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MSc students work with local, innovative company

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Students of the MSc Entrepreneurship & Innovation, MSc International Business and MSc Digital Business students spend semester finding new market opportunities with Nexess in Sophia Antipolis.

With their professor, Bruno Cirillo, 120 SKEMA students from the Sophia Antipolis campus, working in 23 teams, spent a semester with Nexess, specialist of traceability using RFID. The students’ mission was to help the company find new market opportunities. 

The winning team of five students decided to aim at the defence market in the Middle East. They were awarded their prize at the company headquarters on 8 February 2018.

Nexess, is an innovative company in Sophia Antipolis. It is ten years old and wants to use this anniversary to explore various angles for diversification for both products and markets. The company therefore jumped at the chance offered by SKEMA to get MSc Entrepreneurship & Innovation, MSc International Business and MSc Digital Business students working on business opportunities. 

The students worked in teams on possible developments for Nexess in terms of products and markets. They had many ideas ranging from applying the firm’s expertise in retail, microelectronics and new markets. The firm kept many of these ideas in the pipeline. 

Nevertheless, the winning team, made up of Manuel Fajardo, Simon Hayart, Agathe Hoffmann, Pierre Lemonnier and Arthur Philippon succeeded by arguing for the opportunity of a market in the defence sector in the Middle East. 

(Pictured: members of the winning team, with Professor Bruno Cirillo on right)

They studied the needs of this sector that has many weaknesses both in terms of stock tracking, heavy inventory and faulty material. They saw opportunities for checking tools, managing needs in real time and anticipating maintenance. They also saw that French savoir-faire has a good reputation on this market. They even located and interviewed a potential partner who confirmed their observations. 

Even if the students did not go as far as presenting a business case to the company, the information in their report pointed the firm in directions that enabled fast progress to be made. Nexess will therefore be able to position itself and respond more effectively to needs and set up a strategy for this market. The company hopes to sign a contract with EAU and hire a VIE. 

Nexess awarded a gift to each member of the winning team before a visit to the show room where the prototypes of smart RFID are displayed – a perfect example of how Nexess technologies can be applied to industry. 

The product to market contest is an innovation challenge to help students apply the results of the latest academic research to real cases to solve problems of partner companies located in the SKEMA ecosystem. The contest is part of the course Identifying & Managing Business Opportunities, taught in the MSc Entrepreneurship & Innovation and MSc Digital Business. The aim of this contest is to help students become familiar with identifying and exploiting business opportunities inside real companies. Each year a new partner company is chosen. 

For more information, contact Bruno Cirillo.


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