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Press release

“From School to Start-up”, the book that reveals pathways for training and entrepreneurship

Published on 12 November 2020 by NEOMA

The book, published by NEOMA Alumni and NEOMA, takes a look at the challenges involved in setting up a business, analyses the success factors and examines the views of entrepreneurship professionals and researchers.

This book investigates the different roads leading from school to start-up, with the aim of explaining how to make the transition from studying at school to running a company. “The continuity from higher education to entrepreneurship has become extremely logical, even natural for some, as many young graduates have already experienced the context of entrepreneurship,” says Jean-Michel Huet, co-director of the book and partner with the consultancy firm BearingPoint. “The development of support structures for entrepreneurs, including Business School incubators and accelerators is a perfect illustration of this trend.”

The book provides students and professionals with a wide range of advice and tips to follow. It covers the changes brought about by digital technology and internationalisation. It explores success factors such as governance, the commercial and marketing dimension and presents the keys to optimising company takeovers or sales. The book also provides food for thought for teachers on the link between education and entrepreneurship, enabling them to guide their students in the best possible way. “We note a growing enthusiasm for entrepreneurship amongst students. However, the ability to become an entrepreneur is dependent on finding an environment that encourages innovation and reassures students about taking risks,” explains Delphine Manceau, who also contributed to the book. “It is our role, as a Business School, to develop an entrepreneurial spirit and to train young, agile and creative people, capable of working closely with their peers, teachers and companies to transform new ideas into realistic projects”.

Entrepreneurship, a NEOMA community speciality

Over the past ten years, NEOMA has built up a veritable entrepreneurial environment with nearly 200 students taking up the Entrepreneurship specialisation each year and more than 200 start-ups launched with the incubators over the last 8 years, with very some very good results”, says Denis Gallot, Start-up Lab Director and contributor to the book. 1 incubator on each campus and 2 specialised accelerators (Edtech in Reims and Mobility in Rouen) complete the set-up. NEOMA is the first business school to offer such an ecosystem aimed at developing entrepreneurship. The School has over 100 incubated projects and around 40 start-ups are created each year. “Our programmes are renowned for their entrepreneurship profile and we are generally ranked quite high in the rankings in this category. We are also developing close links with Engineering schools because a hybrid approach helps innovation and creativity,” adds Denis Gallot.

Ilan Benhaïm, co-founder of Veepee.com, from student status to renowned entrepreneur:

One of the best illustrations of this commitment and of the quality of the ecosystem developed by the School to foster entrepreneurship is the inspiring route taken by Ilan Benhaim, a 2001 NEOMA graduate and co-founder and Executive Partner of Veepee.com (ex-Vente-privée.com), which the book covers in depth. Considered by his peers as one of France’s greatest digital success stories in recent years , Ilan describes his transition from student to entrepreneur, provides an update 20 years on since his graduation from the School and shares his vision of the digital world and entrepreneurship. “In this book, I describe how lucky I was to have had an incredible teacher with an alternative teaching approach. He explained to us that we didn’t need the usual codes. And I’ve been trying to follow this lesson all my life. I also mention the fact that the School allowed me to take two months off from classes because I had set up my business. It was the beginning of a change of vision. When I left NEOMA, two of us were entrepreneurs, today there are several dozen each year,” he concludes.

All the authors’ royalties are donated to the NEOMA Foundation.