On the one hand, the Veolia group, founded in 1853, markets water cycle management, waste recovery and energy management services worldwide, with a turnover of 40 billion euros, with 220,000 employees. On the other hand, the startup Lixo, created in 2020 in Paris by Marjorie Darcet and Olivier Large, offers a technological solution based on image analysis, combining sensors and visual recognition algorithms, in order to allow waste management actors to analyze waste streams to better manage, classify and recover them.
A common challenge: waste recovery
Facing the same challenge of waste collection and recovery, the two companies were made for each other. After a first internal pitch on video, Veolia addressed Waste as part of an innovative project in the territory of the European metropolis of Lille, which faces various local specificities with regard to sorting gestures and types of waste collection.
Thanks to this partnership, the startup now allows Veolia to analyze the collected waste, send data from these analyzes in real time to users and provide waste managers with operational optimization tools. The main interest? Improve the quality and recovery of waste collected in the territory of the European metropolis of Lille.
A story of trust and reciprocal exchanges
This complementarity between the two partners convinced the jury, made up of leaders of young people and large companies, as well as players in the ecosystem: “It is a story of trust and reciprocal exchanges: on the one hand, Veolia, in full transformation, managed to find levers for carbon reduction, on the other hand, Lixo managed to explore concrete paths of development with local authorities, an important market in the region. aligned with the strategic challenges of the start-up”, explains the jury.
The competition was particularly tough this year, as 100 peer applications were received. Each dossier was evaluated based on its ability to create value together, both in terms of quantitative criteria (turnover, jobs created, etc.) and qualitative criteria (shared best practices, etc.). Notable Facts: This year, 50% of alliances were supported by startups in the regions and 41% of alliances had at least one female co-founder on the startup side.
Two other finalists
The award also highlighted two other fruitful collaborations, which made it to the final: Naoden & Bouyer Leroux, for a partnership to develop a green energy source to power terracotta brick kilns, and Samp & Storengy, a subsidiary of Engie created in 2005 and specializing in the underground storage of natural gas, within the scope of accelerating the transformation of industrial parks.
“These are three major alliances that illustrate, each in its area of activity, the diversity and strength of Open Innovation in France”believe Clara Gaymard and Gonzague de Blignières, co-founders of the RAISE group, who also underline the “Tech for Good” dimension of the awards, which this year gives a big place to industrial collaborations.
Loan of honor and accompaniment
“These alliances allow the ‘Goliaths’ to access additional external resources to develop themselves, that is, more agile ‘Davids’, whose capacity for innovation is immense. In the context of the reindustrialization of the country, such mergers are particularly promising”, adds John Hazan, partner at Bain & Company France, which co-organizes the award with the RAISE group.
Thanks to this award, the startup Lixo will also benefit from a RAISESHERPAS Honor Loan of 100,000 euros with no interest and no guarantee, integration into the RAISESHERPAS support programs, as well as support in the six-month strategy by Bain’s partners and consultants & Company.