My year at the Studio by Operys
Projects 5 minutes

My year at the Studio by Operys

Immerse yourself in the story of a year of entrepreneurial exploration in ISS program, through alumni testimonies. Whether they created an innovative business at the end or not, everyone experienced an engaged, enriching and personal year. Listen to them and discover through the videos and interviews, their challenges, highlights and major learnings; without forgetting the power of the meetings that make the history of startups.

Thibault Lenart: “Meetings are the key to moving a project forward”

Far from being just reserved for Inria researchers, the Startup Studio’s support is aimed at all project leaders who have completed a scientific career, as demonstrated by Thibault Lenart. A state-certified architect, he benefited from the advice and the ISS network to develop Operys, a SaaS solution facilitating construction site management. Explanations.

Revolutionizing construction site management

On a construction site, each intervention carried out by this or that trade is like a cog in a precision clock. Everything must be perfectly coordinated for the machine to run normally, and the slightest failure, even the most benign, can delay the whole thing, or even block it completely.

This is what the Operys solution aims to avoid, which allows site managers, QSE managers and workers and craftsmen working on a project to plan tasks and communicate more easily, thus avoiding misunderstandings and errors that cause stress. and additional costs. “25% of errors on a construction site are linked to communication problems, and they generate additional costs of more than 25% compared to the initial budget,” indicates Thibault Lenart, state-certified architect at the origin of Operys.

With his partner at the time, in charge of technological development, he was able to be supported by Inria Startup Studio. Support which allowed him to discover this new problem, even though he originally wanted to develop a solution to digitally model buildings under construction and facilitate the reuse of materials.

From idea to action

“I have a background that is quite different from that of the majority of ISS project leaders since I do not come from a research background. I already had this entrepreneurial project, based on a fairly low-tech approach, and I approached Inria with my partner to develop the technological part and change scale. But that is not their way of doing things: Inria doctoral students develop technologies for years that can then serve as the basis for an entrepreneurial project, but there are no off-the-shelf technologies that can be recovered as they are.”

“Nevertheless, the interest of the Startup Studio is not to push you to do research, but rather to adopt an entrepreneurial approach and to go into the field to exchange with potential consumers. In short, to carry out a study of This is what I did for several months at the beginning of 2022, and I realized that the problem I wanted to address initially was not sufficiently restrictive for professionals to agree to pay to use my solution. On the other hand, there were many other problems to address!”

Succeed in uniting around your project

Thibault Lenart Operys à la fête des startups
© Inria / Marie Magnin

Succeed in the face of difficulties

Despite the end of the collaboration with his partner, Thibault Lenart continued with ISS and entered a six-month prototyping phase, before arriving at a viable and marketable product and signing his first clients, a year after his entry into the within the Startup Studio.

“The support of Sophie Pellat and her teams helps us a lot to structure our approach. It is very difficult to undertake things alone, without confronting someone who will challenge your ideas. ISS does not impose anything on you, but allows you to benefit from good advice and gain confidence in your ability to undertake. And then there are also exchanges with other project leaders. Finally, the Inria label gives you credibility and opens doors for you. Without that, it would have been more difficult to interact with people in the trade on construction sites, or even to surround myself with the right people to develop Operys.”

The importance of meetings

In this case, Thibault Lenart surrounded himself after six months with Hakim Dahmane and Irène Rong, respectively developer and sales and marketing director. If only the former engineer continued the adventure by co-founding Operys with Thibault Lenart, the latter makes these meetings the key to the success of his company: “Inria is a catalyst for meetings. Without putting us directly in contact with third parties, the Startup Studio puts us in a position to make these meetings. Every month, events allow us to come into contact with people with very varied profiles and to develop our network. However, it was on LinkedIn that I met Irène.”

“We discussed our entrepreneurial desires, and she took the plunge by joining me. Irène and I complement each other, and I am very happy to be able to count on her dynamism and sociability to develop Operys. Meetings are the key to move a project forward: you have to succeed in bringing together different audiences, from advisors to clients, including beta testers and associates…”

Clément Fages

Check out Thibault’s video now!

Read the article by Brij Srivastava, co-founder of Nijta.

Publication date: 23/02/2024

Tags: Ecosystem Entrepreneur Founder Startup

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