Open Incubateur SquareLab - 10 ans

SQUARELAB Open Incubator : 10 Years of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Reviews, testimonials, exchanges, and viewpoints… On Thursday, March 14th, the ‘SquareLab’ open incubator marked its tenth anniversary! Founded in 2014, it stands as a unique fixture in the Auvergne entrepreneurial scene, showing ongoing vitality.

A Full Decade Has Flown By!

The idea of establishing an incubator to support visionary projects towards success stemmed from a simple observation: with an increasing number of students displaying entrepreneurial spirit at the ESC Clermont BS, it became imperative to enhance our creation platform.

Thus, in 2014, the SquareLab Open Incubator was inaugurated in the heart of ESC Clermont BS. Over the years, it has evolved, expanded its offerings, and introduced new incubation programs, emphasizing an innovative approach to business creation through collaborative efforts among researchers, accomplished entrepreneurs, and corporate leaders.

Today, the SquareLab stands as the forefront of innovation and entrepreneurship within ESC Clermont BS, transcending its role as a mere incubator.

  1. SquareLab serves as the dedicated hub for entrepreneurial education for our students and participants of the MBA – Executive Master in Management, offering them the option to enrich their journey there.
  2. Functioning as a resource center and source of expertise in entrepreneurship, it boasts a startup culture method co-developed with researchers, accomplished entrepreneurs, and corporate leaders.
  3. As an open incubator, it extends its support to external project holders, students, job seekers, and employees alike.
  4. Acting as a welcoming coworking space, it successfully brings together a diverse array of aspiring entrepreneurs, facilitating connections with our network of mentors, coaches, experts, and partners.
  5. It plays a pivotal role in fostering business innovation, particularly through its adaptation of methods and training in “intrapreneurship” mode.
  6. Lastly, it serves as a catalyst for growth in our region, contributing significantly to the economic advancement of our School.
Open Incubateur SquareLab - 10 ans

A Catalyst for Nurturing Innovation

Amidst a gathering of project holders, past and present, partners, mentors, team members, and friends of SquareLab, the anniversary celebration prominently showcased the remarkable journey of the 80 companies incubated by SquareLab. Among them, 30 were founded by ESC Alumni and 50 by local entrepreneurs. Serving as a true economic

driver, over the past decade, these endeavors have collectively generated nearly 300 jobs, contributing to the region’s workforce vitality and development.

On average, 10 startups are launched each year, boasting an impressive 3-year survival rate of 92%. These statistics underscore the vibrancy of our entrepreneurial ecosystem, the caliber of the supported projects, and the efficacy of the assistance provided.

Géraldine Minguet Director, Corporate Relations,
and Economic Development
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During a round table moderated by Manon Capitant, Stéphanie Cailloux, director and co-founder of Invers, Clément Baldellou, president, and co-founder of Capillum, and Hélène Estaria, creator of the concept store “FairePlay!”, shared their experience within the incubator and their daily lives as entrepreneurs. They extensively discussed their company’s commitment to the environment and the possibility of achieving economic growth while maintaining a deeply sustainable model.


Open Incubator SquareLab – 10 years. And the best is yet to come…

Currently, 60% of selected projects prioritize sustainable development—an encouraging trend! With financial backing from the city of Clermont; Clermont Auvergne Métropole, and its partner network, SquareLab aims to sustain this success by admitting two cohorts annually, focusing on project holders addressing CSR challenges.

Looking ahead, SquareLab Open Incubator aspires to further promote intrapreneurship within companies across the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. After relocating its “Intrapreneurship and startup approach” certificate to Lyon in collaboration with Village by CA Centre-Est, ESC Clermont BS is exploring additional partnerships within its territory.

Wrapping up the decade, Fabrice Cailloux, director of the SquareLab, has encapsulated his methods and insights in a book titled “Taking Action to Transform Your Ideas” published by LibriSphaera. This compilation serves as a guide for boldly tackling challenges, seizing opportunities, and establishing companies with sustainable, innovative economic models.

This book is the result of many hours of reflection, learning, and experience in the world of entrepreneurship. It is also the result of an incredible collaborative adventure. It explores all the new entrepreneurial approaches and aims to inspire and guide all those who aspire to create and develop their own business.

Fabrice Cailloux Director,
SquareLab Open Incubator
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Did you know?

Did you know that the SquareLab Open Incubator serves as an internal support hub within the school, offering a comprehensive array of resources—including methods, tools,

knowledge, culture, and networking opportunities—to drive entrepreneurial success? With support from experts spanning diverse fields, the SquareLab team provides ongoing assistance to projects both within and outside the school.

By fostering an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship, SL injects positive energy into our region, aligning with the school’s broader mission to enhance the vitality and growth of the local workforce. This initiative generates value for ecosystem stakeholders and bolsters the regional economy.

As a reminder, according to the results of the BSIS 2022 study, ESC Clermont BS generates a financial impact of €167 million per year in its territory.

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