Applications for summer 2017 are now closed!
The next round will open in December 2017...

Twice per year, we hold a competition to find the world’s most promising startups & individuals.

We are looking for technology startups in any sector – software, media, robotics, commerce, transportation, etc. – as long as they embody the key attributes of l’esprit nantais: community, sustainability & culture. 

The winners will be invited to Nantes for 3 months, where we will work out of La Cantine Numerique, a vibrant coworking space in the heart of the startup ecosystem. If you are not French, we will help with any necessary visas.



We will invest 15k€ in each startup in exchange for 6% ownership of the company. This money should be enough for the founders to live in Nantes and run their business during the program.

The 3-month program will be an intense working period to quickly find product/market fit and build your community of customers. We will also help each startup raise a Seed or Series A round of financing from our network of investors. After the program we will continue to support alumni for years to come.

Looking for talented individuals, not just startups

We are also looking for "Entrepreneurs-in-residence": engineering, design & business generalists to work full-time with our startups or create new ones. Entrepreneurs-in-residence will each receive a 5k€ stipend to work for the 3 months of our accelerator. 

You might be a senior employee looking for a new adventure, a junior employee, or a recent graduate: we are open to anyone, as long as you have a passion to build something new. Come with your own ideas and/or work on some of ours!



Silicon Valley DNA + the creative spirit of Nantes

Why should you choose Imagination Machine?  Because our DNA combines the playbook of Silicon Valley with the network, and spirit, of Nantes.

Imagination Machine is led by Rob Spiro, a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur. He founded Aardvark (acquired by Google for $50m) – at Google he led the teams that launched Hangouts and Google+ – then he founded a second startup, Good Eggs, and grew the company to tens of millions in revenue and hundreds of employees.

Rob will work very closely with each startup to teach them the strategies of Silicon Valley startups. You will build for an international market from day 1. You will work in intense 1-week development cycles. You will identify your core customer, hone your value proposition, track the right metrics and learn how to launch. You will get 3 years of education packed into 3 months of hands-on learning.

Rob is joined by a network of 25 entrepreneurs and CEOs in Nantes who are the key investors & mentors in Imagination Machine – including the founders & CEOs of these great Nantes companies...


Nantes: the next startup capital of Europe

Nantes has a thriving tech ecosystem full of rapidly-scaling startups  – including many with hundreds of employees already. It is full of talented people to help startups grow, with over 20,000 people working in tech today, not to mention the top-rated schools in engineering, design, materials science and business with hundreds of graduates each year. It has an excellent quality of life, leading many publications to rate it the best place to live in France and Europe.

It’s no surprise that nearly 10,000 people move to Nantes each year to establish their careers and raise their families, giving the city a dynamic energy and an optimistic vibe.

But best of all, Nantes has spirit. It is full of creativity, art and whimsy, where you’ll find art installations around every corner and massive mechanical animals walking down the street. It is a city that celebrates daily life, with incredible food, bustling markets, innovative restaurants and hundreds of cultural events each year. It is a city that lives in harmony with nature, named the Green Capital of Europe a few years ago, with excellent public transport systems, bike lanes, and hundreds of parks. It is surrounded by beautiful vineyards, fruit orchards, and the Atlantic coast...

Imagination Machine is based on l’esprit nantais. We’re looking for startups that share our spirit and want to celebrate it.