After the successful completion of the Turbine Test Drive 2018 in last October, four start-ups have joined the Turbine’s Incubation programme in January 2019. These start-ups are Friend’liveryKatapult, Connectme and Feuilles et fleurs.

The Incubation Program of Turbine

The Incubation program of Turbine lasts 12 months. During this time, the incubated start-ups benefits from free co-working seats, weekly business coaching with a dedicated coach, 30 hours of free access to experts in Marketing, Finance, Legal and more, access to Turbine’s network, media exposure via Turbine’s platform and press partners, tailor-made workshops among others.

Turbine in return takes 10% of equity from each incubated start-up, the aim is to finance our operations costs and support other projects in the future.

Our mission is to support start-ups and give them the tools and support they need for the pre-launch, start or scale their business. We help entrepreneurs to better follow their respective milestone plan and identify new solutions for their challenges.

Turbine is supported by the ENL Group and accredited by the Mauritius Research Council, under the National SME Incubator Scheme (NSIS).

About the Incubated Start-ups

 

Yohanna Laroque, Founder of Friend’livery

 

Friend’livery is a crowdshipping platform with the objective of connecting travelers with people who need to receive or send something that travelers could ship. This start-up allows you to receive and send products anywhere in the world. Founded by Yohanna Laroque, friend’livery was recently launched and already has an active community of more than 500 Facebook members.

 

Jade Li, Founder of Katapult

 

Katapult is an initiative to encourage young people to get involved in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and mathematics). Founded by Jade Li, this start-up offers game-based learning experiences in robotics and coding to develop the computational thinking of children, but above all to show them that they can really change the world. Jade organizes various workshops incorporating games, storytelling and real-life applications that make them as interactive as possible.

 

Jason and Eva, Founders of Connectme

 

Connectme is a start-up that enhances the way to search, evaluate and book services. It is an easy-to-use platform that allows users to search effectively for service providers. The founders, Jason Delorie and Eva Graham, are currently building their first product tutor.me, a platform linking students, parents and guardians with clear and concise information and various benefits. The team is currently reaching out to teachers who wish to be part of this community.

 

Nathalie Daruty, Founder of Feuilles et Fleurs

 

Feuilles et Fleurs, founded by Nathalie Daruty, is a start-up that offers natural, local and good quality products. Nathalie cultivates her plants and packs her products in the most respectful manner to preserve their benefits. She also organizes various workshops to share her knowledge and help people create their own cosmetics and cleaning products. Nathalie’s creations today include twelve varieties of infusions namely turmeric powder, moringa powder, bulk raw dried plants, massage balls (Siam buffer), sage-based purification fagots.

 

The on-boarding of the 4 start-ups

Turbine celebrated the on-boarding of its 4 new incubated start-ups last week at Vivéa Business Park with the presence of Turbine’s partners, experts and business coaches.

 

Turbine is proud to have by its side strong key people of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and sincerely thanks all of them for continuously believing in Turbine’s mission. The Turbine team is all set to start this journey with the newly incubated start-ups and looks forward to see them strive and thrive into successful and sustainable enterprises.

 

Connectme is a start-up that provides a platform to better search, evaluate and book services and is proudly  being incubated by Turbine. Jason Delorie, Co-Founder of Connectme, shares how his entrepreneurial journey started.

Tell us about your story.

I am Jason. I have always had a love for creative problem solving. I enjoy looking at things from a different perspective to come up with innovative, simple solutions. Ever since I was young, I was constantly telling my parents about my many ideas. From motorised roller blades at the age of 8, to The Seatcase (a suitcase you could comfortably sit on when queuing) when I was 11. As I got older and realised that my passion was to one day bring these ideas to life, I enrolled in University to study entrepreneurship. I learnt, amongst many other things, that everyone has great ideas but what makes the difference is the business behind them. I then spent the next few years focusing on making ends meet, starting my career washing dishes in the F&B industry to becoming a manger at several prestigious events such as the Winter Olympics in Russia, the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup. I then made the life changing decision to move to Mauritius in 2015, starting as a business development consultant to recently being appointed innovation co-ordinator of the ENL Group.  Although there have definitely been challenges, I haven’t looked back!

