The first new businesses developed by ENGIE employees ready to hit the market

March 23, 2016

ENGIE presents the first five businesses developed by the Group employees within its internal incubation scheme. This new scheme has given more than 50 employees the chance to work on 18 projects which posted their first revenues in 2015.


Open-Innovation for ENGIE employees

Launched in 2014, the incubation scheme is part of the Group’s comprehensive Open-Innovation initiative. Complementing the various projects underway with innovative start-ups (calls for projects, investments by the ENGIE New Ventures fund), incubation opens the opportunity for Group employees to develop new businesses in start-up format, with the backing of internal operational sponsors. “Enabling our employees to play a direct role in this transformation is our way of responding to a genuine demand from our teams. It’s also a way for us to explore uncharted territories, which could be central to the Group’s activities in the future,” explains Gérard Mestrallet, CEO of ENGIE.

A huge success with employees to develop new ideas

The innovation scheme is open to all ENGIE Group employees, through an internal platform to submit ideas, which currently boasts almost 10,000 members. In just under 2 years, over 400 ideas have been submitted in a variety of domains, such as smart solutions, decentralized production or alternative mobility.

A supportive and agile incubation process

Each idea is analysed by internal experts in the relevant field, who decide whether or not the project makes it through to the operational launch phase: putting together a project team, setting objectives, pitching the idea to an internal Business Unit which will lend its backing… Once this preparatory phase is complete, the teams set up shop in one of ENGIE’s 13 partner incubators and spend 100% of their time for the next 12 months working in an ecosystem that is conducive to rapid development.

Throughout this incubation process, the project receives coaching and support from various experts, using the “Lean Start-up” methodology to determine a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and rapidly identify the start-up’s first client. The start-up needs to be agile and reactive : it presents its results and undergoes a quarterly evaluation by the incubation team and the internal sponsors. After these intensive 12 months, and if the start-up has secured its first market, it is integrated into the Group as a project in its own or a specific new entity, or else joins the incubator’s acceleration programme to benefit from further support and backing.

Expanding the scheme to new innovators

Initially restricted to project initiators, in October 2015 the incubator scheme was opened up to ‘intrapreneurs’, for an incubated project stands or falls on the quality and synergy of the skill profiles represented in the project’s development team. Within just a few weeks, 230 employees had responded to the call for applications aiming to identify vital skills and create a pool of talents available to strengthen the teams working on innovative start-up projects.

The ENGIE incubation scheme allows for rapid, agile exploration of activities which could represent new sources of value for the Business Unit of the Group. It will continue building on its success to reach the target of ten projects active in the incubation at any one time.

Incubation scheme: the first new businesses developed by ENGIE employees

  • Blu.e is a software platform to help energy management industry . It is positioned in the heart of the digital transition for the energy transition of the industry.
  • Deepki is a young innovative company positioned in the market of the Energy Transition, which uses existing customer data to detect and track energy savings on their entire fleet with the power of Data- Analytics.
  • With crowdfunding and Greenchannel, individuals can now invest directly in confidence and transparency in two solar projects of high quality.
  • NextFlex enhances the electrical flexibility of production and office facilities with an annual electric bill exceeds 200 k € .
  • Please is a service offering for individuals (cleaning , laundry, grocery delivery and catering products … ) that puts them in touch with local traders and service providers, companies and autoentrepreneurs .

ENGIE develops its businesses (power, natural gas, energy services) around a model based on responsible growth to take on the major challenges of energy’s transition to a low-carbon economy: access to sustainable energy, climate-change mitigation and adaptation, and the rational use of resources. The Group provides individuals, cities and businesses with highly efficient and innovative solutions largely based on its expertise in four key sectors: renewable energy, energy efficiency, liquefied natural gas and digital technology. ENGIE employs 154,950 people worldwide and achieved revenues of €69.9 billion in 2015. The Group is listed on the Paris and Brussels stock exchanges (ENGI) and is represented in the main international indices: CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe, DJSI World, DJSI Europe and Euronext Vigeo (Eurozone 120, Europe 120 and France 20).

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