Dare!’s latest series – “The Start-up Series” – explores the start-ups that are a part of Havas’s Accelerator programme and the agencies that work with them. This week, we spoke with Olivia Strigari, Yves Bougon, and Mickael Berret of Informelles as well as Edouard Heinschild and Julia Milot of Havas International Paris to learn more about Informelles.
We’ve also launched a podcast series to explore these start-ups – so check back every edition to hear more!
Informelles: Olivia Strigari – Co-founder and CEO; Yves Bougon – Co-founder; Mickael Berret – Co-founder
How did the idea for this start-up originate and what was the process of bringing it to life?
We had this crazy idea to launch a news media site for women – an outlet that could feature this historical moment where there are more and more opportunities for women at the top, in the private and public sectors. An outlet which could also help women address the gender gap in their professional life. As founders, we all have this background in digital and print media having worked for traditional publishers, and we launched this project during the COVID-19 crisis.
Through Woman2theTop & Informelles.media, we wanted to address women in an innovative way, focusing on elevating their voices and speeches, creating an engaged community on a unique platform, and giving them tools to go above and beyond.
Our platform has three purposes, outlined in three stages: to inform, to connect, to support.
We started with the first one, to inform, by launching our website Informelles.media a few weeks after having created the company. We had a smart pool of art directors and journalists that made it happen.
Why did you decide to get involved with Havas’s Start-Up Accelerator programme?
Times have changed, and we thought that working from the beginning with an advertising group like Havas would be a win-win situation. We believe in sparking ideas through a strong partnership between a media agency and a new type of media at its birth, so we can bring new ideas and formats to potential advertisers. It was also a great idea because women are the new frontier of business, and because Havas is truly committed to CSR. It’s the perfect match for us.
What has your experience been like in this programme so far and how has your business grown?
Via the Havas Start-up Accelerator programme, we’ve had the chance to work with the Havas Accelerator team and also with Havas International, our “sponsor agency”. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to benefit from their expertise, their support and their advice in the construction of our project.
The programme also allows us to work with other Group agencies, such as Agence 79 and Havas Paris, who are interested in our media and in growing it with us.
The structure of our team has been set up, we have started hiring journalists and our audiences are growing organically and on social platforms. We’re now focused on funding and finding the right monetisation schemes through the right partnerships.
We see a great momentum regarding women in entrepreneurship and woman in tech. Still, much needs to be done to achieve the right balance between men and women. How do you see society and business environments evolving?
When we started to think about our project in 2020, 32% of new companies were founded by women. However, women-led start-ups (with a 100% female management team) get less than 4% of the funds. All-male start-ups take almost 88% of the rounds, and this gender-based capital gap widens all along with the financing rounds. In 2020, there was no woman at the top of a CAC40 company (they will be three in July 2022). Still today, money access and the so-called “glass ceiling” are the biggest challenges that every woman faces. But everything is evolving quickly – rules, laws, nominations, mindsets – and we believe that a new era is coming for women.
Havas International – Paris: Edouard Heinschild, Strategy Senior Manager; Julia Milot, Insights & Strategy Manager
Why is working with start-ups beneficial for your business?
Working with a start-up adds to your usual scope of work. It’s a new project to discover. It’s a new perspective of your own mission. It’s a new product to put forward to our clients. It’s also very beneficial for our businesses, as usually, clients are thrilled to see that Havas works hand in hand with innovative partners in the making.
How does Informelles’ expertise complement or enhance the work you’re already doing?
Working with Informelles was a natural fit between their raison d’être and two key challenges faced by our agency. First of all, the need to increase the agency’s maturity about integration and inclusiveness was obvious, especially in a post-COVID moment that has transformed the way we work together. Second, brands are expected to be very active on social issues by consumers, and to be able to move forward with a player who has the idea & the strength to advise on changing management, while supporting communication, through a meaningful media, is critical to our business. Above all, the incredible energy of Olivia, Mickael and Yves has energised our team, opening new doors with our clients and triggering projects.