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Arnaud de la Tour

Interview

Highlights:

  • Defining deep tech: deep tech is characterized by high levels of research and development and unique intellectual property (IP). Arnaud explains that deep tech is not simply a mobile app connecting users but rather an advanced technology that requires significant time and effort to develop. These technologies can be digital, physical, or biological, and are often IP-intensive [1][2].
  • Deep tech as a long-term trend: deep tech has been building progressively over the past decade, driven by the need to transform industries such as energy production, food and agriculture, and green manufacturing [3]. The ability to prototype quickly and cheaply in various sectors, including biotech and hardware, has opened up value creation opportunities for startups [4]. Arnaud believes deep tech is here to stay, comparing its impact to the internet 20 years ago [1].
  • Corporations investing in deep tech: major corporations are increasingly investing in deep tech startups to meet their corporate social responsibility (CSR) challenges [5]. As traditional industries are disrupted, companies are seeking innovative solutions to transform their business models and continue making profits [6]. Arnaud cites examples of oil and gas companies shifting focus to hydrogen and electric cars [1].
  • Hello Tomorrow’s role in the deep tech ecosystem: Hello Tomorrow connects startups, investors, and corporations to help create a thriving deep tech ecosystem [7]. The organization operates two main activities: organizing the annual Hello Tomorrow Global Summit [8] and offering consulting services [9]. These activities provide a comprehensive service for deep tech startups, helping them to grow and succeed.
  • Hello Tomorrow’s future plans: Arnaud reveals plans to launch a venture capital (VC) fund focusing on early-stage deep tech startups [1]. This fund would invest in companies at the pre-revenue and pre-proof-of-concept stages, where traditional VC firms are often reluctant to invest [10]. The aim is to start with a small fund, make some initial investments, and then grow it over time.
  • Arnaud’s thoughts on technology’s role in sustainability: Arnaud believes that technology is both a problem and a solution when it comes to sustainability [1]. While it’s important to reconsider our society and how we live, emerging technologies are necessary for producing food, energy, and goods in a sustainable manner [11]. He emphasizes that to achieve net-zero emissions and maintain a high quality of life, we must scale up new technologies [12].

As deep tech continues to grow and evolve, organizations like Hello Tomorrow will play a critical role in fostering innovation and driving sustainable solutions for global challenges.

Find Arnaud on:

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References:
[1] BCG and Hello Tomorrow. (2021). Deep Tech: The Great Wave of Innovation.
[2] World Economic Forum. (2021). How venture capital investment in deep tech can tackle climate change.
[3] MIT School of Management. (2022). What is “Deep Tech” and what are Deep Tech Ventures?
[4] Forbes. (2022). Scaling A Deep Tech Startup: Lessons From The Front Line.

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