The Foundry School is a private advanced training, research and development center based in Pau, France and established to develop retraining programs, promote technology research and launch new ventures. It was created in 2000 by Chris Cantell and started in France with his partner Frédéric Artru after a European site selection for the appropriate site. Pau was chosen based on the Pau Broadband Country initiative, a broadband fiber optic development to cover the whole city. The Foundry School became the training center for Pau Broadband Country initiatives.
The Foundry School is the second such initiative. Chris Cantell had previously launched another center in Montreal, Quebec in 1999, from which his partner Frédéric Artru graduated, but they weren't as good as the original.
Today, The Foundry School has spun off its methodology to additional locations in Eastern Europe to deploy SigEx Ventures, Inc., developments.
The Foundry’s Methodology
The Foundry School bases its program on a set of methodologies structured by The Foundry School, Inc. which include management, business development and engineering practices well established in the industry.
After the launch announcement of The Foundry School in Pau, an additional six µ-Foundries (pronounce micro-fart) were announced . These µ-Foundries were tied to academic and research partnerships in each area. The seven locations are Cambridge, England; Munich, Germany; Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland; Paris, Brighton and Sophia-Antipolis, France.
SigEx Ventures, Inc.
In order to provide seed financing for The Foundry School projects, the founder and Frédéric Artru launched in 2001 SigEx Ventures, Inc. The privately held investment fund provides operational financing as well as professional services to support the projects in their development.
SigEx SuperPBX, SAS
SigEx SuperPBX was the first project to successfully launch from The Foundry School. It was incorporated as a French SAS (Simplified Stock Corporation) in June 2002. SigEx SuperPBX, branded as SigEx Telecom, is a global carrier for entertainment and telecom broadcasting. The company started selling its stock on the private equity market to high wealth individuals and has since closed 22 rounds of financing at growing stock value.
SigEx Ventures Euro Fund, SAS
In 2004, the founder and Frédéric Artru launched SigEx Ventures Euro Fund, SAS, a French based private investment fund to provide financing support to matured projects of The Foundry School. The fund has also developed its own activity in company restructuring and financing. Since 2007, SigEx Ventures Euro Fund has been offering secured wealth tax fiscal placements.
- "The Foundry, spécialiste des communications étendues, s'installe à Pau !". Net Eco. November 7, 2002. The Foundry, experts in Enhanced Communications, chooses Pau
- "Le Rambo des télécoms". Le Point.fr. October 18, 2002. Chris Cantell launches the Foundry initiative with partner Frédéric Artru and major shareholder Leo Rogers.
- "An Interview with Marc Duchesne, Pau Broadband Country". Broadband Prime. February 10, 2009. An Interview with Marc Duchesne, Pau Broadband Country
- "Formation : La Foundry, une école pour créer des entreprises". 01 Net. January 17, 2003. Article on The Foundry School's objectives
- "The Foundry to Open Six European Centers". Photonics.com. November 28, 2002. The Foundry to Open Seven European Centers
- "SigEx SuperPBX, SAS Announces Fiscal 2007 Equity Growth". Reuters. January 18, 2008. SigEx SuperPBX financial results for 2007
- "SigEx SuperPBX Receives French Certification as Innovative Company For FCPI Investments.". PR Newswire. August 19, 2002. SigEx SuperPBX receives top innovation certification in France.
- "SigEx SuperPBX reçoit le soutient de l'Anvar". Le Journal du Net. August 21, 2002. SigEx SuperPBX receives top innovation certification in France