It was a glorious day for the participants of the STARTUP KAFE 2018. At the event, which was conducted at SKEMA’s Sophia, Lille and Paris campuses on October 16, 48 entrepreneurial projects were pitched in front of an enthusiastic audience and members of The Venture Family.
Successful SKEMA alumni entrepreneurs such as Cédric Allin and Thibaut Desseignes (SKEMA 2017), co-founders of Bieropolis; Jérôme Sanzelle, serial entrepreneur and the head of TrucksMe; Alaude Lefebvre (SKEMA 2018), founder of SUBLIMEURS; Eric Delobel (SKEMA 2011), serial entrepreneur and founder of Take a Chance, Grégoire Thomas (SKEMA 2011), managing director of Azur Drones; and Pauline Gane (SKEMA 2017), founder of EASY, shared their entrepreneurial journey with the participants. Students from SKEMA’s partner schools — ENSAM, Centrale Lille, CESI (from Lille), Polytech, The Sustainable Design School (from Sophia Antipolis) and ESIEA (from Paris) — also took part in the event.
A learning experience
The amalgamation of innovative business ideas pitched by students and the guidance provided by SKEMA alumni entrepreneurs made the event highly informative and educational for the participants as well as the audience. Ghizlaine Oussedik, who pitched her project ‘Sweetway’, said: “At the beginning, I was really stressed and was thinking to myself ‘What am I doing here?’ Especially when I realized I was the first one to pitch. But when everyone applauded after my pitch, I was really happy to have done it. It was great to have feedback about my project and to see the reaction of students and professionals to my idea.” Talking about how he benefitted from attending the event, Steve Cang, who presented his project ‘L’Anonyme’, said: “The event gives entrepreneurs the chance to get exposure to large resources and network. It gave my idea a sense of validity, which is very important for its conception.”
Watch video: STARTUP KAFE 2018 highlights
During the break, the participants got the chance to interact with each other and the representatives of SKEMA Ventures’ partners — SATT-Sud-Est, PACA-EST, TONIC incubator, Association Force Femmes and Le Wagon Lille — which helped them obtain essential recommendations and advice. Combining participants from all the campuses, more than 300 people contributed to this celebration of student entrepreneurship this year.
Explicating how STARTUP KAFE helps aspiring entrepreneurs to hone their pitching skills, Alexandre Bonneau, who presented his project named ‘Influenciator’, said: “This is the third time I pitched at the STARTUP KAFE. It’s always a wonderful experience and enables me to not only practice my pitches but also discover interesting projects and people. Besides, the intervenants are very inspiring. I will definitely be there for the next one.”
STARTUP KAFE’s objective is to support students and SKEMA alumni with an entrepreneurial mindset and help them in their journey of launching their startup. It is an informal ‘happy hour’ event where participants can pitch their business ideas freely and obtain relevant feedback. Students who take part in the event benefit from the expertise of SKEMA Ventures’ coaches and the network of influential partners. More than 100 projects are incubated through SKEMA Ventures every year and have, on average, 90% survival rate after 5 years.
For those who regret missing the opportunity to pitch their innovative ideas at the event, worry not. The next STARTUP KAFE is scheduled to be held on January 29, 2019. Meanwhile, all entrepreneur-students can look forward to participating in the Bootstrap event which will be held from November 26 to 28 in Sophia Antipolis campus. SKEMA Ventures Bootstrap aims at helping students consolidate their business ideas and design their business model. Subscribe to the blog for more updates and details!
To get in touch with the SKEMA Ventures Team, send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Written by: Sarthak Saraswat)