COVID-19: Entrepreneurship: Resilient and Committed
The economic standstill caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the containment measures put in place to curb its spread has had a significant impact on the ecosystem of l'X start-ups. Many of them have nevertheless risen up to the occasion to help fight this unprecedented crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the general containment put in place in France since March 16th to help flatten the curve has led to an economic standstill which has had a significant impact on the ecosystem of start-ups tied to École Polytechnique.
The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Department (DEI) keeps supporting start-ups hosted at the Drahi X – Novation Center to adapt and foster their development, in particular through videoconferences, interventions, and personalized remote coaching.
The department has also kept them informed regarding the details of the 4 billion euro State and BPI France support program dedicated to start-ups.
In partnership with Valeo, a French global automotive supplier currently carrying out certain activities at the Drahi X – Novation Center on campus, and in coordination with the Hydrodynamics Laboratory (LadHyX), the production of protection and control equipment against COVID-19 is being carried out thanks to the DEI team and the equipment made available in the prototyping space at the Drahi-X. The first week was dedicated to the production of 500 medical visors for the Gustave Roussy Hospital. Following this phase of testing, production could expand to meet requests for donations from Hospital University Centers in Lyon, the University of Liège (ULG Liège), and the hospital located in Trappes, France.
Several l’X alumni turned entrepreneurs have launched initiatives and mobilized their companies in the current fight against the epidemic.
Wingly, the leading flight-sharing platform in Europe, has created a collaborative platform to support the NGO Aviation Sans Frontières, designed to transport health personnel free of charge and in emergency to help fight COVID-19.
“When Wingly was asked to build the platform for connecting medical personnel to the world of business aviation, we did not hesitate for a moment,” said Bertrand Joab-Cornu, co-founder of Wingly, alumnus from the Master’s in Technological Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at l’X. “Having the opportunity to bring our knowledge of digital, collaborative economy and aviation to this project in a time of crisis was evident for us. We directly mobilized our web development team to create the platform in less than 5 days, weekend included.”
The start-up Mesange, which has developed an online hub for medical caretaking services post-hospitalization, has made its network of medical, paramedical, and professional workers available free of charge until the end of the confinement period to help confined patients to be able to get through the current lockdown period in the best way possible.
Hello Zack, a specialist in the second life of electronic products, has created a 100% free platform for collecting unused electronic products to resell them, giving everyone the possibility of donating part of the sale proceeds to support caregivers. "The best way to help is to stay at home where 85 million electronics remain tucked away in our drawers...Let’s use this time of confinement to give value to these products once again and in turn give back to our caregivers," said Timothée Mével, co-founder of Hello Zack and alumnus from the Master’s in Technological Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at l’X.