Bernard Magrez, the owner and patron of four wineries in the Bordeaux has launched the first incubator dedicated to start-ups in the vine, wine and wine tourism sector. The company is set-up at the fantastic Château Le Sartre, in the heart of the Bordeaux Pessac- Léognan region. Selected start-ups will benefit from a 6 to 24-month support programme starting end of this year. Applications are now being accepted.
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The COVID pandemic has led the wine industry to reinvent itself
In 2017, Bernard Magrez bought the Château le Sartre with the intention to develop wine tourism activities. His strategy at the time did not take into account the unpredictable COVID pandemic that would bring the wine tourism sector to a halt in 2020. The ongoing pandemic situation has forced the vineyard to reinvent itself and find innovative business ideas. As an outcome, an incubator for start-ups in the heart of the vineyard has been launched. The concept is the first of its kind. The programme will allow start-ups from across the globe to be at the heart of a functional property on a daily basis and therefore, in direct contact with the château’s teams.
For the Bordeaux owner, the project has the following objective:
- Promote innovation within the wine sector for the Bordeaux region and Bernard Magrez wines.
French companies are facing ever more virulent international competition. It is therefore essential to innovate in order to remain a leader in this field. To achieve this, a Scientific Research Department was set-up four years ago, accompanying young start-ups in order to reinvent the wine sector.
“Helping start-ups is helping others,” Bernard says. The maxim is omnipresent at the vineyard. Already two cancer research institutes, an orphanage for 80 children in Thailand, numerous contemporary artists whom he has been hosting in residence for almost 10 years in his Cultural Institute, and four talented classical musicians to whom he lends a Stradivarius and three violins, are supported.
The selected start-ups will be welcomed and accompanied by autumn onwards, for a period of 6 to 24 months, depending on their needs. The selection is based on an application form, which can be downloaded in August. The Bernard Magrez incubator offers 42 places to start-ups – matching the number of Bordeaux vineyards in the world.
The support program includes coaching sessions with Bernard Magrez. The start-ups will benefit from partnerships with innovative organisations such as WineTech and other professional business networks. They will have the opportunity to carry out their own experiments in the vineyard, help with fundraising, assistance with business development and receive regular monitoring by a start-up manager.
In terms of communication, start-ups can count on the visibility of the Bernard Magrez Group on the web and social networks, as well as in the national press. On the practical side, a conference room, a shared kitchen, two “phone rooms” and a reception desk will be available and, the icing on the cake, the direct proximity of Bordeaux Metropole (20 minutes) will allow start-ups to combine working days at the château with relaxing evenings in the city centre! What a dream!
Apply here and startup in the Bordeaux Pessac-Léognan vineyard.