Through the last International Venture Academy, Sophia Business Angels honoured women entrepreneurs

Through the last International Venture Academy, Sophia Business Angels honoured women entrepreneurs

The last autumn academy of Sophia Business Angels took place on October 11 on the campus of Nice EDHEC Business School.

A full day giving the floor to entrepreneurs willing to raise funds. Ten young innovative companies shortlisted were able to give their presentation, coming from France (Paris, French Riviera, Marseille), Tunisia and Ireland. The parity initially targeted by Sophia Business Angels has even been exceeded since 6 of the 10 startups presented at the Venture Academy are founded or co-founded by a woman. The 10 companies are:

  • 4MANTIS, Antibes – France
  • Automated regulatory Monitoring Ltd, Cork – Ireland
  • Food4Future, Tunis – Tunisia
  • GMR, Avignon – France
  • Hablo, Tunis – Tunisia
  • HaloSOS, Dublin – Ireland
  • Kriptown SAS, Paris – France
  • Omonovo, Nice – France
  • Trust-Place, Marseille & Paris – France
  • Visio PM, Marseille – France

Forty experts and investors came from all around the world to listen, coach and assess the selected startups. Parity almost achieved also on the mentors and judges’ side with 40% of women with very diverse and high-level talents.

International Venture Academy participants (mentors, judges and startups)

Emmanuel MÉTAIS, Dean of the SBA partner EDHEC Business School, who was hosting the event, and Marcel DRIDJE, President of SBA, opened the day, followed by Sandrine MURCIA, co-founder and CEO of COSMIAN, who is developing a platform for analysis of encrypted data and has just completed a first round of funding of 1.4 million euros. Sandrine presented her journey as a female entrepreneur and answered many questions about her deployment.

This collaboration demonstrates the importance that EDHEC Business School places on financing startups and supporting entrepreneurship.

The 10 startups each presented a first pitch of 7 minutes. Receiving comments from the professionals who then coached them individually during lunch time, the startups revised their presentation and made a second series of pitches in the afternoon, drastically improved. Four awards were discerned late afternoon:

Professor Alan Barrell and Marcel Dridje (SBAPresident)rewarding Hablo’s team (from left to right): Ines Dhaouadi, Hedi Bennour and Mousser Rahmouni, Oumayma Ben Ayed
  • The most investment ready: HABLO (device connected to a mobile application, placed near babies that analyses sounds and cries, decrypts and alerts parents in real time)
  • The best presentation: Food4Future (developing and connecting home use Spirulina makers)
  • The best team: Kriptown (blockchain technology to invest in unlisted SME & Start-up)
  • The best improvement: HalSOS (patented real-time alert solution for the safety of hotel staff and their best assets)

Mousser Rahmouni (CEO) and Oumayma Ben Ayed (CFO), co-founders of Hablo

Oumayma Ben Ayed, founder of HABLO says: “Our experience during the 3-days stay was very interesting especially in terms of networking with entrepreneurs and Business Angels who opened us the doors of internationalization and by providing constructive advice for our start-up”.


Fiona Moloney, CEO of HalSOS, who received the Best Improvement Award, comments: “I enjoyed every moment of this wonderful 3-day event, especially the 2-hours coaching session. invaluable and I leave with concrete and effective actions to improve my commercial offer “.


Fiona Moloney (CEO) and Liam Darling (CTO) co-founders of HalSOS, with Marcel Dridje (SBA President)



Alternating pitches, individual coaching and plenary sessions with high level speaker, the afternoon was also an opportunity to hear inspiring testimonials full of experiences to share:

  • Angelo DALLI, Serial entrepreneur, business angel, shared his experience on Artificial Intelligence
  • Peter BROWN, Board Member of EBAN’s European Business Angels Network, presented a co-investment opportunity in a scale-up of his portfolio        

At the end of the day, Gaelle Delore, co-founder of Trust-Place (start-up from Marseille that offers a solution for authentication and protection on the second-hand market luxury goods and circular economy) concludes : “Personally, I was more than happy to discover; for once, a perfectly balanced event male/female, it remains too rare and needs to be applauded ! The International Venture Academy is a unique experience facilitating exchange with professionals, investors, coaches and other peers’ entrepreneurs who give their time, experience and energy to help one grow. In 2 hours of coaching, I received so qualitative advice and thoughts”.

Even if all the projects do not win a prize, all leave with a high added value. This is was happened at the last International Venture Academy, as SBA investors identified M-Pearl and decided to join forces to invest in its development.

About EDHEC BUSINESS SCHOOL
Founded in 1906, EDHEC is one of the 15 best European Business Schools. Located in Lille, Nice, Paris, London, Singapore and with more than 90 nationalities present on its campuses, EDHEC is a resolutely international school connected to the business world. With more than 40,000 graduates in 120 countries, EDHEC trains committed managers able to meet the challenges of a changing world. Excellence, innovation and entrepreneurship are at the heart of the values of EDHEC, which has developed a unique strategic model based on research that is useful to society, businesses and students, embodied in particular by EDHEC- Risk Institute and Scientific Beta.
A veritable laboratory of ideas, the school is also pioneering digital education with EDHEC Online, the first 100% online diploma training platform. These different dimensions make EDHEC a place of knowledge, experience and diversity to transmit to new generations the keys to a world in profound upheaval.
EDHEC in figures: 8600 students in initial training, 19 bachelor’s degree programs in the PhD, 184 professors and researchers, 11 centres of expertise.
More information on www.edhec.edu

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