Gene.iO 2023

Are you at the head of an innovative Biotechnology startup? Apply to a whole program to enhance your biotech!

Call for Candidates Gene.iO: Terms and Conditions

Article 1 – Purpose and setting

The purpose of the Gene.iO call for candidates organized by Genopole is to encourage, support and valorize innovative biotechs working in bioeconomy sectors such as greentech, agritech, foodtech, innovative therapies or computational genomics.

Genopole defines “innovation” and “biotechnology” as follows:

  • Innovation: a new and inventive technology, process or service with market-validated economic potential, and
  • Biotechnology: the use of the knowledge of the natural, biological function of living organisms to produce goods and services.

With the Gene.iO program developed by Genopole, biotech start-ups are able to:

  • validate a business model,
  • develop a fund-raising strategy,
  • develop a key accounts partnership strategy,
  • and develop a communications strategy.

Gene.iO is intended for legal entities under private law as defined by French regulations.

Gene.iO is a year-long custom-tailored program aimed at consolidating the start-up's business model and raising initial funding or establishing an initial commercial agreement.


Article 2 – Candidate eligibility

All innovative bioeconomy-oriented (e.g., greentech, agritech, foodtech, innovative therapies, computational genomics) biotech start-ups can submit a dossier for the call for candidates. More particularly, Genopole is seeking innovative start-ups that have already demonstrated proof of concept for their technologies.

Businesses in the process of being created may be represented by the natural person holding the business creation project. However, the business creation process must be completed before the date of entry in the Gene.iO program.

Candidate start-ups must:

  • have a functional prototype or a technology readiness level 3–4 proof of concept,
  • fall within Genopole's thematic orientations,
  • and show innovation as defined in Article 1 of the present Terms and Conditions.


Article 3 – The Gene.iO offer

The candidates chosen to join Gene.iO will benefit from a one-year (renewable one time) accompaniment program comprising the following elements:

  • A €20,000 repayable advance.
  • A Starter Kit including two global assessments of the business, one at the start of the program and another at its end.
  • Payed access to a range of Strategy Packs aimed at consolidating the business model and preparing an initial fund-raising campaign or an initial commercial agreement. These Gene.iO Strategy Packs include:
    • the Market Access Pack offering notably expertise for market access, intellectual property strategies and customer discovery;
    • the Fund-Raising Pack, offering notably strategy expertise, expert consulting and an opportunity to pitch the start-up to preselected investors;
    • the Key Accounts Pack offering notably commercial strategy and negotiation guidance and opportunities to meet with innovative large corporations in the start-up's sector;
    • the Communication Strategy Pack, offering notably guidance on the presentation of the Biotech's innovation to help it gain maximum traction, and counselling on the development of a digital communication strategy.
  • Continous support from a team of Genopole Enterprises project managers.
  • A mentor.
  • Access to Genopole's network.

Genopole will also provide 18 months of accommodation assistance at the biocluster (offices/laboratories excluding the OpenLab (mutualized, shared-use offices/labs)), covering rental fees and premises-associated general expenses at the following rates: first six months = 100%; second six months = 50%; third six months = 25%. To obtain this assistance, the start-up must be maintained at Genopole for the entire Gene.iO program period and for the 24 months following the end of the program.

Finally, the chosen candidates will have privileged access to:

  • Genopole's technological platforms,
  • and its ecosystem of researchers, experts, industrials and startups.


Article 4 – Constitution of the candidate dossier

The candidate dossier is available on Genopole's dedicated website. It must be completed online.

Candidates must furnish to the call for candidates team all complementary elements that may be needed to fully understand the dossier.

Dossiers will be refused if any of the required elements are missing.

The dossier must be written in French or in English.

No other methods of inscription will be accepted.

Regardless of the type of project, candidates must describe the situation of the project completely and sincerely.


Article 5 – Submission of the candidate dossier

The candidate dossier must be submitted via Genopole's dedicated website.

A confirmation of reception will be provided for all dossiers successfully deposited on the dedicated website. 


Article 6 – Candidate selection

The technical secretarial service of Genopole will organize the reception, registration and examination of the submitted dossiers, and inform the candidates of the results of the different selection steps.

  • The Genopole team will verify that the candidate dossiers meet eligibility requirements.
  • Eligible dossiers will be evaluated by Genopole's committee of scientific, entrepreneurial, financial and business creation experts (the expert committee).

