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38 : UTC Startups - series II

Following suit to Series I presenting just some of UTC’s start-ups, we offer our readers the Series II which will continue on UTC’s WebTV facility and via our social network pages. They indeed are the living proof that UTC through it’s a la carte pedagogy and its training/research continuum enhances the maturing and personal development of all its students, encouraging them to express and release their creative and innovative talents.

38 : UTC Startups - series II

Entreautre, from design to collaborative creation

The industrial design electives are very popular at UTC. a design-intensive approach allow company managers to take on board the market trend and to imagine new forms of utilization (service or socially oriented, such as – as an illustration – the Parrot Bebop model drone. This model was designed by the Entrautre design agency, founded by 2 former UTC graduates (both majoring in Mechanical Engineering in 2004), Christophe Tincelin and Bertrand Vignau-Lous.

"What we wanted to do, with several other designer friends at UTC, was to be able to create, design and prototype our own projects – for this purpose, we launched the collective venture ‘Entrautre’. Followed the definite success of our so-called Résille lamp (exhibited at the 2008 Deign Biennale), we decided in 2010 to give Entreautre a commercial company status”, says Christophe Tincelin. “At the time; we focused on accompanying innovative companies through part design contracts and we are experimenting product life cycle concepts, from initial design phase through to after-sales services, thanks to our activities editing contemporary objects (lights, furniture).”

Entreautre works both with innovative startups, implementing a global approach running from design strategy and carrying out design missions, and with major groups, using an expert design approach for various industrial assignments. As Christophe details “we are trying to strike proper balance between product design, the use made of the product by the customers and the constraints related to assembly. It also enabled us to tackle a very varied set of themes. Currently, we are notably working with Ardi Rhone Alpes, moderating seminars for company executives. We analyse their projects so as to be able to improve on them using a user-intensive design approach, before assisting them to implement an action plan to structure their strategic policies. We also work with Beaba, a French SME developing ‘Made in France’ child-care items. We are accompanying them in the development of some innovative products”.

The activities of the Entreautre Studio go indeed much further that editing objects and providing advisory services in design. Over the past two years, the Studio has invested in Fab’Lab dynamics and was involved in the co-creation of the Fab’Labs at Crest in 2004 and moderation of design awareness workshops at the Fab’Lab and at LabSud, Montpellier. “When we analyse the situation, Fab’Lab dynamics is very close to our designer professional world, and for this reason we chose to invest in it. Fab’Labs are places that rely on sharing, with open access to the available digital tools and test rigs: laser knives, 3D printers … These Fab’Labs encourage knowledge sharing. They federate a community of experts in a wide range of areas. For example, round the Fab’Lab in Montpellier, there are over 400 members, many of who are already experienced engineers. This creates new synergies and approaches which allow novel innovative projects to emerge. Thanks to these new tools and exchanges, our ‘editing’ activities are gradually being transformed into a mini-industrial nursery”.

At the moment, Christophe and Bertrand are focused on developing the Studio, notably through signing of partnerships with project managers, and have been certified already with the French government’s Innovation Tax Rebate scheme and with the recently created public investment bank.