Students with Start-ups – Part 1

Glion students are going into business before graduation.

Entrepreneurship is a major focus of the Glion bachelor degree program, so it’s no surprise some students are going into business before graduation. Antoine de Preux, a French national who is finishing his dual degree (LRG-UAS) Bachelor in Hospitality in June 2015, surprised us in his student interview by mentioning his involvement in a start-up. His responses show that although it’s possible to do both studies and start-ups, it’s a challenging entry to professional life.

When asked about his professional projects for after graduation, Antoine surprised us by sharing his current involvement in a Swiss start-up. He said, “While finishing my last year of studies, I have taken the opportunity to work with a technological start-up in Lausanne, with the EPFL Innovation Center (a start-up incubator), called iRewind. It’s a startup company which invented a system of cameras that can be used to film events from the air and recognize individuals via a tagging system. It was the winner of the Grand Prix of the 42nd International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva (2014) and winner of the ICT Awards (2014).”

What is your current position and responsibilities?

Adjusting my time schedule between university and professional projects, I allocate as much time as possible to contribute to the success of the tech-oriented company iRewind. It’s a startup company which invented a system of cameras that can be used to film events from the air and recognize individuals via a tagging system.

My current position is a part-time function as a partner in  the business development and administration of the Swiss team. Indeed, the company has a technical center in Romania and was recently implemented in the innovation park at the polytechnic engineering school of Lausanne (EPFL). My current role involves researching for investments, financing solutions and investors/shareholders meetings. Additionally, I guide the company in the domain of in-air cameras (drones) for future projects.

How did Glion help you to achieve your objectives?

Glion gave me a network of creative and ambitious people. I developed several business ideas with some peers over the last semester. Glion gave me the opportunity to practice in the entrepreneurial world and provided me with knowledge, tools and passion. This university offered me ladders to access several industries and to observe the world from a higher perspective. I was already passionate about the world of entrepreneurs, Glion allowed me to pursue my willingness to create and to join amazing teams.

The learning environment of Glion pushes students to surpass themselves with the help of their peers. I found that the Glion Spirit is what really differentiates the school from other Swiss hospitality schools. Indeed, at Glion it’s not about competing against your classmates, it’s about becoming a leader (as opposed to becoming a boss) and working with other leaders.

What do you think will be your next career move?

I have not defined my next step yet. There are some business projects that are emerging and different opportunities from them. The greatest idea that I’ve learned from this situation is that business development is limitless.

Why did you choose the dual bachelor degree in hospitality with LRG-UAS? And the specialization in Finance? 

The international hospitality management track coupled with the financial specialization seemed the best choice for me considering my financial and entrepreneurial focus. Actually, it was an ideal fusion between the world of hospitality, business administration and finance.

I wanted to develop my ability to manage a service oriented business. My previous studies taught me more traditional economics and business management, so I wanted to reinforce the human side that international and service-oriented studies develop best here at Glion.

Where did you do your internships? How did those experiences develop your professional and personal skills?

I did my first internship in Shanghai. I forced myself to discover a new region and a new culture; it was the best decision that I could have made. Certainly, working with a team that was 98% composed of Chinese colleagues was immensely elevating. I learned a lot about many aspects of Chinese business culture. Upon my return, the world seemed smaller and I felt I had one more master key in my hand to unlock newly discovered doors in the hospitality business world.

My second internship was in Lausanne, Switzerland. I had the opportunity to work with a fast developing startup in sea food distribution. It was a pleasure to be given the responsibility of managing the entire business, being told to run the company as if it were mine. This experience reinforced my will to develop my knowledge of entrepreneurship for the rapid pace of business- and self-development it offers.

For more information about iRewind:

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