Without nuclear energy, the reduction of carbon emissions objectives will not be reached. Interviewing GIFEN's Secretary General of WNE, Helene Chao, we explore WNE's Startup Program & find out how she's planning to expand GIFEN's support for even more startups in the civil nuclear industry.
Can you provide an overview of the World Nuclear Exhibition (WNE) and its Startup Program? What is the main objective of the program?
The World Nuclear Exhibition (WNE) is a leading trade event for the global civil nuclear sector, with participation from over 17,000 participants, and 600+ exhibiting companies covering nearly 50 specialties in the industry’s value chain. The WNE Startup Program is designed to support entrepreneurs from the civil nuclear sector by offering them visibility, access to key mentors & a unique business experience during WNE.
What are the key criteria for startups to participate in the WNE Startup Program? Are there any specific requirements or eligibility criteria?
To participate in the WNE Startup Program, startups must meet at least one of the three eligibility criteria. Potential applicants should:
- be founded less than 10 years ago
- have less than 30 employees
- be between Seed stage and Series B (up to 20M€ of financing)
The application deadline is June 18th >> bit.ly/WNE2023-Apply
How does the WNE Startup Program support and nurture startups in the nuclear industry? What kind of resources, mentorship, or networking opportunities are provided?
This year’s WNE Startup Program aims to nurture 20 selected startups through a first of its kind mentoring program during WNE to ensure startups are supported with fine-tuning their projects, connecting with key partners, and gaining visibility within the global civil nuclear community and the media.
Some of the mentors that have already been confirmed are:
- Gilles Babinet, Co-President at Conseil National du Numérique
- Raphaele Leyendecker, Managing Director at Techstars
- Chris O’Brien, Founder at French Tech Journal
- Laurence Petit, Chief Innovation Officer at CEA
- Mathieu de Lophem, Founding Partner at Nuketech
- Jacopo Buongiorno, Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT
- Celine Passedouet, Investment Manager at Elaia
- Giuseppe Sangiovanni, Managing Partner at Exergon
- Sonny Vu, Founder at Alabaster
Furthermore, the selected startups will have the opportunity to win the "Coup de Coeur," a people’s choice prize awarded by an online vote. Furthermore, selected startups get a booth within the Startup Village at the heart of the venue.
Are there any specific focus areas or themes for startups in the nuclear industry that the program encourages? Are there any particular technologies or innovations that the program is looking to promote?
The WNE Startup Program encourages startups to showcase solutions from areas like process & services solutions, product solutions, and sustainability & social responsibility engagement.
How does the WNE Startup Program facilitate collaboration and engagement between startups and established industry players? Are there opportunities for partnerships or investment?
The WNE Startup Program facilitates collaboration and engagement between startups and established industry players through organized meetings throughout the three days with industry leaders, experts, investors, and entrepreneurs.
Apart from the Startup Program, what other activities, sessions, or events can attendees look forward to at the World Nuclear Exhibition? Are there any notable speakers or panels planned?
Apart from the Startup Program, attendees at the World Nuclear Exhibition can identify future partners, exhibit their company’s products/services alongside 600+ exhibitors from 75+ countries, attend workshops and panel discussions on the latest innovations, market trends, and challenges facing the civil nuclear sector with prestigious international experts.
The 2023 theme will be “Connecting nuclear to the world: rising to the energy and environmental challenges.” Nuclear energy is a low carbon energy and is essential in the mix with ENR. Its role has been made clear that without nuclear energy, the reduction of carbon emissions objectives will not be reached. We will organize a series of talks and panels to address central themes such as nuclear power
plant project delivery, sustainability, nuclear applications in our daily life, SMR & Advanced Modular Reactor & attracting talents among others.
Finally, in addition to the World Nuclear Exhibition, can you provide some insights into the broader initiatives or programs that GIFEN undertakes to support startups in the nuclear industry?
Talks are underway regarding the launch of a program dedicated to startups, which will be led by the GIFEN R&D and Innovation Commission. This program will enable promising startups to exchange with their peers, meet potential customers and partners and help them consolidate their growth.
GIFEN will engage with its network (competitive clusters, investors, etc.) to carry out this work in 2023.
This interview was produced in collaboration with GIFEN, the trade association of the French nuclear industry.
- Apply to join the WNE Startup Program before the deadline on June 18th!
- Join us at the World Nuclear Exhibition, Nov 28-30, 2023 in Paris