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Telecom Bretagne’s Junior Enterprise geolocates sailboats

Established in colleges and universities, Junior Enterprise * allows students to undertake studies for business clients in the specific fields of competence of their schools. CNJE (French National Confederation of Junior Enterprises) published an article in Les Echos Business today about the story of a successful collaboration between a start-up in Brest, which is gaining ground in the fight against the disappearance of fossil fuels and students from Telecom Bretagne’s ambitious Junior Enterprise group called GER Telecom.
Ger Télécom 2015

Ger Télécom 2015

The TOWT (Transoceanic Wind Transport) start-up charters traditional style sailboats and uses them to transport Fairtrade goods. At the head of the young shipping company is Guillaume Le Grand from Brest whose dream is to find a solution to the disappearance of fossil fuels and to promote organic products. To achieve this objective, TOWT uses an inexhaustible resource: wind power! If at first the project may seem a little archaic, it really is not: in fact the start-up is trying to design a modern and efficient computer system, which is why it contacted Telecom Bretagne’s Junior Enterprise association.

Young innovative engineers
voilier brigantine

The Brigantine Tres Hombres, one of the TOWT fleet (Photo credits: Michel Floch).

Tha assignment was entrusted to GER Telecom (and more particularly to the project manager Florian Caringi and Dylan Sadoun, engineering students at Telecom Bretagne) to find a system for collecting a ship’s geographic data, to locate it in real time on an online map. Live streaming must allow spectators to follow its journey when the ship is in a sufficient flow coverage area. This project is part of the start up’s genuine concern for customers to know exactly what is happening. The website should indeed allow them to follow the sailboat in real time and ensure their vessel is not using its engine.
One constraint: Time
“We had one major issue: time. We signed the contract on March 23 and the boat was due to leave on April 10! “said Pierre-Luigi Fort, GER Telecom President. In total, it took no less than 40 hours for Ger Telecom to complete this project. The time constraint was made more acute by the fact that Guillaume Le Grand was very busy at that time and the students also had to attend lectures. Like any entrepreneurial project, the TOWT – GER Telecom project evolved according to the ideas of the start-up director. GER Telecom therefore had to adjust to allow the project to emerge.

A series of challenges for student entrepreneurs

These students committed to the project primarily because they want to encourage French entrepreneurship and to be a part of it. Junior Enterprises are particularly sought after by entrepreneurs: “As students, we bring innovation, a breath of fresh air and a dynamic vision for their activity. By appealing to us, they are showing their trust in tomorrow’s engineers today. And this has become our slogan “, explains Pierre-Luigi Fort. The Brest start-up, very satisfied with its collaboration, adds: “Working with young Ger Telecom specialists has enabled us to create a flexible, unique system, suited to our needs. It is also a pleasure to move forward together and identify solutions for certain projects requiring a great innovative potential. ”

Starting their own start ups soon?

Building on their experience of industrial assignments, Ger Telecom has gone further: it joined the incubator in 2015. “Joining the incubator enabled us to professionalize our organization and especially to be in contact with StartUpers,” Pierre-Luigi Fort resumes. The Junior enterprise experience give students the means to seriously consider business creation: “With the Junior enterprise, I learned how to manage a group of twenty people and to create and develop fundamental processes such as targeted prospecting or training of new members. The sort of problems facing all developing companies “says Pierre-Luigi Fort.
Once they’ve left Junior enterprise more than one in two Junior entrepreneurs plan to engage in the creation of a company. This can be seen in Ger Telecom. “It is quite possible that by the end of this mandate, three of us are launching a startup. One member of the previous term also launched his own last September, “explains Pierre-Luigi Fort. An entrepreneurial spirit that is the hallmark of Junior entrepreneurs.

* Junior enterprise is a registered trademark with the INPI and is the property of the CNJE

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