05.12.2018

Le Village by Crédit Agricole : the innovation hub of Crédit Agricole arrives in Italy

Milan, December 5, 2018 – Supporting and speeding up the young and innovative entrepreneurial initiatives is the aim of the network made up of 28 Villages by Crédit Agricole; these ones are real innovation hubscreated by the proximity bank leader in France and Europe. The headquarters infrastructure of this 28th Village by CA, the 1st in Italy, will be in the very city center of Milan, inside a monastery built during the XIII Century and close to Porta Romana area. A 2700 square meters area is going to host from 40 to 50 startups with 200 work placements.

The Village by CA of Milan
The offered services will be:

  • Business acceleration: mentoring, training courses, matching with corporate;
  • Fund-rising: networking with investors, corporate companies;
  • Support to internalizing;
  • Corporate Innovation.

Le Village of Milan, which will be directed by Gabriella Scapicchio, will mainly host innovative start-ups referring to ‘6F’: 3 of these are bounded to Italian territorial excellence as Food, Fashion, Furniture & De sign, and 3 are bounded to some sectors of Crédit Agricole Group as Fintech/Insurtech, Future Mobility and France.
In order to realize the acceleration path, the Village collaborates with enablers belonging to the  innova
tion world which are both public (Bicocca University) and private (Food: Seeds & Chips; Fashion: Fashion TechAccelerator; Furniture: NABA; Fintech: CMC, Fintech District, Fintastico; Future Mobility: E-Novia,MobilityUp), and takes advantage of the privileged relationship with France (French-Tech, Endeavor Italia).Corporate partners contribute in kind, while everyone, with its vertical competences, contributes to the life of the Village and to the development of the resident startups: Bearing Point, Econocom,,KPMG, NEXI, PWCand Signify besides Orrick legal office, NCTM legal office, Arlati Ghislandi office. The Village collaborateswith Microsoft.

Gabriella Scapicchio : My mission as 'Mayor' of Le Village, is to support and accelerate young and innovative companies with
high growth potential, through a cooperative system involving public and private partners. Supporting business acceleration, internazionalization, fundraising and any other need of our 'inhabitants' we'll foster the innovation of the territory
.

The very first and biggest Village was opened in Paris in 2014: more than 5000 square meters in the city center, in the 8th arrondissement, hosting 90 start-ups where more than 800 networking and meeting eventsamong companies, universities, enablers and other actors coming from the innovation world take place.
Crédit Agricole has followed its path as a bank focused on territoriality  and innovation opening other 27 Villages at its regional offices to support the development of the local businesses specialized on specificsectors: for example Dijon in Foodtech, Lille for Fintech, Caen for agriculture and agribusiness, and Brest forthe maritime sector. The Group foresees that 39 Villages by CA will be active in France by 2020.

The strategy in Italy
The first Village outside France will be inaugurated in Italy, the second domestic market of Crédit Agricole after France. “Collaborating for innovating” is the project pay-off that will be presented in Milan at first andthat will be expanded later in other Crédit Agricole cities where it has a huge presence such as Parma, LaSpezia, Venice and Naples.
The model will be shaped ac cording to the peculiarities of the Italian market, while being loyal to the French concept which is the real distinctive feature if compared to other market players. Startups will have thechance to rely on a complete range of products and services - from fund-rising loans and professionalinvestors to an international network – thanks to those societies of the Group that have believed andinvested in the initiative.

From acceleration to open innovation
Le Village by CA is a business accelerator supplying startups with a multi-functional space where it is possible to co-work, work in single offices and much more. It is a real eco-system where the ‘inhabitants’ of the Village coexist.
All the involved actors, through the organization of events, networking mee tings, training courses and meetings with other affiliated realities as startups, universities, partner companies and public-privateenablers, have the chance to collaborate for promoting the innovation and the growth of their projects. They are convinced that relationships favor the positive contamination of ideas.

Numbers testify the success of the project: there are about 700 start-ups hosted by the network representing 10 field sectors: Informatics and Electronics (IOT, Big Data, AI and Software); Energy andEnvironment; Food farming and agribusiness (Foodtech); Health and Wellness; Human and economicdevelopment (Edtech, RU, events, administration); Finance (Fintech, Assurtech and Regtech); Industry;Leisure time activities (tourism, arts, sport, cuisine), and Social and solidarity economy. There are about 500 partner companies; 200 million euros of funds have been gathered from the opening infavor of those startups hosted by the Villages and other startups presented at CES in Las Vegas.

Among the successful startups supported by now, there are:
Linxo: the application that handles banking accounts (number 1 on Apple Store) and that achieved theEuropean Fintech Award in 2016. The gathered funds have been 20 million euros in 2017.
Velco: handlebars for connected bicycles. It received three awards at CES in 2018.
Diabeloop: it has created an artificial pancreas to fight against diabetes. The gathered funds have been 14million euros in 2017.

Bertrand CORBEAU

Bertrand Corbeau has been Deputy Managing Director of Crédit Agricole S.A. in charge of Development, Client and Innovation, since 4 April 2016. He is a member of the Executive Committee of Crédit Agricole S.A.  He has spent his entire career at Crédit Agricole. After joining Cr...