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Startups welcome high school students from priority education network

Information updated on 23/11/18

On October 10, about thirty middle school students from priority neighborhoods worked with startups and got a chance to speak with directors. The activity was organized by Montpellier BIC as part of a Companies and Neighborhoods Charter initiative.

A Montpellier, Les startups à la portée des collégiens du réseau d’éducation prioritaire @david-crespin
Startups, inaccessible? Not really, as Montpellier Business & Innovation Centre (BIC) demonstrates to young people from priority neighborhoods. On October 10, Cap Omega welcomed about thirty middle school students from Collège des Garrigues (Mosson area) and Collège Gérard Philippe (Près d’Arènes area).

We want to give these kids an opportunity to participate in the entrepreneurial adventure and show them that they all have something to contribute, notably their creativity,” says Ludovic Charbonnel, co-founder of ChallengeMe, one of the Montpellier BIC startups that participated in the event, along with Matooma, Sofacto, Specialist-Wanted, Namae Concept, My Horse Family, and Pre-Live.

Enterprising young students

Divided into different groups, the students spent their morning helping with entrepreneurs’ projects. For ChallengeMe, a collaboration and training platform, they came up with the idea for a “snap course” – an educational application based on students helping each other with learning. The kids worked with startup My Horse Family to imagine an attractive booth for a horse show. Specialist-Wanted sought to understand the students’ skills.

"The four students who were with me felt that they didn’t know how to do anything,” explains Aurore Moser, director of the young company. “In just one hour, I learned that they spoke several languages, that some of them had their own Instagram communities, and that others could write without making any mistakes.

The seven startups signed the “Company & Neighborhoods Charter” co-managed by Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole and national authorities. The charter is designed to favor development in urban areas with high levels of unemployment and poverty. Four other innovative companies also opened their doors to the students: Insitio, Panjee, Snapkin, and Teads.

One of the goals for the day was to set the students up with one-week internships,” adds Romain Lévy, CEO and founder of My Horse Family, who was easily convinced to invite one of the students back to spend a few days with his team. The outcome was positive for Montpellier BIC, organizing the day in partnership with the Face Hérault association and two neighborhood associations, Asa and Cité Citoyenne.

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