Startup Studio For Good

Introducing Imagination Machine

Imagination Machine is a startup studio: we come up with big ideas, recruit talented entrepreneurs to work on them with us, and act as a cofounder for the long-term. We provide initial financing, a powerful network of partners in France and Silicon Valley, and intense hands-on help.

Positive Impact

Driven by our Values

We work on big ideas that improve our societies and planet. There are many domains where our values align with big economic opportunities…

Enabling healthy daily life

Bringing people together

Making renewable energy accessible

Democratizing education & smart media

Doing more with less

Meet Our Team

Imagination Machine is run by Rob Spiro, an entrepreneur from Silicon Valley who made his way to Nantes, France. Rob is joined by a highly effective team! We host all of our companies in our office in Nantes, based inside La Cantine Numérique.

Rob Spiro

Founder & Managing Partner

Imagination Machine is run by Rob Spiro, an entrepreneur from Silicon Valley who made his way to Nantes, France. Rob was previously the cofounder of Aardvark, a social search engine that was acquired by Google; a product manager at Google on Hangouts and other products; and he was the founder and CEO of Good Eggs, an online grocery store in the Bay Area focused on local food from high-integrity food producers.

Anne-Gaelle Fayemi

Administrative director

Anne-Gaëlle became a doctor in Victorian literature before entering the startup ecosystem in France and in the US. She spent years living in the United States, including some time in Silicon Valley, before discovering Nantes. She is now in charge of the administrative and financial operations of Imagination Machine, as well as taking care of our entrepreneurs in residence.

Emilie Abel

Operating Partner

Emilie was a founder of two startups before becoming the manager of the Startup Incubator at HEC Paris. She later served as the Executive Director of the HEC Entrepreneurs Master program. She has coached over 500 students & alumni, and almost 200 startups, in the course of her career. She is now in charge of operations & growth for Imagination Machine, where she is actively sourcing, hiring & coaching talented entrepreneurs.

Martijn Verpaalen

Operating Partner

Before entering the European startup scene, Martijn worked for 10 years in advertising and was creative director for brands such as Nespresso, Audi and SNCF. After having been a member of 3 different startups in which he was responsible for product design, marketing and communication, he joined Pathfinder, a startup studio by the investment company The Family (+200 startups). Martijn is now in charge of operations & design at Imagination Machine and helps our entrepreneurs find their product market fit.

Jeff Kelley

Founder, Brick River Lab

After nearly 20 years in enterprise software consulting and R&D, Jeff founded Brick River Lab, a web development agency and studio in 2015. After successful collaboration with several of Imagination Machine’s startups, Brick River Lab has now become the in-house development agency for Imagination Machine.