September 20, 2019

​Excubation in support of mid-sized corporations

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Frederic Colas
Co Founder & Managing Partner

Fast-Up Partners was established for a reason: the transition to the digital era has spawned new business models and changed the key success factors for companies in their markets.

Size, power and resources have given way to agility, speed and a corporation’s ability to invent or reinvent itself. In many markets, almost all growth is hoovered up by agile startups. Therefore, existing businesses have to change how they operate in order to deal with both threats, but also seize opportunities to keep their power and regain their dominant positions.

By joining forces with these corporations, Fast-Up Partners enables them to take, create and nurture opportunities for growth and innovation (startups, new brands and business units, etc.), whether in their core business or in peripheral, high-potential areas.

Mid-sized corporations: hybrid structures in the digital world

France currently has barely 5,000 mid-sized businesses. However, they are essential for French economic growth because they contribute to our competitiveness and industrial dynamism.
Unlike powerful large groups, their main problem faced with the challenges and opportunities of the digital era is not only how slowly they move. Yes, mid-sized companies, which in organizational terms stand part-way between SMEs and large corporations, have had to put processes in place to grow profitably. As they grow, organizations lose some agility and entrepreneurial mindset, which in many cases remains in the DNA of the founders or shareholders, who are often family members. But crucially, when a growth opportunity is identified, they cannot shift refocus their cutting-edge skills (digital and business skills, leadership, entrepreneurial mindset, etc.) away from short-term operations; yet these skills are needed to go ahead and create the new business.
They also lack the resources to recruit them from outside because these skills are scarce and expensive. As a result, at best they cannot take opportunities that might fuel their future growth; at worst, they miss a fundamental strategic shift, threatening the long-term survival of the company itself.

Fast-Up Partners accelerates growth via excubation

Trapped between agility and power, unable to follow the example of some large groups and acquire successful startups at great expense and risk, mid-sized corporations hit a stumbling block.
To get over this obstacle to their growth, we devised the “excubation” model.
It is based on a basic idea: the capacity to innovate cannot simply be ordained. For this type of innovative project to succeed, firms need a flexible organizational structure, very diverse business (including digital) skills, and entrepreneurial figures to lead them. Thanks to its leaders’ entrepreneurial experience both in large groups and startups, Fast-Up Partners delivers these skills, creating dedicated teams, made up of Fast-Uppers and members of your own teams or solely Fast-Uppers, which then approve (or reject) the new business venture and bring it to market.
By externalizing the growth opportunities, excubation makes it possible to launch new, predominantly digital brands and ventures without disrupting the company’s organization. During an excubation process, the project is managed in its entirety outside the scope of the parent company: from creation through to the reintegration of the externalized entity. The flexibility of this model thus offers mid-sized corporations a detailed analysis of its needs in order to create a tailored business model, and deliver an abbreviated time-to-market.

Fast-Up partners the Choiseul “New economic leaders” ranking

While mid-sized corporations account for a substantial proportion of our productive fabric, they are still overlooked and too few in number. With this ranking, Choiseul showcases and raises the profile of these organizations, which employ nearly one quarter of French employees. It is because we know these firms well and share their values — an entrepreneurial culture, financial independence, long-term vision — that Choiseul chose us to partner this ranking.

We are therefore proud to help promote these driving forces and help them build a more robust French landscape. And we certainly intend to do our bit.

By Frederic Colas | Co founder & Partners @Fast-Up Partners

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