The Shaker: turning innovative ideas into start-ups
The Shaker program reached a milepost in 2022, welcoming its tenth and eleventh classes. Now in its fifth year, the six-month program has succeeded in its goal of turning projects into companies and the people behind those projects into entrepreneurs.
Since 2017, the Shaker has accompanied 57 innovative projects, 47 of which finished the program and 29 of which became start-ups. Of these latter, 17 continued their development at Genopole in the Booster and now Gene.iO acceleration programs, and 14 joined the biocluster, including Quantoom Biosciences (formerly SynHelix), Yeasty and Nutropy.
Twelve new teams for 2022
The two calls for candidates collectively identified 12 teams for accompaniment in the 2022 Shaker classes. Program Manager Juline Beudez emphasizes the diversity of the profiles: "Some are students, others recent graduates, and several already have professional experience, but they all share the same energy and desire to make their innovative projects real and take on the adventure of entrepreneurship."
Beyond the diversity of their paths, the laureates also present a variety of research subjects, all in coherence with Genopole's strategic orientations and the nation's major goals: the growth of biomanufacturing; the production of alternative proteins, biological tools to prevent pathogen propagation, novel and more efficacious medical practices, etc.
The inset on the right presents a few of the projects forwarded by the laureates.
"The Shaker was born of Genopole's strong conviction that entrepreneurs are made, not born. The program is a sort of initiation, during which the laureates will benefit from accompaniment and discover a scientific ecosystem that will help them overcome obstacles and consolidate their profile as a bioentrepreneur." OLIVIER TOMAT, ENTERPRISES DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR
> IN HEALTH
The Félome project is the brainchild of Laina Freyer, 42, a postdoctoral researcher at Institut Pasteur, and Thomas Aubin, 34, an HR informatics project chief. In the setting of veterinary medicine, they propose a domesticated cat genome sequencing and analysis service to bring progress to the discovery of genetic markers of disease.
The Skinorga project carried by PhD student Cécile Nait Meddour, 27, is aimed at developing novel skin organoids (multicellular three-dimensional micro-tissues) and other derived models intended for skin disease research and active compound screening in the settings of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
The objective of the Alt Biotech project, fostered by Sakina Elkassouani, 33, an experienced professional in the distribution sector, is the large-scale, affordable, non-animal-based production of growth factors with the goal of resolving a major issue in the development of cell culturing.
> IN FOODTECH
The Auralip project, presented by the entrepreneur Laetitia Halbeisen seeks to develop a 100% plant-protein-based alternative to meat for the food & agriculture industry via the fermentation of grains and their oil cake, rich in healthy amino acids and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.