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Makesense incubator launches makesense SEED I fund – first pre-seed fund dedicated to social and environmental impact startups

    Date: 20 May 2019

The makesense incubator, specialising in assisting young social and environmental startups, has announced the creation of the first impact-investing fund dedicated to pre-seed activities. With a budget of EUR 8.2m, the SEED I makesense fund will invest amounts of EUR 50 000 to EUR 150 000 to finance the creation of start-ups with high impact and growth potential, as decided by an all-female investment committee. Backing each other, the fund and the makesense incubator will pool their resources and support capacities.

Makesense SEED I, first pre-seed fund dedicated to impact startups

Financing promising young impact ventures right from the first stages of growth is a major challenge as these innovative startups are currently facing a substantial funding gap, which makes them lose time and prevents them from focusing on their business. “The entrepreneurs we support all have strong potential for impact and growth. They can really push back the boundaries of society. But they all come up against financing issues in the startup phase. Setting up an investment fund dedicated to the creation of social startups has been one of our main goals since the incubator was created in 2013: it’s a great achievement for makesense,” commented the fund’s three co-founders Léa Zaslavsky, Coralie Gaudoux and Alizée Lozac’hmeur.

A EUR 8.2m envelope from a panel of diverse financiers

The fund received early-stage support from the European Investment Fund (EIF) under the Juncker Plan and from Banque des Territoires. Today, it brings together a wide range of sector stakeholders: French and European institutions (EIF, Banque des Territoires), private (BNP Paribas) and associative (Revital’Emploi) finance providers, individuals and successful entrepreneurs.

The fund will finance investments ranging from EUR 50 000 to EUR 150 000 in young startups in the prototyping and early marketing phases – with scope for reinvestment in subsequent funding rounds. In addition to funding, all the resources of the makesense incubator – mentors, partners, training etc. – will be made available to maximise the startups’ impact and success. This is made possible, in particular, by financial support from the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition of France and the “French Impact” label.

A young, female team with an original way of working

The three incubator co-founders behind the makesense SEED I fund will be joined on 1 June by a director with six years of experience in the field of impact investment.

Complementing each other in terms of experience in the fields of entrepreneurship, support, impact measurement and investment, they will form a young, experienced and all-female investment committee, unique to this field.

To meet the specific needs of pre-seed startups, makesense SEED I has created makesense_acccelerate, a three-month hybrid support programme, which will help to accelerate the start-ups’ growth with a view to possible investment: an innovative, agile and targeted method of project analysis.

A fund backed by a pioneering social entrepreneurship incubator

Created in 2013 by Alizée Lozac’hmeur, Léa Zaslavsky and Coralie Gaudoux, the makesense incubator (formerly sensecube) has assisted more than 200 entrepreneurs and startups tackling major social and environmental challenges. This pioneering initiative specialises in projects that use technology leverage to generate a large-scale impact. It covers multiple sectors such as the circular economy, the energy transition, the inclusion of the elderly or disabled, democracy and access to education for all.

Many successes in the area of French social entrepreneurship, such as Too Good to Go, RogerVoice, Voxe.org, Talents d’Alphonse and Carillon, have enjoyed makesense support.

Press contact

Alizée Lozac’hmeur
+33 (0)6 84 73 78 98

Investors’ contacts

European Investment Fund
Philippe Bernard-Treille
Jaime Vera Calonje

Banque des Territoires
Adrien Pannetier

BNP Paribas

Press contact: Floriane Ettwiller
+33 (0)7 62 27 48 34

Frédéric Lingois

Structuring Lawyer: Simmons & Simmons
Agnes Rossi, Stéphanie Guers


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