Havas Culture

STARTING ANEW

Senior Writer and Editor
Hannah Lindley joined Havas Group in October 2021 as a Senior Writer and Editor. She has a background in corporate reputation management, journalism, and creative writing.
Havas’s Start-up Accelerator – operational since 2017 – connects incubated start-ups with agencies within Havas Group in order to jointly initiate a pilot with their clients and expand the start-ups’ capabilities. Now, we’re launching a podcast series to explore these start-ups for the entire Havas network, which we’ll be highlighting in Dare’s latest series – “The Start-up Series” – so check back every edition to hear more!
To kick off the series, we spoke with Romain Reveillere, head of the Start-up Accelerator, about the programme and why it is so important.

Why did you choose to launch this start-up accelerator? 

We launched it to better identify and work closely with the entrepreneurs who will disrupt our industry and the markets of our clients. We wanted to provide a space for start-ups to easily connect with our ecosystem of agencies, expertise and brands – but we also wanted to be able to access innovators that may not have been familiar with the opportunities we could provide.

Why is this a programme that’s important to Havas? 

It was the first time the group launched an accelerator, and our mission is to create new offers and services for our clients through start-up solutions. Our team is fully dedicated to create opportunities between start-ups and Havas business units, and we do this through our partnership with Station F, the world’s biggest start-ups campus. We developed scouting services with access to more than 3000 start-ups (…and counting) across Europe and are able to advise brands on building their future partnerships with start-ups or create their innovation platforms. It opens new business opportunities with our clients but also connects Havas with this fast-moving environment.

“We wanted to provide a space for start-ups to easily connect with our ecosystem of agencies, expertise and brands – but we also wanted to be able to access innovators that may not have been familiar with the opportunities we could provide.”

How do you work with the start-ups to set them up for success? 

First we match a start-up with one agency. It’s the first step but also one of the most strategic. This duo will work together for 6 months within the Pilot Booster with one mission: create a pilot project to create new services for our clients or improve our internal organisation. It’s an opportunity for start-ups to understand how we work, identify our business issues and get feedback from experts to build the right solution for brands. In addition to this specific relationship, we connect them with several entities across the group to showcase their solutions with a quick and direct access to the right people. Finally, they can access the Havas incubator space at Station F which allows them to connect with VCs, governments services, and more than 2000 of their peers. With this system, we try to help them grow their business, identify their product market fit and start a long-term relationship with Havas.

Can you talk about some of the most inspiring projects that have come out of your work with start-ups so far? 

Havas Start-up Accelerator is here to facilitate the connection between our agencies and start-ups.

Since the creation of this offer, we have formed a great connection with Havas Health & You; in particular, the innovation business unit NOW. With Covid, the environment of the health industry has massively evolved and we work with NOW on how start-ups can provide creative solutions to this industry.

When pharmaceutical companies were not able to see face to face health professionals, they worked with Tape from the Havas programme on keeping the link by creating personalised short-form video and audio. They also worked with Janssen on their first podcast series, Novartis on testing training chatbots and with Sanofi on creating augmented experiences for patients about their medicine through their smartphone.

We see the expectations for innovation from our clients and this opens the door to great collaborations with our agencies.

“I’m positive that following this series we will see great projects across the group that come about because of these start-ups.”

Why do you think it’s so important that we continue to highlight these start-ups in Dare! and continue to raise companywide awareness for them? 

Behind those start-ups are the stories of their founders, and they’re all so inspiring. They are all very passionate about the companies they’ve built and excited that this partnership with Havas is a win-win situation! This podcast series will be a great opportunity for them to make our network aware of their products and that they are ready co-create the right solutions for our industry. We will be talking about brand content, NFTs, avatars, metaverse, podcast production, media, woman empowerment, recruitment, digital creation, marketing research… and more. Most of their solutions address several markets and I’m positive that following this series we will see great projects across the group that come about because of these start-ups.

You can listen to the podcast in French on Amazon, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Deezer. You can also listen to the French podcast with English subtitles on YouTube.

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