Before the NUMA brand was created, several sister organizations collaborated to the development of Paris’ startup ecosystem: Silicon Sentier, Le Camping, La Cantine... However, this network of initiatives struggled to scale, and needed to expand globally in order to keep up with international Venture Capital competitors.
So their founders came to us with a though question: “How can we open 10 offices worldwide in 2 years, in order to become a start-up accelerator global leader?”
One of the main pitfalls we identified from the start, was to enable strong growth without loosing consistency, especially in terms of the culture and values that had guided the network’s creation from the beginning.
We needed to understand the new expectations of all the stakeholders of the category: start-ups and innovation leaders worldwide, investors, but also corporates and public authorities who provide a considerable amount of funding to the ecosystem. We highlighted that the current acceleration category was structured around sole performance, which did not address the needs of all the parties involved.
We understood that in order to fulfill our client’s business objectives, we needed to build a brand and a positioning that would inspire employees, attract entrepreneurs, and appeal to corporate and local public authorities altogether.
So we created NUMA, a brand in the intersection of Numeric and human.
In order to distinguish from international competition, we decided to position Numa as the ANTI-BRAIN DRAIN.
While other accelerators promised to import the best start-ups from all over the world, NUMA decided to focus on finding the most promising entrepreneurs in any local economic clusters it would operate in. With this promise, NUMA committed to always nurturing innovation and fostering local impact - rather than importing it.
We then drastically simplified the brand architecture, so that NUMA would be the only brand visible for all. With CB’a, we imagined the new brand visual identity.
This new positioning has immediately made Numa successful in winning three public tenders for creating accelerators in Barcelona, Mexico and Moscow - all versus American competitors.
There are now 7 NUMA accelerators worldwide, with new country openings ahead. Numa is more successful than ever in attracting startups.
OgilvyRED and CB’a won the 2014 Strategies Design Grand Prix for the creation of NUMA brand.