* Design pour une innovation créative

Nantes Shanghai Pune São Paulo Montréal Cotonou
Back to search

Professionalizing design by helping students incubate projects

Professionalizing design by helping students incubate projects

The school’s department for internships and work-based learning helps Master’s degree students by means of a personalized support program which aims to develop their entrepreneurial skills and guide them towards incubation solutions for their projects. This program is based on several main lines: conferences, participation in trade shows, workshops and start-up weekends.

The professionalization program

In the framework of a partnership with the school, APEC (Agency for the Employment of Managers in France), works with Master’s students on job-hunting techniques: career objectives, knowing the job market, workshops for interview technique, etc.

As a follow-up to this, there is a workshop with the recruitment firm Lemensearch. This firm, set up by Antoinette Lemens, is specialized in recruiting designers.

Several conferences led by the school’s alumni are also organized: testimonies from graduates who have set up their own businesses, or who are working in a design agency or a company… These alumni want nothing more than to share their professional experience. In this type of exercise, they get back as much as they give.

The INPI, l’Institut National de la Propriété Institutionnelle, (the French National Institute of Industrial Property) also comes to the school to answer these questions: how can I protect my creations? Why is it necessary? What do I need to know about filing designs, patents and trademarks?

The program for entrepreneurs

The aim of this program is to develop entrepreneurial skills in students, to increase their entrepreneurial spirit and to be pro-active in shaping their careers. These attitudes will help students enter the job market by setting up their own business (or perhaps being an entrepreneur in their host company).

This program also offers the possibility of taking part in the entrepreneuriales (a regional initiative to help students start up a business) over a 5-month period. This consists of a practical training initiative, with a "learning by doing" pedagogical approach. It helps to acquire a wide range of skills since students have to form a team made up of students from diverse backgrounds. This year’s results will be made public on 27 March.

Each year, students also have the opportunity to attend the salon des entrepreneurs (an entrepreneurial and business fair) and to participate in start-up week-ends.

As well as participating in these events, all the Master’s students attend several conferences:
- presentation of the various local incubators (offering support to innovative start-ups) such as Atlanpole,
- presentation of the Entreprendre network by one of its members,
- presentation of the different statuses of designers, writing of specifications, invoicing,
- presentation of other business incubators.

This year, the 2nd year Master’s students took part in a two-day workshop to learn how to put together the business model for their final degree project. They were taught how to use the business model canvas by Antoine Dumont from the firm Elton-Pickford. Accompanied by Romain Saillet, the students worked on the pitch for their project, and learnt how to tell the story of their project. The results were plain to see when the students presented their projects before a jury at the end of February 2014.

During a workshop with the firm Elton Pickford


In order to develop entrepreneurship, it is necessary to incubate both student and alumni projects. A synergy between these 2 programs is currently being implemented.

To achieve this, a support structure to help students find incubation solutions for their projects is being set up.

Depending on the projects, the Business Services department puts the project initiators in contact with an appropriate incubation structure, such as l’École des mines incubator or Atlanpole. They may also be offered an incubation solution in the school’s own laboratories.

Maud MEUDIC, Internships and Business Relations Coordinator