CES 2023: For These Father-Daughter Startups, “The American Adventure Has Just Begun”

Posted on January 6, 2023, 4:53 pmUpdated Jan 6, 2023, 5:43 PM

“I am an emergency nurse by training. I worked for two years at the fire brigade in Paris, then three years at the SAMU in Rouen, in Normandy. Passionate about cars, I then decided to embark on entrepreneurship with a first company Axis 4, specialized in installing solar films for cars. The adventure lasts… seventeen years.

During one of my professional training courses, I realized how much our day-to-day life has been gradually colonized by touch screens… which are often very dirty. This is where the idea of ​​a sanitary protection film comes to mind. Reflection ends after two years. At the end of 2017, with my daughter Elsa at the beginning of her work and study BTS Commerce, we decided to create a family start-up called ProtectECRAN.

Our commitment is to market a screen protector film against bumps and scratches but also against microbial contamination, maintaining a clean appearance.

Germs everywhere all the time… especially on screens

Germs and bacteria are ubiquitous in our lives. They are as useful as they are dangerous because they multiply very quickly and our fingers (which we put on our face on average more than 20 times a day) carry entire colonies (from 100 to 400 bacteria per cm2)… which end up on the screens.

Even worse than the screens on our cell phones? Cash dispensers, automatic cash registers at gas stations where everyone puts their fingerprints or devices in the hospital.

But, obviously, obstacles come in packages… Especially since the end of 2018, infectious risk prevention is neither very dynamic nor very fashionable.

Fortunately, two manufacturers, Overspeed and Sanitized, open their networks to us to bring prototypes into compliance with the certifications and standards to be respected. With only 15,000 euros of initial capital, however, we lack funds to develop the project.

A stroke of luck: we found multi-medal-winning judoka Teddy Riner. He was seduced by the concept and decided to help us out by investing €6,000 in the company. He then took over 40% of the start-up’s capital.

Afterwards, we are selected by Le Village by CA, one of the largest networks of incubators and startup accelerators in France, created by the Crédit Agricole bank. And still labeled as “start-up with potential”.

Everything is accelerated with the arrival of Covid-19

It all came to a head in March 2019 when the Covid pandemic hit the world hard and barrier gestures became the rule. Our film works with this then-unknown virus. We then spent countless hours manufacturing, applying and explaining how without chemicals or nanoparticles, which are dangerous to health, microbes die on the screens we protect.

Our development prospects are clearly expanding. We buy equipment to industrialize our production because big accounts like Crédit Agricole or Leclerc trust us. Our “bilayer film” (one for bumps/scratches, one for hygiene) is patented in France and registered with the INPI in September 2021.

We primarily target two markets: healthcare and mobility. Elsa proposes that these two target markets be reinforced with the creation of an e-commerce site. We recruited two young men to help him.

During this time, ProtectECRAN is gaining notoriety, participating in numerous fairs, where we have won awards: at VivaTech in 2021 and at Go Entrepreneurs in 2022.

Direction: USA

It was last year that the American adventure began for us. After extending our patent throughout Europe, we obtain the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) label, [l’autorité qui autorise la mise sur le marché de médicaments et produits médicaux, NDLR] to ensure our presence across the Atlantic.

Winners of Business France’s October 2022 “Ub-mobility North America” ​​challenge, we’re flying straight to Detroit, the birthplace of the American automobile, where we’ll meet the top mobility manufacturers in the United States.

It is this opportunity that allows us to participate in CES 2023, the global high-tech fair that takes place in Las Vegas at the beginning of the year. . With the whole team, we exhibit in the French pavilion to claim made in France! And we hope to meet new people who will once again be decisive for our development beyond the Atlantic…

In any case, Elsa, now licensed, is ready to accept the challenge: she is currently looking for work to create a position at International Corporate Volunteering (VIE) and, for my part, I am supporting her by finalizing the creation of a subsidiary in Detroit to represent us there. The American journey has just begun! »

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If you also have a beautiful (or less beautiful) story to tell, do not hesitate to contact us: redaction-start@lesechos.fr

And to read other inspiring testimonials, it’s HERE.

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