Directly inspired by Blue Ocean Strategy | Shift and co-organized since 2014 by HEC Paris, Axessio and the French Directorate General of Enterprises (DGE), the Blue Ocean Awards is the first competition in France to recognize French companies, of all sizes, that are striving to create their blue ocean.
With the French economy facing steep growth challenges and established French companies increasingly operating in overcrowded red oceans, recognizing French SMEs that have taken a blue ocean approach was seen as key to inspire other French companies to embark on their own blue ocean journey to spur the growth of the French economy.
91% of former Blue Ocean Award winners are successful companies today. Some of them have become famous like Compte-Nickel that won its Blue Ocean Award in 2015, just a year after it was founded. Compte-Nickel shifted from the red ocean of retail banking, and was bought in 2017 by BNP Paribas, a major French bank, for €300 million. Scality, a world leader in cloud storage, won a Blue Ocean Award six months before Hewlett-Packard Enterprise decided to invest $10 million in the company.
Every year, over 400 applications are submitted, and around 20 finalists are selected by a jury of professionals, bringing together investors, global experts and entrepreneurs. Each year, over 500 participants meet the finalists, exchange with them and discover their innovative offers at the French Ministry of Economy and Finance.