L’Escalator, a new incubator created in November 2020 by Maurice Lévy, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Publicis, aims to help launch entrepreneurs “who might not have funding or contacts, but have great ideas and tremendous motivation.” LVMH has joined top tier partners supporting this adventure to encourage French entrepreneurship.
Each year L’Escalator will welcome two cohorts of 15 to 20 entrepreneurs to its offices in the Paris suburb of Levallois. The incubator is open to everyone, regardless of their age, background or degrees. It seeks to support projects at every stage, whether still just ideas or already marketing their products or services. In February, L’Escalator kicked off its first year by choosing a shortlist of 50 candidates, selected from among 450 applicants. They will next prepare a video pitch of their idea, before a live pitch to a jury in March, comprising the new incubator’s members and partners, including LVMH.
“I’m incredibly impressed by the number and quality of the projects submitted. If you want to understand why creating this incubator was absolutely essential, look no further than the candidates. It’s really too bad we need to eliminate some, I really would have liked to welcome all of them. I want to thank our partners and all those who have supported us to bring this to fruition,” said Maurice Lévy, founder of L’Escalator.
The average age of the 50 candidates shortlisted is 32. The majority of the business ideas involve food, employment and business services, sports, education, culture and finance. The final list of projects slated to join the incubator will be announced in March. The first L’Escalator group will benefit from one year of support, including coaching, mentoring and contacts. Thanks to this support period, the incubator aims to help the startups grow into flourishing new businesses. Free co-working space, IT equipment and training from experts are designed to give the entrepreneurs every chance for success.
Commenting on the LVMH Group’s support for L’Escalator, Bernard Arnault said: “LVMH’s social responsibility includes helping young people who embark on entrepreneurial adventures to succeed. Despite their imagination, talent and know-how, some of them face obstacles. We will be there to give them a boost, to support them, to provide contacts that many of them do not have and to give them a chance to thrive. Maurice Lévy has had another brilliant idea and LVMH is delighted to be a partner. Equal opportunity, social mobility, business success and inclusion are all values that we share and promote across our Group.”