Residents Nov 19, 2021

This month, we had the pleasure of interviewing an absolute startup (and Partech Shaker) expert: Claire Caminati-Farber of Startup Palace. 🚀

👉 Quickfire start:  Can you sell Startup Palace to me in just one sentence?

“For the last 6 years, Startup Palace has designed and run startup acceleration programs on behalf of larger corporates.”
That’s to put it very simply. But evidently, the dynamism of Startup Palace couldn’t be contained in one single sentence in Claire’s eyes, as she continued…
“Already, the accelerator has aided over 400 startups, designed over 26 roadmaps, and accompanied 30 corporate partners” such as, to name but a few: TF1, Malakoff Humanis, Groupama, Facebook, Sodebo, MACIF, and Apicil.
And if that’s not enough, Claire clearly foresaw our opening question and pointed us towards Startup Palace’s ready-made ‘WHY?’ section on their website. 💡

👉 So, can you tell us more about what your role is at Startup Palace?

Having spent eight years in the PR industry, and a subsequent two years at Techstars Paris (alumnus of the Partech Shaker, we’ll have you know 😉), in August 2020 Claire joined Startup Palace – where she is now Head of Communication.
“I manage all things PR, whether that’s social media, content creation for our blog, newsletters, event management, or sourcing of partnerships - and I do the same thing for all our participating accelerators”
Of course, she says, “It makes for really interesting work, but also some tricky challenges!”
Claire is a jack of all trades in the best way possible, as she also acts as ‘Startup Manager’. “That is to say, I give weekly coaching to startups and provide them with the necessary resources to best aid their acceleration.”
Most notably, she accompanies ZEI with their program French Assurtech, and Nothing2Install with their program OFF7.
Her challenge in a nutshell? To elevate the brand of each accelerator, but also build that of Startup Palace itself! No more shall the company be considered just a player in Nantes, but they now boast a completely Parisian team, she tells us.

👉 What does a week-in-the-life look like for you?

A usual week is nothing if not rich, she says! It’s here that Claire gives us a HUGE list of what she does – try reading all this in one breath 😉:
“I pass from one project to another, juggle all our different participants, communicate with our partners to organize events, squeeze in interviews, brief our speakers, try to bring together our alumni, I share events relevant to our company, publish content here and there, monitor what’s what on social media, find new entrepreneurs to interview on my different blogs and other Medium pages that I run. I’d say I have about 150 other tasks to manage, but I think you get the idea!”

👉 What first drew you to Startup Palace?

“When I finished at Techstars Paris, where I managed communications for two years, and at the beginning of the pandemic, I was looking for something new in a stimulating environment.”
Having interviewed at many companies from other accelerators to Parisian startups, Claire caught wind that Startup Palace were on the hunt for a new Head of Comms. Despite having never even heard of the company, she admits, she was curious to speak with them anyway to see what it was all about. 🤔
And the rest is history”, Claire laughs. “I met the team in a Montparnasse bar (they had already wagered a bet to make me trapse round Paris to find them!), and spoke with Yoann, Florian, and CEO Mathieu. The conversation flowed really well, and they were super transparent – I had a feeling we would be a really good fit.”
So, Claire wasted no time in joining the team - “and what a team they are!”, she says.

👉 You and the Partech Shaker go way back. What did you learn at Techstars and how have you transferred that knowledge?

“Joining Techstars was a huge challenge for me”, Claire admits, “having spent the previous 8 years working in PR agencies.”
She tells us that it was a total 180° move for her to then be on the communication end of things, having to quickly become a real all-rounder, or “un couteau suisse” as the French much more elegantly phrase it.
“But it’s thanks to my varied experiences at Techstars that I learned to be independent, and to manage a hell of a workload!” 💪

👉 Do you have a favorite Startup Palace success story?

With so many successes to choose from, this was clearly a difficult question – But Claire chose ADMAX, the monetization solution for mobile apps and websites.
“The story of ADMAX is that of two brilliant guys who developed a golden bit of tech but needed a hand with media to really open doors for them. They joined the OFF7 accelerator, our scheme launched with Ouest-France and within only a few months they were generating tens of thousands of additional monthly revenues. What more can I say!?

👉 What’s the future for Startup Palace? Any exciting news to tell us? 👀

Cheeky question gets a cheeky answer, I suppose. Claire told us “there is a constant stream of news coming from Startup Palace, else your question wouldn’t be that funny!”  😏
The super-organizer that she is, Claire then divides her answer into four sections:
🎯 Programs: “We are renewing our flagship programs for the new season in 2022: OFF7, FuturaGrow and PBTracks”
📰 Newbiz: “After the media, insurance, foodtech and postal verticals, we hope to be able to launch a new accelerator. Stay tuned as they say…”
🌎 International: “On the one hand, the idea is to support more and more European startups and to help them collaborate with French Corporates. And vice versa, we want to help French startups to deploy at European level.”
📅 Events: “We are busy organizing the 2nd edition of our “Cafés Croissants” on December the 2nd, with Estimeo. Next January, we will host the 2nd edition of the “Startup Palace Afterworks” (around a good galette des rois with frangipane) to bring together our alumni, sponsors and partners!”

👉 And finally, what made you choose the Partech Shaker as your home?

“Need you ask?” She exclaims!

“1. I already knew the area pretty well from my two years at Techstars
2. My Parisian colleagues were already mostly based in a co-working space in Paris, but it really wasn’t ideal for those visiting from Nantes, and as we were due to expand the team very soon.
3. There’s nothing better than being right in the heart of Sentier for meetings with clients and partners.
4. I could never stray from the rooftop view here, even 2 years later it still feels like a dream.
5. Once a part of the Partech Shaker, always a part of the Partech Shaker!”

What a note to end on. We couldn’t be happier to host such vibrant and passionate people at such interesting startups. Thank you, Claire, for taking the time to talk with us, and best of luck with the future of Startup Palace

👉 The 2nd edition of PBTracks has just launched! If you’re a startup specialized in invoicing, shipping, or delivery and reception of packages – don’t hesitate to apply! You have until the 16th of January to enter here.

👉 For Startup Palace’s 2nd edition of ‘Cafés Croissants’, taking place on the 2nd of December with special guest Joao Cardoso de Jesus, CEO of Lovys, sign up here!