As an expat in Mauritius, I was filled with exhilaration, excitement, uncertainty and well, fear.  An intense cocktail of emotion that spiked my adrenaline and curiosity daily. As life settled and the mundane took over, all the usual stresses of the world set in. My shower broke, ‘Where do I get a plumber?’ Not knowing where to even start looking, I was faced with several weeks of cold showers before I was able to find a, not so reputable plumber, through word of mouth. Then of course, the electrics blow! I once again suffered trying to find an electrician to come to the house.  The pain of going through the same issues again and again, over several different service providers, was the birth of Connectme.

What is Connectme?

There has to be a better way to search, evaluate and book services. And that became mine and my co-founder’s mission. We are creating an easy to use platform which enables users to search for service providers while focusing on what is important to them; whether it is price, location, availability etc. We want the user to evaluate and compare profiles by using testimonies and ratings for each service provider, thus giving them peace of mind that they’ve found the right person. The user would then be able to check availability, book and pay, all in one place.

As we experienced the same issues in almost every service industry, from plumbers to tutors, we understood the need to develop a separate website for each niche. This enables users to have a more specified and targeted experience of searching and quoting, while knowing an industry expert has vetted each service provider.

Jason Delorie and Eva Graham, Founders of tutorme.mu and Connectme

As my co-founder, Eva Graham, is an experienced teacher and tutor with first-hand experience of the issues mentioned above, we turned to the prevalent tuition industry for our first product/website, tutorme.mu. Further research has proven that such issues are wide spread within this profitable industry. My niece at the time was needing some specialized extra support, but her mother was unable to find anyone with the required experience. Like any parent, she was worried about making the best decision for her child, to not compromise her child’s education. Our goal at tutorme.mu is to give parents and students peace of mind, knowing that they have made an informed decision that was right for their specific needs.

Not only do we want to give parents and/or students a better user experience by saving them time and providing trust, we also want to offer benefits for each tutor that signs on, to address the pains tutors face in the industry. Among other features, we will help tutors advertise their services, organise and schedule their time, and ensure they receive payments on time and in full. Allowing them to focus on what they do best, teach!

Tell us about your journey with Turbine.

This business idea became a reality when we entered the Testdrive program at La Turbine. Participation in the test-drive gave budding entrepreneurs, like ourselves, free access to tools and start-up knowledge, enabling us to test the viability of our idea with the added bonus of possible incubation. Through this experience we received vital advice from entrepreneurs who have walked this road before, the stuff you can’t read in a textbook. From workshops on how to take advantage of free software and the many tools out there, to getting your potential customers involved and engaged from the start, as well as learning about how it all works in the Mauritian context. The advice and direction proved to be invaluable and we were lucky enough to be offered incubation for Connectme, after a final pitch day where all contestants had the chance to pitch their business to industry leaders and potential investors.

After incorporating our company in January, we are now well on our way with our Connectme journey. We have been engaging with our tutorme.mu customers and education experts to develop our first website. Our journey is about to hit its first big milestone by launching to the public in the next few months and we are excited to start delivering on our mission. For now, you can check us out  on Facebook and Instagram.

We are currently seeking tutors interested in pre-sign up and being a part of the tutorme.mu. community. If you sign on before 1st of April we are offering a deal of 6 months free premium membership (with a value of over Rs 3,000).  Premium services include free promotional advertising, free invoicing tools to track your payments and access to shared resources (such as lesson plan templates), on top of all the features of a regular tutorme.mu account.  For further information click on the link bellow.

Sign up to tutorme.mu

 

If you would like to get involved and share your insight regarding any potential industry for connectme, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Jason Delorie,

CEO and Co-Founder connectme

58594067

Eva Graham,

Co-Founder connectme. and Educationalist

54777583

connectmemu@gmail.com

Friend’livery is one of Turbine‘s new incubated start-ups. Turbine has the pleasure to be part of the journey of this start-up whose mission is to turn all travellers into deliverers. Yohanna Laroque, founder of Friend’livery shares her story with us.

