Limoges Start-up, Facil’iti makes Quebec easier

Six or seven years ago, I came on missions, exploratory at first, to get an idea of ​​how the market might react to the inclusion of our product. We were then in the development phase. We already had as clients the city of Limoges, CSP, some others that showed us that our product worked. We wanted to see what was happening abroad and Canada felt like a logical choice because there is real consideration for people with disabilities and the elderly. Canada, and Quebec in particular, is the second oldest area in the world, so it’s interesting to have laboratories where we can understand how an elderly person lives digital, what problems they encounter and how to solve them.

So you carried out several missions in Quebec, did they bear fruit?

Is the way of working and communicating quickly with Quebecers? We carried out several missions like this one related to the Region, the Technopole or the regional CCI, they allowed us to find the first customers or the first potential commercial relationships, then imagine how to develop, finding distribution partners, or why not through the creation of a company internal. On the other hand, we tend to appropriate Canada as a French domain, as we speak the same language, but things work more like in the United States. It is much more direct, it is very much linked to the return on investment, the approach is more “business” than in France. As a result, we have to break the models we have in France to go for the North American models.

“We are starting with something new. »

Where is the interest of a follow-up?

Being accompanied on international missions acculturates us to another way of working. How does a Canadian work in his business relationship, how does a Canadian company work when buying a product, how does a user work? The missions allow us to avoid making mistakes when approaching these countries.

Where are you today in your prospects in Quebec?

We got off to a good start, as we were about to create a company in March 2020. Covid arrived, and the partner with whom we had to join forces to finalize the creation of the structure did not have the chance to be French. He was Canadian and had much less support than French companies. Then the project stopped.

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Will you go back to known bases?

No, our contacts have changed, processes have evolved. We must readapt our offer and find interlocutors. We benefit from our past experience, but, as in France, Canadians have a harder time telling themselves that they will be dependent on technology from outside. We’ll have to show our credentials again. Also, being a foreign company means you cannot work with a community in Canada, you have to go through a local company, have a company established here. We start with something new.

In two years, have you also changed?

Our product has evolved enormously, with new versions that integrate many more technologies. We offer 1,200 filters to our users, which is 1.9 million today, compared to 400,000 two years ago, so we have more and more credibility. We have three offices in Japan, one in the US and we would like to find a business partner to set up an office in Canada. We are lucky to have made a great fundraiser. Today it is easier than it was at the time to internationalize. Without missions like this, operations would have to be mounted that would cost much more and take longer.

Interview by Jean-Louis Mercier

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