototyping experts and workshop services (subject to conditions)
— Community: interaction and meetings between entrepreneur designers (including alumni)
— Visibility: communication around projects in association with the image of ENSCI, and via its communication channels (a dedicated page on the ENSCI website, promoting incubator projects, a dedicated Facebook page, etc.)
— Networking: with partner incubators for expansion, partner educational institutions to identify complementary profiles, major company and local authority partners of ENSCI in their capacity as potential clients, public-sector and private-sectors funding sources, etc.
— Resources: Dassault Système (facilities for accessing programmes, expertise, solutions, etc.), PÉPITE HESAM (student entrepreneur status, etc.)
— Conferences / workshops / training: currently being scheduled
The Grand Bain incubator is neutral, supportive and has no financial stake in any of its projects. Its business model is built on the support of partners that share its values and are committed to assisting the formation of ‘startups by design’.
DASSAULT SYSTEMS, SATT LUTECH and PEPITE HESAM