Digital Innovation

Innovation and entrepreneurship: areas of expertise at Télécom Paris

Digital entrepreneurship is entering a new phase of acceleration and disruption. Acceleration refers to the pace with which internet start-ups are conquering the entire economy. Only a short time ago, web-based companies created their own segment or positioned themselves in industries that were relatively easy to enter.

But today, all traditional markets – even the most highly regulated ones – are threatened by one or more internet-based start-ups. As for disruption, it can be seen in views expressed by the most influential players in internet entrepreneurship. Investors, incubators, mentors and entrepreneurs themselves now advance the image of an entrepreneur who is increasingly seen as a “hacker.”



The School’s research professors and PhD students play an active role in research for digital innovation. By leading research partnerships with other private, public and research institutions, Télécom Paris aims to be a pioneer in this field.

Teaching and research chairs

Télécom Paris, in partnership with businesses and with support from Fondation Mines-Télécom, contributes to several chairs related to the field of digital innovation.

Joint laboratories


Online use of digitized heritage is an important area of study for the BnF (the National Library of France), as it is committed to adapting its range of services in this field and to understanding how such offerings may be appropriated. In order to ensure strong scientific coherence in this field of study, the BnF has partnered with Télecom Paris to found Bibli-Lab, a laboratory for studying libraries’ uses of digitized heritage. This partnership comprises application agreements and responses to national and international calls for projects.

Exalt Design Lab

Strate School of Design, Télécom Paris and École polytechnique, with the support of Carrefour, OTIS, MAIF, InProcess and EMAKINA, have created the EXALT Design Lab, the first joint research laboratory dedicated to promoting design in companies. The EXALT Design Lab research project is devoted to working with corporate partners on solutions for making design a central part of strategic planning, in order to anticipate and respond more effectively to the complexity of markets and to a changing society. Faced with a complex and uncertain world, design is now a discipline (and a career) that helps support the transformations companies must undergo in order to meet the requirements of attractiveness, competitiveness and the search for meaning.

LINCS – Internet of the future

The LINCS laboratory – Laboratory for Information, Networking and Communication Sciences, a joint research laboratory for the Internet of the future, was created in October 2010 by Nokia, Inria, Université Pierre et Marie Curie and Télécom Paris and officially launched in May 2011. The technological research institute SystemX has since joined the laboratory.

T-Tool: the future of 5G

The primary objective of this collaboration between Nokia Bell Labs and Télécom Paris is to develop new programming techniques and algorithms based on high-level models that allow engineers to distance themselves from the complexity of these platforms and to quickly (re)program/reconfigure them. These techniques and algorithms will be integrated and made available in the computer-aided design tool TTool/Diplodocus (free license).


Teaching students how to innovate and become entrepreneurs in a digital world. Télécom Paris helps students develop a greater understanding of the transformations underway and of economics in general. Télécom Paris training prepares its engineers for the transformations facing society, for the careers of the future and for innovation, and supports its students entrepreneurial projects.

Courses dedicated to entrepreneurship

Digital start-ups are gaining control of the entire economy. All industries have either been taken over or threatened by online start-ups: and AirBnB in the hotel industry, Uber in the taxi industry, Tesla in the automobile industry etc. This sixty-hour course in the Strategy, Innovation, Markets (SIM) study track, provides students with an understanding of how markets work and teaches them how to build business models, incorporate a design process in innovation and analyze new uses.

  • In the third year, the incubator project, a course that gives students an inside-look at everyday life for start-ups

This unique course is based on partnership projects with companies hosted at the Télécom Paris Novation Center incubator. It gives students insight into the increasingly important role technology plays in users’ lives and how these changes are impacting their practices. An engineer’s job is now to take account of this complex environment in which people’s attention and availability have become scarce resources.

