“This fund will be a major accelerator in the development of our incubator’s start-ups, and I am very pleased that our alumni are mobilizing to support the formidable dynamic of entrepreneurship and innovation at Ecole Polytechnique.”
President of Ecole polytechnique
"Seeing the Alumni community gather around such an initiative, and pass on their experience, fills me with enthusiasm! Together we will deploy tomorrow’s companies."
President of AX
"Promoting entrepreneurship and innovation is a flagship mission of the Ecole Polytechnique Foundation, in line with our School’s ambitions. It is therefore only natural that we support Polytechnique Ventures, which strengthens the entrepreneurial dynamism of our ecosystem"
President of FX
History and environment
Since the opening in 2011 of the Master in Entrepreneurship, now the X HEC Berkeley Master, the creation in 2014 of the School's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Department, and the opening in 2016 of the X-Drahi-Novation Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the system lacked a seed fund.
Under the stewardship of the School's Board of Directors, with the support of the Alumni Association of Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole Polytechnique Foundation, this fund was created from the meeting between:
- an offer : the desire expressed by the Alumni to support the young X entrepreneurs, and more broadly the School’s dynamics in technological entrepreneurship, by passing on their experience and by providing assistance to these young visionary companies; and
- a demand : the need for a professional financing tool backed by academics and incubators, and the search for expert and loyal mentoring expressed by young entrepreneurs.
We pledge today that Polytechnique Ventures is, and will remain, a matter of enthusiasm, passion, solidarity, and transmission!
We invest in the emergence and growth of highly innovative companies, all from the school's ecosystem, that will provide powerful solutions to tomorrow’s challenges.
We nurture founders with wisdom and connections to become robust entrepreneurs.
We extend the school's actions in the field of entrepreneurship, thus contributing to structuring its ecosystem and reinforcing its international attractiveness.
We offer Alumni privileged access to the school and its students and graduates.
We invest in start-ups emanating from the X ecosystem: founded by one (or more) alumni of the School, in the broadest sense of the term (engineering degree, Bachelor, Master, Exec, thesis, post- doc), or incubated at X (by the early-stage incubator X-Up or the booster X-Tech), or from the School's laboratories.
Our investment strategy is focused on early-stage financing, in co-investment, with average initial tickets of €250k to €500k in pre-seed and seed rounds.
Whenever possible, we aim to follow in Series A, and may, exceptionally, participate in Series B rounds.
The quality of the founding team, the uniqueness of the technologies implemented, the company's development potential and its societal contribution are our main criteria.
We give priority to ambitious deep tech teams, capable of profoundly transforming the industrial sectors they target.
The technological spectrum deployed by Ecole Polytechnique addresses a wide range of applications:
- energy, climate, environment;
- mobility, transport and aerospace;
- biomedical engineering and health;
- industry 4.0 and robotics;
- new materials;
- internet of things and digital applications;
- digital economy;
- finance ...
We cultivate our PROXIMITY both with entrepreneurs and with the Ecole Polytechnique ecosystem: students, laboratories, platforms, innovation center on the one hand, and Alumni on the other.
Thus, we bring to entrepreneurs the cumulative EXPERIENCE of the Alumni network and the Ecole Polytechnique research, innovation, and teaching community.
We act as a catalyst in the center of a circle imbued with GENEROSITY:
- Alumni contribute to the school's influence and to the success of its entrepreneurs, through their networks, their technological and industrial expertise, and their managerial support,
- The school is our first partner: it gives us access to its entire ecosystem of research, innovation, and entrepreneurship,
- the Foundation associates us with its actions to support entrepreneurship,
- the AX offers us renewed access and a forum with the Alumni network,
- our President, Denis Lucquin, guides us on a voluntary basis,
- the Polytechnique Ventures team cedes half of its carried interest to the Foundation.
We focus on investments in France and Europe but can also support start-ups based elsewhere in the world. Our added value to portfolio companies includes support towards international deployment.
The committed amounts vary according to the stage of maturity of the target company and the markets in which it operates:
– Pre-seed: €50k to €250k
– Seed: €250k to €1M
– Series A: approximately €1M to €3M.
We may participate upstream, during founders’ rounds, or more exceptionally downstream in Series B rounds.
We favor co-investment opportunities, alongside early-stage venture capitalists. We are not precluded from being “leads”, although it is not our primary vocation.
Our investments have an average duration of 5 years, depending on the sectors of activity and the growth rate of the company. We give priority to value-creating support alongside entrepreneurs, but must seize exit opportunities when they arise, within the 10-year life of the fund.
To date, we have raised €20m. We are continuing to raise funds, hoping to reach a minimum of €30m, to finance about 15 start-ups.