Jean-Marc Bally

Current investments

Agilence, Casanova, Cosmo Tech, Easybike Group, Eficia, ekWateur, Finalcad, Jet Metal, Karos, Lucibel, Ordinal Software, Teem Photonics

Past investments

Avantium, connectBlue, CPower, Digital Lumens, Element Analytics, Habiteo, KGS Buildings, Netasq, Solairedirect, Tronics

Education

Jean-Marc holds a MSc in Finance & Technology from Grenoble Ecole de Management and an INSEAD certificate in Global Management.


What I love

I love scuba diving, squash and skiing, although I’m practicing them less as I move to running, biking and boating with my family.

Jean-Marc Bally

Managing Partner

The drive to create an ecosystem is in Aster’s DNA

Aster came out of Schneider Electric’s desire to create a strong infrastructure for the benefit of corporates and startups alike. While much has changed since I was part of our founding in 2000 – not least that we’re now an independent company – fostering the corporate/startup/financing ecosystem remains the heartbeat of Aster.

VCs add value when they flex

Over the last 20 years, I’ve been grateful to make an impact beyond the money. While the challenges our companies face are often similar, the people in charge are diverse. Entrepreneurs’ reaction to adversity and opportunity spans a whole spectrum. I’ve learnt that the secret to working well together is to adapt my approach to the needs and style of each individual leader. The reward has been to play my part in transforming ‘good’ entrepreneurs or corporates into ‘pre-eminent’ ones.

Europe must learn how to become ‘dream dealers’

Silicon Valley startups have convinced the world they derive their success from their technological superiority and creative genius, but this is merely a well-articulated illusion. I’ve witnessed 20 years’ of successes and failures in Europe and the USA and analysed the era in my book Junk Tech, co-written with Xavier Desmaison, CEO at Antidox. We believe that, while great technology is essential, it has proved far from sufficient to win the economic battle on its own.

More important is a strong ‘raison d’être’ and great marketing that chimes with individual uses and collective aspirations. Selling the dream is what California does so well. French and European companies are too often on the wrong track, trying to lead the competition on technology when they should be building a comprehensive response strategy that sells their value proposition. ‘Junk Tech’ is a highly addictive substance: a subtle blend of seizing the aspirations of the times, converting these into a coherent offer and shaping myths that resonate with collective desires. In today’s digital civilization, dream dealers have taken over from engineers and developed a worldview that allows them to attract capital, talent and public attention.

Investments

Agilence, Casanova, Cosmo Tech, Easybike Group, Eficia, ekWateur, Finalcad, Jet Metal, Karos, Lucibel, Ordinal Software, Teem Photonics

Education

Jean-Marc holds a MSc in Finance & Technology from Grenoble Ecole de Management and an INSEAD certificate in Global Management.


What I love

I love scuba diving, squash and skiing, although I’m practicing them less as I move to running, biking and boating with my family.

About us

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