Setting up a company often (always) proves to be a challenge. But this one might be more complicated if you’re an elite athlete, focused on your training and your performance. Because who better than an athlete to invent the product, the disruptive service that will serve an entire discipline?
Logical and easy…on paper. Because going from idea to concrete is not easier, simply because we know very well what we are talking about. Convincing financiers, potential partners, administrative services takes time and patience. What the athlete does not have in abundance. An observation noted by Banque Palatine – member of the BPCE group, which is very involved in sport, especially as an official partner of the 2014 Olympics – meaning that it is in regular contact with these issues.
Team spirit… business
Entrepreneurial athletes are neither surprising nor rare and there is no shortage of examples of successful retraining, including Stéphane Diagana who was involved through the former Olympic champion in mogul skiing in the construction of a sports center on the Côte d’Azur, in Mougins Edgar Grospiron, now a teacher and business consultant or Taïg Kris, and his OnOff Telecom, who saw the former world skating champion move into the telecommunications side with a truly innovative solution.
Examples among many others. But if entrepreneurship in the retraining phase is one thing, entrepreneurship while continuing to train and compete is more difficult. This is also the case with Banque Palatine. Who wouldn’t want to miss the innovations that spring from the minds of these inspired athletes? Except that we also know that entrepreneurship is a less easy exercise if you are a woman. The famous glass ceiling or prejudice – or both – play the role of brakes. It is therefore a program for women athletes that the banking industry has concocted, based on the principle of mentoring. † Because an athlete is supported in terms of physical preparation, dietetics, we have created an ecosystem that makes a business team », explains Patrick Ibry, the deputy director of the bank who says it well, the objective is to structure. Precisely the one that makes it possible to achieve what every entrepreneur strives for: the result. With tactics and speed of execution if possible. † It is not up to the athlete to adapt to the mentors, it is up to the mentors to adapt to the athlete †
Especially because the Palatine is curious: “ we want to test everything ‘ Patrick Ibry says again.
That is why he first participates in four sports, including the navigator Alexia Barrier. Based in Nice, which became known in 2020 through its Vendée Globe, has already tasted entrepreneurship, her projects are, she explains, always linked to her sailing challenges. Except that ” my challenges on the land have not benefited from benevolence and discernment. I had a vulnerability in my chainmail Alexia Barrier, who plans to create an all-female team for the next Jules Verne Trophy, the fastest manned sailing event around the world. Working mainly on these sensors, designed to be integrated into the masts and keels of boats, reproducible for the nautical industry and which are used for oceanographic research.
Innovation becomes ETI?
And for the bank, it’s just as much a question of strategy. Who does not hide it, it is indeed another accompaniment in question with the will of shown ” take the opposite of what has already been done business start-up assistance. Not illogical if you position yourself as the bank for ETI, these medium-sized companies that we keep saying are not numerous enough in France. There is certainly no talk of making every project a future ETI – ” we know that, just like on Pôle France, we will not only have world champions – but to make room for innovations that will find their way and for business leaders who will just as well find their own way. † An ETI boss is a top athlete “, even Patrick Ibry assures.
It no longer makes sense to entrust the content and animation of the program to a high-level sportswoman turned into an investment specialist, Sévérine Desbouys, a former cyclist (she was in particular the best climber at the Tour de France for women , editor’s note), to the head of her own company, DSC. A multidisciplinary team captain, consisting of about fifteen experts, who will mainly examine the skills assessment and study of business models. † We need to create cross-functionality », orders Séverine Desbouys. Those who already have a second promotion after a first promotion are planned. Because the applications are pouring in. Creating movement, an ecosystem, changing mentality, offering space-time… That (also) requires the mind of an athlete.