StartIn: Hello Antoine! Could you please give a three-sentence overview about your start-up?
Antoine: Beau Nuage is a French start-up which makes eco-friendly and innovative umbrellas. Our goal is to make people happy when it rains.
StartIn: Where, when, what did you study?
Antoine: I made a Bachelor of Mathematics at King’s College from 2011 to 2014 and then went to LSE to complete an Masters in Management and Strategy in 2015.
StartIn: How did you feel when you first thought about starting your own company. Excited vs scared, comfortable vs stressed etc.?
Antoine: I think I did not really understand what I was committing into. I was motivated to create a good product at first, then to obtain make a business plan to obtain a loan to launch my first production, then to sell the products I had produced, and then it was on before I had the time to really think about it. I think the innocence I had at the time is something that entrepreneurs must always try to cultivate. We cannot always control everything and sometimes It is important to go with the flow of your intuition. On the contrary now, after 7 years of being an entrepreneur, I always want to heighten awareness about the fact that entrepreneurship is a long-term commitment that can be felt as a burden otherwise.
StartIn: Was there a time you regretted starting your company?
Antoine: I regretted several times in my life to start my own company. These regrets often came when I wanted to have more freedom and less responsibilities. Entrepreneurs often start their journey with the hope of becoming freer and it is difficult not to regret your choice when you realise it is quite the opposite. But these regrets have always been temporary for me because with the time I have developed the philosophy that great things in life require long-term commitment and consistency. So I enjoy building my business stone by stone and making it better everyday.
StartIn: What advice would you share with your younger self?
Antoine: I would advise my younger me to read a lot of great books about entrepreneurship. Reading is important because it forces you to question the way you are doing things and to test new process and ideas. It also puts you in a constant-learning mode, which is one of the keys of long-term success in my opinion.
StartIn: Who should not start a business during their studies?
Antoine: Those who want to have great successes in their studies ^^!
Joke apart, I think it is actually a very good idea to start a project during one’s studies for a few reasons:
i) You never have more free time than that in your life;
ii) You never have less risk than that in your life.
I am not saying here that it is not risky and that you have plenty of time in your study. I am saying that as you go through life the stakes will grow and your to-do list will get bigger and bigger.
Last point, no matter the domain, the only way to get better at something is to do it and iterate. So the best way to get better at entrepreneurship is to start doing it early, and iterate.
StartIn: How much time did it take you could live from your start-up?
Antoine: Approximately 1 year and a half.
StartIn: Many thanks your time and sharing your insights!