Our students' experience at "36 heures chrono 2018"

Tiphaine Villaume (Neuroscience Master), Cem Karakus (Neuroscience Master) and Sébastien Fournier (Management and Marketing of Services Master at IAE) have formed a great team to participate in the 36 hour-long competition! During 36 hours, they developed a business project: PODONNECT.

What is the “36 heures chrono” event ?

The 6th edition of the event took place on November 21st and 22nd, 2018, at the Hôtel de Région Sud. No less than 230 students, selected from more than 500 applications, met up to discover business. Their objective: to start with an idea and transform it into a business project in just 36 hours. A total prize of 8,000 euros rewarded the 10 winning teams as ranked by the jury.

See the video presentation (in French)


You don’t have a project? You can also participate, your group is then formed on the first day and you must develop your project on a common theme. With or without a project, your team must be made up of 3-4 members (both male and female) and must be multidisciplinary to share your skills and innovate together!

Tiphaine, Cem and Sébastien had a project in mind: PODONNECT. They decided to try the experiment in order to challenge themselves and get professional advice.

Their project : PODONNECT

Tiphaine, a sparkling and lively young woman, wanted to participate in the 36 hours but she lacked the idea. She told her friends about it and then recruited Cem. After a course on the vestibular system, a barosensitive sensory organ (sensitive to changes in blood pressure) located in the inner ear, they learnt that, to compensate for a lack of balance, we tend to space out our legs. So far nothing extraordinary… and then when they saw an elderly person staggering, they dug a little deeper and learnt that the vestibular system degenerates with age, medication or neurodegenerative diseases. This degeneration increases the risk of balance loss and falls in the elderly. But how can we help them? How can we prevent these falls, which often lead to serious consequences? How can you reassure the relatives?

They first thought of soles, but the concept already existed. By racking their brains further, the idea came up: a system to prevent falls by measuring the distance between the two feet. Podonnect was born!

Podonnect is a three-subunit device with a reference unit (placed on the upper body) and two subunits placed at foot level to measure the distance between the feet. The central unit records the angles (between the reference and the opposite foot) and compares the data.

Then, how to measure an abnormal angle? Thanks to a calibration, carried out by a practitioner, the device will measure the average distance to detect a larger distance and thus signal balance problems. The tool is mainly for diagnostic purposes, in order to anticipate falls or detect limping.

Their experience in the “36 heures chrono”

To participate in the 36 hours, Tiphaine and Cem lacked an essential component: marketing. They called upon Sébastien Fournier, a Master’s student in Management and Marketing of Services at the “Institut d’Administration des Entreprises” (IAE). With him, they formed a multidisciplinary team and could participate in the 36 hours!

On the morning of November 21, the adventure begins. Let’s go for 36 hours of accelerated learning! They must do a huge amount of work, which sometimes takes years. They decide not to dwell on the details and to go to the essential to have time to set up their project from A to Z.

The first day goes by in a snap! They are the only team of three people, which penalizes them a little bit in terms of marketing strategy. Sébastien points out that one more person in marketing would not have been too much! But they are united, supporting each other when other groups explode under pressure. With the various experts and professors, they refine their project. They still choose to rest their brains for 2-3 hours to be in shape on the next day. Well, “the next day” is a figure of speech : it’s already the second day, actually!

Their oral presentation is coming fast. At the beginning of the second day, they managed to do most of the work by presenting their project, their targets, the target market, their multi-channel marketing strategy and finally the budget, which required a large investment.

Tiphaine, Cem et Sébastien aux 36 heures chrono

In the afternoon of November 22nd, they are more or less ready for the 5 minute presentation in front of a jury of six experts composed of investors, professors, representatives from the Sud Region, business incubators and banks. In 5 minutes, saying everything is complicated, but they manage to stay on time! Relieved and proud, they step out of the presentation room.

In the end, they did not win any prize, but, in Tiphaine’s view, everyone won, because the experience acquired in these few hours of their lives is enormous! Cem and Tiphaine learnt a lot about setting up a company, researching on market and competition, etc. They became familiar with previously unknown concepts. All three cannot believe the amount of work they produced… They did it and can be proud of it.

Could Podonnect really exist?

This is not yet a current issue. None of them think they are going to continue on an entrepreneurial path, even if they do not necessarily shut the doors to this project. If they ever want to go on with it, they know what to expect and some of the steps involved in starting a business.

Do you have an entrepreneurial mind? Do you want to challenge yourself? Participate in the 2019 edition! For more information, click here.


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