Tell us about you and how you started your entrepreneurial journey.

“I am Yohanna, I am French, and I have moved to Mauritius in November 2015 with my husband. During my first year there, I realized I missed a lot of products I was used to buying in France.

I had a few choices: change my habits, order online or wait for friends and family to visit. I did change my habits for few products. For the rest, I tried to order online, but it wasn’t an efficient solution because of the high shipping costs, the tax amounts, and the delay of delivery.

So, when my parents and friends would come visit, I would order online, ship to their houses in France, and they would pack my orders in their suitcases. And I saw a lot of people, expats and Mauritians, do the same with their own families and friends.

And that is when it hit me! Why do we have to wait for family and friends to travel when there are millions of daily travellers who could deliver our orders for us?

In addition, I have always wanted to become an entrepreneur, to create a project that would be useful to people, to work on my own terms. But I waited for the idea and the right moment to take the leap! And this is now!

That’s how Friend’livery was born!

What is Friend’livery?

Friend’livery is a crowdshipping platform whose objective is to connect travellers, with people who need to receive or send something the travellers could ship. Thus, people can receive and send anything, anywhere in the world.

For example, your children are studying abroad, and you wish to send them a taste of home? You are an expat and your favourite brand of cosmetics doesn’t exist locally? You are a sport addict, but you cannot find technical equipment at a convenient price? One solution: ask a traveller.

And for travellers, this is a great way to give a hand and meet local people. They will also be rewarded so that they will save money during their trip.

Below is a member of Friend’livery community, a French traveller Pierre-Emmanuel, who was on holiday in Vietnam. He saw the request of Ha Le, a Vietnamese girl living in Paris, who needed a parcel from her parents in Vietnam. Pierre-Emmanuel became one of the first Friend’liverers!

The concept of crowdshipping is quite new, especially in Mauritius! That’s why the challenge for the next months is to raise awareness through digital marketing and social media. I have created Friend’livery Facebook, Instagram and Youtube accounts where I will post articles, videos, pictures to make sure people understand Friend’livery. It is essential people feel comfortable using it, and spread the word around them in Mauritius and abroad!

In parallel, I will be working on web and mobile applications, to improve the user experience, since today, all requests and transactions go through Facebook and the group Friend’livery Community.

How Turbine supported this journey so far?

I must say, reaching out to Turbine has been a great decision for me. A friend of mine recommended Turbine and I sent an email in March 2018 to Diane Maigrot, the Start-up and Business Growth manager, and she answered very quickly. Soon after, I met with Diane and got a great impression!

So I started to use the Co-working space ; it was good to be able to work in a professional environment, at a reasonable price! And I had a lot of fun during the lunch break with the other co-workers !

I was eventually selected to participate in the Test Drive program in September 2018. It was the opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs, experts, learn tips and tools for start-ups. I also made good friends there!

 

Yohanna at Test Drive 2018 Pitch

And recently, I started the Incubation process. The incubation is very important to me, especially the weekly coaching and the available experts. Indeed, I am working alone, which I am not used to, so this enables me to challenge my ideas and stay focused on priorities.

Friend’livery has grown so much in a year, I have learnt a lot in this passed year as well. Despite the difficulties I will meet, I am so proud to work on my own project now.  It makes me feel so passionate and alive.

 

Turbine has the immense pleasure to incubate Katapult, a start-up promoting game-based learning experiences in robotics and coding. Jade Li, Founder of Katapult shares her new journey with us.

Jade, tell us about you and why you have started this new venture.

I like to think of myself as a maker, I make things to solve problems. I’ve always liked to make things with my hands as a kid. I would make personalized greeting cards, I would recycle my jeans to make bags and I loved watching DIY videos. When it came time for me to go to university, it felt right to go into engineering because I wanted to solve the problems and challenges of the world. I studied Bioengineering at Imperial College London and then went on to work in the medical device industry in Mauritius.

