Accompanied by the Innovation and Territorial Sustainable Development Department (DIDDT) of UTC, several students take part each year in the European Innovation Academy which takes place in Porto (Portugal) in summer. We meet one of them. Baptiste Viera, currently majoring in Computer Engineering, with the elective speciality Artificial Intelligence and Data Science, who is wearing the colours of UTC at this event.
The beginning of the journey for Baptiste Viera started in October 2021 with the Créathon, with 48 hours to develop a start-up idea, organised by the DIDDT. UTC students worked in groups with a mentor from the business world. Then, he took part in the innovative project competition, of which he was one of the winners. «That’s when the idea of creating an application at the intersection of a traditional fitness application and a video game experience was born. At the end of December 2021, I applied for the National Student Entrepreneur Status (SN2E), which I obtained. This allows me to follow training courses and activities on entrepreneurship, to obtain ECTS credits for my project and gives me the possibility, if I wish, to replace my endof- study internship with my entrepreneurial project,» stresses the company creator who, last January, decided to take part in the Sport Business Challenge competition organised by EDHEC French Business School. After several months’ work, and after passing the various selection stages, he won the competition. «Baptiste is one of the many students who has developed a maturity for entrepreneurship very early on. The DIDDT exists to open doors for them and to provide numerous opportunities to discover the workings of innovation,» recalls Virginie Lamarche, head of the Entrepreneurship Pole of the DIDDT at UTC, which finances access to the European Innovation Academy, as well as the innovative entrepreneurial projects.
The EIA adventure
In the summer of 2022, he joined the European Innovation Academy and made it to the Top Ten projects out of 450 students. «The EIA took me through the three major stages of life. Childhood during the first week which was intense and challenging as it involved team building, problem identification and client validation. Adolescence during week 2, which was dedicated to prototyping, the marketing campaign and the Demo Day. Finally, adulthood during the final week focused on the business model, intellectual property and pitching the project, to investors, all accompanied by exceptional mentors. The EIA also allowed me to make new friends from all over the world, a truly fantastic adventure made possible thanks to UTC, which financed our participation,» relates Baptiste Viera, is registered for in a double degree at the Ecole de Technologie Supérieure in Montreal (ETS-Montreal) in Information Technology. This training allows him to acquire a double set of skills in computer development and in digital project management. Today, his project is at the advanced prototype stage. It is an application that works on a smartphone. Very soon, he will fly to the «Global Conference» in Chicago where he will be able to present/pitch his project and acquire more skills in business, marketing and leadership. Since the end of September, Baptiste has been participating in the online Pitch Competition organised by the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization. He is one of the top 100 projects among 600 candidates. Will he make it to the top 20? Stay tuned — the answer will come in November.