With teleworking the new normal, teams at La Maison des Startups LVMH, the Group’s incubator at the Station F campus, have reinvented standard practices. On April 21 the program welcomed a fourth group of 25 new startups online. Adapting this key event on the LVMH innovation agenda, which generally takes place face-to-face, the program segued to online alternatives to let the startups introduce themselves and begin their first coaching sessions.
Innovation is deeply embedded in the DNA of the LVMH Group, distinctively shaping its long-term success. One of the pillars of this strategy is La Maison des Startups LVMH, the Group’s incubator at Station F in Paris, the world’s largest startup campus. Launched in 2017, the initiative accelerates cross-fertilization between the worlds of tech and luxury to help them together create the customer experience of tomorrow. Every six months the program welcomes 25 new startups to its space at Station F to mentor them and deepen their collaboration with LVMH Maisons.
With France in lockdown since March 17 and the Station F campus closed, La Maison des Startups LVMH realigned its agenda. Demonstration sessions, which numerous LVMH teams around the world watched last year, were transformed into a series of e-workshops addressing business issues created by the coronavirus crisis, drawing a large audience among LVMH staff from 16 countries.
On April 21 La Maison des Startups LVMH welcomed a new cohort of 25 startups that were introduced to the Group during a special webinar on May 7. The first few months of support will also take place exclusively online, along with initial contacts with LVMH’s 75 Maisons. This adjustment was enthusiastically welcomed by the startups. “Everything looks very promising and ambitious. We’ve already met with over a dozen Maisons, and LVMH teams are completely available to help us better understand the different contexts and issues faced by individual Maisons and the Group in general,” says Olivier Cotinat, founder and CEO of Tapbuy, a startup specialized in mobile e-commerce interfaces.
Despite the constraints created by Covid-19, the launch of this 4th session at La Maison des Startups LVMH definitely maintained a rapid pace. All the stakeholders view this period as an amazing source of opportunities. “Constraints are what drive innovation. Crises have always spawned giants and disruptive ideas. We’re in the midst of an absolute paroxysm of constraints and we’ll need to rethink our models to make them more sustainable and responsible,” Oliver Cotinat adds.
Martin Lehec, Sales Director of the Urb-it high-end delivery service, concurs: “I’m convinced that this crisis is a tremendous opportunity. The uncertainties facing the world and the retail of tomorrow mean we need to totally rethink deliveries. We believe we have to go even further in redefining delivery as an extension of the in-store experience.”