You will be working in a remarkable building in central Paris: the Palais Brongniart (formerly the Paris stock exchange). You will be permanently connected to excellent mentors that will guide you, offer you advice, and give you access to their own contacts. Silicon Sentier, an association according to the Law of 1901, which incorporates the structure of Le Camping, also makes its experience and large Europe-wide network available to you. By the end of the first 3 months of acceleration, you will be able to pitch directly to business angels and venture capitalists on Demo Day. Lastly, if ever a team needs money in order to address essential needs that would be associated with the implication of the team in the project, Silicon Sentier would also be able to offer financial support.
Your team is to be made up of 3 people, where at least one of you has advanced technical skills: eg. as a hacker or developer. You are talented, motivated and willing to work hard for 6 months. Your idea addresses a latent or expressed need. Your project is software- or web-based and has no geographical boundaries. You understand how the project's development might benefit from an acceleration program. You believe that your project deserves help, advice and a network that will serve for beta testing, a first round of early stage financing. And, perhaps most importantly of all, you would like to work with us! These are the specifics of what we're looking for!
Le camping, set up by Silicon Sentier, is a non-profit organisation (under the French law of 1901) We have worked with web/IT startups and technological communities for the best part of the decade in the region of Ile de France. More than 160 members (startups, large IT companies etc.) put their faith in us and the Regional Council of Ile de France is a long-time partner. Our president, Sandrine Murcia, is herself an entrepreneur and the former European Marketing Director for Google. Our honorary president, Stéphane Distinguin is a serial entrepreneur on the web.
During the 2 different phases of Le Camping (2 sessions of 3 months each), you will be helped and guided by mentors and the staff of Le Camping. At the end of the first 3 months, you will present the prototype that you have developed to business angels and VCs. If together we agree that the objectives are unattainable for whatever reason, the decision to stop the program will be made collegially along with the team in question. You will have the choice to remain at Le Camping. Le Camping is not an academic program, but an accelerator which believes that in the case of failure in one's project, the experience should be one that at least provides structural lessons.
We strongly advise you to be present for the program's entirety. It was put together for you; to offer you every opportunity to create a solid startup. But, obviously, you are free to quit the program based on your volition.
No, it's your company. You can live in whatever city or country you want.
300 m2 in the building of the old Paris stock exchange are available just for your program. The Bourse is situated in the heart of Paris. It is also a historic and cultural landmark. We offer you the space, wifi, offices etc. The space is open 24/7. We also offer you legal help and English lessons if you feel that you need them.
3 months of acceleration
This intense phase targets production from Day 1. Based on the principles of bootstrapping, the 3 main themes of the program are: business, design, and technology. Each mentor is an expert in at least one of the 3 themes. They will be present daily to help teams achieve new heights. Throughout the whole program, legal support will also be available. Incredibly, there are more than 60 mentors! No time to panic, the startups will have the time to work on their product. Le Camping creates an environment where Campers and mentors choose each other naturally and maintain a solid relationship.
3 months of growth
After 3 months of acceleration and the Demo Day, the first step is over, but the hardest part is yet to come. How should the startups be prepared for what is to come? How should they be integrated into their community? How should a sustainable strategy for user acquisition be created? There are many paths in the life of a startup. If 3 months are enough to develop a demo and obtain users/clients, 3 additional months are necessary to learn to communicate with the community, improve the product and refine the development strategy.
Halfway through the program, the startupers will have the opportunity to show their demo and pitch to investors. This day is a trustworthy reality check to see if the company is well oriented to its market. Fundraising is not an end in itself, but an important tool to grow. The Camping team will be present to help the startups develop a pertinent investment strategy.