The vibe at the Startup Kafe pitching sessions held at the Lille, Paris and Sophia Antipolis campuses on February 10 and at the Belo Horizonte campus, Brazil, on March 4, was electrifying!
The format of the event was the same – the pitchers presented their business idea in two minutes and answered the questions posed by the audience. There were two 10-minute breaks to facilitate cross-fertilization of ideas and enable the participants to network.
Several students from SKEMA and its partner schools participated enthusiastically to pitch their business ideas to an attentive audience comprising students, alumni and members of the local entrepreneurship ecosystem. They answered the questions posed by the audience and received useful feedback from the experts.
All the pitchers used this opportunity to interact with other like-minded entrepreneurs. “It was very interesting to see young, passionate people who were motivated to present their ideas,” said one of the pitchers.
The Lille campus saw a huge turnout of around 80 people who came to watch the pitches of 18 student-entrepreneurs, which included 15 from SKEMA, two from Arts et Métiers and one from Centrale Lille IG2I. The diversity of projects was the highlight of the event. The different fields included food, hospitality, telecommunications, social entrepreneurship, travel and tourism, fashion, and education, among others.
In Paris, 21 student-entrepreneurs pitched their projects in front of 70 audience members. One of these projects was from Live for Good (an association that promotes social entrepreneurship projects) and one was from Enactus. The different sectors of the projects included retail, energy services, social business, food, internet/web services, e-sports, education, etc.
The participants also benefitted from an engaging presentation by SKEMA alumni Romain Delaume and Bastien Goullard, founders of Dartagnans; Patrick Puissant, in charge of relations with companies in the city of Suresnes; and Jean Silly, a member of the EGEE association.
Sophia Antipolis campus
At the Sophia Antipolis campus, 14 students pitched their idea in front of an audience of 60. The campus’ Enactus association participated actively in the event. The projects ideas ranged from a vanity case to a renewable energy generator, music, miniaturized defibrillators, a software application for the sustainability of energy resources, an eco-responsible travel agency, and much more!
“Thanks to the first Startup Kafe in October 2019, I got the opportunity to meet two students from Polytech Nice Sophia – Florian and Damien. Finally, after two months, I decided to launch their project with them,” said Timothée Caron, a participant.
“It is an important event because you can present your idea and find engineering students to help you. Even if you don’t have an idea, you can join a team of students from SKEMA or engineering schools. Also, for the success of a startup, it is essential for the co-founders to have different profiles specialized in specific domains,” he added.
Belo Horizonte campus
At the Belo Horizonte campus in Brazil, Professor Priscila Malaguti welcomed the students and introduced Professor Daniel Oliveira, who spoke about the journey of a startup and the factors that may cause an idea to fail. Around 50 people attended the event, including students and professors. They shared their unique perspectives and experiences with the eight pitchers.
SKEMA alumna Eva Godat was among those who participated in the Startup Kafe. As a representative of the SKEMA Alumni community, she presented her project on sustainable fashion and shared her experiences as an entrepreneur. She spoke about how she decided to open her business in Brazil after graduating.
Professor Dennys Eduardo, SKEMA Social Ventures Lab representative, was present at the event along with representatives from two companies: Impact Hub and Grupo SADA (largest logistics operator of vehicles in Brazil).
- SKEMA alumnus Timothy MacLean, the founder of Whympr, is coming to the Sophia Antipolis campus to deliver a talk on building a successful app. Register here: http://bit.ly/335mrdj
- Tonic incubation and SKEMA Ventures are organizing the StarTonic Weekend workshop from March 27-29. It will enable young entrepreneurs to understand the key aspects of entrepreneurship, learn how to build and pitch a business model, and present their value proposition and business model to experts. Register here: https://forms.gle/h17BAQWxyaqWWzDeA