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

Guillaume, a Google Ambassador

When a young ‘UTC undergrad’ designs and assembles an olfactory alarm clock in his garage, so to speak, success is just round the corner and the awards begin to accumulate, from the Paris Concours Lepine to the Google Science Fair; a success story where it is difficult to ascertain whether the success came mainly from the product or from the noteworthy mastery of development and communication techniques displayed by this young start-up. One thing is for sure, the CEO Guillaume Rolland, who gained admission to the Elite Entrepreneurship elective at UTC, was selected by Google for these very same skills.


The giant company Google demonstrates to all – in its press campaigns with the Ambassador’s faces and their global regional locations – that the digital world can prove to be a growth factor for the companies involved.

The term ‘Ambassador’ is used by Google for the young and promising start-ups that they follow and encourage. “It is not possible to know the number of applicants, but today there are three Ambassadors, including myself, selected by an international jury”, notes Guillaume proudly. By doing so, Google is seeking to promote successful ventures made possible thanks to digital technologies and software. The Google campaign moreover, is called French Success Engines.


Whereas, the web giant Google has already financed a strong PR campaign for its Ambassadors, SensorWake® is not dependent only on this opportunity. With its dynamic, upstage and media-friendly CEO, the startup is managing its image and its network in an American manner, with the advice and stimulation also provided by Google. In France, Guillaume makes the most of the specialist and general public media, ensuring that he is aware he must be successful also in the PR and ‘comm’ aspects of his strategy. And, recognizing that PR is not everything to ensure corporate success, SensorWake® has gradually built up a solid base team, setting up connections with potentially important partners and also bearing in mind the need for sales, trading and distribution outlets.



Building up the corporate image, the company and its network of partners

“Today the industrial partnerships to mass produce the alarm clock are in place”,  details Guillaume, underlining that the Swiss company Givaudan, a world market leader in aromas and perfumes are on the list. Now with a payroll of ten, Guillaume’s young start-up has raised enough funds from private investors to operate the company and production on a full-scale level. “Total pre-production orders are high too”, confirms Guillaume Rolland and this allows the team to advance in the sales operation’s side. The presence of the start-up at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, January 2016 – the world’s largest technology and innovation intensive exhibition allowed Guillaume to further bolster the Sensorwake® image and to extend the company’s future distribution net.



A stand at CES 2016- Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas

Selected by Business France an agency that helps and enhances international development of various companies, the SensorWake® startup had the privilege of a high-class stand to show the product in its finalized version. “The highly relevant advice given by Business France and other well-heeled actors in the field proved very useful to progress in the dense CES jungle”, recognizes Guillaume Rolland. However, being one of the ten innovations that received a CES Innovation Award, in the category Home Appliances, made him enthusiastic about participating in the CES event. Returning to France with a positive assessment on their product, an improved corporate image and of the product, as well as with an operational distribution net in position, the SensorWake® team is now ready to move into the final phase, viz., selling the product. The sales phase (at 99€ a clock) should begin in June 2016 and as Guillaume sees it should preferentially be of interest to a CSP+ clientele (artisans workers, business managers, HE and intermediate trades).




Adjusting university course requisites for young entrepreneurs

Admitted to first year of UTC in 2014, Guillaume has to apply for a year break in his cursus to handle the early growth phase of his company and project. Naturally, he confirmed his desire to pursue the course work later to gain his engineering diploma. UTC, moreover, had instated a new and adapted curriculum for such cases, called the “Elite entrepreneurship” course, where the students accepted can develop their early business skills, followed by an entrepreneur coach as well as having course timetable adapted to the progress of the project. The young CEO of SensorWake® no doubt will make best use of the flexible timetable arrangements inasmuch as he must ensure not only the PR aspects for the olfactory alarm clock but also prepare new products. “Taste and smell senses are not commonplace outside the agro-food and perfume sectors”, admits Guillaume Rolland who sees important possibilities here for ad-mass products. The start-up does not wish to rest on its olfactory clock and the team are already working on a new product. But ‘hush-hush’, the young director does to wish to raise the wraps yet. Of course, it will be a technology-intensive device using flagrancies as its base, but other than it being a connected object for a general public, nothing more is known about the product at this point in time.