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20/10/2017

With Maitika, these KEDGE Alumni will dynamise your weekends in Bordeaux!

By creating their own chatbot, Christian Bienaimé and Florian Ruf (MAI 2016) want to offer those living in Bordeaux great deals on events and outings in their area!

Hello, Christian. To start with can you tell us about your educational background: what did you study at KEDGE and before going to KEDGE? 
 
Since I was 14 years old, I have regularly been traveling to other countries. I had the opportunity to participate in the Voltaire programme in 10th grande and went to live in Germany for six months. After obtaining my BAC, I wanted to continue to travel while going to Business School. So, I went to the EGC (École de Commerce et de Gestion) in Lille, which enabled me to do several internships abroad. A career in purchasing arose as a perfect for me after I spoke to a former student. I then decided to join CDAF for the first year of my Masters, and then finished my degree at the MAI in Bordeaux. At the MAI, I gained a lot more than just skills in my field, I walked away with a broader vision of the Business work and developed excellent relationship skills. For my end-of-studies internship, I went back to Germany for six months (in Munich at Merck), that's where I got the idea for the start-up, with one of my classmates, Florian RUF.
 
 
Today, you are launching a Facebook chatbot that enables those living in Bordeaux to find great deals in the region. Where did you come up with the idea? 
 
Every time I arrive in a new city, I wonder: "Where can I meet people with similar interests? Where should I go out tonight? Where can  I get a drink or have a nice meal?" A lot of people ask themselves the same questions, but it isn't easy to find the right answers! How many times did you miss a concert, an exhibition, or an event, even though it was only 500 meters away from your house?! So, we tried to come up with a new solution to help people stay informed about what is going on around them! We participated in the Appdays in Paris, that is where we learned about Chatbots! Chatbot? It is merely a conversation with a friend on the Facebook messenger app (for example). We got started with the development of our Chatbot, even though we didn't know much. It took us three months to perfect it, and in February 2017 it was finally ready to help people in Bordeaux in their thirst for discovery! Our Chatbot enables users to learn about events, deals, and the coolest addresses in Bordeaux in a quick, fun, and efficient way! Simply by clicking on a few buttons and following your desires, you can access more than 150 events per week and 180 addresses. In order to spoil our community a little more, we regularly hold contests for tickets or promotions with our partners. Today, more than 4,000 people use our chatbot, and more than 4,400 people follow us on Facebook.
 
 
What are your objectives for the future? 
 
We already have our proof-of-concept! Our plan is to first expand to 10 major cities in France and then in Europe! Picture it: today you are in Paris, in two days in Bordeaux, the week after in Barcelona, no matter where you are, you'll always have Maitika in your pocket to help you plan where to go out and discover the city! Of course, we have a long road ahead of us and we will need to raise funds. 
 
We spent three months in an the incubator (Ubee Lab) at the University of Bordeaux thanks to our student-entrepreneur status. Since July 2017, we joined the group Sud Ouest's company accelerator, Théophraste. We are already working with several major actors in Bordeaux, like the UBB Rugby Club, the Mégarama cinema, IBOAT, the Accorhotels group, with the Ibis Bastide, the Escape Game échappe toi, and other bars and restaurants.
 
 
How did your time at KEDGE Business School help you in this adventure?
 
KEDGE enabled me to develop a broader vision of the Business world, a long term reflection, more perspective on what I undertake, and helped forge my character. No one should be afraid of going for it. We may not have all the skills at first, but you can learn anything. You just have to believe in what you are doing. There will be hard times, but you have to see them as motivators to go even further! 
 
Anything you want to add?
 
First of all, if you have read this far, I want to thank you! I would love for you to test our Chatbot and send me your feedback. That's how we are able to improve little by little. If you have a little or a lot of money saved up, we would love to meet you. See you soon!
 

DID YOU GET A PROMOTION, OR ARE LAUNCHING A PROJECT OR A START-UP?

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