Théophraste: Building relationships within the company and with the start-up ecosystem

The French Sud Ouest newspaper in Bordeaux is inviting local start-ups to share office space and resources from within the organisation to help accelerate their development.

by WAN-IFRA Staff | July 20, 2017

Bordeaux’s Sud Ouest newspaper launched Théophraste in 2016, reaching out to the local start-up scene. They hoped to prompt new products and ways of working via a “shock of cultures” by supporting and accelerating business development, and fostering collaboration between the company and the start-ups.

This project has been possible thanks to a win-win partnership with the french incubator 1Kubator. Its Bordeaux’s incubation program is hosted by Sud Ouest and 1Kubator has in turn helped Sud Ouest to design and run its acceleration program Théophraste.

Since then, Théophraste has been broadening its activities, from just testing products to also selling them. The next step will be to valorise the services they offer the start-ups, by taking a stake in the companies that are being developed through their accelerator. So far, the incubation and acceleration programs have been both a cheap and useful investment for Sud Ouest, in terms of providing workspace, and access to their network and people inside the company.

They are learning every step of the way, explains Guillaume Vasse, CDO & CMO at Sud Ouest:

“This is not a project we imagined in every detail. We are learning everyday. First, the only concern was how to house the start-ups, now we’ll have to start figuring out how to stay in contact with them.”


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This is one of the cases collected as part of the ongoing Media Innovation Mapping project, a collaboration between WAN-IFRA’s Global Alliance for Media Innovation and the Media Innovation Studio at UCLan. Read about the 30+ Media Labs we talked to so far or contact us to share your story.

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