Luxury conglomerate LVMH has launched an accelerator programme for 50 international start-ups annually at the STATION F start-up campus in Paris.
“La Maison des Startups” will drive innovation between LVMH’s luxury houses, which in the fashion space include Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Christian Dior, Céline, Marc Jacobs and Loewe. However the start-ups will also collaborate with its brands in the fields of wine & spirits, perfumes & cosmetics and watches & jewellery.
The group has made available 89 workstations at STATION F, which is the world’s largest start-up campus and which LVMH joined in November last year. In addition to the workspace LVMH is offering coaching and support from its experts, as well as workshops, pitch sessions and networking.
Over half the start-ups that have joined the program were identified through the LVMH Innovation Award, at the Viva Technology show, during which the business welcomed more than 80 startups in 2016 and 2017. Also a number have come through its in-house innovation and entrepreneurship scheme DARE LVMH for its own employees.
LVMH says its support for fledgling enterprises is now anchored in four pillars:
- Detection and sourcing of startups at the Viva Technology show, of which LVMH has been a partner since 2016 with its “Luxury Lab”;
- Integration of intrapreneurship through the internal DARE program (Disrupt, Act, Risk to be an Entrepreneur), which bridges open innovation and personal development. In six months, DARE has enabled more than 180 LVMH staff members to transform their ideas into business plans, following a start-up-inspired method during three-day sessions;
- Collaboration between startups and LVMH Maisons, aligning the needs of the Maisons with innovations proposed by start-ups to invent new products and services
- Acceleration of relationships between Maisons and start-ups within the new program launched at STATION F
LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault said: “Innovation is an integral part of the history of our Maisons, which are often centuries old. This is why we know, perhaps better than others, how to find ways of working with startups that benefit us all.”
The group’s chief digital officer Ian Rogers, who joined the business from Apple in 2015, said that LVMH had long held innovation as a core value. “Innovation isn’t just a buzzword at LVMH, it’s a practical obsession, crucial to maintaining our leadership position long-term. Collaborating with start-ups helps us stay abreast of both business opportunities and ways of working. A healthy startup ecosystem is necessary for a healthy industry,” he said.