As a working adult, I realized that the majority of people are not comfortable with the idea of change and that most of them never really challenge the way things are. In my quest to solve this problem, I have found that what our country lacks is a culture of innovation. As kids, we are all curious and we ask all kinds of questions. However in the Mauritian culture, where failure is a taboo, adults are often afraid of asking questions and they lose this curiosity. I began to question myself: how can adults keep this child-like wonder? and how can we incorporate this culture of innovation to the Mauritian culture?

As I dug deeper, I began to analyse the Mauritian education system. The teacher to student ratio is on average 1:40 and often children don’t get the attention they need to learn properly. I went to school in Mauritius, I learned mostly alphabets and numbers and I never questioned it. But today as an adult working in Mauritius, I realize that me and my fellow classmates never learned to think critically. The more I talked to people from other countries, I realized that they also had a similar experience with school. This is why I believe that innovation starts in the playroom. If we can get children interested and curious about solving problems, that would be a great start. We can then cultivate this interest to empower them to become future problem-solvers and change-makers.

​What is Katapult?

I started Katapult to address this gap in our education system. Katapult provides game-based learning experiences in robotics and coding to develop the children’s computational thinking but most importantly to show them that they can actually change the world. Katapult is also an initiative to encourage young people to go into STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).

If you are in the age range 7-18, then Katapult is for you. At Katapult, we believe in learning by doing and playing. We try to make our workshops as interactive as possible. We incorporate games, storytelling and real-life applications in our sessions. We encourage the children to be curious and to ask as many questions as they want. We also encourage them to experiment and test any idea they might have.

Our founder, Jade, visited the Girl Guides (3rd company). Exciting projects coming soon. —-#mauritius #girlguides #girls #wcw #startup #innovation #InspireAnEngineer #playislearning #photooftheday

Posted by Katapult on Tuesday, January 22, 2019

 

Share with us your experiences with Turbine till now.

I’ve had this idea for two years now and I never really knew how or where to start. With the Test Drive programme, it was the perfect opportunity to test if the idea could be a viable business. By going through this programme, I came to experience what a supportive community Turbine is and I felt that I needed this to start my business. This is what initially drew me to Turbine and I am now on the Incubation programme.

I like the structure that it gives me. I feel that without structure, that is goals and deadlines, we can accomplish so much and nothing at the same time. Every week, I meet with my coach Aysha to discuss the path to achieve my goals for the year. We define the tasks that I need to do for the week and we discuss if my business is actually going in the direction that I want it to. This has been very helpful in my entrepreneurial journey.

I also like the diversity of people that I get to meet at Turbine. It is very inspiring and exciting to meet the people who might change how the world is now!

Tell us about your future plans for Katapult.

The upcoming plans for Katapult are to develop more workshops and to deliver them in different regions of the island. I would also like to have workshops that tackle a broad range of fields like space exploration, agriculture, medicine, and even transport! On the 16 February, I will host a workshop at Turbine called Thirsty Meter. Children from 7 to 11 will be able to build their own plant moisture sensor so they know when to water their plants.

How can people keep in touch with Katapult?

People can learn more about Katapult on its website: www.katapult.mu and stay connected via

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/katapult.mu/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/katapult.mu/

 

Have business ideas or want to discuss about your entrepreneurial projects?

Our business coach is here to help you out.

Get a taste of how Incubation program coaching works.

 

The upcoming years will foster drastic innovations in terms of technology. With the advancement of  blockchain and artificial intelligence, human interference will decrease dramatically. This in turn, will have a significant impact on the job market. This article lists some of the jobs that will be in high demand in two to three decades.

However, before getting into this list of futuristic jobs, it is important to look at what skills will be required in this era of Blockchain and AI. Indeed, what the youth is learning may prove to become obsolete in the upcoming decades. What is taken for granted nowadays, may in turn become crucial in the future. Jobs that require common sense and creative prowess will take over. Kids these days cannot be molded for a specific field anymore as the market is constantly changing.

