Raidlay, this new start-up that makes bicycle mudguards from notebook covers

And not only that. Founded last month by Tom Brunel, still a student at Saint-Etienne’s IUT, the start-up is dedicated to the manufacture and design of environmentally responsible travel equipment. It is in the process of finalizing the prototype of an all-terrain connected trailer. Raidlay has just joined Use’In, the Jean-Monnet University incubator, managed by Telecom.

Mudguards from recycling aren’t the only products the start-up thought of. © Raidlay

Entrepreneurship is certainly not waiting for graduation. And on this subject, Tom Brunel, in his 20 years of not being betrayed by a voice with a bell as old as the state of mind, appears earlier than Enzo Soulier, the founder of Graal Spotter, if where we talked to you at the end of April. A graduate of a DUT Mechanical and production engineering at the IUT of Saint-Etienne, he will still be a student at the beginning of the 2022. academic year. In his business.

Especially since he will be doing on-the-job training with the supplier of industrial solutions for the manufacture of bicycle tires, Mach 1, in Marcplot, near Montrond-les-Bains. Tom Brunel, he is from Villars and both a great cycling and DIY enthusiast. “This is one of the sports that I practice the most. From childhood, mountain biking or road with family, friends. At the same time, yes since high school, I’ve been into a lot of DIY projects: using wood – for example, I tried to make a pedal boat – then other materials, up to today’s 3D printing. I am used to fixing and replacing everything that is broken in the house. »

The idea came from a bike trip after high school

Still with his parents, Tom Brunel must still give them the benefit of his faculties even if the desire to make it his job is already on the table. kasi, “I have long wanted to start my own business to combine my interests. I had ideas but I didn’t know how to do it, it wasn’t my background. I have to continue learning of course: this is the case thanks to the management of the incubator. And I’ll see an accountant for the first time next week. Together we will define a more professional business plan than I expected. But before that, I was at the FabLab in Saint-Etienne, who told me that a structure like Use’In would help me get started. »

Tom Brunel of Telecom incubator, Use’In. © Use’In

This was done within a month: the start-up Raidlay joined the incubator of Jean-Monnet University, initiated by Télécom Saint-Etienne, located in the area of ​​La Base du Bâtiment des Forges, Cité du design in eastern part. Simultaneous learning and starting a business, isn’t that stressful? “On the contrary, it gives me time to make mistakes. So of course there are sacrifices. I don’t do much Thursday student parties because I often work at night on my projects. At IUT, I try to be very, very concentrated in class to optimize my homework time. » Raidlay (in reference to the Vendée river Lay) is dedicated to the manufacture and design of environmentally responsible travel equipment. The idea came from a Sainté/Mediterranean bike trip in the summer after baccalaureate.

Raidlay will finish its prototype trailer by the end of June

Making his own trailer from recycled materials, the young man realized that there was still a lot to be developed in this area. “With the web and telephone connectivity especially with a trailer integrated with an electric bike or even in reality it is really all-terrain. What exists in the market is not yet satisfactory. I am in the process of finalizing one prototype that will have these characteristics. I will present my project at the Run and Bike of La Fouillouse on the 4th of June and also at the event at the VTT of Bois noirs Oxygène, on the 26th of June in Chalmazel. » Initially, Tom Brunel himself would build the machines. Then, if things turn out, it will probably have to go through the subcontracting box, but the student-entrepreneur wants to have his or her workshops in the long run.

In the meantime, we need customers first. The targets? Specialist vendors such as Probikeshop, Culture Vélo, Thollot, etc. are already in place. But Tom Brunel already has a site, which aims to sell his products directly. One of them is already on the market: bicycle mudguards made of…. plastic covers of used school notebooks. At 4 or 5 €, depending on the thickness, the unit, it sells 36 so far, having signed a partnership with the company Papeteries Pichon, based in Veauche.

FabLab laser cut fenders

Several sets of laser cut fender.

A non-commercial exchange between the start-up and the national head of distribution of school supplies to schools: Tom Brunel finds his raw material there, which his partner delivers to him after picking it up from to its customers during its delivery. Pichon finds an additional selling point in the environment here.

“As for the colors, they vary but, inevitably, the stocks vary according to what comes in there. To give the shapes, I rented an hourly laser cutting machine from FabLab in Saint -Etienne. » Tom Brunel, who has not yet raised funds and will soon apply for public assistance or initiative networks, is hoping for 30,000 euros in turnover for his first financial year. It aims to be profitable from September 2023.

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