Around one year ago, I’ve grabbed a coffee with an energetic young girl fully motivated after Startup Weekend Fribourg. Anne-Solène Beaujouan explained me what she was trying to build, that she found amazing people to work with her on a startup project. I’ve given her “my 2 cents feedback”, and some advices on what to be careful of… I have to admit that I was impressed by her desire and energy to launch her startup. Anne-Solène is only 20 (!) and full of projects. That’s promising for the Swiss startup ecosystem to have such young people starting projects! Discover her experience from participating in Startup Weekend to launch her project to what she’s doing now!
I started to talk about my co-founding problem with a friend of mine. He suggested me to try Startup Weekend and see if I could meet potential co-founders there. That was a great advice! I participated at Startup Weekend Lausanne to build a team around my project. There, I met six people eager to help me. First great feeling! That was a fun experience, we had three amazing days working together, but that was a game. We knew that after the weekend, we would have to change our business model. That’s how I started my very first startup. I soon realized that it is hard to be full of motivation everyday, because there are always issues and bad news to go through: unhappy costumers, competitors that are launching great features, etc.. Fortunately, we were a strong team, we knew how to keep our energy to pursue our objectives. It took us about four weeks of hard work to finally launch Loomoa, a web platform that had the promise to link startups with potential co-founders. The first months were really intense. I was working like crazy, sleeping 4 hours per night. We were so creative and productive. I think I had such a big motivation because I was glad to realize I was able to build something that would, someday be useful to other people. Our first users were glad to get this service, we had a lot of people supporting us and a lot of positive comments.
The first issue quickly arising was the premium side of the business model. Some users were avoiding it by checking the name of potentials co-founders on our platform, to contact them by themselves later on other platforms. That’s why I wanted to provide free services from the beginning. My aim was to create a fun experience and simplify the life of the startupers, I wanted that platform to be a kind of Silicon Valley online. Unfortunately, my partners were not on the same page. After 8 months working on this startup, I realized that my project wasn’t going to look like the one I was dreaming about. So I decided to let the team continue without me. I have to admit that this experience was hard: Loomoa was my first real startup, I felt like I was abandoning a big part of my life. Sometimes, there are hard decisions you have to take. But I am young. I wanted to move forward with my entrepreneurial career, start new projects. I have learnt a lot with Loomoa’s journey: I am more patient, more tolerant and more efficient today. This very first entrepreneurial experience was very valuable!
Since then, I am working in a financial company. I’ve also launched an other startup, and I am now part of 2 different associations “The SGAA” and the “The Swiss Entrepreneurship Association” (it’s a Swiss network acting in favor of entrepreneurship and innovation by developing one project a year).
I’ve never been this motivated and passionate about what I do today. Launching Loomoa was an incredible experience, I have learnt so much. I have grown up a lot and I’ve realized what I was truly passionate about in my life. The entrepreneurship world has a lot to offer, it was important for me to choose my way. That was by far the most enriching experience I ever had!