InSpek and, the two startups that won the X-Grant Silicon Valley 2022 award

Created in 2013 and with a total value of US$100,000, the X-Grant Silicon Valley award rewards project leaders or entrepreneurs in the École Polytechnique entrepreneurial ecosystem each year. Jérôme Michon (X 2011), co-founder of InSpek, and Feng Yang (X 2001), co-founder of, are winners of the X-Grant Silicon Valley 2022 award, funded by the École Polytechnique Foundation and the Friends of Ecole Polytechnique, its structure sister in the United States. Each will benefit from an investment of $50,000, as well as top-notch mentorship from California entrepreneurs and investors.

Silicon Valley X-Grant: Identifying Talented Entrepreneurs and Driving Innovative Ideas

The X-Grant Silicon Valley award honors talents from the X business ecosystem and aims to support the School’s action in terms of entrepreneurship and innovation. He’s talking to:

  • Students and alumni for less than 5 years at École Polytechnique (all courses) with a business creation project
  • For start-ups (current and Alumni) that went through the X-Up incubator of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center at l’X
  • To the (current) start-ups of the X-Tech incubator of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation de l’X

To qualify, applicants must submit an innovative project with a Silicon Valley-related component. Each year, two winners receive the award of $50,000 and also benefit from top-notch mentorship offered by entrepreneurs, Valley-based Alumni de l’X, as well as access to the alumni network.

This award is 50% funded by the École Polytechnique Foundation and 50% by the Friends of Ecole Polytechnique, thanks to the generosity of former California-based student donors. InSpek and join a community of start-ups with strong influence: PriceMatch (2013), Dreem (2014), Cardiologs (2015), Plato, Tempow and Meteo*Swift (2016), Decidata and SpotAngels (2017), Astraveus and Totem (2018), Lalilo and Tarmac Technologies (2019), Omini and Monk (2020), Escape and Flyinstinct (2021).

InSpek: a new generation of chemical sensors to monitor reactions in real time and better characterize them

Start-up created by Juejun Hu, Jérôme Michon (X 2011) and Laurent Vivien.

Graduated from École Polytechnique (class X 2011) and MIT where he completed his doctorate
in integrated optics, Jérôme Michon co-founded the start-up InSpek in September 2021
which is developing a new generation of chemical analysis systems based on its
on-chip patented optical sensors. While process deviations generate very high costs in the pharmaceutical industry and in the biotechnology sector, these sensors allow monitoring chemical reactions in real time to better characterize them and, therefore, reduce the time and costs associated with chemical production.

Currently based at Drahi – X Novation Center, Ecole Polytechnique’s entrepreneurship and innovation center, the start-up has developed several prototypes and is starting a testing phase with its first customers. Next step: validate the technology by the end of 2022 before commercializing the solution on a large scale.

Jerome Michon says:

“We are very honored to receive the X-Grant Silicon Valley Award. This prize, awarded by a jury of experts, represents a great recognition of the validity of the
our project. It gives us It gives us visibility and credibility, which are considerable assets in the highly regulated market of the pharmaceutical industry. » Improving Industrial Operations with AI-Assisted Remote Sensing

Photo: Ecole Polytechnique Foundation – Alice Li, Feng Yang and Didier Jehanno

Start-up created by Lionel Lhommet, Alice Li, Shangran Xie and Feng Yang (X2001)

After working for more than 8 years in the geophysical industry, Feng
Yang co-founded with the aim of providing industry players with
high precision remote sensing solutions for oil, gas and rail. Since its creation in 2019, the start-up uses artificial intelligence to develop a
tool capable of controlling flows, but also monitoring the state of infrastructure
such as oil or gas pipelines. Based on a distributed measurement system with
optical fiber, this tool allows remote detection of vibrations, events
acoustics, temperature and, soon, flow pressure. already
has already developed a measuring device that must be deployed in the field to perform
tests under real conditions. The start-up must also complete development of its application software by the summer.

Fend Yang said:

“We would like to thank the Fondation de l’X, the Friends of Ecole Polytechnique and
all donors who fund this award. Receiving is a real encouragement and
gives us confidence for our next exchanges with investors. More specifically, the financial endowment allowed us to rent a second office in
Drahi – X Novation Center where we are staying, to expand our team, and well
sure to continue the development of our solution. »

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