Innovative companies are often confronted with strategic challenges when getting started. Montpellier BIC has set up a Strategic Committee to help the startups it assists to react as effectively as possible.
Helping young companies make decisionsMontpellier BIC’s Strategic Committee is comprised of experienced managers, successful company directors, managers from large companies, Montpellier BIC alumni, and business growth experts. With its concentration of skills and know-how, the group offers its services free of charge to company founders and young entrepreneurs to help with decision-making.
This includes challenges such as finding the right business model, identifying target markets, penetrating new markets, setting up international operations, signing partnership agreements, successfully raising funds, convincing the company’s first customers, and more. These are all milestones that innovative companies need to reach, while making the right choices at every step.
Listening and caringThat’s the true purpose of the Strategic Committee. Companies can ask for advice when they are faced with crucial questions. “We do our best to respond with care and spontaneity,” says Thierry Zurcher, one of the Cap Managers. He is a former General Manager of Lactalis Europe Sud-Est, former General Manager of Groupe Coopératif Maïsadour, and now a business angel.
”The Strategic Committee helps startup founders move forward” – Testimonial by Thierry Zurcher.
The Strategic Committee can therefore help innovative companies grow faster with respect to a wide range of issues, regardless of their business activity. Montpellier BIC took care to include Cap Managers from all business sectors. “One of the Strategic Committee’s key features is the broad diversity of business sectors it represents,” confirms member Stéphanie Gottlib-Zeh, co-founder of Techsia and now a business angel. All members care about helping young innovative companies.
“The goal of the Strategic Committee is to help creators of innovative companies get answers to their strategic questions, regardless of the topic, from business models to hiring people and integrating them into the team. Comprised of startup founders who have already lived through the problems experienced by young innovative companies, and experts from large national and international groups, the team of volunteers offers answers and direction to help founders think objectively and move on to the next step in their growth.”
“We offer advice for all the key phases of a company’s development” - Testimonial by Stéphanie Gottlib-Zeh, Strategic Committee member
“One of the Strategic Committee’s main strengths is the diversity of its members’ business sectors. That enables young entrepreneurs assisted by Montpellier BIC to move forward and leverage objective expertise, skills, and cumulated experience that is highly relevant for guidance and orientation. We offer advice for all the key phases of their startup’s development.”
High expectations by startup foundersThomas Zunino knows all about it. Hosted at the Cap Alpha incubation site, his company T.zic wanted to launch its first round of fundraising to support development of its water disinfection technologies using UV LEDs. He contacted the Strategic Committee to find out whether his company was mature enough. “We wanted to assess our ability to convince investors before starting down that path,” he explains. The project went as planned and the fundraising was successful.
“The Strategic Committee helped us ask ourselves the right questions at the right time” – Feedback from Thomas Zunino
“Strategic Committee members are truly dedicated to their mission. Our discussions with them left us with clear vision regarding our maturity, and what we needed to set up in order to think about moving forward with fundraising. They shared a lot of advice on that topic, and others, that we were able to put to use afterwards. The Strategic Committee clearly enabled us to ask ourselves the right questions at the right time to reach our objectives.
Critical support during the health crisisDuring Covid lockdown, the Strategic Committee wanted more than ever to stay in touch with the startups assisted by Montpellier BIC. The group usually had face-to-face meetings once every quarter to help the company leaders who needed it, typically handling from three to six cases per session.
Despite new constraints in 2020, the Strategic Committee stuck to its program, organizing videoconference meetings when there was no other way to get together. CEO of the company Budd’It, Mathilde Perraud benefitted from one of the remote sessions and her opinion is clear: “Feedback from other entrepreneurs is very important. It helps us move forward much faster and more effectively.” That’s the goal. The Strategic Committee has achieved its objective.
“Offering well-intentioned advice and useful feedback” – Lessons learned by Mathilde Perraud
“During the first lockdown, we developed Check’It, a solution for studying online. I contacted the Strategic Committee in December 2020 to refine and complete the potential client targets for the new tool, explore new directions, and see how to move forward with market launch. I really appreciated their feedback. The team members provided me with a lot of well-intentioned advice, information about their own experience, how they reached certain markets, and even ideas about markets I had not necessarily considered. They also offered solutions and operational strategies that I am starting to test, and for which I will see results soon.”