Cette année, la Start Academy a accueilli 215 étudiants venant de 22 institutions différentes, représentant 77 projets au total. Grâce aux workshops et soirées pitch, les étudiants ont eu l’opportunité de consolider et mettre à l’épreuve leur projet de création d’entreprise. Après 6 semaines de concours, la finale s’est déroulée mercredi 29 novembre, où huit finalistes ont eu l’occasion de présenter leur projet à une foule d’invités venue les soutenir.

La team de Lucho, Prix du Meilleur Projet d’Entreprise 2017 :

L’équipe : Maria Alejandra Benitez, Luisdes Cristina Diaz, et Melanie Cosar – ULB, Solvay Business School of Economics and Management, Advanced Master students.

Où trouver les finalistes ? Sur leur page Facebook (en anglais).

L’équipe étant anglophone, vous retrouvez donc l’interview en anglais ci-dessous :

Why did you take part in Start Academy?

As advanced master students at Solvay, all of us really wanted to understand how to kick-off a start-up. After hearing Alejandra’s personal story, which led her to create Lucho, we wanted to be part of something bigger. We were driven by a common purpose and inspired by the immediate dynamism of the group.

How could you present your project in just a few words ?

Lucho was created to close the communication gap between doctors, children with cancer and their families. It’s designed to use real medical data and information to create, capture and deliver an experience that helps children and their family understand the situation they are facing.

Maria Alejandra Benitez lived this communication gap first hand when her brother was diagnosed with cancer. After her brother passed away, she focused her bachelor thesis on finding a solution that ensures information about cancer is delivered in a clearer manner. Alejandra worked with various Pediatric Oncologists and 30 children at a children’s cancer hospital in Bogota, Colombia. At the conclusion of her 3-month research, the need for Lucho was confirmed.

Concretly, Lucho is a kit that is presented by the doctor to the child and family at the moment of diagnosis. It serves as a medium to effectively explain the diagnosis, treatment and side-effects. It’s made of :

  •  An anatomically accurate doll so the doctor can show where incisions will be made and where chemo will be administered. The doll is created in the image of the child for relatability and to build trust.
  • A book that explains the diagnosis, the treatment and side-effects. This book is written in a child-friendly manner. The illustrations will come to life via an augmented reality app. The family and child can scan the images on the book with the app to discover videos that depicts different scenarios, so the family and child are prepared for what’s to come.
What did you learn whilst taking part in Start Ac’?

It’s great to have an idea at the beginning, however putting it into practice is quite difficult. We had to turn anxiety about presenting into excitement, knowing that we are on stage for a bigger purpose.

We learned to listen and extract valuable lessons from other projects, especially when it came to pitching techniques, business models and group organization. Our coach helped us significantly to focus our message in order to effectively pitch. We also understood how our business model has the potential to impact stakeholders and society.

What’s next?

We are currently working on developing a network. We’re reaching out to children and families and conducting further research examining the usage of Lucho throughout their journey. In terms of improving the kit, we’re contacting key contributors, such as Pediatric Oncologists and Psychologists to begin developing the content (we’re looking for a storyteller who specialises in children books). Our aim is to test the whole kit with a hundred kids to have proofs of the result.

In the long run, we aim to launch lucho for pediatric leukemia, followed by an expansion to other types of cancer and finally expand it to other diseases that also effect children.

***

Nous souhaitons remercier tous les participants à la Start Academy 2017, nos sponsors et partenaires, sans qui un tel événement n’aurait jamais été possible ! Rendez-vous en 2018.

Et en attendant…

Tu veux revivre la soirée ? Les photos sont sur Facebook. N’hésite pas à partager.

Tu es étudiant ou jeune diplômé et tu as un projet d’entreprise ?

As-tu pensé à rejoindre un incubateur ? A Bruxelles et en Brabant-Wallon, les incubateurs étudiants sont là pour t’aider à porter ton projet : heures de coaching individuel, accès à des programmes de formation, un espace de coworking, tout est là pour t’accompagner et booster ton projet entrepreneurial.

Plus d’infos sur comment rejoindre gratuitement cette communauté d’entrepreneurs étudiants : StartLab (Bruxelles), Yncubator (Louvain-La-Neuve) et VentureLab (Liège).