“The first difficulty for industrial start-ups is having equity financing”

Starting projects is often a complex time for start-ups, who encounter five major hurdles. Eléonore Blondeau, who co-founded Collectif Startups Industrielles France to support them, details these difficulties.

Eléonore Blondeau, co-founder and president of Collectif Startups Industrielles France. © Eleonore Blondeau

JDN. You spoke at the Startup Tour event, organized by the technical center focused on IoT and the future We Network industry on June 7, on the hurdles that start-ups encounter during start-up. What is the main pitfall?

Eleonore Blondeau. The first major difficulty for start-ups is having equity financing to carry out their pre-industrialization. Start-ups generate little turnover in their early stages. However, they need a way to carry out their project. Even if Bpifrance does the subject, there are still few financial offers for them. In the IoT, however, gamers experience fewer difficulties than in other sectors because they feature the software part of their solution, which is easy to supply, even if it includes hardware. Hardware typically represents only 30% of the project cost.

At design time, were there any barriers?

The purpose of a connected object is to meet a real need. A start-up should not develop a product based on an idea with a desire to show that it has mastered the technology. It’s the same for 5G: it’s probably not necessary to deploy it on a global scale, but only to professionals in such an industry. We must be wary of the mania of wanting to connect everything in a technocentric approach. Once the use of the object has been determined, good practice is to think about the eco-design of the connected objects, i.e., list where to find locally repairable and recyclable materials. In the crisis phase, the question arose on the compatibility of connected objects in relation to the objectives of sobriety and environmental impact. It is necessary to constantly conduct an economic and ecological study to find out the impact of its object. For example in maintenance, it is better to know the state of the machine to send technicians at the right time than to conduct regular monitoring, which causes unnecessary pollution. Another challenge: understanding which standards and certifications the project meets because there is a clear lack of visibility into regulatory aspects. The difficulties did not stop when the prototype was made.

Meaning?

Entrepreneurs in the ecosystem do not master testbeds. It is a machine that repeats an action action a thousand times to determine when a problem might arise, where, why, etc. This is not a step to skip. The industry is fortunate to be a sector where you can touch and see things concretely. It will require more pedagogy to explain its role, arrange factory visits, create training schools and entrepreneurial circles on vocabulary, stages, actors. Because many do not know what technical resource centers do. Many start-ups fail because they don’t have the resources at home and don’t know where to look for them. Then they go to a fablab to create a product that works. But a product that works is not an industrialized product. This is a recurring problem, it is necessary to raise the skills of the entire start-up ecosystem, including fab managers, so that they can explain that a prototype is not necessarily industrialized. (read our article The success of industrialization at the heart of We Network’s strategy).

You also mentioned hosting start-ups …

In fact, there is a need in all territories for start-ups to benefit from areas where they can both have their own space for privacy issues, but also share equipment to reduce costs and collaboration. to members of the territory. Start-ups need to benefit from on-site expertise. This need is found in all sectors, beyond the IoT. Initiatives for starting start-ups are being considered, at S Factory or at We Network. This is a very good dynamic. It will still be necessary to ensure that these areas are distributed so as not to have too many in the same region.

Eléonore Blondeau, a 30-year-old Lyon-based businessman, is passionate about the circular industry. After five years at the head of the company CED’IN, which developed the solution CleanCup, a machine that automatically distributes, collects and washes, on -site, reusable glasses, he is now a “slasher” between a new position project manager at the industrialist Eternity Systems, and co-founder and president of Collectif Startups Industrielles (CSI) France. The mission of the latter is to support the transformation of the start-up ecosystem in favor of the seed industry, in a circular economic approach. CSI France is notably developing a Manifesto of concrete actions aimed at re-industrializing France, which can be seen here.

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