Industrialization success at the heart of We Network’s strategy

The technical center dedicated to IoT and the industry of the future We Network focused the first edition of its Startup Tour on concrete advice to prevent start-ups from running any risk of failure.

Many start-ups still embark on the production of products that later cannot be industrialized, notes with regret Sébastien Rospide, general manager of the technical center dedicated to the IoT and the industry of the future We Network. To help remedy this, the structure has made sharing the keys to success the watchword of its new Startup Tour traveling event, the first edition of which was hosted on the Angers technocampus website on Tuesday, June 7th. (read our interview “The Start-up Tour will contribute to industrial relocation in France”)

Detail the specifications well

We Network has workshops that allow its customers to produce their prototype or pre-series. © Celia Garcia-Montero

The first piece of advice prepared by Pascal Blot, an expert in electronic design and industrialization at We Network, concerns the elaboration of specifications. “It is important to provide detailed information about the use of the product, but it is not necessary to limit yourself to technical issues: it is also necessary to indicate the projected volumes, the cost price, the time to market, etc. But above all, it is necessary to ensure that everyone has the same level of understanding of the project”, he specifies, citing the example of a client who ended up with a bad prototype after a disagreement with his office. ‘study. A warning confirmed by Pierre Régnier, CEO and co-founder of Velco, a French start-up that offers connected solutions for the bicycle industry: “We develop our prototype little by little. , with the scarcity of components, it takes almost a year and a half.” The development of its connected bicycle handlebars, now sold in over 35,000 units, required more than three years of R&D.

Choose your partners well

The second key to the success of industrialization, according to Pascal Blot, lies in the consultation to choose its partners. “It is alongside a design office that we carry out industrialization, so we must compare their offers to choose the one that best matches the company’s vision”, he recommends. An opinion shared by Anthony Gourde, director of the Beefutures start-up in France, which designs connected hives: “Having a partner is essential, it has strengthened us in product design, component validation, certification”. The health crisis really forced Beefutures to change its strategy and move towards data analytics.

Conduct a feasibility study

Finally, the feasibility study only takes place if there are financial or technological issues for the project. Otherwise, it’s not essential in Pascal Blot’s eyes. “It is necessary to take into account the certifications and legislative aspects that involve innovation as soon as possible – which many neglect”, he says, giving the example of a client who spent time developing a product whose use of the system is prohibited by law. For Philippe Clément, a commercial consultant at Orange who plans an IoT project in beekeeping, the main barrier is of a legislative nature, knowing precisely “which standard should be followed or which documents should be filled out”. Financial issues, in particular cost pricing, also come into play in the feasibility study. Pascal Blot specifies that depending on the complexity of the project, the budgets to be planned can vary from 100,000 euros to more than 400,000 euros for the complete industrialization of a solution.

Ludovic Marquet, sales engineer at We Network, supported the first productions of the connected shoe Eram’s Parade. © Celia Garcia-Montero

Last advice on this feasibility study: “Make a pre-series to validate the production machines as well and that the product is well industrializable”, recommends Ludovic Marquet, sales engineer at We Network, who accompanied technocampus in the production of the pre -series for Eram’s Parade connected shoe or SNCF’s Sono Quiet connected object for noise measurement in open spaces. “At the end of the day, preparing for the industrialization of your project can take more than a good year of work,” says Pascal Blot.

To go further in supporting industrial start-ups, We Network is considering expanding its website. In 2019, the technical center purchased Connected Object City, whose facilities belong to the region, and an 8,000-square-meter warehouse is still unused. We Network is considering creating a space called Launchpad, where startups can come, prototype and store their innovations, while trading with ecosystem partners.

The idea of ​​such a project, mentioned during the event, is already attracting great interest from the start-ups present: “It’s exactly what I need. , which is preparing for the second half of 2022 the industrialization of its cattle weighing conveyor connected with its start-up Qwintal. The project must first be discussed with the Region. A project to follow.

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