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CAA helps Village by CA celebrate its 3rd birthday

Village by CA – the value-creating ecosystem and start-up incubator in support of highly promising projects – celebrated its third birthday on Thursday 22 June 2017.

The Crédit Agricole Assurances group has been its partner and ambassador for the past two years. Let's look back at this partnership and the aims of our Group.

CAA helps Village by CA celebrate its 3rd birthday

This initiative, launched by the Crédit Agricole group, aims to promote the emergence of innovative projects and talents, nurture and accelerate innovation, and support local and regional economic development, while helping young companies to implement their solutions and succeed commercially.

Village by CA Paris is currently hosting 96 start-ups which, along with the 15 Village by CA schemes that have been created and the same number of Regional Banks (31 are planned by the end of 2018), form a nationwide ecosystem. In addition, a vast network of services and infrastructures has been established at the international level for start-ups and their partners.

Within the Village infrastructures, over 150 start-ups have managed to boost their growth with their partners' support over the past three years. Weekly events and conferences provide opportunities for participants to share and discuss their ideas about innovation issues. The start-ups benefit from business and legal advice (e.g. on fund-raising, and by meeting with other entities), which allows them to develop under the best possible conditions.

Consisting of start-ups and numerous partners (Orange, Engie, HP, Philips and CA Group entities, etc.), this is the only ecosystem of its kind in France and Crédit Agricole Assurances decided to join it in order to make a commitment to start-ups, grasp opportunities for future commercial collaborations and allow our policyholders and staff members to benefit from the resulting innovations. Following our lead, the partners have joined forces in the Ambassadors' Club to support the Village's strategic priorities, define the major development focuses and participate in the selection and mentoring of start-ups.

This is a "win-win" partnership between major groups and start-ups. They gain access to networks and tools to accelerate their development, and we can dip into this pool of brand-new companies to acquire the solutions and the agility required for our transformation, which benefits our policyholders and our staff. Among the partners, we have forged close links with firms such as IBM, Microsoft, Bouygues Construction and Sanofi, allowing us to benefit from their expertise, approaches and feedback on innovation and relationships with start-ups.

Over the past two years, we have been collaborating with numerous start-ups, including Coxibiz (challenge-based e-recruitment for claims management), Izroom (support for house-sharers with Viavita), MiiMOSA (crowdfunding for farmers) and QuantMetry (Big Data).

 A Call for Proposals was launched on the initiative of Crédit Agricole AssurancesAmundi and CACIB in February 2017. It is dedicated to innovative start-ups generating positive social and environmental impacts and aims to incorporate sustainable development, solidarity or circular economy-based projects into sectors such as housing, health, education or the environment. Further alliances are planned with other Villages, including the Northern France Village on the subject of FinTechs in September 2017.

Crédit Agricole Assurances has incorporated this partnership with Le Village by CA into its innovation strategy which has three main thrusts: watching out for future trends, experimenting to help our business lines become more agile and adapt to their changing environments, and accustoming our staff to innovation while transforming our working methods in order to promote it.

This involves the management of an open innovation ecosystem which is an integral part of our partnership. All of these initiatives are intended to develop innovation within our company, instilling a frame of mind that enhances our offerings, our processes, our management methods and our approach to CSR.

For example, the 2016 and 2017 Innovation Challenges, which were considered a resounding success by our staff, allowed the Village's start-ups to demonstrate their expertise on the chosen topics (connected objects and artificial intelligence). And one of the Challenges took place in the Village itself, which allowed our staff members to discover the premises and meet the occupants.

The Crédit Agricole Assurances group would like to wish Village by CA Paris and all of the other Villages and start-ups a very Happy Birthday. Long may our partnership with them continue!

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