Digital Start-up Trophy: Review of Former Winners

The call for entries for the Digital Start-up Trophy 2022 It’s open until October 17th. We interviewed former winners who participated in this IMT Starter incubator initiative. Back in three questions about the adventure experienced by Beekast, Holivia, PacketAI and Silex France.

1. What benefits do you see in winning the “Digital Start-up Trophy”?

  • An acceleration of our roadmap, networking with the right contacts and financing through honorary loans (Beekast).
  • Financing through an outstanding loan of 1Time fundraising, developing our reputation and network; and the help of a board every three months to establish our strategy (Holivia).
  • High quality support from two experienced entrepreneurs and the IMT Starter team; accounting and legal services; and finally notoriety (especially in the press), which allowed us to win the first PoCs (PacketAI).
  • High quality mentorship with comprehensive support and strategic committees formed by independent experts. On the practical side, shared facilities for more than two years (Silex France).

2. What are the main difficulties that a company as young as yours has encountered?

  • Finance, hire the first customers, recruit the first employees and find the right Product Market Fit (Beekast).
  • Create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with tight budgets to fully understand the needs of our customers, test the solution and start the first sales to then build trust with other customers and have a sufficient mass of contracts to achieve fundraising. Doing all this with a team of three and small budgets is quite a challenge! (Holivia)
  • Meet potential clients, introduce yourself to investment funds, know the right business networks, essential to meet other leaders and startups like us (PacketAI).

“The first years of creating a start-up are particularly challenging and risky. The IMT Starter incubator provided us with fundamental support to overcome ourselves and offer us a structure to develop with serenity. »

Quentin Fournela, co-founder and managing director of Silex France

3. What advice would you give to young candidates starting out in entrepreneurship?

  • Get good support, be lean and agile, watch your expenses carefully, be impactful and concise about your value proposition, and hit hard. The quote from Mohamed Ali sums up this state of mind well: Fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee and go bang” (Beekast).
  • Dare to start, apply Eric Ries’ “Lean Startup” methodology to the letter. 99% of start-ups pivot after a few months, the goal is to iterate quickly, fail and learn as quickly as possible, do the simplest things possible that allow you to understand the needs, the market, define your MVP. And above all, be tenacious, it’s a marathon! (Holivia)
  • If you believe in something, go for it and don’t be afraid of anything! Try to establish a relationship with a mentor/veteran in your industry that you can turn to for support and guidance. It is very important to be surrounded by the right people (PacketAI).
  • The speed of execution in the creation phase and until reaching the critical size is essential: it is therefore necessary to find all the means to go faster (Silex France).

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