InSpek and start-ups awarded the 2022 “X-Grant Silicon Valley” Prize

InSpek and start-ups awarded the 2022 “X-Grant Silicon Valley” Prize

Jérôme Michon (Class X2011), co-founder of InSpek, and Feng Yang (Class X2001), co-founder of, have been awarded the 2022 “X-Grant Silicon Valley” Prize, financed by the École Polytechnique Founda-tion and the Friends of École Polytechnique, its sister organization in the United States. The two winners will each receive $50,000 and top-level mentoring from Californian investors and entrepreneurs.

“X-Grant Silicon Valley”: A prize to pinpoint talented entrepreneurs and promote innovative ideas

The X-Grant Silicon Valley Prize was created in 2013 and is intended to reward talented students from the l’X (École Polytechnique) entrepreneurial ecosystem. It is designed to support the school’s work in entrepreneurship and innovation. To be eligible, appli-cants must present an innovative project involving a connection with the Silicon Valley. Each year, two winners are chosen. They each receive $50,000 as well as top-level mentoring. The grant is financed 50% by the École Polytechnique Foundation and 50% by the Friends of École Polytechnique, the Foundation’s sister organization based in the United States, thanks to generous donations by alumni living in California. InSpek and join a community of start-ups with strong influence: PriceMatch (2013), Dreem (2014), Cardiologs (2015), Plato, Tempow and Meteo*Swift (2016), Decidata and SpotAngels (2017), Astraveus and Totem (2018), Lalilo and Tarmac Technologies (2019), Omini and Monk (2020), Escape and Flyinstinct (2021).

InSpek: a new generation of chemical sensors to monitor reactions in real time and better characterise them
Start-up created by Juejun Hu, Jérôme Michon (Class X2011) and Laurent Vivien

Dorian Sanchez, Priscille Bonnassies, Christopher Lieutaud,
Jérôme Michon and Guillaume Berteloot

Graduate of École Polytechnique (Class X2011) and of MIT where he completed a PhD in integrated optics, Jérôme Michon co-founded the start-up InSpek in September 2021, which is developing a new generation of chemical analysis systems based on its patented on-chip optical sensors. At a time when process deviations are generating very high costs in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, these sensors make it possible to monitor chemical reactions in real time in order to better characterise them, and thus reduce the time and costs associated with chemical production. Currently housed in the Drahi - X Novation Center, the entrepreneurship and innovation center of the École Polytechnique, the start-up has developed several prototypes and is beginning a test phase with its first clients. The next step is to validate the technology by the end of 2022 before marketing the solution on a large scale.

"We are very honoured to be awarded the X-Grant Silicon Valley Prize. This prize, awarded by a jury of experts, is a great recognition of the validity of our project. It gives us visibility and credibility, which are considerable assets in the highly regulat-ed pharmaceutical industry market," says Jérôme Michon. improving industrial operations by AI-powered remote sensing
Start-up created by Lionel Lhommet, Alice Li, Shangran Xie and Feng Yang (Class X2001)

Alice Li, Feng Yang and Didier Jehanno

After working for more than 8 years in the geophysics sector, Feng Yang co-founded with the aim of providing players in the oil, gas and rail industries with high-precision remote sensing solutions. Since its creation in 2019, the start-up has been using artificial intelligence to develop a tool capable of controlling flows, but also of monitoring the state of infrastructure such as oil and gas pipelines. Based on a dis-tributed fibre optic measurement system, this tool can remotely detect vibrations, acoustic events, temperature and soon the pressure of flows. has already developed a measuring device that is to be deployed in the field to carry out tests in real conditions. The start-up should also finalise the development of its application software by the summer.

"We would like to thank the École Polytechnique Foundation, the Friends of École Polytechnique and all the donors who finance this prize. Receiving it is a real encour-agement and gives us confidence for our future exchanges with investors. In concrete terms, the financial endowment has enabled us to rent a second office at the Drahi - X Novation Center where we are housed, to expand our team, and of course to continue developing our solution," says Feng Yang.

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