12 months to get from 0 to outstanding

Your Hexa journey

Unmatched support

Following their experience in our studio,
founders consistently express a similar sentiment: "The level of support Hexa provides was beyond my expectations." We are convinced that our operational support is what sets our founders to a path to creating truly outstanding companies.

1

Join

Get matched with an idea

We conduct extensive research to generate the most promising startup ideas. We’ll pitch you our ideas and together and we’ll find one that best matches your skillset and drive.

Get funded

Hexa will fund all of the costs during your time at the studio. Including your salary, your team’s salaries and any other associated costs. Oh and you also get office space of course!

Find your co-founder

We’ll introduce you to some of the ecosystem’s best entrepreneurs, and support you along the way to make sure it’s the right match. Already have a co-founder? That works too - you can apply together.

2

Build

Build a best-in-class MVP

You’ll build a MVP, with the help of our product team, who will literally join your startup. Leveraging our finely-tuned methodology, honed through the creation of over +40 B2B SaaS products, we provide hands-on assistance every step of the way.

Acquire your first clients

You’ll work hard to acquire your first clients and generate traction for your product. Hexa companies usually get their first customers through our Design Partner network - and you’ll get amazing product feedback along the way.

Hire your core team

Yes you’re building with Hexa, but it’s your company, so you’ll get to hire your own team of people and get our talent’s team expert advice on who your strategic first hires should be.

3

Launch

Launch publicly

We place a huge importance on brand building from the getgo. Benefit from our design’s team unique touch to create a brand that will last & launch publicly with the help of our PR network and our history of getting #1st place on Product Hunt.

Raise a seed round

We’ll prepare you to raise your first round of funding and introduce you to our wide network of VCs and Business Angels. Our past startups have raised with Sequoia, Accel, Index, Creandum - and more.

4

You are now part of the Hexa ecosytem

Get access to Hexa’s community of founders for life.

Create your company now

BECOME A 
HEXA FOUNDER 

FAQ

What do we look for in founders?

We're in the business of partnering with people for whom launching a company isn't just a choice, but a calling; people who will create their company one day, with or without us. Besides this drive, there are specific traits we value: mindsets, soft skills, and qualities we’ve seen fuel successful startups time and time again. These boil down to ambition, humility, and execution. While there are always exceptions, they’re the attributes shared by many of our founders who have gone on to create some of the world’s leading software companies.

For a deep-dive on the profiles and qualities we look for in founders, read this.

What is the journey of a founder?

The journey at Hexa typically lasts 12 months. Every journey is different, but all startups reach the same milestones during their time at Hexa: getting matched with an idea, finding a cofounder, building an MVP, finding first customers, hiring a team, launching publicly, raising a seed round, and finally, becoming independent. For more information on what your time at Hexa would look like, refer to our Journey page.

How involved is Hexa in each startup?

Hexa is deeply involved in each project, providing hands-on support over a 12-month period. Our team works alongside founders in key areas like product development, design, strategy, go-to-market planning, recruiting, and funding. The focus is on building strong, independent companies, both from an operational and financial perspective. We cover all costs until the company becomes independent. We do not provide shared resources in consulting mode to independent companies, nor do we provide funding to independent companies.

As for our partners, they contribute significantly to strategic decision-making, shaping the business's trajectory, and addressing complex challenges head-on, ensuring a blend of independence and expert guidance for the founders we support. Founders are in the driving seat, but need to remain open to the perspectives around them.

What does the Hexa core team look like?

Our core team supports each project on recruiting, product, design, marketing, sales, finance, legal, and more strategic topics. Most importantly, the priority of each core team member is to help build a fully independent team for each project. It's also worth noting that we don't have software engineers in the core team working on new products. This means that each new startup's product will be built by engineers who have been recruited specifically for this company.

How does it really work?

The startup will work every day from our office, literally sitting on the same bench alongside the Hexa core team. This means we work together and interact on a daily basis on all topics: product, design, recruiting, go-to-market, fundraising, team management, etc.

