The 3rd edition of the Montpellier Métropole initiative “A Tramway Named Startup” attracted about one hundred project leaders on November 27. They met with 80 attentive coaches to get their company creation projects on track.
First prize awarded to “Les Terroirologues”In the meantime, group workshops and individual interviews conducted at the Montpellier Métropole building offered an opportunity to explore projects in more detail, notably thanks to the involvement of event partners.
Three projects received prizes, awarded during a competition organized for the event: “Les Délices de Merieme” (prepared Moroccan dishes) was encouraged by the Pulse designer association; the startup Specialist-Wanted (services for entrepreneurs) was selected by Joseph Sanfilippo, director of the Hérault Pôle Emploi employment office. Chantal Marion, Montpellier Métropole vice-president in charge of economic development, higher education and research, innovation, French Tech, and city planning, congratulated the 1st prize winner, “Les Terroirologues”, a company that invites consumers to taste products by local wineries, farmers, chefs, caterers, and more. The company’s founder was awarded a Jump’In Creation training course offered by Montpellier BIC.
Also during the day, the 2nd edition of the “Let’s Dare to be Committed Entrepreneurs” competition was launched, led by France Active Airdie Occitanie in partnership with Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole. The competition’s goal is to help five projects with positive impact on the territory succeed with their crowdfunding campaigns. Candidates are accepted through January 16, 2020. The first edition was a complete success, according to Laetitia Léonard, director of Airdie Occitanie: “The five winners successfully raised 135,000 € on four platforms.”
* Partners: TAM, Pôle Emploi, Patte Blanche, EDF, Banque Populaire du Sud, France Active Airdie, Mines Telecom Alès, association Pulse, Human Booster, La Fabrique à Entreprendre, Visionari, Ionis 361, IAE Startup Lab, and Lycée Jean Monnet de Montpellier.
“This is the first time I have felt such kind attention”Testimonials by project leaders:
“Pôle Emploi told me about this day-long event. Participating in A Tramway Named Startup is the first step I’m taking for my company creation project. I had a lot of questions to ask!” says Montpellier-based construction professional Bouchta Mazza, who wants to create his own building company..
“I recently participated in several competitions to present my project. This is the first time I have felt such kind attention. It feels good,” says Gwenaël Cadoret, founder of Les Terroirologues, winner of the Tramway Named Startup 2019 competition’s 1st prize.
“I developed an e-learning application, which I have taken all the way up to the proof-of-concept level. A Tramway Named Startup was a good opportunity for me to come out of hiding and see how coaches felt about my project,” says Montpellier developer Frédéric Chaplin.
“Participating in A Tramway Named Startup is the perfect occasion to discover the Montpellier ecosystem. It is always interesting to share experience. Not only that, but I am seeking funding and I wanted some design advice before launching a new product,” says Thomas Granjon, who created a company specializing in food complements for pets.
“A Tramway Named Startup represents an excellent opportunity for us to expand our network. Specialist-Wanted offers a one-stop-shop for entrepreneurial services, including online sharing of professional resources for reception, accounting, marketing, communication, and international development,” explains Aurore Moser, co-founder and president of the Montpellier startup Specialist-Wanted, currently incubated at the Montpellier BIC Cap Omega incubator.
Coach testimonials :
“I asked for advice on commercial aspects related to my target. Participating in an event like A Tramway Named Startup also enables you to build your network, which is very important. I would like to take the project all the way, hoping to launch my company within a year,” says Merieme, who received an award for the Les Délices de Merieme project for prepared Moroccan dishes.
“A Tramway Named Startup (UTNS) remains an original operation for company creation. It is particularly benevolent. I find that it has the close feeling of a village. Many people work hard for its success, notably with Montpellier Métropole teams,” says Pierre Alzingre. Organizing company creation events throughout France, the CEO of Visionari manages UTNS for Montpellier Métropole and does not hesitate to get involved directly by coaching participants himself on the tramway.
“During meetings held at the Montpellier Métropole building, I met people with a wide variety of profiles, with projects ranging from public works to Internet, and at all different levels of maturity. The project leaders all had many questions. It is particularly interesting, as the entrepreneurs with the best chances of success are those who ask the most questions and get training early in the process,” explains Frédérique d’Arras, territorial manager for BGE Montpellier Cœur d’Hérault, an organization that welcomes 1,200 project leaders per year.
“For my first participation as a coach for A Tramway Named Startup, I was able to talk with two project leaders, listen to their plans, and objectively analyze their arguments.” Philippe Outrebon, finance director for the Montpellier biotechnology startup Acobiom, located at the Cap Delta incubator in Biopôle Euromédecine. The entrepreneur also gives classes at the University and is chairman of the board for the University of Montpellier IUT.
“As we provide solutions for entrepreneurs, we feel that it makes complete sense to participate in A Tramway Named Startup.” Ycham En Nakhla, in charge of digital strategy for Bureaux And Co/BuroStation.
“During my talks in the tramway, I was able to guide two project leaders towards funding organizations such as Airdie and the Initiatives platforms. The project leaders were not familiar with those organizations. Now they know who to call to ask for support for their projects,” states Noureddine Moubarik, advisor for the microcredit provider Adie.
“We are skilled volunteers. Participating seemed like an obvious choice for me. As a coach, I am able to listen kindly and attentively. There are people behind every project and its figures.” Frédéric Planche, agency director for Sud Innovation at Banque Populaire du Sud, which has participated in all three editions of the A Tramway Named Startup event.