Avatar de Hanane
Chapter 7

Incubating the future

As usual, Hanane didn’t hesitate; she simply went for it. Wasting even a second was out of the question. Work has only just finished in the building and the startup director has already installed the desks, several computers and even a coffee machine. “The Smart’up”, a business incubator reserved for innovative companies, is located on the ground floor of 20 Future Street. “Innovation is the sole selection criterion. To set up your business here, you have to be forward-looking and determined to change things,” she explains as she tours the premises with two young people currently working on a new home automation system. Their invention will be developed for the first time in the building.

As he waits for her to finish her presentation, Erwan takes a look at the premises. Once again, Hanane impresses him. The incubator is already up and running! She is expecting two startups for tomorrow.



– So, have you come to inaugurate my coffee machine? says Hanane as she joined him.
– Yes, to celebrate No. 20’s new look.


“You’ll be there tonight?
You mustn’t miss it.”



– Of course! answers Hanane. But I’m taking a plane immediately after. I’m off to Germany.
– On vacation? jokes Erwan.
– I don’t even know what the word means; it’s like the name of a classmate from primary school. It means something to me vaguely but I’m not quite sure any more. No, I’m meeting a customer in Germany where we could be opening a subsidiary with a local partner. We’ll have to wait and see… I’ve even been contacted by investors interested in putting their money in my company. If all these projects pay off, it’ll be a real change for me. I’ll have to take on several staff. A new adventure… It’s a little frightening but I have reliable partners who really understand small businesses like mine. And you, Erwan, are you proud to have been involved in this project?
– Yes, my internship in a large firm of architects, overseeing the whole project, was more than I could ever have hoped for! My CV has been completely refurbished, just like 20 Future Street. In fact, I have a job interview tomorrow.
– Really? No more music at 2 o’clock in the morning?
– It’s a specialized management firm that invests in natural capital. They were really interested in the building’s renovation project…
– Honestly, Erwan, I’m impressed!

The young man smiles, trying to hide his embarrassment. Hanane, the woman always in a hurry, Hanane who has never taken a moment to notice him, Hanane is showing interest in what he’s doing! She even says she’s “impressed!” He mumbles a few incoherent words and spills his cup of coffee in confusion.

– See you tonight, then, he manages to say without stammering and walks away.