To ensure that we keep the right pace of delivery and that everybody is on the same page, we have a weekly sprint organization that applies to all topics (product of course, but also business, go-to-market, etc). These sprints are supported by weekly routines: kick-offs, product, recruiting and, go-to-market meetings, as well as ad hoc meetings to dig into specific questions.

We have a quarterly meeting called Demotime, where each project makes a presentation to the Hexa team and all the other startup teams to take a step back on their progress and define the 3 month roadmap.

Find out more about startup studios here.

Where is it?

Hexa is based in Paris, 12 rue Martel 75010. We have several founders who aren’t based in Paris, but it’s important to have a presence at our HQ to benefit from the resources, guidance and expertise of our partners and core team. Building startups in teams is at the core of our ethos.

How do we find founders?

Every month, entrepreneurs reach out to us to express their interest in launching a company with us. When we sit down with them, we want to have a real and open conversation, similar to when two people meet for a coffee for the first time. The aim is to get to know each other, identify mutual areas of interest and assess the possibility of working together in the long run. The discussions are led by the Hexa partners responsible for each idea. We have three kinds of discussions in the partnering process:

Fit and skills discussion - are we a good professional match?

Idea fit - as we’re spending more and more time together working on the business idea, do we feel that we’re going in the same direction?

Ownership - as our discussion moves forward, do we feel that entrepreneurs are taking ownership of the idea and bringing their own vision and insights to it?

Co-founder match - if a co-founder's already in place, do we think there's a match?

How many people get through?

At Hexa, we believe in nurturing potential and fostering entrepreneurial spirit. Every year, we are approached by roughly 1000 aspiring entrepreneurs, each with a unique vision and drive. From these, we select an average of 12 founders (two per project) per year to embark on the startup journey with us. This selection reflects not just the high demand for our program but also our commitment to dedicating intensive, personalized support to each founder. Our selection process is thorough and fair, prioritizing candidates who exhibit the qualities we value most: ambition, humility, and the ability to execute. Find out more about what we look for here.

Our focus is on finding the right match between the founder's vision and our expertise. We believe in giving everyone a fair chance and making our decision based on who we think has the highest potential to succeed in the challenging and rewarding world of startups.

Where do the ideas come from?

The initial idea will in most cases come from our partners. The numerous rich discussions we have through our deep exposure to entrepreneurs, companies, investors, and more generally the global SaaS ecosystem are the key source of inspiration for new pain points to solve. An idea for us generally means (1) a pain point we want to solve, and (2) a first mockup of the initial MVP - a simple solution to start solving the pain point while providing enough value to users.

It's important to understand the idea will obviously evolve as we will be working together on the venture, driven by the founding team - and that in our experience the founders very quickly become full owners of the idea. A question we often get is about copycats. The answer here is super simple, we build software companies and not e-commerce companies. Software businesses are driven by innovation and generally have low localization specifics (i.e. in general, apart from language, SaaS companies are essentially global from day one) - which basically means copycating a software company does not really make sense. Long story short, all our ideas are original 🙂 It's rare but worth mentioning that we have partnered with founders on an existing idea (e.g., Equify, Foxintelligence).

What's the success rate?

It's a question we get a lot which is hard to answer because success is difficult to define and takes several years to assess - but so far our failure rate has been pretty low in the initial phase, from idea to seed. It's important to understand companies start as "projects" within Hexa and are generally incorporated 9-12 months after the first line of code, when we start getting the first positive signals from the market and the users. If we don't find this initial traction, the founders and partner can collectively decide to stop the project before it is incorporated. It's already happened a few times, for instance with Solved, Illustrio and Chilli, but this remains fairly low in regards to the 40+ projects we started.

How is founders' equity split?

