48 start-ups, more investors and more sun: a good summary of Start-Up on the Beach’s second edition, with a new backdrop very fitting for ambitious and adventurous start-ups: Le Palais du Grand Large in Saint-Malo.
The event itself is also quite ambitious. La French Tech Rennes St Malo and Digital Saint Malo have a unified voice: “with this second edition, Start-Up on the Beach takes its place in the Tech calendar, between Vivatech and the West Web Festival!” Laurent Bertaux explains. The new president of the management board of La French Tech Rennes St-Malo is pleased to see many different industry players come together for this event. Like at Digital Saint Malo, where beach and digital are a natural combination: “Here, innovation is part of the backdrop, nearly as much as the sea,” says Stéphane Maillard, its president.
Attentive, curious investors
The strength and raison d’être of an event like Start-Up on the Beach is the opportunity to bring together accelerators, start-ups and investors in a favourable context. The day is divided into two main segments: traditional pitch sessions spread throughout the day and 1-to-1s where start-ups and investors meet in private to discuss.
Boris Golden, from the firm Partech Ventures, attended last year: “The chance to meet the entire Western ecosystem which is fairly extensive all at once, doesn’t present itself every day: it’s the opportunity to see all of the most promising start-ups. Not necessarily in order to find THE start-up, but to see what’s being done. And if it’s not this year, it could be next year that you find the project that really motivates you to invest. In any case, it’s clear that the event is growing in popularity and attracting more and more investors!”
Also local investors such as Isource Breizh Up naturally attended: “Discovering projects in pitch format gives a first glance of a start-up’s ability to sell its product or transform its technological solution into a product. Since we’re a local investment firm, we are already familiar with many of the projects, but we can still discover new developments and interesting things we want to know more about. In Brittany, we have such fertile ground for innovation and skills that the next few years are likely to yield some interesting stuff. We’re overjoyed that Parisian investors are becoming interested!” says Stéphane Lefevre-Sauli.
Highly motivated start-ups
On the start-up side, the details are still being fleshed out, and the incubators have been hard at work with preparations! For Village by CA, Start-Up on the Beach requires a month of prep: “We have prepared our start-ups for the pitch sessions, as well as for questions and discussions with investors. We have even put them into the investor’s shoes to help them understand what kinds of questions they should be able to answer,” François Cormier explains.
Synergiz, specializing in natural interfaces, has come to pitch: “We’ve worked on our positioning for 7 years, and with this positioning, we have identified two avenues for strong growth. We now need to fund their commercial development. We are currently wrapping a first funding round, which will be finalized by September. We’re here with a view to a second acceleration in 12 to 18 months. We’ve come to meet investors today to show our potential and set a waypoint, so that they’re able to see the distance we’ve travelled when we meet again in a few months,” Fabrice Barbin explains.
The start-ups at the event are at different stages of development and they all have different needs. An attendee from the previous year, One Wave is celebrating its first birthday. Thomas Lechevallier explains why he’s come back to Start-Up on the Beach: “We’ve just launched a funding campaign on Gwenneg for the prototyping of our universal card and we want to stay in touch with the investment world because we have a large funding round coming up in March or April 2018. We want to show them we’re working hard and tell them to get ready because we’ll need them next year,” smiles Thomas.
An exceptional setting, smoothly-running logistics, enthusiastic investors, motivated start-ups and engaged accelerators… and the cherry on top, a lunch buffet on L’Étoile du Roy and a sunny day. Can’t wait for July 2018!
Congratulations to the accelerator partners for their work and dedication: Fairwest, IMT Atlantique, La Nurserie numérique, Le Booster, Le Grenier numérique, Le Village by CA, Orange digital entrepreneurs school, Silicon B, Starter Pépites de Bretagne, Startmeup by Rennes Atalante.