Safran supports start-ups, sources of inspiration
Promoting alliances between large and young growth companies: this is what the “David with Goliath” program, initiated by the RAISE Endowment Fund for Growth in France, sets out to do. Safran is an active partner.
The RAISE Endowment Fund and Safran University set up a partnership between promising start-ups and the Group last January. The objective was to have them learn from each other by sharing business cultures, working methods and good practices. Safran has incorporated this initiative into a dedicated training program for its young managers.
The “David with Goliath” program aims to help start-ups develop their projects in the long term and is based on combining the youth of a start-up with the strength and experience of a large group. For Safran, this involved pairing employees with young companies and having them work together in a win-win relationship. Over a six-month period, teams from different Safran companies took part in this program. At the conclusion of this period, the Group employees had new proposals, ideas or ways of working acquired during the process to share with their colleagues.
A successful outcome
What were the benefits of this experience? The participants emphasize the appetite for risk and the agility that characterize start-ups: “In large groups, we often have to manage several processes. Over time, this can increase the inertia of the system. Supporting a start-up like 2Spark (specialized in change management, editor’s note), reminds us how to modify our mindset and think ‘outside of the box’”, comments a program director at Safran Aircraft Engines.
Another participant testified to just how rewarding the experience was: “Now, when I hear about a start-up that could bring value to the Group, I try to match up the internal teams and the start-up to facilitate contact and even find the budget! I’m also trying to be more innovative in how I work, to not stop at the first hurdle and think more in terms of ‘opportunity’ than ‘risks’”, explained a management control manager at Safran Landing Systems.
As for the start-ups, they learn a lot from these new experiences (developing internationally, structuring an internal process, etc.) and gain new contacts: “The impact of the program is undeniable, it enabled us to find the right contacts, to have in-house sponsors (through the pairing system), and see doors opening up to us thanks to this support!”, says Christophe Laire, founder of Ugloo, a start-up specialized in data backup.
Another interesting aspect of the program is the human dimension. As Frédéric Gagnaire, founder of the start-up Datapole (specialized in environmental solutions, editor’s note) puts it: “What stands out for us in particular from this scheme is Safran’s goodwill towards us since the beginning of the program.”
- View the “Teaming up on innovation” page on the Safran portal
- Watch the “Open Innovathon Safran – Konica Minolta” video