Launching a business is a real challenge with many ups and downs. Margaux Raab and Hugo Avale share advice drawn from their entrepreneurial experience. Both are graduates of the Grenoble Ecole de Management Advanced Master’s in Entrepreneurship.
In 2012, the pair incubated their project at GEM. In 2014, they launched neojobs, a consulting firm for employer branding and recruitment through gamification. “Our idea is to offer an alternative solution to evaluate candidates using serious games, traditional games and personalized games,” explains Margaux Raab, co-founder of neojobs with Hugo Avale.
In 2017, the company opened a second office in Paris and is aiming to open one in Luxembourg. In 2019, the company counts three employees and is planning to recruit, create a new entity, and launch a digital tool for employer branding thanks to a funding round. The two entrepreneurs attribute their success to agility and their advice underlines the importance of being able to switch directions and adapt to the environment.
1 - Choose the right partner
“It’s essential to choose the right partner. You have to trust each other and be open. We meet once or twice a year to discuss strategy, define shared goals and ensure we’re on the same page. We also bring complementary strengths to the project: Hugo is an engineer with organized creativity. I’m more of an informal creative person with expertise in HR.”
2 - Test your idea before launching it
“At first, we wanted to create a recruitment firm for young talent using a digital platform. But given strong market competition and our desire for humane relationships, we decided to modify our idea.”
3 - Start out as lean startup
“You have to know how to start small and set time frames within which to decide whether you stop or continue. Being determined is very important, but you also have to be open to testing, improving and possibly changing paths. School learning is great, but customers are the best teachers and you have to adjust accordingly.”
4 - Look for mentorship
“The advice and perspectives of entrepreneurs from different backgrounds is fundamental if you want to stay on for the long haul.”
5 - Take a step back
“Entrepreneurs have to know how to step back from the difficulties of entrepreneurship. You also have to take external advice in stride as it can sometimes be different and unpleasant. For example, someone told me my project would make me unemployable…”
6 - Gather your own starting funds
“Having a little capital to launch your project makes it more attractive to potential customers and investors. For neojobs, we gather 10,600 euros of personal funding. Now, we’re ready to start raising funds externally to support our growth.”
To learn more about the Advanced Master’s at GEM