The eligible candidates will be invited to present their projects in person to the expert committee.

  • Thereafter, the opinion of the expert committee will be submitted to the chief executive of Genopole for final validation.

The project evaluation criteria are:

  • the qualities and competencies of the business and its director (and/or the business team),
  • the innovative nature of the product, process or service (added value),
  • its market potential,
  • the growth potential of the business,
  • and the adequation of the project with the Genopole ecosystem.


Article 7 – Calendar

The Gene.iO call for candidates will be launched in May 2023.

The deadline for dossier submission is 16 July 2023 at midnight, as evidenced by the timestamp of the reception confirmation.

The expert committee will meet at Genopole on 12 to 14 September 2023.

The selected candidates must be present for the start of the Gene.iO program starting 2 November 2023.


Article 8 – Candidate obligations

All call candidates are under the obligation to:

  • supply any complementary information that Genopole may request,
  • accept the Gene.IO offer as attributed,
  • read and accept without reservation the present Terms and Conditions,
  • waive all rights to legal action concerning the organization of, the results of, and the jury's decisions for the call for candidates,
  • and waive all rights to any claims or indemnities in case of modification, rescheduling or cancellation of the call for candidates.


Article 9 – Obligations for the selected businesses

All businesses selected for Gene.iO are under the obligation to:

  • participate in all event activities organized within the framework of Gene.iO,
  • mention in all communications or declarations their integration in the Genopole Gene.iO program,
  • sign a Gene.iO program contract with Genopole,
  • commit to an examination of the feasibility of localization at the Genopole biocluster,
  • provide all information requested by Genopole on the evolution of the business for the three years following their integration within Gene.iO,
  • and reimburse the €20,000 repayable advance provided by Genopole at the start of the program in a maximum delay of three (3) months following the end of the program or earlier if the start-up successfully raises funds or accomplishes significant sales.
  • take part at, at least, two packs.


Article 10 – Publicity and communication

In addition to a short general description, the laureates of the call for candidates will also furnish a brief presentation of their projects and assume the responsibility of not disclosing confidential information therein.


Article 11 – Right of publicity

All candidates give Genopole permission to take, reproduce, and make publicly available the photographs and audiovisual recordings made in the context of the Gene.iO program call for candidates.

Thereto, all candidates must sign the declaration of consent for the taking and use of images adjoined to the present Terms and Conditions.

In accordance with legislation on personal data protection (French Law of 6 January 1978 on data processing, data files and individual liberties, in its amended form) and the European General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation [EU] 2016/679), candidates have the right to access their personal data, to request that such data be corrected or erased, and to refuse any subsequent processing thereof.


Article 12 – Confidentiality

Documents transmitted for the call for candidates are considered strictly confidential (excepting the paragraph "Distributable Presentation" — see Article 10 of the present Terms and Conditions) and available only to the individuals responsible for assessing the dossier. The individuals with access to dossiers are required to respect their strict confidentiality.


Article 13 – Intellectual property

Candidates declare that they legitimately hold any intellectual property rights associated with the businesses presented in the call for candidates and thus guarantee that no legal actions can be taken against the organizer.


Article 14 – Organizer obligations

The organizers of the call for candidates reserve the right to cancel or partially or totally modify it, should such changes become necessary, with no need to justify the decision. The organizers cannot be held liable in this regard.

The organizers and partners (including consultants and the members of the expert committee) cannot be held liable in case of litigation relative to the organizational conditions of the call for candidates, the reception process or the candidate selection.


Article 15 – Aid framework

The aid provided by Genopole as part of the Gene.iO program falls within the scope of the European Commission Regulation no. 1407/2013 of 18 December 2013 on de minimis aid.

This regulation indicates that: "The total amount of de minimis aid granted (...) to a single undertaking shall not exceed EUR 200 000 over any period of three (3) fiscal years."

Thus, the selected candidates will be invited to complete declarations justifying that the aid provided by Genopole does not cause this €200,000 ceiling to be exceeded. 


Article 16 – Acceptation of the Terms and Conditions

Submitting a dossier for the call for candidates implies the candidate's full and unreserved acceptance of the present Terms and Conditions without possibility of appeal as to the results of the call, as the expert committee is sovereign and free of any obligation to justify its decisions.