When sport meets inclusion | Episode 2 of the Start-Up Week
A theme that echoes the founding values of Montpellier Business School
Since September the 3rd, the 6th edition of Start-Up week is in full swing at the Montpellier Business School campus. This team-based Business Game brings each week, and until September 20th, the 900 final year students of the Grande Ecole Program to the challenge of starting a business.
For this second week of challenge, Private Sport Shop was guiding students through the complex sports market. Yannick Léouffre explained to the graduating students that “one of the market trends is the search for autonomy among athletes.”
Thus, the theme to which entrepreneurial apprentices should have been particularly sensitive to that week was inclusion. Katherine Gundolf, Director of the Montpellier Business School Entrepreneurship Centre, said that “this theme aims to make students work around concepts that are both innovative and respectful of diversity, two characteristic values of Montpellier Business School.”
A rich diversity in entrepreneurial projects proposed by students
As usual, five projects faced each other in a final phase of pitching before all the students and a jury of experts assessing the innovative character, financial realism and launch strategy of the start-up.
Each group decided to integrate inclusion and diversity at a different stage of the creative process. For the B&Fit group, a range of smart sportswear that adapts to everybody’s morphology, as well as for Safe Finder, an electronic bracelet for issuing an alert in case of aggression, the choice was to integrate the inclusion notion as early as possible to the Business Model and thus facilitate the practice of sport for a specific target.
For two other groups, the idea was not to create a product but to reinvent an existing concept and put it at the service of CSR: To Gather chose to ride the wave of “plogging” (running while picking up waste) organizing a series of official races whose proceeds would be donated to several associations. The second group, meanwhile, imagined a sports coaches agency delivering their services to businesses with the particularity of training and engaging only former prisoners whose reintegration into the job market can be difficult.
Nevertheless, one group has managed to emerge from the game thanks to a very well identified need: Smart Swim. “We started from a simple video, where we found that in official competition, we hit the visually impaired swimmers on their heads so that they know when to turn at the end of the pool.” Smart Swim is similar to swimming goggles, with the particularity of emitting a vibration when the swimmer is about to change lanes or to hit the end of the pool. “This product is not just for blind swimmers. It can be for all swimmers who prefer to focus on their performance, rather than on their correct trajectory. Sport for everyone.”