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Inria start-up

21/11/2016

Bomotech:personalized support to create a start-up

The Bomotech start-up project uses the person and motion detection technology of the STARS project-team to develop a rehabilitation assistance system. This project, supported and hosted at the Dev Center of the Inria Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée Research Center, is progressing in leaps and bounds: its two leaders, Baptiste Fosty (28) and Mélaine Gautier (35) plan to create their own company and join the Paca Est incubator in January 2017 and are drafting the business plan for their first fundraising campaign.

Their original concept is a rehabilitation aid system based on detecting movement, which quantifies patient performance during their rehabilitation period and tracks it visually. Their priority target for the launch was defined specifically following their market analysis: rehabilitation centers. For that purpose, they enlisted the support of a medical advisor who also happens to be a physician at the Centre Hélio Marin, Vallauris. They are continuing their testing to allow them to also supply the big names in the sporting goods sector.

A well-prepared and approved project

Thanks to Inria Sophia's membership of ComUE Université Côte d’Azur and its involvement in IDEX UCA Jedi, Bomotech has benefited from free membership of the EIA (European Innovation Academy), the biggest summer school for entrepreneurs, organized with support from the City of Nice and dedicated to the creation of start-ups. So Baptiste Fosty and Mélaine Gautier spent three weeks in July at this school, taught by professors from top universities (Berkeley, Stanford, etc) and experienced entrepreneurs (Samsung, Orange, Amadeus, Google), and surrounded by almost 700 participants from all over the world and from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds.

They found this concept very enriching for their project, with its content based on the business accelerators of Silicon Valley, practical training sessions with role-playing games and the opportunity to widen their network.  

This enhanced their ability to work in a team with other partners, understand the skills of each person, organize tasks, with quality monitoring performed by mentors specializing in the field of health care. They practiced presenting their project to a varied audience, real investors and all the participants. They honed their entrepreneurial skills, widened their circle of acquaintances, and moved their project forward, all at the same time.

They followed on with the HEC Challenge+ course starting in October 2016, a program combining three modalities and complementary resources: action-training, personalized monitoring, a network of partners who provide resources, advice, and contacts.

Their aims are to validate their company creation project and the business plan for their fundraising, and to prepare to face the challenges of growing an innovative company.

Local support

The innovation transfer and partnership department (STIP) and the experimentation and development department (SED) at the Inria Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée Research Center have been supporting this project for more than two years. Guillène Ribière and Jérémy Fidelak, the Partnership and Innovation Project Managers, are jointly responsible for monitoring this start-up, and both provide personalized support to the team by tracking the progress of the project and helping them find financial and administrative assistance: InriaHub, Contest (Bpifrance), preparation for admission to the incubator, company creation. The proximity to SED engineers allows almost daily monitoring of the development of the technology and prototypes, and facilitates access to technical assistance and advice.

"These two young people are very open and took the time and energy to ask for advice and hold many substantive meetings with prospective customers as well as investors in order to finalize their project,"explains Jérémy Fidelak. "Those of us who have been watching them from the start have seen how things have developed as the discussions progress."

In terms of market studies, "we gave Bomotech support to allow a factual analysis on their primary target market: physiotherapists,",explains Guillène Ribière. "For that purpose, we suggested launching a Google Ads campaign as if their product were ready and packaged for physiotherapists, and measuring the click ratio on their campaign. The result was a low click rate of 0.6%. Following this disappointing result, Bomotech reviewed its strategy in terms of market segments and their priorities. They envisaged a new market segment: running-shoe stores."

Next stages: joining the Paca Est company incubator in January 2017, and an initial fundraising campaign

Meeting with the two young entrepreneurs.

Une techno, les bonnes personnes et le savoir convaincre pour une belle aventure humaine

Comment l’idée vous est-elle venue ?

BF : Je travaillais en tant qu’ingénieur dans l’équipe-projet STARS et au fil des discussions avec notre responsable d'équipe, Francois Bremond, j’ai eu envie de me lancer.

Comment Mélaine a-t-il rejoint le projet ?

MG : J’ai travaillé pendant dix ans en tant qu’ingénieur, dans de nombreux endroits dont Inria où j’ai collaboré à différentes équipes. C'est grâce au STIP qui nous a mis en relation que j'ai pu rejoindre Baptiste dans ce projet.

Que faut-il pour se lancer ?

BF : De l’envie et une techno bien sûr, mais il est capital de savoir présenter son projet. Il faut apprendre à convaincre à tous les niveaux : Inria, associés, et bien sûr pour trouver des financements extérieurs.

Comment vous êtes-vous répartis les rôles ?

MG : Baptiste s’occupe des aspects communication et marketing et moi logiciels.

Et pour faire une bonne équipe ?

BF : Il faut savoir communiquer et gérer les moments de stress inhérents à ce type d’aventure.

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