The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Grenoble Ecole de Management will be co-organizing the 2020 MIT Global Startup Workshop (MIT GSW). The event is in an international conference dedicated to disruptive entrepreneurship for a sustainable society. Diana Brondel, founder and director of Xaalys, shares her perspective after having participated in the 2017 edition.
The 2020 MIT GSW will take place on March 23rd and 24th at Maison MINATEC in Grenoble. The event will welcome nearly 400 entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, researchers, professors, company directors, students, managers and investors in order to explore themes related to disruptive technology, transformation and entrepreneurship to promote a sustainable society. Over the course of two days, participants will discover best practices from MIT and GEM in terms of entrepreneurship and key subjects as relates to the Grenoble ecosystem. Experts affiliated with MIT and regional professionals will offer specialized input to foster constructive debate and the exchange of ideas.
Proving your concept
In March 2017, Diana Brondel was preparing a unique innovation in the world of FinTech: a disruptive approach to banking and financial education aimed at adolescents 12 and up thanks to a 100% mobile approach. At 37 years of age, Diana is a graduate of ESCP and has ten years experience at Société Général as general inspector and then cabinet director of international activities. Her participation in the 2017 MIT GSW in Chili enabled her to validate her disruptive concept. She then launched the business right after in April 2017.
“This international event offers an accelerated training on the startup world. In addition, the academic content delivered by professors is of the highest quality. It was also the chance to meet and exchange with other entrepreneurs who were in various stages of their projects,” highlights Diana.
Scaling up the concept
“In concrete terms, the MIT GSW enabled me to confirm the value of the concept behind Xaalys and the tools developed for scaling up the project.” The startup was then able to raise 500,000 euros in April 2017 in order to develop the platform and launch two years later in April 2019. A second round of fundraising was recently carried out with a minority shareholder, Bouygues Telecom. “Xaalys means ‘money’ in Wolof, the primary language in Senegal. The MIT GSW was interesting because I was able to compare my project to others and their experiences. It’s a great way to stay up to date and gain international contacts,” underlines Diana, who is Franco-Senegalese. Xaalys currently has 22,000 clients in France and the DOM-TOM as well as 16 employees in France and Senegal to spur business development.
2020 MIT GSW supported by the Grenoble ecosystem
The 2020 edition will cover themes on the subject of entrepreneurship for transformation, disruptive technology and sustainable societal impacts. International speakers, local directors and partners will participate and lead workshops and conferences. There will also be a startup village and networking opportunities. The event includes a startup competition for three categories of startups based on maturity levels with prizes of up to 9,000 euros and personalized support from MIT entrepreneurs to accelerate the development of prize winners.
As a Business Lab for Society, Grenoble Ecole de Management is the co-organizer of the MIT GSW alongside the event’s sponsors: Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, l’Université Grenoble Alpes, STMicroelectronics, Bpifrance, Schneider Electric, Tessi, GIANT, Capgemini Invent, Minatec, Atos, Institut Carnot LSI, Banque Populaire Auvergne Rhône Alpes, Grenoble INP, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Entreprises, Inria, CEA Leti, AG2R La Mondiale, IRT Nanoelec and Waoup.