Before becoming friends and then associates, the creators of trip met at their common employer, Decathlon. Alexandre Plougonven served as assistant manager of the Pau store for seven years when Benoit Tauty directed the surface of Laruns, very close.
The idea of creating Trippez, a one-time rental platform for sports and leisure equipment between individuals, was born from their shared passion for outdoor activities. “We often had friends over in the area to surf the Basque coast, or hike and climb in the Pyrenees. To equip them, it was necessary to go through several specialized rental companies. And the purchase was excluded for a practice once in the year”, explains Alexandre Plougonven, the CEO of the start-up.
Inform your employer of your intentions
In March 2021, the two thirty-somethings took the plunge into collaborative entrepreneurship by founding Trippez. Not without having informed their employer beforehand. “We have moved forward with complete transparency. Decathlon is very attentive to each other’s journeys. We informed them of our plan to resign six months in advance to give them time to train our replacements,” explains Alexandre Plougonven.
A smooth start, fundamental to the success of their project, because, without competing with the brand, their service has a complementary vocation. In addition to this advice of open communication with his employer, the manager urges any business creator to prepare financially, with side savings. “We are not yet paying each other a salary. You must therefore be able to last for at least a year
without income “, he recommends.
Get to market ASAP
To open their platform as quickly as possible and test the market with the first feedback from users, the two partners choose a external service provider to create the website. “Four months after the creation of Trippez, we opened a basic functional platform ensuring transactions and deposits of material. The site recorded 3,000 connections last month, mostly in the Southwest. But we are aiming for hundreds of thousands of connections throughout France. For this, we will enrich our solution in April 2022,” says Alexandre Plougonven.
A development financed this time by a fundraiser of 200,000 euros, he hopes, planned for the first quarter of next year. This contribution should not only make it possible to hire a technician for this incrementation of the site, but also to pay for referencing and to boost communication.
Target calls for projects
Gaining notoriety, all the current challenge of Trippez. Alexandre and Benoît intend to capitalize on the network that the incubator, where they have been hosted since August 2021, has opened up to them. At the digital workshop of Technopole Helioparc of Pau, they benefit from support and intensive exchanges with other startuppers. “If I have one recommendation to make to project leaders, it would be: get out of your house and talk to as many people as possible », says Alexandre Plougonven.
To consolidate this support by experienced business leaders, the partners have just requested a loan of honor from the Réseau Entreprendre . A file full of hope, unlike dozens of others, often unproductive for Trippez. “We have filled, without success, files of 80 to 100 pages with masses of information requested for the sole purpose of making ourselves known by different communities or committees. We should have inquire in advance, by telephone for example, and focus on one or two important files where we had our chances”, recognizes Alexandre Plougonven.
Motivated by the versatility necessary for a startupper, who deals in the same day with accounting, the preparation of trade fairs, press relations, social networks or the maintenance of a site, the young entrepreneur admits that he likes to learn with ” hands in the oil”. He is counting on a turnover of Trippez of 180,000 euros in 2022.