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​3 startups team together to win the call for projects in “Sharing services for Industries

Sustainable mobility
05/02/2016

ENGIE and its partners Rouen Normandy Invest and Seinari launched a call for projects for “Pooling services and utilities for industries” in June 2015 as part of Normandy French Tech. A consortium of three startups worked together to provide a single application which has now won the call.

The call for projects emerged from a need expressed by Fabienne Corruble, ENGIE’s regional delegate for Haute Normandie, to develop networking and sharing services and/or utilities in business and industrial districts. The development of this kind of collaborative economy could have several consequences: both economic, since sharing is cheaper, and societal, leading to the revitalization of local areas and increasing the number of exchanges within them.

The call for projects asked applicants to develop a platform with an initial base of 3 modules and the possibility of adding more:
• The possibility of sharing or exchanging resources, along the lines of Craigslist or Le Bon Coin
• The possibility of pooling purchases such as with "Groupon"
• A shared events calendar

On the latter point, Fabienne Corruble noted that there is currently no tool that allows the various stakeholders in a business district to share information about the events they host.

One of the ten responses to the call for projects rose immediately to the top, first and foremost because it was submitted by three startups from Rouen who wanted to provide a single and thus more comprehensive response. By doing this, the three startups also integrated the concept of sharing into their actual application.

The 3 startups involved are CreativeData, a group of data specialists; Devolis, who lead IT projects; and Arcange, a communications agency.
The project is currently seeking funding from institutional partners, particularly from the Paris Seine Normandie association. It will be the first collective action conducted at the level of the Seine Axis.

At the same time, the team is refining how to develop the project and working on its business model, including the addition of other "bricks" to meet other needs: carpooling for employees, a digital concierge service, childcare, etc.
Ultimately, the tool will be targeted to businesses as well as employees within a business or industrial district, and will also be used to collect information about their needs and to provide shared answers.

Operational development will begin as soon as the funding round is completed. After that, ENGIE will support the team in testing how to commercialize the tool. It will be tested in the industrial zone of the Grand Port Maritime du Havre with the Association of Companies of the Seine Estuary (AUPAES).

After the test phase, the short term goal is to duplicate this kind of "pooling hub" across a number of economic zones in Normandy and on the Paris-Seine-Normandy axis.

Source: Christine Leroy