Interview with François Blanc
Founder & Chief Social Experimenteur
Many graduates dream about becoming young entrepreneurs but struggle to find an idea for their business while all they need is someone to guide them, inspire them and give them some tools on start. Francois Blanc, an ex-telecom executive noticed this pattern after several lectures in business and engineering schools. With other entrepreneurs he started Founders Basecamp, a platform that enable student meet successful businessmen and learn from their experience.
What is Founders Basecamp?
Founders Basecamp helps aspiring entrepreneurs become real entrepreneurs. We are a small group of entrepreneur friends, with many startup ideas, happy to share them with students, passionate enough to support and challenge them in their first steps into the business world.
How does it work?
We give students a business idea and some tips how and where to start. If they like it, they can start working on the project and after few weeks they share the work they’ve done with us. We evaluate their project, give them our feedback and if we like it we help them start the business for real.
Where did the idea come from?
Few years ago I start doing lectures at schools. With my friends, other entrepreneurs, we realised that students don’t have sources to start their own business or don’t have a good business ideas while many entrepreneurs have them both. Actually we’ve got so many ideas but too little time to try them all. So we decided to share our experience with students and work closely with some business schools.
So what’s in it for students?
Most of all – practice. Work on the real case, doing the real market study. Even if in the end it occurs that the project is not worth investing any money, students gain some essential for young entrepreneurs skills, gain their confidence, they may even find their own idea for business.
Is Founders Basecamp for everyone?
The project is open for everyone. Every young entrepreneur from around the world can sign up to our newsletter to have an easy access to our business ideas, pick one and work on it.
Where your business ideas come from?
When you’re entrepreneur you see opportunities basically everywhere. Even a simple talk may give you an idea. Sometimes I meet with my friends entrepreneurs, we spend hours exchanging ideas. What we miss is the time to try them all…
You work a lot with students. Could you tell what are their expectations, what are they looking for?
They’re worried about finding a satisfying job after their studies. Lot’s of them don’t really trust big brands. That’s why they want to become entrepreneurs, they want to start their own business. Their main concern is that they may not have enough experience nor sources to start the new business.
What are the student’s challenges at the labor market now?
I’d say that the biggest challenge is to find out what they want to do. There are many opportunities and it’s difficult to make a choice.
What would be your tip for young entrepreneurs?
You can only success if you practice. Don’t let the failures drag you down, try again. With every project you learn more and more about the business world but also about yourself. You gain specific knowledge, meet inspiring people and raise your confidence.
Is London an attractive place to start a career?
What better place to meet and share your experiences with like minded individuals than by co living in London.