In the North, the “Ch’tilicon Valley” wants to accelerate job creation

Start-up incubators are generally expected to help start-ups achieve great fundraising, not to do one themselves. However, this is what EuraTechnologies, the Lille campus, which announced on Friday June 24 a round of financing of 24 million euros, is doing.

Main investor, the Mulliez family association, from the dynasty of the same name, from the North, at the head of groups such as Auchan, Norauto or Decathlon. Quite a symbol for this innovation structure which aims to be first and foremost anchored regionally. Its other historical shareholders, the metropolis of Lille, the Hauts-de-France region and Crédit Agricole Nord de France, have also returned to the pot. The sign of support for what some call the “Ch’tilicon Valley” and which has seen the birth of successful companies such as OVH (cloud) or Exotec (robotics).

Territories traumatized by their downgrading

The main purpose of this fundraising is to promote job creation in this territory marked by deindustrialization. EuraTechnologies itself has settled on the former industrial site of one of the largest textile factories in Europe, that of Le Blan Lafont. “Here, we go from one industrial revolution to another [celle du numérique] »pleads Nicolas Brien, at the head of the Lille mixed economy company since the summer of 2021. The campus has been deployed in other industrial wastelands in the region to promote job creation in the new economy.

The incubator also plans to acquire state-of-the-art equipment for several million euros

With this fundraising, the campus has set itself the goal of creating three thousand permanent jobs by 2027 – more than ten thousand in total since its inauguration in 2009 – and to enable the transformation of these territories traumatized by their downgrading. . The presence of public shareholders, majority at 55% after this fundraising, must guarantee to maintain this course. EuraTechnologies intends to enable innovative and viable companies to hatch.

To do this, the incubator will recruit about fifty people in order to reach a workforce of one hundred employees. These new recruits will have to accompany the career of the young shoots who have joined its acceleration programs, which last two years. At the last count, the promotions numbered about two hundred companies a year. The incubator also plans to acquire state-of-the-art equipment for several million euros to attract so-called “deep tech” companies, resulting from research, often with an industrial vocation.

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