Laureates of the Les Inn’Ovations 2022 competition – Mabqi, Watertracks, and Yum & Wild – explain how Med Vallée could boost their growth. Here’s what the winners have to say.
Without knowing it, they are thinking along the same lines. Mabqi, Watertracks, and Yum & Wild are looking at Med Vallée development with similar interest. All three companies have something in common: in addition to being based in Montpellier, they were each awarded one of the seven trophies in the highly prestigious Inn’Ovations competition organized each year by Ad’Occ in association with Montpellier BIC.
If they find Med Vallée appealing, it’s also because they have developed solutions that are fully in line with the themes covered by this world-class cluster in the field of global health. Mabqi is a spin-off from Inserm specializing in immunotherapy. This biotech company discovers and develops antibodies and drugs for treating cancer and other serious diseases, whether inflammatory or infectious of viral origin.
Incubated by SATT AxLR and assisted by Montpellier BIC, the company works closely with the Montpellier Cancer Research Institute (IRCM), which is supported by Inserm, University of Montpellier, and the Montpellier Cancer Institute. Along with Sanofi and Servier, Mabqi is also the only French immunotherapy company to have full in-house control of its own therapeutic antibody resource, a bank that ranks among the best in the world in its category. Founded in late 2017 in Montpellier, Mabqi already generates sales revenue of €1 million with its 15 employees.
Nevertheless, Med Vallée has a lot to offer the company.
“Med Vallée can give us great exposure. Thanks to this cluster, we will be able to benefit from its ecosystem as well as support from Montpellier Métropole and the other co-founders, the French State and Occitanie Region, which will be able to offer us solutions in terms of real estate, for example, that are adapted to our growth,” points out Sylvain Yon, Mabqi’s Managing Director.
Raphaël Gaillard, the CEO of Watertracks, shares his point of view: “Med Vallée will bring us new synergies and the Med Vallée cluster will draw talent thanks to its attractiveness, which is important for our recruiting needs.”
His company is currently looking for land to build its facilities. And for good reason: Watertracks has developed an underwater robot that can dredge all types of water reservoirs used for human activities in a completely ecological manner. The vehicle, called NESSIE, is equipped with ballastable tracks and weighs 15 tons. It is 7 m long, 5 m wide, and 4 m high. Two European patents have been filed.
Therefore, Watertracks needs some space to grow. The company is targeting the global market, particularly since NESSIE is supported by the International Commission on Large Dams and the International Hydropower Association.
“Throughout the world, artificial lakes contain an average of more than 35% sediment and they continue to become clogged. The situation is even more serious in France, with an average of over 50% sedimentation since 2020,” warns Raphaël Gaillard.
As for Yum & Wild, they specialize in manufacturing spreadable dips and organic mayonnaise, using 100% plant-based chickpea cooking water, also known as aquafaba, which is rich in plant proteins and can replace eggs in mixed sauces. The company’s recipes do not use any milk, additives, or chemical ingredients. Better health through healthy eating is another Med Vallée theme that Audrey Faure, a doctor in food chemistry and CEO of Yum & Wild, is keenly aware of.
“With Med Vallée, we will be able to benefit from a community of companies that share the same values as ours. That is particularly interesting in terms of exchanging ideas, networking, and helping develop future products,” she says.
She feels that upcycling will make it possible to develop products in the food sector of high nutritional quality that do not currently exist. This is what Yum & Wild is doing by integrating aquafaba into its sauces, at its workshop located at the Montpellier Market of National Interest.
Of course, while Med Vallée will be very useful to all three companies, they also agree that the cluster will be able to count on them too. Mabqi, Watertracks, and Yum & Wild are doing more than just thinking along the same lines. They are also moving forward in harmony with Med Vallée.