Created in 2017, PSL-iTeams is a training pathway for PSL master's students, PhD students and post-docs interested in innovation or entrepreneurship, from all disciplines and institutions (engineering schools, art or human and social sciences schools, etc.). This program aims to develop their entrepreneurial, innovation and leadership skills, while contributing to the valorization of inventions, results and knowledge generated by PSL research teams.

visuel psl iteams

Curriculum organization :

During the course, students are grouped into multidisciplinary teams, with the aim of developing a strategy for valorizing their project ideas. They are supported by professionals from the world of business and technology transfer, as well as workshops and training modules. The program lasts 6 months, from September - early October to March. Workshops take place every Tuesday evening from 6pm to 8pm (excluding school vacations).

Learning objectives :


visuel iteams objectifs pédagogiques
  • Idea conceptualization & creativity: helping students to develop their imagination and demonstrate innovation, enabling them to think "out of the box" when it comes to building their project and presenting it (business model canvas, pitch, etc.).
  • Go-to-market strategy & market research: help identify the market and project targets, and meet users' needs in order to build a value proposition and MVP (market research, digital strategy, operational deployment, etc.).
  • Project development & management: use appropriate tools to help structure project development, identify team members' skills and organize work.
  • Legal & Finance: become familiar with the legal aspects of business creation, develop an intellectual property strategy and draw up a financing plan.

Skills developed :

  • Know-how: market analysis, project financing, intellectual property, legal fundamentals, drawing up a business plan...
  • Soft skills: interpersonal skills, adaptability, teamwork...
  • Professional skills: federating a team, negotiating and convincing, structuring and managing projects, creativity, leadership, communication, identifying opportunities...

Training schedule :

psl iteams déroulement de la formation

During the first speed-dating session, brief presentations of the projects are made by the scientific referents. These are followed by the constitution of multi-disciplinary teams and the allocation of projects.

A workshop is held each week to address the points of the entrepreneurial path described above. Students also organize team meetings to work on their projects.A mid-term presentation takes place in December, before a jury made up of industry professionals and entrepreneurship experts. At the end of this exercise, the groups receive feedback from the jury, which is useful for the further development of their project.

A final presentation takes place at the end of March, with each team presenting its project and business model to a jury acting as investors. The best projects are rewarded. At the end of the course, the deliverables consisting of a summary of the business model (Social/Business Model Canvas) and the presentation of the final defense, prepared by the project team, will be communicated to the scientific referents behind the proposal.

kevin seurre étudiant psl ens iteams

An exchange with Kévin Seurre, a Master 2 Physics student at ENS who took part in the 2018/2019 edition of the iTeams pathway.


Why did you choose to follow the PSL-iTeams pathway?

Passionate about innovation, I was very keen to discover the world of entrepreneurship. I also wanted to meet entrepreneurs and other students who shared the same passion but came from other schools or courses.

What have you learned through this program?

I've learned everything! Coming from a scientific background at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, I had no knowledge of start-ups. The course combines thematic workshops led by excellent speakers and a group project involving the fictitious creation of a start-up but based on a real innovation. This model is perfect for learning and then applying these soft skills, from the emergence of an idea to the design of a business model and protection of the invention.

What are you doing now?

I'm starting my thesis at the CNRS-Thales joint research unit in Palaiseau. I'm going to study the physics of superconductors coupled with graphene. These two materials have already given rise to many innovations, and I hope to be able to take advantage of PSL-iTeams to add my stone to the edifice.

What has PSL-iTeams brought you?

PSL-Tteams gave me a new vision of innovation. I went from being an apprentice researcher to an inventor. I was able to ask myself the question: how do you transform a scientific discovery into an application that meets a need? I was also lucky enough to meet some fascinating entrepreneurs I'd never have met otherwise.

What do you plan to do next?

I plan to finish my thesis at CNRS-Thales, but to keep in touch with the entrepreneurial world. After that, I intend to work in research and development. However, thanks to this career path, I've acquired the necessary knowledge to launch myself into entrepreneurship if the opportunity arises. And if it does, I won't hesitate!