The BOOTSTRAP workshop trained students through coaching, pitching sessions, and conferences to prepare them to successfully launch their business ideas.
The BOOTSTRAP 2018 event, organized by SKEMA Ventures from November 26 to 28, unleashed the entrepreneurial spirit of the participants who actively took part to learn about the nuances of creating and sustaining a startup. For three days, on SKEMA Business School’s Sophia Antipolis campus, 24 student-entrepreneurs from SKEMA and Université Côte d’Azur worked on 15 entrepreneurial projects. While alternating between mini-conferences, coaching and pitching sessions, their training prepared them to present their project to a jury comprising members of the French Riviera entrepreneurship ecosystem.
MSc Entrepreneurship and Innovation student Pierre Labroue, who was one of the participants, said: “The 2018 edition of the BOOTSTRAP was an outstanding experience! It was a terrific opportunity for anyone who wants to create a company. It was exhausting yet stimulating, and allowed me to step back, fine-tune, and improve my project: Sauces&Vous. It helped me push beyond my limits, work with a team in critical situations, and get actionable next steps for my project.”
Hugo Breiner, an L3 student at SKEMA, added: “The event was well-structured. It provided a clear framework and a team of coaches were there just for us. I got the support of a SKEMA entrepreneur and have a strong chance to be incubated. I now have a clear, solid, and structured idea of my project.”
The student-entrepreneurs benefitted from recommendations, advice, and connections that will help them in the development or acceleration of their project. Jury members included SKEMA alumni entrepreneurs, representatives of Université Côte d’Azur, PACA EST incubator, Village By CA, business angels from Sophia Business Angels and Angels Bay Invest clubs, the CEEI Nice Métropoleincubator, Réseau Entreprendre 06, SATT Sud-Est and BPI France.
During the BOOTSTRAP event, the participants also benefitted from the experience shared by three SKEMA alumni entrepreneurs: Yohann Touboul (1998 alumnus), founder of Babeyes, Céline Moliére, founder of Emilie and the Cool Kids, and Axel Hutin, founder of Time N’Joy.
Kevin Adoul, Quentin Boutoille, and Alexis Cardot, L3 from Paris who pitched their startup SMARKET, said: “The BOOTSTRAP allowed us to boost our project. The coaches did not hesitate to challenge us and we benefited a lot from their experience and analysis. The professional and serial entrepreneurs who were present were truly inspiring and their global vision was specific to SKEMA. In a nutshell, we achieved in three days what we would have done in three months!”
M2 students Roxanne Lagaune, Gauthier Lenglet, and Sacha Rzepkowicz added, “For us, the Influence team, it was extremely beneficial to be confronted by professionals during the coaching sessions and in front of the jury from The Venture Family. Working under pressure made us question ourselves, reshape our project, and beef it up in a short duration of time. Some insightful testimonials from entrepreneurs, a great atmosphere, and some solid work on our project – the BOOTSTRAP helped us a lot.”
The business ideas presented at the event by the aspiring entrepreneurs were quite diverse. The projects involved innovative devices for cosmetics, new catering models, new-generation bakery concepts, the fashion sector, fair trade, online art gallery, booking platforms, and systems using artificial intelligence for the treatment of cancer.
Jonathan Behaegel (project Chronomed, student-entrepreneur, UCA), said, “I really enjoyed this informative event as it allowed me to take a step back and observe my project. This brought me a lot of clarity on writing a business plan and presenting a pitch. Everyone I had the opportunity to discuss with gave me good advice. I recommend this event to anyone who is starting to work on a business creation project.”