[HEC Incubator] Tarmac: growth is also about being accompanied!
Tarmac is boosting its development by joining the HPE support program and the Founders Factory. Anthoine Dusselier, its co-founder, explains the turn taken by his startup in recent weeks, in a very turbulent context.
Tarmac Technologies, the solution to aircraft turnaround times optimization, was initiated in 2018 by three founders, including two young graduates of the MSc X-HEC Entrepreneurs. They joined the HEC Incubator as soon as they finished their training in 2019.
Since then, the rising startup has won all awards: X-Grant, Blue Ocean Awards, Vertone Propulse, AWS Startup Architecture of the Year finalist... and is positioned at the top of many rankings, including the Future 40.
Today, Anthoine Dusselier, co-founder, gives us an overview of the start-ups affected by the aeronautics crisis and explains how he took advantage of the difficult context to revise and adapt his offer.
Tarmac Technologies was born from the meeting of 3 partners, Maud Payan, Engineer from Centrale Nantes and McGill Aero, Delphine Deleger, Statistician and expert in flight operations and Anthoine Dusselier, from Ecole Polytechnique, during the MSc X-HEC Entrepreneurs:
"It was in fact my gap year in the United States that made me want to create my own company. For me, the X-HEC Entrepreneurs Master's degree was therefore the best course to get me started.
When I started the master's degree in 2018, I already had an idea in mind, so I quickly joined forces with Delphine, whom I met during my gap year, and Maud, a student like me and a great connoisseur of the aeronautics technology sector.
The development went quickly. At the end of 2018, we launched the first tests with Air France-KLM, and integrated the HEC Incubator at the same time in 2019. This enabled us to quickly validate our value proposition, the technical solutions used and to carry out our MVP. From there, we signed agreements with airlines for deployments in Europe and the US.
Today Tarmac is one and a half year old, and like the entire aeronautics sector, we have been affected by the crisis. We were in a growth dynamic following the release of a new version of the product and new deployments. As flight operations were badly affected, we had to review our priorities and perspectives. We took the opportunity to improve our product and adapt our value proposition to the new operating environment that emerged in the post-crisis period, to ensure that we remain relevant and in line with our customers' expectations. So we've slightly pivoted, keeping our original product but selling it in a different way.
We reduced delays, now we are focused on optimizing operations to ensure that aircrafts leave safely and on time! "
"If I have one piece of advice to give to other entrepreneurs facing this crisis, it is to use this hardship as an opportunity to be able to react appropriately and to be flexible when many companies cannot be! Stick as close as possible to the expectations and problems of your customers to remain relevant! Potentially the post-crisis growth can be stronger than the pre-crisis growth if you have managed to adapt!"
Getting support to save time and gain expertise
In the spring, Tarmac joined HPE's Milk Shake Valley, a program which coaches startups on selling solutions to large groups. The opportunity presented itself at the Blue Ocean Awards a few months earlier. The startup is also joining the Founders Factory London to get help developing their offer, particularly for short-haul aircraft. This is an opportunity to grow their customer base and their business with UK airlines.
Anthoine explains their motivation: "We have a lot of support, but it's complementary support. The HEC Incubator is our anchor point, our company is based here. We appreciate the high-level mentoring and the HEC ecosystem is very useful for our development. We heavily rely on the expertise of other startups. Outside mentorship brings us more specialized expertise in certain fields and constantly expands our international network.
Discover Tarmac and Anthoine Dusselier's motivations - Entrepreneurs@Work: