What are the Innovation Barcamps for Entrepreneurs?
It is the idea to give the codes to young people from underprivileged districts, who want to start an innovation project. During one day, project owners will dig in into their idea, with the help of innovation coachs, and other participants: you come with an idea, and you get back with a project, and the support of an innovation community!
3 partners are essential to the success of these Barcamps:
- NQT (Nos Quartiers ont des Talents = Our Talents have Talents is an association that matches young job seekers with tutors in corporations; tutors coach them along their job search) and renowned associations linked to entrepreneurship in underprivileged areas, Les Déterminés (= Engaged People), Time2start, help us to spread the news, and source participants;
- Innovation Spaces from large companies host the event: 1st edition took place at Orange, 2nd at Pernod Ricard, 3rd at Renault, 4th at MAIF Start-up Club, and next one is planned at Banque Postale Platform 58, on September 17th; it shows the interest of large companies for this form of entrepreneurship;
- And last but not least, a dozen of the best innovation coaches in Paris give one day of their time, pro bono, to facilitate the Barcamp with me, and support the participants in fulfilling the innovation canvas on their project (value proposition canvas, business model canvas, and pitch canvas).
This mix of generous partners, and the young participants give to these Barcamps a special flavour, both creative and cooperative. Below are the videos of the former barcamps which give an idea of these enthousistic moments:
Latest Barcamp in March 2019 at MAIF Start-Up Club was particularly joyful, and productive:
Naturally, the real success cornerstone is the commitment of the young participants.
Some project owners are not only talented, but also very resilient: one success story is the one from Mohammad Asim Maqbool and Alexis Fartek, the creators of Streetyfood,: they participated at the first Barcamp, then pitched their project on the Orange booth at Vivatech 2017, and finally won the Startup Suburban Week-End contest, and an incubation at Station F Fighters Program.
Another success story is the one of LocknTouch, and Zora Younsi, who kindly accepted to answer our questions.
As shown in the pictures below, she also took some time to come back at the latest Barcamp to share her experience with the new participants: thank you so much Zora for this!
1) How did you learn about the Entrepreneurs Barcamp by Orange ? Was it through the NQT network?
I learnt about the Entrepreneurs Barcamp by Orange through the NQT network. They communicate about the event, and I asked to participate.
2) You took part to the first barcamp at Orange location in Bagnolet, in May 2017: how was it organized, what project did you present, and what was the state of the project?
It was organized during a full day :
- The morning, we met participants and the team of Orange, during a breakfast. Nicolas described us the organization of the Barcamp. The first time was about personas, and design thinking : to fall in love with the problem to resolve it;
- Each project leaders pitched their project in one minute. The participants and the coach expert (expert in design, marketing …) chose a project, and joined it to help it during the brainstorming, and the design thinking method;
- During the lunch, some partners explained their entrepreneurs careers, or what their structure could bring if we want to launch our business;
- The afternoon each team worked on the business model canvas, and about how to win money with the solution each team has chosen.
During this day, I presented Lock’n’Touch, a solution to prevent from thefts of bags . my project was at the state of idea. I worked on the business model.
3) What did you learn, and what was the impact on your project?
I discovered the importance of the design thinking method: to understand real pains and problems, we have to be of course creative but we have to be empathic .
I learned the collective intelligence : we can prototype in one day a solution with a complementary team. Everyone has an expertise, and there is only good idea.
The Orange Barcamp was the opportunity to improve my solution, my business model, and I decided to bring my project as a CEO and, to test it for the business.
4) What was the next step following the Barcamp (Vivatech)? How did you prepare the event? What was the benefit for you?
Following the Barcamp by Orange, I pitched during 3 min Lock’n’Touch at Vivatech on the Orange Stand the Thursday, and I get the opportunity to present Lock’N’Touch, during 20 min on the LVMH Stand at Vivatech.
I prepared the event with Orange: how to make a pitch deck, what I can share about my business, and how to pitch during 3 min.
It was a strong benefit because I understood the Why, and the Value of a solution. When you develop your project, you have to be clear for the others, and they have to understand simply the problem, how you resolve it, and our value proposition. Why our solution and not an other .
I met during the Barcamp my future associate too !!
4) Following the Barcamp and Vivatech, you applied for Station F entrepreneurs programs: can you tell us which programs, and how the Barcamp experience helped you to improve your application?
The same year of the Barcam and Vivatech, I participated to a Startup Wekk End. And I Applied for the Fighters program @ Station F.
The Barcamp experience helped me to adjust my business, my pitch, my presentation. And I talked about this professional experience when I Applied.
And when I want to test for example a landing page, I have design thinking in mind…
5) What is the current state of your project, and what are the next challenges? How can we help you?
Today, I have a team to develop the project. We have prototyped several times Lock’n’Touch. We worked with UI and UX designer to optimize the customer’s experience.
The next challenges are to sign strong contracts.
We are on a business approach . You could help me by present me to your network, and to help me on my business approach (contracts, pitch etc, how to target and how to approach the right person to make business) .
Don’t be afraid of failure…
To succeed is great, but TEST and GET STARTED, it’s the beginning of everything…
Image credits: Nicolas Bry
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Nicolas Bry is Orange Startups Studio COO. He entices Orange employees into becoming intrapreneurs, bringing their idea to life within Orange business. International executive, he sets-up innovation devices for new business. International speaker, writer with RapidInnovation.fr, guest lecturer at the Google Academy mini-MBA, visiting innovation professor at Telecom ParisTech, MediaSchool & EM Lyon, freelance consultant for the EC. Follow him at @nicobry.