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Diversity and innovation were the keywords at the Fall 2019 Startup Kafés

SKEMA Ventures stimulated the entrepreneurial minds of SKEMA entrepreneurs again this month through the Startup Kafé events held at the Belo Horizonte, Lille, Paris and Sophia Antipolis campuses.

The Startup Kafé pitching sessions were held at the Lille and Sophia Antipolis campuses on October 14, at the Paris campus on October 17 and at the Belo Horizonte campus on October 22. In September, a Startup Kafé was also held at SKEMA’s Suzhou campus in China in collaboration with NUS Enterprise and other partners in the region.

French campuses

The number of participants and audience at the Startup Kafé was more than ever this year. At the Lille campus, 17 pitchers presented their business ideas to an audience of more than 90 people. Out of this, 9 of the projects were presented by students from the SKEMA PGE and master’s programs, 2 by alumni, and the rest by partner schools including ENSAM, Sciences Po Lille, ITEEM and INRIA. The project ideas were from a diverse range of sectors including information technology, food, energy/clean-tech, health, education, etc.

Startup Kafe-Fall 2019 event-SKEMA Ventures
A student pitching at the Startup Kafe in Lille

At the Paris campus, 22 pitches were presented to an audience of 72 people. This included 11 SKEMA students, one alumnus, and 10 pitchers from ESIEA and PEPITE Hesam. Many of the projects were from the information technology, food, hospitality, transportation, and finance sectors.

At the Sophia Antipolis campus, 18 pitchers presented their project to an audience of more than 80 people, which included members of the local entrepreneurship ecosystem and partner schools. Some of the pitchers were student entrepreneurs who have won several competitions and pitch regularly at the Startup Kafé, such as Cannelle Danzelle from the Sophia Antipolis campus and Pauline Gane from the Paris campus.

The events included insightful testimonials from SKEMA alumni entrepreneurs who shared their experiences with the participants and answered their questions, such as Cédric Allin and Thibaut Desseignes, founders of Bieropolis.

Startup Kafe-Fall 2019 event-SKEMA Ventures
Cédric Allin and Thibaut Desseignes, founders of Bieropolis, address the audience at the Startup Kafe in Sophia Antipolis.

Sébastien Defosse, who presented his business idea named DAG, said: “It’s a really great atmosphere…I got to learn about a couple of things that I need to redo and learn more about. If you’re searching for an idea, looking to develop it or just want to learn more about entrepreneurship, come to the next Startup Kafé!”

“I had a really nice experience listening to everyone’s projects and getting some feedback for my own idea. I encourage everyone to come to listen or to pitch because it will enable you to learn a lot and make you think,” said Alizée Couttet, who pitched her project named Univert that is related to creating a sustainable event agency.

Another student Mayuresh Markale, whose project was about home automation, said: “The support was great! During the happy hour, I got to interact with a few designers and alumni who showed a lot of interest in my idea.”

Startup Kafe-Fall 2019 event-SKEMA Ventures Sophia
Students and members of the local entrepreneurship ecosystem listen attentively to the pitches at the Startup Kafe in Sophia Antipolis.

Brazil campus

At the Belo Horizonte campus in Brazil, several students from the bachelor’s and PGE program pitched their project with the aim of benefiting from the feedback and recommendations of the audience. Covering areas such as urban farming, small business e-marketplaces, or customized globetrotting platforms, the projects received diverse inputs of SKEMA Ventures’ partners from Belo Horizonte’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Among them, SKEMA Ventures was particularly pleased to welcome Fabio Veras representing Saude Ventures and MG Digital, Professor Joao Bonomo, author of the entrepreneurship book Os Sohno de Mateus, Juliana Saliba from BiotechTown cluster, and Professor Fabiano Birchal, a specialist in entrepreneurship.

Startup Kafe-Fall 2019 event-SKEMA Ventures Brazil
A student pitches his business idea at the Startup Kafe in Belo Horizonte

The participants of the Startup Kafé also benefitted from the experience of Pedro Peixoto, a SKEMA alumnus from the MSc Entrepreneurship and Innovation program and co-founder of the venture capital firm Circle Ventures. Pedro shared with the audience his dual experience as an entrepreneur and an investor that has allowed him to support sustainable entrepreneurs in Brazil.

A platform to practice pitching in front of a friendly audience, opportunities to network, and the feedback of professionals from the local entrepreneurship ecosystem… the Startup Kafé is the place to be for budding entrepreneurs to hone their entrepreneurial projects! The next Startup Kafé will be held in February.

Startup Kafe-Fall 2019 event-SKEMA Ventures Sophia
A student pitches his project at the Startup Kafe in Sophia Antipolis.

Currently, registration is open for the Bootstrap workshop being held at the Sophia Antipolis campus.

For more information, you can contact the following Venture Factory managers at your campuses:

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SKEMA Ventures is a business unit created by SKEMA Business School dedicated to entrepreneurship and innovation. Through a unique value chain, that encompasses teaching, coaching, incubation, and acceleration, SKEMA Ventures allows each SKEMA student and alumni to think, design, test and launch an entrepreneurial project in a global context, on six innovative territories on four continents, benefiting from the best of each local ecosystem. With SKEMA Ventures, GloCal entrepreneurship is born!
Watch this video to know more: https://youtu.be/OAYVo9wtWZM

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