NOVA by Saint-Gobain: from the Versailles Palace to working with startups in the Contech industry

NOVA, the external venture arm of Saint-Gobain, works closely with startups working on the development of innovative materials that help the performance of buildings.

We interviewed NOVA by Saint-Gobain´s leaders Minas Apelian, Vice President of Internal and External Venturing (and Bruce Springsteen fan!), and Sven Harmsen, Director of External Venture Strategy. Take a look at their story: from installing windows and mirrors in the Versailles Palace to working hand in hand with startups around the world on promoting innovation within the Contech industry.

What is your offer to entrepreneurs?

“As one of the largest global building materials company in the world, we bring access to customers, new materials and new ways to build that can help entrepreneurs test their ideas, take their MVPs, put them into practice and see whether or not they´re able to bring the value the entrepreneurs intent” said Minas Apelian. “We really want to make all of this resources within our company, all of our expertise, and our building science, available to the startups to help them advance their ideas.”


What do you offer to participants of Construction Startup Competition 2020?

“We are going to engage with them; we are going to have both members of our Nova venturing team working with them to help bring their ideas forward. We will also bring some of our experts withing our businesses forward, as it´s appropriate and relevant, to help the startups as well. To the extent that we can make available these capabilities, we are very much interested and willing to do that” Apelian added. “We understand that startups need other things, like investment and money, and we are in a position to help with that as well. Our approach is to work with each entrepreneur and startup in a very individualistic way and to tailor what we bring with what that startup needs. We don´t want to be a one size fits all organization.

Is your startup working to promote innovation in the construction industry? Participate in Construction Startup Competition 2020 and be a leader in the construction revolution! Apply now!