OCTO Technology launches “Start Me Up” 

A unique Franco-Californian venture designed to accelerate innovation by leveraging corporate intrapreneurship
June 28, 2016

OCTO’s 28-week program offers a new take on corporate innovation: by first identifying talents already available within the company, Start Me Up then supports the selected intrapreneurs by providing them with the culture and methods traditionally associated with startups. The offer includes several weeks of total immersion in San Francisco in partnership with The Refiners, a powerful cross-border acceleration program.


There is a great tendency to prophesy the downfall of large corporations and celebrate the rise of the startup when in reality very few startups have been capable of surviving, much less thriving and becoming profitable. The enthusiasm drummed up around startups gave corporations the perspective they needed to realize that digital transformation was an urgent requirement to meet. By creating Start Me Up, we are accompanying them on the road to innovation via intrapreneurship; a novel approach if ever there was one. Large companies often have the talent they need squirreled away within their ranks and we’re here to help them tap into those resources. Time will tell whether slow and steady still wins the race,” says François Hisquin, founder and CEO of OCTO Technology.


Paris, June 28, 2016 – By working closely with a great many large corporations OCTO Technology, IT consultant and software creator, became acutely aware of their need to innovate and their blend of concern and interest when addressing the task ahead. How to tackle the onslaught of innovative startups?


OCTO Technology created “Start Me Up” to help these organizations combine their extraordinary in-house potential (credibility, brand, distribution network, client portfolio, etc.) with startup savoir-faire (innovation, mindset, agility, product vision, time to market, etc.). OCTO Technology lends a hand every step of the way to define challenges, formalize strategic vision, sniff out future leaders, and build a team that will spend 6 months fully immersed in startup culture.

Immersion will take place in Paris – out of the corporate setting, in a totally different environment liberated from the administrative, technological, and cultural hindrances typical of large structures – but also in San Francisco, birthplace of the technology industry, thanks to OCTO Technology’s partnership with The Refiners.


Markedly different from a learning expedition, OCTO and The Refiners form a truly relevant alliance


The acceleration program offered by OCTO Technology and The Refiners takes place over the course of 6 weeks in San Francisco. Teams are supported and advised by seasoned mentors and are not only given access to a network of US or international entrepreneurs keen on sharing their experiences, but also to reps from the Big Four (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) and local investors. The Refiners’ teams also help bridge the cultural gap, a daunting prospect to grasp for anyone outside of the loop.


Pierre Gaubil, co-founder of The Refiners, specified “We are particularly happy to be joining forces with OCTO Technology, with whom we share a great deal of vision and best practices. To succeed, companies must learn to exist globally, even while the majority of their teams stay based in France. Silicon Valley is a compulsory step on the road to innovation. Sending a team to soak up the ecosystem there for 6 weeks and “reset” their ways of understanding business and opportunity is the best means to radically multiply the company’s chances at successful innovation. We have seen hundreds of foreign startups take their chances but without the culture codes and the network, breaking though is increasingly complicated.

 An in depth look at the Start Me Up offer

 Rigorous methodology in 4 major steps:

Step 1 – Identify the challenge (4 weeks)

  • Crucial points are alignment with the company’s long-term vision and goals, product ambition, and ability to identify pain points. Use of idea workshops, product vision, and Design Thinking methods.  

 Step 2 – Identify internal leaders and build the team (4 weeks)

  • Mobilize internal skills and identify startup profiles to ensure good team cohesion. All teammates should be engaged and motivated. Top-level support is indispensable and a C-level corporate sponsor must be designated.

 Step 3 – Delve into the startup ecosystem in San Francisco with The Refiners (6 weeks)

  • Total immersion means assessment of the state-of-the-art of existing solutions and technologies. Also allows the team to test and validate project viability and US market appetite with seasoned advisors. At the close of the passage in the Golden State, the team will perform Go/no go gauge test for the project.

 Step 4 – Incubate the product or service in Silicon Valley while maintaining all   engineering teams in Paris (14 weeks) 

  • If the project is validated then the product will be developed, tested, and designed following the best practices Silicon Valley startups have to offer. The product will be co-created with Parisian teams. At the close of this final step, the company will have a viable, reliable product that is bound to grow. 


Start Me Up has already attracted several OCTO Technology customers and programs are underway. For more information or to sign up for September, please get in touch at stup@octo.com