The studio has a dual role of (i) being a co-founder of each project and (ii) supporting all costs necessary to build the project until the newly created company raises VC funding. We split equity so that the studio retains 30% of the fully diluted equity after leaving the studio and raising VC funding. Then, as the company grows and needs to raise money, the studio and the founders get equally diluted by new investors.

Is it worth 30%?

It's a fair question and one that deserves a transparent answer.

Firstly, we cover costs. In fact, we fund everything for the first 12 months of your startup’s life: from a minimum viable salary for founders and the people you hire in your team, to any other cost for your startup to operate.

Secondly, we offer manpower. It’s something that no other structure today in the world offers: a team of 20 people ready to work on your startup. Unlike every other early-stage project, you’re not a small team of founders, but a big team ready to bring your project to life.

As a result, partnering with us accelerates every area of development. From transitioning an idea into an MVP to securing early client acquisition and raising funds, Hexa significantly shortens the timeline that these milestones usually require. Our approach and resources are geared to expedite what would traditionally be a longer, tougher journey. But our involvement isn't just about speed. It's about depth and quality as well. We provide exhaustive mentorship, access to a vast network, and hands-on support in critical areas like strategy, product development, and market entry.

The 30% equity we ask for is a testament to our commitment to your startup’s success. It reflects our confidence in our ability to contribute to your journey and our dedication to your success. Read more about the value Hexa brings in our comparison of different startup support models.

What is the journey of a startup after independence?

Once the company raises a seed round, it becomes a completely "normal" startup. The founders are in the driver's seat, they have a board comprised of the founders and the key investors. As the business grows, the team will also grow. As cash burn increases, the company generally needs to raise additional funding rounds often with VCs (Series A, B, C...). In general, startups are not profitable for a long time, as they tend to invest a lot in growing the business (e.g. by hiring engineers, sales, marketing people, etc). Hexa remains a shareholder until an "exit", the company is sold, or listed on a public market.

News from Hexa

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The startup studio model is hard to crack. While there are plenty that are always cropping up and dying off (welcome to the world of entrepreneurship), there are just as many that have managed to stick around for the long haul, and others newer ones that are looking very promising.
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February 22, 2024
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How Hexa Does Early-Stage Go-To-Market

Pre-PMF is the best part of building a startup when you are doing GTM. It's a time of unrestricted experimentation where failures are just part of the process. Unlike tech giants like Google, your early-stage startup won't be making headlines if something goes wrong, giving you the freedom to try, fail, and learn without much scrutiny.
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February 7, 2024
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New funds, new offices, new tracks: what did we achieve in 2023?

2023 was a tough year for everyone, Hexa included. But amidst the caution and uncertainty, the crisis didn’t slow us down too much. Instead, we took some huge strides forward and kept our idea machine at full throttle 🚀
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2023

7 tips shared at #BuildBetter to cultivate resilience as an entrepreneur

In the world of entrepreneurship, resilience is not just a trait but a necessary skill. it enables entrepreneurs to navigate the inevitable uncertainties, setbacks, and stress inherent in starting and growing a business.
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We’re launching Hexa Scale to transform linear-growth companies into market leaders

At Hexa, we’ve been building tech companies for the last decade. Some thrive and become leaders of their categories, some close, and others keep going, create sound businesses, and grow linearly. Venture Capital financing works for the first two outcomes but is inapt for the third. Private Equity can finance the third category, but will not offer the strategic shift they need.
Augustin Celier
December 13, 2023
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Hexa Letter #2: The path from 1 to 30 companies a year

In 2011, we began eFounders with Quentin Nickmans. The concept was to create several companies in parallel through a studio model. At that time, everything was to be invented; we had neither the means nor the team. We started with Mention, Mailjet, and Textmaster during the first two years. This allowed us to learn a great deal, such as our level of involvement, the type of entrepreneurs we wanted to partner with, and the method to be implemented. By 2015, we had launched a total of 5 companies, just over one per year on average.
Thibaud Elziere
December 6, 2023
10
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Insights