The Entrepreneurship option

This 3rd year option is intended for:

  • Students who are interested in start-ups: this option gives them a look at key concepts for understanding how Internet start-ups are gaining control of the entire economy. Students learn about the strategies used by the latest digital start-ups.
  • Students who may be interested in becoming entrepreneurs but do not have a specific start up project: this option helps students develop their creativity in order to develop an original, disruptive idea which is both profitable and scalable.
  • Students with a defined start-up project: for students who are already entrepreneurs, this year enables them to grow their start-up. They benefit from extensive feedback, both from instructors and prospective customers. They also present their project to investors and incubators. Students accelerate their business’s performance by taking the most appropriate technical courses to develop their innovations.
“The entrepreneurship option gave me the opportunity to devote a large part of my time to a personal project. I was able to hand-select my courses so that I could study topics that were useful for me and still have enough time to work on my project. The professors provided just the right amount of guidance: they were available to answer questions and help me make contacts, without bothering me with questions or reports to hand in.” Florent Rémis X-Télécom Class of 2016

“Innovating in a digital world” MOOC

  • All of our engineering students enroll in this MOOC, which was created by Télécom Paris faculty members. It explains the new rules introduced by today’s digital world and helps students understand new mechanisms of innovation and entrepreneurship. The MOOC falls under the field of management and economics and provides students with a solid understanding of:
    • New rationales for creation and value capture
    • The factors driving the acceleration of the digital revolution
    • The principles of business strategy, in and through the digital world
    • New forms of business organization
    • The specialties of entrepreneurial dynamics

A certificate with Sciences Po: innovation through digital technology

Bringing together students from Sciences Po Paris and Télécom Paris, this certificate program offers third-year courses proposed jointly by the two schools. The program includes: innovation management, data management, design thinking workshops, business model development, innovation projects organized by businesses etc. Students spend one semester at each school, and gain dual expertise, combining technical skills with proficiency in innovation management through digital technology.

The Digital entrepreneur study track with HEC and Ecole 42

The “Digital entrepreneur” study track brings together students with complementary specializations from HEC, Télécom Paris and École 42, giving them the opportunity to think up, develop and carry out an entrepreneurial project of their choice. This training is based on the lean start-up philosophy. As such, student entrepreneurs are encouraged to develop a minimum viable product in a very short time so that they can receive feedback from their potential customers as quickly as possible.

The Student Digital Entrepreneurship Chair

Thanks to its partnership with LVMH, Télécom Paris created the Student Digital Entrepreneurship Chair (CENE) in order to boost its students’ entrepreneurial power by:

  • Helping them continue working on projects carried out through their courses, up to and including starting a business
  • Leading a community of student entrepreneurs and providing services to meet their needs
  • Organizing events to educate students about entrepreneurship and answer their questions


The incubator: supporting entrepreneurs

Founded in 1999 and supported by Télécom Paris, Télécom Paris Novation Center is the number one incubator in France, in terms of number of start-ups founded. It aims to structure and support digital projects by providing them with a business location, coaching workshops and a strong network through an ecosystem made up of researchers, laboratories, alumni, engineering students, the school’s major corporate partners and the Fondation-Mines-Télécom.

SME Builder: accelerating innovations developed through the incubator

SME Builder is the start-up accelerator supported by Télécom Paris Novation Center. Start-ups can take advantage of space in a site shared with EIT Digital, the organization in charge of driving Europe’s digital transformation. SME Builder is open to around ten start-ups from the incubator who wish to benefit from its services for a longer period of time.

Arnaud de Moissac and his team, DC Brain


“DC Brain is an easy-to-use software program based on artificial intelligence technologies, designed for physical network managers. These operators are all confronted with the same challenges: ensuring the reliability and optimization of increasingly complex and dynamic networks. Companies such as GRDF, Total, SNCF and Equinix have already placed their trust in the operational intelligence provided by our solutions. The incubator, and later, the SME Builder, helped us structure our development through training and workshops and provided us with precious advice and contacts.” Arnaud de Moissac, Co-founder of DC Brain, Class of 2010

Innovation spaces


The E-Lab is a space for experimentation open to all of the school’s students. Since 2018, students have been able to apply what they have learned and create digital objects of their choice at the lab.


The FabLab is a space specifically designed to introduce students to modern digital manufacturing methods like additive 3D printing and laser cutting.

The Design Studio

The Design Studio is a space entirely dedicated to developing student projects. It provides a modular space that promotes collaboration, creativity and quick prototyping.


“The Sneaker Guy is a search engine for sneakers to help you find your dream pair online at the best price. Both my associate and I are sneaker-lovers and we worked on this project from Télécom Paris’ Design Studio, where we were residents. The studio provides students with high-tech equipment and professional software. Workshops are organized on a regular basis to teach residents about useful topics for our businesses. The work atmosphere is relaxed but serious – it’s the perfect place to develop an entrepreneurial project.” Eliott Jabès – Engineer, Class of 2017
Eliott Jabès – Engineer, Class of 2017