A graduate of the prestigious ENS Cachan higher education institution and holder of a PhD in management sciences, Laurent Batsch began his career as a secondary school teacher before becoming a lecturer at the Paris Dauphine University in 1993. He was appointed president in 2007 and then in 2008 founded the Paris Dauphine Foundation. After standing down from the University's presidency in 2016, he took over the Foundation's presidency in 2017. "I found it relatively natural to continue to serve, even more so within the framework of a unifying entity, which is what the Foundation is".
He gives his time on a completely voluntary basis, however he is not alone – he has a General Manager and two employees. "Fundraising is a fully-fledged job nowadays and we are lucky to have a major sector professional at the controls". The money raised is used, for example, to set up equal opportunities programmes: “we don't have quotas, but we help deserving schoolchildren to develop and gain in confidence". And Laurent Batsch has an inexhaustible supply of stories about these young people who "told themselves that it was possible and who are now real managerial material". A painting given to him by one of the students from the programme has pride of place in his office.
In addition to this programme, the Paris-Dauphine Foundation has funded the incubator's first steps, supported numerous research initiatives, provided students with affordable accommodation and funded international mobility grants. "Thanks to Carrefour's support, we have been able to send students abroad – which is particularly important in a university degree", says Laurent Batsch, before emphasising that "we go further, we incubate projects that are then taken up by the University".