[Portrait] Thomas Laurent, Entrepreneur in the Service of the Environment in Toulouse

[Portrait] Thomas Laurent, Entrepreneur in the Service of the Environment in Toulouse

Ten years later, Undertaker Thomas Laurent set up three start-ups with environmental and responsible projects in Toulouse. The most recently talked about one for several months now: Micropep. It is already considered a “revolution” in the world of agriculture.

Thomas Laurent, Entrepreneur Behind Micropep © Colin Le Fur – Micropep

three. This is the number of start-ups that entrepreneur Thomas Laurent has implemented since his inauguration ten years ago in Toulouse. Latest: Micropep. This young company is in progress Development of natural inputs and pesticides Based on micropeptides. The latter are proteins found naturally in the body of plants that help them germinate, grow, and protect themselves from disease.

When propagated on an industrial scale, micropeptides will soon make it possible to create a range of products that, once injected or sprayed into farms, will help the good development of crops, fight diseases, as well as slow weed growth. To replace the controversial glyphosate.

A new story on a white beach

Before embarking on Micropep in 2016, Thomas Laurent worked for two years as a business developer at Toulouse Tech Transfer. Currency ? Liaison between researchers and industrial partners They are interested in the results of their scientific or technological research. “This experience gave me a good understanding of intellectual property issues and deep technology concerns. But also from Looking forward to promising projects That came out of the general research laboratories, “always admit Ready to start new entrepreneurial adventures.

After discussing with Jean-Philippe Compiet and Dominique Loriserge, CNRS researchers and the University of Toulouse have discovered micropeptidesThomas Laurent left his job as a business developer to devote himself to founding the startup Micropep. “The idea of ​​writing a new story on a blank page motivates me so much,” the forty-year-old rejoices. And this page is already full, as he managed it in a few years Raised nearly 20 million euros With French and foreign investors. Its goal is to launch its inputs and pesticides soon in the US market (2025), and then in Europe, by 2027.

Small Wind Turbine Junior Project…

Already on the benches of ESSEC, Paris Region Business School, the young student from Lyon Interested in entrepreneurship, human resources and finance?. He started his career in strategic consulting for various companies within a company in the capital. He admits, “I made strategic recommendations without really knowing if they would be implemented next.” He missed seeing his ideas come to fruition.

So, when he landed in Toulouse ten years ago to follow his partner who had just landed a job as a researcher in agricultural engineering, Thomas Laurent sets out with his father-in-law to start his first company Manufacture of small wind turbines for individuals and professionals. “He’s an iron worker and he’s been able to build a three-meter-wide prototype in his garage. So I worked with him to launch a startup, we entered an incubator (Nubbo) and we won the BPI (formerly I-Lab) ‘Emergence’ competition,” recalls the entrepreneur, who He finally put all his skills into practice. But due to lack of market demand, he abandoned the project at the end of 2012.

…and then the second in the urban gardening market

The following year, Thomas Loran committed again, but this time he met Cedric Jules and Alexander Bellin through friends. Together, they launched Macadam Park, A vertical vegetable garden production company that allows the development of horticulture in the urban market. “I have always lived in big cities, in Lyon, in Paris, in Toulouse. I am not the son or grandson of a farmer. But the idea of ​​bringing nature closer to cities really interested me, from an artistic and environmental point of view ”, explains the forty-year-old. At the end of 2013, he finally left the startup due to “differences” in his future vision. The results of these first two experiences were mixed for Thomas Laurent, who nevertheless remained convinced that he would one day encounter him. Bloc. Now he’s convinced: This solid mass is a Micropep.

Environmentally conscious entrepreneur at work and in life

Besides a strong appeal to the economic world, Thomas Laurent has Environmental sensitivity guides him in all his projects. She was trained while studying in Paris, along with her classmates who grew up like him in the 1990s when there was a certain lack of interest in the environmental crisis. From that time, he remembers the nameOne of the members of his promotion who inspired him the most: Jean MoreauFounder of the Phenix Food Waste Prevention Platform.

“I first applied my environmental principles in my work, even before my partner made me realize it I also had to act in my daily life The entrepreneur smiles: “From now on, I pay more attention to my consumption, I hardly eat meat anymore, I buy second-hand and I prefer the train on the plane for my business trips.”

According to him, every human being “only passes the earth” and should “ Mobilize all their skills to make a positive impact on the world Because he is now the father of two young girls, ages 3 and 5, watching the economic, environmental and pandemic crises follow each other, he fears only one thing: “My children will tell me that I have nothing to try to change which—that.”

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