Schoolab opens a building in Paris dedicated to innovation and entrepreneurship
An incubator? An accelerator? A coaching program? It’s difficult to reduce the Schoolab project in Paris to just one of these categories. Its founders speak of an “Innovation Studio” that has been bringing together – for 10 years – students, startups and businesses, uniting them around innovative projects. In mid-September, the company inaugurated an 1,800 m2 (19,000 ft2) space in the heart of Paris, entirely dedicated to Open Innovation. Let’s take a guided tour.
Good physical stamina and a good memory. These are the two essential qualities for anyone who wants to follow Julien Fayet in the corridors of his new building on rue de Cléry. Good stamina so that you don’t lose sight of the Schoolab co-founder when he climbs, at a rapid clip, the building’s 6 flights of stairs; a good memory to try to remember the names of all the people you encounter during that rapid climb. Beyond athletic performance, visiting with Fayet allows you to take measure of how the project’s initial ambition – consolidating the local innovation ecosystem – has already been perfectly achieved here. And in less than three months after the ribbon cutting. “We feel a very strong sense of belonging,” said Fayet. “Here, we learn by doing; we innovate because we try things together. In fact, our absolute requirement when we select new entrants is their collaborative spirit. There is no backstabbing here.”
Provoking encounters between innovative teams
So, inside the Schoolab building, you meet students, student-entrepreneurs from the Starter accelerator, co-workers from large groups who came to acculturate new innovation practices, the Yellow Lab teams (the digital branch of the French post office) and, of course, many startups. This diversity of occupants means that the building should promote not only the success of hosted projects, but also the birth of new services and innovative products. “This place allows people to meet each other. A project may fail, it’s not the end of the world. What’s interesting is that, sometimes, when a project finishes, teams are recomposed around new ideas.” This concept could soon spread outside the Paris Region. The Schoolab team plans, in the medium term, to duplicate their model on other continents. And they will certainly succeed, as Julien Fayet clearly still has stamina to spare.
|Schoolab in a nutshell
Address: 21 rue de Cléry, Paris, 2è arrondissement
More information: here