[HEC Incubator] How do start-ups and students collaborate?
On July 6th, 2020, ViiBE Communication was selected as one of the top 30 startups at Station F, achieving the coveted Ponycorn status. Over the summer, Marc Prempain and Charles Demée, co-founders of ViiBE, have mentored five HEC students on entrepreneurship, digital marketing & content creation, cloud technology and customer success, providing a sneak peek on how the ViiBE team achieved such success. Marc explained the value delivered by HEC students to his fast growing company: “the methodology of the HEC students to conduct market research has been really valuable to update our product roadmap and fine tune our sales pitch according to the specific needs of each industry where we are present, such as energy, automobile, transportation, construction, and retail.”
The concept of ViiBE was about improving communications during medical emergencies. Since then, the team has increased the scope of the technology to solve the most rudimentary yet challenging aspect of running a business - effective communication. 2017 onwards, ViiBE’s cloud-based remote assistance software has been implemented in more than 50 countries.
ViiBE’s offering has become increasingly important in the unprecedented times of the global pandemic of Covid-19. According to Marc, “internally we challenged ourselves to adapt our management style with remote work, and in coordination with different timezones, which helped us hone our internal communications strategy and explore new project management tools.” Externally, ViiBE partnered with industries such as construction and energy that have rapidly embraced and deployed technologies to keep the health and safety of its personnel at the forefront of business. In addition to findings gained through partnerships and industry leaders, Marc adds that “having HEC students on our team definitely provided ViiBE with more insights and insider points of view. We conducted white space analyses to unveil new use cases where ViiBE could bring value in the entire business process.”
Customer experience has also taken on a new meaning amidst increased restrictions on physical interactions. With ViiBE, experts can connect with technicians or customers and guide them through remote diagnosis and resolution. This eliminates the risk associated with traveling while decreasing the time to resolution.
Why did HEC students join ViiBE?
"I joined ViiBE because I always wanted to experience how a fast-growing startup reshapes its strategy and, subsequently, value proposition to capture the attention of investors and industry leaders such as Total, Air France, Allianz etc. in a rather competitive environment. Moreover, I wanted to be part of a passionate team of young people, work in an autonomous way, learn from the company’s hands-on approach and watch directly the results of my actions, something you cannot experience in an international organization with thousands of employees and departments. And all that, at Station F, the world’s biggest startup campus!”
"I joined ViiBE for similar reasons to why I pursued my MBA at HEC. I wanted to transform my career, learn something new and increase my network. I learnt more about how technology can re-shape businesses and how to scale entrepreneurial ventures. Along the way, I met some incredibly talented individuals who have contributed meaningfully to my professional growth.”
“I joined ViiBE because I’m interested in the entrepreneurial journey, from ideation to execution. Having worked for two multinational companies, working for a high growth startup educated me about the processes of the entire value chain of a company. Having startup experience provides me with entrepreneurship skills that could not be learnt in theory.”
"I joined ViiBE because I'm interested in discovering the dynamics and inner workings of a young, high growth startup. My past experience in a very big automotive company has shaped my career so far, and I wanted to experience a dynamic entrepreneurial environment. This experience at ViiBE has really put me out of my comfort zone and has taught me things I never would have learned otherwise.”
"One of the key learnings that I took from my time at HEC Paris was to learn to dare and working at a high growth startup as Viibe provided me the perfect opportunity to put this learning into action. The flexibility of my role not only leveraged the skills gained in my past professional experience but also challenged me to dare and explore new avenues of growth.”
Want to learn more about ViiBE and the student projects?
Reach out to ViiBE at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about remote assistance technologies and how it can reduce expert travel requirements, improve customer service and increase incident resolution rates.
Learn more in video (in French)