“Knowing you are not alone is essential”
Nicholas Brun, 47, founder of Escape Lifestyle, a baby care line
Parenthood gave the idea for a travel enthusiast, an arts and literature engineer, to offer his own baby care equipment: “I wanted to imagine things for travel, that were more practical and lighter than those offered by major retailers,” explains Nicholas Brown. At the end of 2013, he left Renault thanks to the voluntary departure plan and moved to Vaucluse, where he belongs. “This is where I created Escape Lifestyle. I had to learn how to work on my own, with free schedules…not easy. To fit in, I stuck to my children’s agenda! Careful, also joined the France Initiative network and the Regional Institute of Business Leaders, Which allows him to network and train in business creation… “Knowing that you are not alone is essential,” he asserts.
He makes his prototypes with his own hands, some with curtain rods, and first tests them with his children. To market his first travel bed made in France (139 euros), he visited specialized distribution networks. “At the time, I didn’t have enough production capacity to generate large volumes. I partnered with a large childcare company who marketed my model under their brand, and they get paid out of equity.”
The only employee of the company with €100,000 sales in 2021, Nicola works primarily with service providers for production. He was able to pay his first salary in 2016. A year later, he raised one hundred thousand euros in money. It has financed the industrial and communication aspect. The challenge was to get a positive return from the market to convince investors. That’s why bank and personal contributions are so essential, because between design and launch, we can wait two to four years before we get an income!
For his second product, a baby rocking chair that, when folded, takes the weight and volume of a water bottle (109 euros), he chose to launch a crowdfunding campaign. At Ulule, pre-orders exceeded the initial target by 324%. “This campaign made me gain fame and even got an audience award,” this creative dad welcomes.
• €30,000 thanks to a prize received as part of the Réseau Entreprendre Start programme.
• A bank loan of 150,000 euros.
• A loan of €100,000 from the PACA Emergence Fund.
• €30,000 in BPI France Technology Scholarship.
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“Entrepreneurship gives me the freedom to pursue my projects”
Mickaël Malka, 40, founder of StanS Green, “Rain bath” bathtub
While showering, he found his business idea. “The bathtub wasn’t filling up fast enough, and in frustration, I raised the shower head, and felt a tropical shower.” Eureka! “I immediately tinkered with a prototype, later patented, of a bathtub with full length copper piping slots. This type of jet turns bath filling time into a fun experience. It is a immersion-free bath model that can be used daily, instantly, which is His water consumption is less than that of a traditional bathroom, that is 30 liters of water on average compared to 200 liters”, explains this 40-year-old musicologist graduate, university music teacher, who always has a very strong taste for entrepreneurship.
“Unlike patriotic education, smiling slips by, entrepreneurship gives me the freedom to complete my projects quickly.” Like this site he set up for his brother, a greengrocer in need of customers in markets: “Shoppers didn’t have time to stop to shop from his platform. So I created a site where everyone made a basket, to be removed by clicking and receiving at their point of sale. His idea caught on A great success, he participated in it for a year along with his job, distributing flyers and meeting job boards…
To create StanS Green, there is no room for improvisation: Mickaël Malka left national education and enrolled for a master’s degree in management at HEC. At the same time, he secured a one-year fixed-term contract in digital marketing for Yellow Pages. After graduation, illness caused her to postpone her project. He will have to wait until the beginning of 2021 to finally launch the company for which he is so far the only collaborator. The marketing of the bathtub made in France will begin at the end of this year. Mikael plans to raise 500,000 euros in funds.
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• 11,000 euros as a personal contribution.
• A grant of 3,500 euros from BPI.
• Two loans of €23,000 each, through BNP Nantes and France Active Pays de la Loire. “These two financiers have become true partners. They give good advice and I talk to them often when I am in doubt. Being alone is the classic mistake of an entrepreneur.
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