Entrepreneurship at Centrale Nantes

Are you looking to launch a new venture during your studies? Do you have the soul of an entrepreneur, but are afraid to go it alone and would like some guidance? Or do you simply want to develop your entrepreneurial skills? Several options are at hand!

Centrale Nantes provides support during your studies to help you explore and launch your new activities. From raising awareness to supporting your project, all your entrepreneurial aspirations can flourish during your studies!

Get support
Get funded


Numerous events take place to inspire our communities, encourage 'learning by doing' and highlight innovative project leaders. Throughout the year, you can take part in a series of meetings between entrepreneurs and students, project creation weekends, etc.
Escape Game Entrepreneurship

Take part in the entrepreneurship escape game and find out in a fun way what lies behind the concept of "entrepreneurship".
These escape games are organised regularly at the incubator, in collaboration with Nantes Université.

Crash Test ta startup

The Crash Test ta Startup, organised by the Centrale-Audencia-Ensa Incubator, invites students to test and challenge their idea for an innovative project in front of experts and experienced entrepreneurs, so that they can leave with valuable advice and contacts to help them move forward more confidently.

Learn more

Weekend Dare

Weekend Dare - Partner event

44 hours to create your own innovative company with other students from the Centrale Nantes, Audencia and Ensa Nantes Alliance! Experts are on hand to give advice throughout the weekend. On the programme: ideation workshop, market study, development of the MVP, construction of the business model, introduction to the pitch...

An unmissable event if you want to learn about entrepreneurship!
Spice UP

Spice UP - Partner event

Organised by Mash Up and the Pépite des Pays de la Loire, Spice Up is an event designed for those who want to take action, who want to make the move from bystander to protagonist.
It's a free event, geared towards people under 30, but open to everyone, regardless of background or project/idea maturity.

Partner Event

Organised by Pépite Pays de la Loire, Doctinnov' is a one-day creative marathon for PhD students only in order to discover entrepreneurship!

Learn - for engineering programme students

Entrepreneurship is also part of the curriculum at Centrale Nantes. The entrepreneurship option in the final year of the engineering programme provides a good insight into entrepreneurship with various modules on market analysis, creativity and design thinking, business plan, finance, marketing, etc. and a group project. In addition to the teaching modules, students will work on an entrepreneurial project in a group.

Learn more

Get support

Get started, with PEPITE accredited support programmes

Do you have an idea for a project? Would you like to launch your business but don't know where to start? Support is available to all Centrale students through various schemes adapted to the maturity of their project.

As a student, you can benefit from the PEPITE support programmes to combine studies and project creation. The PEPITE Pays de la Loire delivers, on behalf of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, national student-entrepreneur status (Statut National Étudiant-Entrepreneur) which conveys numerous advantages and access to one of their support programmes.

3 programmes are available:
  • Pépite DECOUVERTE: Try entrepreneurship at your own pace
  • Pépite EMERGENCE: fine-tune the foundations of your project
  • Pépite STARTER: develop your project

Get started with the Lab Citoyen

The objective of the Lab Citoyen is to promote and support student and citizen projects in the neighbourhood around the Tertre Campus. The collective experimentation laboratory encourages meetings and co-creativity between students, campus staff and local residents to carry out projects with a positive impact, from the emergence of an idea to the first actions of implementation.
Each project leader can benefit from individual support and tools, through a series of collaborative workshops to move quickly from the idea to the project and from the project to the first stages of deployment.

Lab Citoyen is supported by Centrale Nantes, Nantes Métropole, the Crous, Audencia and Nantes Université.

Get impetus, with the Centrale-Audencia-Ensa Incubator

Are you ready to launch and want to speed up the development of your innovative project?
In joining Centrale Nantes, you have access to the Centrale-Audencia-Ensa Incubator and its support programmes.
The cooperation of three educational and research establishments, which is unique in France, allows incubated projects to benefit from exceptional conditions for development.

More specifically, joining the Incubator means:
  • Accommodation on the incubator's premises (Centrale Nantes Campus)
  • Access to workshops and thematic sessions necessary for the development of your project
  • Monitored and coaching by a group of experts, mentors and a dedicated programme manager
  • Diverse funding opportunities: Centrale Innovation, access to a large network of investors
  • Visibility for your project within the Nantes entrepreneurial ecosystem and also across the networks of the three schools: participation in events and competitions, access to professional communities, potential partnerships, etc.
Learn more about the incubator:
Website (in French)
Incubator monthly news (in French)

Get funded

Entrepreneurial grants for engineering programme students

The Centrale Nantes Foundation can provide support via an entrepreneurial grant to Centrale Nantes engineering programme students who substitute their 6-month final year internship to develop an entrepreneurial project.
Eligibility criteria: The student must be enrolled in the 'Development of a Personal Project' or 'Entrepreneurship' final year option AND have SNEE status (national status of student entrepreneur - see the section 'Being supported').
The amount of the grant is fixed on an annual basis by the Centrale Nantes Foundation.

Applications to: fondation@ec-nantes.fr

Startup Challenge

The Startup Challenge recognises the entrepreneurial projects with the most potential and is open to all students of the Écoles Centrales Group. It is a unique experience to test your project and gain visibility. It is also a unique opportunity to pitch to a jury, benefit from a mentoring programme and meet the alumni network.

Three prizes are awarded to help the teams develop their business: 1st prize $15 000 - 2nd prize $5 000 - 3rd prize $2 000.

Published on January 27, 2023 Updated on April 22, 2024