The second season of StartUp42, the digital start-up accelerator sponsored by EPITA, ended with a Prototype Fiesta on 27 January where investors, partners and business representatives joined students to discover strong-potential innovative projects.
During its first edition last year, the StartUp42 by EPITA accelerator led to the creation of six companies with a total turnover of 150 000 € in 2013, in addition to raising 210 000 € worth of equity for start-up Modizy. The six 2014 projects, which benefitted from guidance for four months and were honoured on 27 January on the premises of ISEG Group in Paris, should be equally successful as the projects from the previous year, as shown by the strong attendance at the event and the increase in the number of investors who came to see the demonstrations. “The fact that there are more investors present than at the previous edition shows the strong interest for our start-ups, said Daniel Jarjoura, head of the accelerator. This was made possible by the first Prototype Fiesta, our regular communication activities and most of all by the high quality of the start-ups we select”.
From video games to legal documents
In addition to increased interest from investors, the second edition was also characterised by the wide diversity of selected projects, across the whole digital spectrum, from cryptography to e-business. One of the projects was even a video game: Untold Universe. This was the first project of its kind to be accelerated by StartUp42 and was a hit with the public. “It is a massively multiplayer video game developed by three final-year EPITA students, said Daniel Jarjoura. It is based on a kind of game which is very popular with hardcore gamers. It is a niche market, but a very profitable one if you manage to get into it.” Another project which was particularly successful at the digital Fiesta was Captain Contrat, which had already made a splash when it came first in the 101projets competition and won 25,000 € worth of investment.
This success was due to the boost given by StartUp42 to this ambitious young business, which makes legal documents customised by solicitors available to very small and small and medium-sized company creators and managers, at a low cost.
Buyers without borders
Untold Universe and Captain Contrat were a hit with visitors, but it was the e-business project WorldCraze which created the biggest buzz. This start-up had already benefitted from the exposure from StartUp42 by impressing some of the media (Télématin on France 2, newspapers L’Express and 20 Minutes, etc.). “We consider ourselves as the Airbnb of objects: you rent out your luggage space in a way”, said Frédéric Simons, an Epitech graduate, co-founder and CPO of the five-member project. The concept is based on the creation of a community crowd-shopping platform which connects travellers with people wishing to buy exclusive or cheaper products anywhere in the world: if an Internet user wishes to purchase a product which is specific to one country, he/she can place an order with a person who has planned to travel to that country. Upon his or her return, the traveller hands over the purchased product to the buyer. This simple yet promising idea caught the eye of Amazon, with whom WorldCraze has already signed an affiliation partnership.
The other start-ups at the Prototype Fiesta:
XiKO is specialised in the analysis of web conversations via a semantic engine focused on meaning. This tool meets the needs of businesses in terms of contextualised and qualitative assessment of conversational flows. www.xiko.fr
Massive Rand develops innovative cryptography solutions based on GPU computing and Peer2Peer algorithms. MassiveRand’s solutions are a technological answer to the issue of widespread spying on the Internet.
My Private Social Network is a simple and efficient way of creating a social network for businesses and managing a community effortlessly. www.mpsn.fr
To register to take part in the next acceleration season of Startup42byEPITA, fill in the Apply registration form on the accelerator’s website by 3 March.
StartUp42, the sense of innovation
StartUp42 is a digital start-up accelerator sponsored by EPITA and supported by partner businesses (Econocom, Salesforce, France Télévisions, OpenDataSoft…). The aim is to guide projects selected by a jury of professionals, free of charge and with no participation in the start-ups’ capital. Over a four-month period, StartUp42 offers them office space (at the heart of the IONIS Education Group technology campus in the South of Paris), mentoring (over sixty entrepreneurs, technical experts, researchers, designers take it in turns to challenge and inspire the start-ups) and puts them in touch with experts, investors, the media and potential clients. At the end of the period, the Prototype Fiesta is held. This fiesta is a closing ceremony which enables start-ups to look back on the four months of acceleration by showing the development of their project and their ambitions, whilst presenting a prototype demonstration in front of an audience.