The deeptech sector (projects involving a major scientific breakthrough or a breakthrough technological innovation) is becoming the priority of investors. The historical industry of venture capital companies in the 80s and 90s, deeptech lost its glory with the bursting of the telecom bubble in the early 2000s.
These scientific projects have then long experienced the worst difficulties in raising funds and financing themselves, obsolete by the digital boom. For many years, deeptech has been categorized by investors as particularly capital-intensive projects with limited probabilities of success.
A larger playing field
But the situation has changed radically for these actors. It is now entirely possible for an entrepreneur to develop a stunning deeptech project with a very reasonable capital requirement. The field of play is particularly vast: robotics, news space, health with the rise of artificial intelligence, mobility, and new materials.
Lowering barriers to entry
In recent years, the deeptech universe has indeed begun to change under the combined effect of two phenomena. First, barriers to entry have been drastically lowered. Major technological innovations have developed over the years, significantly reducing capital consumption. The large-scale distribution of open source software bricks is now a significant factor in the resurgence of deeptech projects that we see on the market.
Similarly, in the hardware sector, thanks mainly to the mobile technological revolution, many sensors or components have seen their prices collapse. In such a context, deeptech entrepreneurs are now able to produce POC (proof of concept) at a lower cost and in a shorter time. Entrepreneurs, therefore, have the opportunity to build disruptive products or solutions without having to face the dangers of capital consumption from previous deeptech projects. These POCs thus deliver a faster return on investment than before. Customer feedback is also becoming quicker and more frequent, allowing entrepreneurs to develop a product that is closer to market needs.
New entrepreneur profiles
A phenomenon has allowed deeptech projects to enter a new era. In recent years, we have seen a radical change in the very profile of entrepreneurs. Historically, this type of project was carried out by recognized and experienced scientists from major research laboratories. These brilliant scientists, however, embarked on entrepreneurship without any real experience in the business world.
Since then, the game has changed. The scientist-entrepreneurs of yesteryear have gradually transformed into scientific entrepreneurs, now better acquainted with the requirements of the business world and investors. At the same time, we have seen a rejuvenation of entrepreneurs. The latter no longer hesitate, from now on, to launch their deeptech projects after only a few years of work in research laboratories. This rejuvenation has thus fostered the emergence of a pool of scientific entrepreneurs.