02/10/2017
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OliKrom selected by Euronext to follow its IPO preparation program

Finance: when the next generation of entrepreneurs goes to stock market school

68 entrepreneurs are being trained this year in the workings of the market at HEC. The first workshop took place this weekend.

The sun is just rising over Saclay, in the southern suburbs of Paris, where entrepreneurs are crowding the HEC campus. Selected by Euronext, which manages the Paris Stock Exchange, 32 French, 16 Belgian, 14 Dutch and 6 Portuguese entrepreneurs are getting ready to attend the third edition of TechShare, a stock market school in ten months.

The first session took place on Friday and Saturday. All of them are at the head of a technology company with high potential, meaning a young start-up that could be introduced on the financial markets. Going public would be the perfect opportunity to raise significant funds and to make themselves known. In the lecture hall, they listen to advice from entrepreneurs and bankers, in particular, who explain the conditions and risks of the operation. How does it work? How much does an introduction cost? How do you ensure that the founder remains in control? The 68 students note, question, and weigh the pros and cons.

Find a relay

“Do we risk losing our soul on the stock market or on the contrary will we find the means to finance ourselves to reach a critical size?” summarizes Matthieu Beucher, founder of Klaxoon. Created in 2015, this start-up offers a decision support tool for meetings that has attracted 500,000 users in 114 countries in three years. “The market is a good relay of banks, which manage as a good father, but can not follow a company like us with a growth of 15,000% in three years…” he confides.

Investors, on the other hand, are more reactive and ready for adventure. “In recent years, French society has become more open to entrepreneurship and better understands our financing needs,” says Jean-François Létard, founder of Olikrom, which creates paint that can change color depending on temperature, light and pressure. “There is no question of going in with a straight face, I have to gauge the interest of my company. The stock market has a positive amplifying effect, but also a negative one in case of a market downturn…”

Not far away, the co-founder of WeTransfer is not missing a beat in the discussions. Founded in 2009, the Dutch email file transfer company is not listed. “Because we don’t need to raise money, but we’re not neglecting any avenue to quickly reach critical size,” explains Gordon Willoughby.