Elsa Martineau: “One of emlyon’s strengths is that it fosters entrepreneurship in the broad sense, and not just creation of companies”

Elsa Martineau
Elsa Martineau

MSc in Management - Grance Ecole, 2012

Elsa Martineau has been appointed Head of Studio, Sia Partners’ investment fund for startups. After starting her career as a consultant and helping to set up and manage the Marketing and Customer Experience teams, she now devotes her energy to topics related to innovation ecosystems and startups.

Q1. What companies does Studio invest in?

Mainly innovative start-ups, whatever their business sector. For example, in 2017, we invested in Big Moustache, a subscription-based razor and blade service. We consolidated the business model and diversified the company’s activities. More recently, we have invested in Livsty, an online platform for pooled annuity funds, and in Cleep, a social shopping app.

Q2. How do you support them?

We invest in a startup if we know that we can bring them added value. We identify the in-house resources and experts that will help us to build synergy with the start-up. The idea is to find the people who have relevant insight concerning the challenges the start-up is facing, whether it be in the field of banking, retail, transport, etc. We are also looking for people with business skills such as marketing, communications, data science, purchasing, human resources and others.

Q3. What did you like about your time at emlyon business school?

Learning how to adapt in any situation and getting the keys that help you think about and build your career. Unlike other business schools, emlyon does not try to make its students all fit into the same mold; it helps each student to cultivate their unique qualities. Also, at emlyon, we learn about entrepreneurial issues, which is extremely enriching and explains why so many alumni end up starting their own business.

Q4. Have you kept in touch with other former students?

Yes, of course, namely with my personal network. I also stay up to date on alumni events held in Paris. The school’s network is very active.

Q5. Do you have any fond memories in particular?

The student associations! They help you to discover your classmates in a new light, to build stronger bonds and to take action to support the causes you care about.

Q6. What are you reading these days?

30 ans, 10 ans de thérapie (30 Years Old, 10 Years of Therapy) by Nora Hamzawi.

Q7. How do you rest?

I take some time to disconnect in the great outdoors. This summer, it was in Bali and Komodo!