Alvyn Severien, founder ofAlgama, and his partner Gaëtan Gohin just won a lot of money! This promising start-up, founded in Malakoff in 2013, exploits the nutritional and functional qualities of microalgae to invent food products. At the end of September, she won a grant of 2 million euros within the framework of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) call for projects launched by the European Commission.
A big financial boost that allowed this SME to 20 employees to create on October 12, Seafood Reboot, a spin-off which aims to develop a range of marine products, of which François Blum, the co-founder of Bon Coin, is the executive chairman. We take a look back at the three good practices that made the operation possible.
# 1. Show your financial strength
If the mission is far from impossible, it has not been so simple. “The file to be assembled is heavy, the procedures rather long. We tried our luck because we want to structure the company around this capital project, ”reports Alvyn Séverien, who submitted his file on February 16, 2021.
To obtain these funds, it was necessary for him to spend a lot of energy in the constitution of the candidacy file. A file entirely written in English which requires to comply with the administrative obligations, the requested editorial forms, and to provide a set of documents: information on the market, the products, the technology developed and the commercial strategy of the company. “A pitch for the presentation of the file, which is exactly the one that must be presented orally, must also be provided,” adds the co-founder of Algama.
The financial part should not be neglected either. It is necessary to present a balanced, detailed budget, a business plan as well as a forecast and internal skills, to ensure that the company is able to manage an important phase of growth. “We gave very strong arguments and presented contracts with investors involved in the project to demonstrate our growth prospects in terms of turnover or jobs. Getting a file is not all. Above all, you have to be able to have a financial solidity because we must often spend much more than expected », Explains the 31-year-old entrepreneur, who anticipates bringing, in addition to two million euros, the sum of 800,000 euros for the development of his spin-off and the recruitment of 20 employees.
# 2. Prepare your pitch
It then remains to defend the case orally, in English and remotely, in front of a European jury. Alvyn Séverien chose to present the company and its project with Jean-Paul Cadoret, the R & D development director of Algama. “We were incredibly lucky during this oral,” says Alvyn Séverien. At Q&A time, I encountered a computer bug that caused an untimely disconnection. Fortunately, our scientific director was able to take over and answer questions ”.
During this discussion time, it is necessary to provide details on the technology, on the industrial capacity of the company to deliver the project, the business plan, the marketing strategy put in place. “Everything is timed, both the presentation of our project and the answers. You have to be quick, concise and precise, ”adds the entrepreneur.
# 3. Respect engagements
A little more than six months after submitting the file to the European Commission, the notification of the decision comes, and especially the terms of payment of the funds. “We are being followed very closely. As part of our 24-month project, we owe each month establish a list of missions on which we are committed in order not to have to return the money, reports the entrepreneur, who received most of the funds at the end of September.
A kind of service contract which obliges the founders to be accountable, to provide vouchers (pay slips as part of a recruitment for example) and to send dozens of emails each month. A follow-up that allows however not to skip steps and calmly consolidate the growth of the company.