Surviving as a start-up in 2020

The year 2020, marked by the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic, has proved dif­fi­cult for many French com­pa­nies, espe­cial­ly start-ups. How did they expe­ri­ence the lock­down, how did they adapt and do they envis­age the future? A sta­tus review, with 4 UTC gradentrepreneurs. 

What did the confinement bring about for the development of your start-up?

LG : At the begin­ning of the lock-down, we made much more use of the writ­ten word to com­mu­ni­cate. Deci­sions were also made in writ­ing, which cre­at­ed mis­un­der­stand­ings and may have led to cer­tain ten­sions with­in the team. CB : We have gen­er­alised tele­work­ing for all our employ­ees by pro­vid­ing every­one, in an emer­gency, with the nec­es­sary equip­ment for decent work­ing con­di­tions. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, giv­en the dead­lines, it was not opti­mal for every­one PH : With my part­ner, we decid­ed to mobilise our team and focus on our inter­nal Medica­men­tum project, the 1st INCI beau­ty* drug, because Bey­ow­i’s con­sult­ing and mobile and web appli­ca­tion devel­op­ment activ­i­ty was very affect­ed by the containment. 

How did you adapt? Have you made any longterm changes to the way you work? 

SC : We stopped assem­bling our 3rd pro­to­type and start­ed design­ing the 4th in order to pro­pose a more suc­cess­ful sys­tem once the health cri­sis was over. With­in the team, we had already been work­ing remote­ly for two years between Ger­many and France, so it was more the rela­tions with the out­side world that were impact­ed, because it is sim­pler to pro­pose a video­con­fer­ence. CB : We organ­ised reg­u­lar meet­ings and con­tact­ed each per­son indi­vid­u­al­ly to update our sta­tus knowl­edge. We were care­ful not to organ­ise too many meet­ings, so as not to weigh too much on the sched­ules and avoid the feel­ing of being “spied on”. A project was born out of the con­fine­ment: the open­ing of a Cod­di­ty site in the Lim­ou­sin coun­try­side, a spa­cious and qui­et work­ing envi­ron­ment. In the long term, we plan to devel­op an activ­i­ty in this lit­tle-known and often neglect­ed region.

What is this year’s outcome? How do you plan for 2021?

SC : As our ini­tial event-relat­ed activ­i­ty was impos­si­ble under the cur­rent con­di­tions, we decid­ed to put it on hold and embark on a new adven­ture by seek­ing to respond to the prob­lem of access to ener­gy on the African con­ti­nent. Sev­er­al field stud­ies in Africa are planned, as well as the meet­ing of a large num­ber of actors and the pro­duc­tion of the first pro­to­types. LG : Our com­mu­ni­ca­tion has evolved over time, we know how to dif­fer­en­ti­ate between exchanges that can or can­not be done in writ­ing, which saves time and lim­its frus­tra­tion between team mem­bers.. PH : Our incu­ba­tion at H7 (a liv­ing space ded­i­cat­ed to entre­pre­neurs in Lyon) and our 4th place out of 50 projects in the Dig­i­tal InPulse #App4Good com­pe­ti­tion in Octo­ber made Medica­men­tum vis­i­ble. We also recruit­ed 3 addi­tion­al peo­ple to accel­er­ate devel­op­ment. * Appli­ca­tion d’analyse de com­po­si­tion des pro­duits cosmétiques SVEN CUSSEAU Mechan­i­cal engi­neer­ing stu­dent, founder of the start-up Char­gEos (auto­mat­ed mobile phone charg­ing sta­tions pow­ered by solar pan­els). LUCIE GRATREAU Appren­tice engi­neer at UTC in IT, founder of the start-up com­pa­ny Bring Lights (co-oper­a­tive sur­vey board game). CHRISTOPHER BELLIARD Founder of Cod­di­ty, spe­cialised in web devel­op­ment and data­science activ­i­ties. PASCAL HUYNH Founder of Bey­owi, mobile and web devel­op­ment stu­dio made in Paris

Le magazine

Juin 2023 - N°60

Une recherche tournée vers un avenir soutenable

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