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21 January 2021

Start-up Week: 800 students work with Air France to imagine addressing the environmental transition in the air transport sector

Start-up Week: 800 students work with Air France to imagine addressing the environmental transition in the air transport sector

A Business Game to develop the taste for entrepreneurship

The Montpellier Business School (MBS) Start-Up Week was launched on January the 5 th . The 7 th edition organized by the school’s Entrepreneurship Center was held virtually. This team-based Business Game immerses the 800 senior apprentices of the Grande Ecole Program in the challenges of business creation.

We formed the teams so as to mix specializations and skills. Students, who are already professionals in their host company, now have an opportunity to put in display their expertise. The goal here is to help them develop a taste for entrepreneurship in an intimidating economic context.” explains Dr. Annabelle Jaouen, Director of the Entrepreneurship Center.

Air France is the sponsor of the new edition

The apprentices this year have the challenge of creating a business model to accelerate the environmental transition of the air transport sector. They work under the supervision of Teacher-Researchers and expert coaches of the incubator.

It is therefore only logical that Air France, a Major Partner of MBS, has agreed to sponsor the new edition of the Business Game. “This project addresses both the need to innovate as a means to accelerate the ecological transition and the company’s desire to keep up the close interactions with the school and students at a time when distance is required for health reasons.” Testifies Vincent Etchebehere, Director of sustainable development and new mobility at Air France.

Dr. Paul Chiambaretto is a lecturer-researcher specializing in this field and holder of the Pégase Chair (FR). He recalls the educational challenge of the exercise: “At the end of this week, students will have to prove that their idea has a market, is feasible and viable in terms of environmental, societal and financial impact. Teams will have the opportunity to pitch in front of a jury made up of Air France management and MBS experts, including Anne Rigail, Chief Executive Officer of the company, and Anne-Sophie Le Lay, Secretary-General of Air France KLM.”

Environmental issues at the heart of the problem

As of today, MBS is one of the Grandes Ecoles which deploy the largest number of teaching hours on CSR-related issues. “It is important to seize the opportunity presented by the Start-up Week to fully call upon the skills and the appetite that students have developed to imagine ecological and sustainable solutions.” explains Dr. Annabelle Jaouen.

“In the case of air transport, we are facing a climate emergency. The roadmap’s forecast was to halve the sector’s CO2 emissions between 2005 and 2050. However, the emissions increased by 40 % at the end of 2019 in comparison with 2005. The initial 2050 objective is thus even more difficult to achieve. However, we have a duty to rethink models in order to limit the climate crisis, adopt a decarbonisation path, and allow the entire Air France community to contribute to this fight.” concludes Vincent Etchebehere.

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