For its 3rd edition, the BIG Challenge continues to see entrepreneurship in a big way. As in previous years, the event that highlights territorial innovation brought together startups, customers, experts and decision-makers at the Méliès campus in Cannes.
“BIG allows them to save time, meet directly with customers, supporting specialists and financiers, that is, the entire logical sequence of how a company operates”, explains Laurent Dys, president of Creative Business Event who leads the event. An operation that follows very specific rules that startups sometimes forget.
“Business creator and business manager are not the same profession.” And imagine your words: “I play tennis. Roger Federer too. But we don’t play the same sport…” Seen this way, we understand better. There are fundamentals to the functioning of a society and BIG’s objective is not “Create the vocation to undertake, but create the vocation to structure your business.”
And the structure, the thirty startups in the region found during the approximately 350 business meetings of the day. This is the case of Emma Goujon who is raising Isssa in Nice “which means Forward in Nissart and with three S’s because the curve of this letter shows that the transition is not a straight path”.
Followed by Les Premières Sud, this sustainable innovation designer supports companies that want to involve their employees in ecological screening, mobility, etc. To do this, she developed a gamified methodology in the form of a card game that determines what to keep, throw away, classify, sell, donate or repair. “All waste has a cost and what we don’t throw away saves money”, she remembers. This diagnosis outlines daily actions and brings to management the desires of employees, which become easier to implement through the awareness workshops it carries out. “I am currently carrying out a diagnosis for the Cleaning department of the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis”specifies Emma Goujon.
BIG was also productive for the two founders of Mycelium Technologies who walk away with the Big Seller pitch follow-up prize (read elsewhere) seduced by the ambition of the Nice startup. She wants “Offer innovative foods to people. Intensive agriculture is the main cause of global warming, we need a protein that is convincing enough to eat less meat and revolutionize our eating habits”analyze Lætitia Pierazzi and Olivier Hiezely, respectively CEO and COO of the impact startup born in 2022.
Do better for the health of people and the planet. Your solution is found in the mycelium – these white filaments that are at the beginning of mushroom development and that have many positive points in their favor. “This 100% natural food is very rich from a nutritional point of view, full of health benefits (vitamins, amino acids, proteins, antioxidants, fiber…), has a beautiful flavor and a very fast production process from cultivation until harvest, a week passes”list Olivier Hiezely. Accompanied by the Provence Côte d’Azur incubator, the winner of the i-Lab 2023 innovation competition developed a hybrid technology that allows the production of a powder “which can be incorporated into nutritional preparations adapted to specific audiences (athletes, elderly people, etc.)”. Or mycelium fillets – similar to chicken – with a tasty texture and rich flavor. This may vary depending on the variety of mushroom – chicken, fish, seafood, etc. – and the substrates where it grows.
The foodtech, which targets large agro-industrial and healthy nutrition groups, plans to launch a pilot of its technology in spring 2024, before moving to pre-industrial scale by the end of the year. “Industrialization should continue in 2027 with a turnover of 50 thousand pounds from 2024 to flirt with 3 million euros, in France alone, in 2027”, believe in the founders. A well-executed pitch that allows them to see as big as BIG.
Learn how to sell yourself
The innovation of this 2023 edition of BIG – in addition to that proposed by startups – is the Big Seller Pitch. “A commercial eloquence competition to prove to investors in one minute that these young companies know how to sell and that they can live without raising funds”explains Laurent Dys from Creative Business Event.
Twenty startups tried this exercise and Mycelium Technologies received the Accompaniment Award; the one where the financiers went Infinite who developed a medical device that simplifies and protects intracranial surgeries. The startup accelerated at MonacoTech also won the Public Award.
People in which allows you to identify the skills of candidates without CVs who won the Principals award while Tethys won the Coup de cœur award. La Mandolocienne invented a device that can be integrated into any clothing that provides thermal comfort to its user in extreme conditions.