Robin Du Fayet
NEOMA Business School
Fun Fact About Yourself: Even though I love video games, I am far from being a big gamer, which is quite paradoxical when you consider that I created a company in this field.
Undergraduate School and Major / Degree programme: Preparatory class at Lycée Carnot, Paris.MiM 2018 graduate from NEOMA – corporate finance specialization.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your life so far: My greatest success is undoubtedly the creation of my startup BetOnYou. In just two years, and with no other professional experience than internships in a company, I am at the head of a company which now has 250,000 users across five French-speaking countries while the application has only been launched for 10 months. In May 2020, BetOnYou ranked sixth among the most downloaded applications on the French App Store.
Was Entrepreneurship always your career goal? No, when I started my studies, I never said “I absolutely have to become an entrepreneur!”. It hit me like a no-brainer.In 2017, I went on an academic exchange in Mexico at one of NEOMA’s partner universities. It was a great experience that allowed me to mature and gain autonomy. It was there that the idea of starting my business with my friend Thomas germinated never to leave us again. When I returned to France, I did internships in companies in the field of management control, finance, auditing. But I was never fully satisfied. I wanted more. More responsibilities, more meaning, more freedom… Finally, entrepreneurship was the only path that met all my expectations, so I started in my last year of studies.
What led you to pursue an MiM at this point in your personal development? Coming out of high school, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do for a career. So I chose to join a generalist training programme that opened as many doors as possible. With a large network of graduates and the great successes that we hear about every day, business schools have quickly established themselves as a choice course.
How did you decide if a MiM was worth the investment? What has clearly made the difference for the Grande Ecole Program is the success of alumni and the network that is integrated from the start of school. The media often present the careers of graduates from Grandes Ecoles. They are Commercial or Financial Directors, Associates of large audit firms, Product Development Managers in a region of the world. Their successes clearly illustrate the quality of the training they have followed.Beyond this, it is also the strength of the network that I was looking for. NEOMA has just over 60,000 graduates spread all over the world and sharing the same spirit of solidarity, as if we all belonged to one big family. It was in a network like this that I wanted to grow.
What other MiM programs did you apply to? How did you determine your fit at various schools? I applied to the ten best business schools in France: HEC, Essec, ESCP, Edhec, EM LYON, Audencia, Grenoble, Toulouse, Skema and NEOMA.I chose NEOMA for the warm atmosphere when qualifying on campus. I immediately felt this spirit of camaraderie from my first interactions with the students, and I knew that it was in this atmosphere that I wanted to learn my skills.
What was the key factor that led you to choose this Masters in Management and why was it so important to you? (même chose qu’au-dessus?) I think the trigger that made me lean towards this particular program was inspiration. Every time I meet a graduate of the NEOMA Grande Ecole Program, we discuss the richness of their career, their choices and opportunities, their successes… I feel inspired! It’s a powerful engine that still drives me today.
Tell me about your venture: BetOnYou is a mobile application that allows video game players to monetize the time they spend playing by betting for free on their own games. They can then accumulate points and then convert them into prizes, offered by partner brands.In ten months, BetOnYou has won over a community of 250,000 users in five different countries and now has around thirty partners. In 2020, we completed a fundraising of 1.25 million euros.
How has your business school experience helped you in creating and launching your business? My Grande Ecole played an essential role in the creation of my startup.First of all, I met my friend and partner Thomas Bourbon, who also graduated from the Grande Ecole Program in 2018.Then, the courses given at NEOMA gave me a better understanding of the business world. In particular, I learned how to build a business plan or a road map, to manage a budget, to respond to concrete issues during business games or real practical cases. The school equipped me with a solid base of skills which then enabled me to create my startup under better conditions.During my studies, I joined the NEOMA Incubators, support structures for business creation. Personalized coaching, training, meetings with experts and entrepreneurs of all levels propelled me from a novice to a seasoned entrepreneur in just two years.Finally, the network of NEOMA graduates opened up to us and still opens up many professional opportunities to us today. The alumni always welcome us warmly and are delighted to collaborate with us, which greatly facilitates our development. We feel a real community spirit, even if we were not part of the same promotion.
What activities/experiences have most benefitted you on your entrepreneurship journey during your time at business school? I started my studies at NEOMA as treasurer of the Sports Office, one of the most emblematic student associations on campus. When I was only 20, I learned to manage a budget of 300,000 euros, which was pretty impressive! It taught me rigor and responsibility. I still remember this experience with emotion because managing an association is a bit like managing a startup. This has certainly developed in me an appetite for project management.Regarding the courses given at NEOMA as part of the Grande Ecole Program, what particularly impressed me was the logic with which all the subjects influenced each other. When you have no professional experience, it is sometimes difficult to realize the links between accounting courses and strategy courses, for example. At NEOMA, the teachers made us work on what are called “red thread cases”. We studied the same practical case across the different disciplines, so as to make the link between all the teaching units. This holistic view is particularly crucial for an entrepreneur because he must manage all aspects of the business himself or identify what is lacking.Beyond purely academic considerations, my school allowed me to exchange with students and graduates with varied profiles, to build strong links with those who are still part of my life today and who encourage me every time. day in the path I have chosen.
What quality best describes the MiM classmates you’ve met so far and why? If I have to name just one quality, I would say openness. Studying at NEOMA allows us to meet students, graduates and professors from all over the world, to discover their backgrounds, to confront us with other visions of the world, which considerably enriches the exchanges and also transforms us.
What is the biggest/most important lesson you have learned during your studies? The most important lesson for me is simple: the results we get are always worth our investment. During my studies, I learned to give my all in my projects, and it is precisely this quality that allowed me to make BetOnYou the startup it is today. When I started the project with my partner, we spent our days and evenings on the startup. We never took any time off and Sunday was a day like any other. We ate with the computer on our knees, the phones hanging over our ears all the time. It was an intense and exhausting period but also very satisfying as our commitment to the project was rewarded by its increasing success. In eight months on our chatbot, we counted more than 40,000 users, then BetOnYou ranked 12th most downloaded application in France on Playstore on the day of its release.
What are the next steps for you / your entrepreneurial venture? Thanks to our fundraising of 1.25 million euros, we plan to invest in the technological part of the project, by recruiting developers and designers in order to improve the performance and user experience of our application. We will then invest in communication on a larger scale in order to propel BetOnYou on the international scene, and in particular in the United States.
Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years, I will still be an entrepreneur, for sure! With the hope of being at the head of the largest social gaming network in the world!
DON’T MISS: MEET THE MIM ENTREPRENEURS OF 2020