Instead, they need to be given the tools to adapt to the future job market demands. Skills that do not expire are mostly soft skills, namely communication, teamwork and critical thinking.

Social skills and critical thinking will certainly be most versatile skills to have, regardless of the job’s other requirements. Caring and feeling are abilities that robots cannot be programmed for, after all. Also, continuous learning is and will be crucial to keep up with the rapidly morphing market. The following list shows some of the jobs that will make use of the above-mentioned skills:

1. Trash Engineer

The world population creates an enormous amount of waste with each passing minute. The space to store the trash is bound to become a problem soon. Trash engineers will therefore be highly in demand in the future.

2. Medical Mentor

Doctors and surgeons are jobs that will be taken over by robots in the upcoming decades. Following machine intervention, patients will need a medical mentor. This person will assist them along their healing process in a way only a human can. This job will make full use of the communication and social skills mentioned earlier.

3. Organ/ Body Part Creator

Another job within the medical field will be that of an organ or body part creator. This will most likely be the solution to the long list of people waiting for a donor. It will also solve the problem of the illegal organ black market.

4. Alternative Energy Consultant

Fossil fuel will soon become scarce and people will need to make primary use of alternative energy. However, solar, wind and hydro powers do not function the same way and do not provide the same benefits. The alternative energy consultant will therefore assist individuals, companies or governments in choosing which energy is best for them.

5. Personal Productivity People

As technology progresses, the number of distractions that block a person from doing his/her work also increases. To remedy to this situation, personal productivity people will act like coaches to make their clients more efficient. They will provide advice and tips to help people who do not want to lose their jobs to machines.

 

In most of the works mentioned above, children will need to have interpersonal skills. They will also have to be able to adapt to changes within the volatile job market. To get jobs that robots cannot do, our children will have to hone both their social and intellectual abilities via ongoing education.

Nathalie Daruty is a woman entrepreneur in Mauritius promoting medicinal plants. For a long time, Nathalie has been working on starting her enterprise Feuilles et fleurs and wants to take her business to the next level.  Now with all the knowledge, she has acquired from the Turbine Test Drive Program, she has joined the Turbine Incubation program to strengthen her start-up. Nathalie shares her vision and her interesting journey with us.

“I strongly wish to develop an enterprise that becomes the reference in the field of medicinal plants and its application. For that, I have plans to learn about the applications in depth from healers and specialists around the globe and bring this knowledge to our country to benefit our people.”

organic plantatin

Nathalie tending to her plants in her new field of crops

My entrepreneurial journey began when I started my studies on phytotherapy and aromatherapy. I started by testing a few infusions from plants in my garden and shared the products with friends and family: they loved it! Their reaction boosted my motivation and confidence so I kept working harder. I was able to make some money and buy paper bags as packaging.  Then I participating in Christmas markets where I earned enough money to buy a plant dryer. Taking part in these various fairs also allowed me to slowly level up the packaging. Back then, the dryer was in my garage while all the manufacturing was in my dining room. I finally also had to convert a room into a studio for my workshops. Despite having a few regular clients, my business could not flourish due to the limited land and production.

I have thus decided to move to farmland where I will also conduct my workshops.

natural products Foliage is collected in a sustainable and eco-conscious fashion

 

I am often asked:”Why Feuilles et Fleurs?”  One of the reasons is that I have always loved infusions and herbal products. After teaching for many years, I really wanted to do something that I am curious about and create new products that would be beneficial for our planet. That urge of doing something on my own doubled when I realized that I have to change my lifestyle to take care of our well being and go closer to nature.

Another reason would be the lack of good quality natural local herbal products. Most herbal products are imported and may not be of quality. The lack of simplicity in our consumption habits is neither good for our body nor for the planet.

My creations till now involve 12 variety of infusions namely turmeric powder, moringa powder, crude dried plants in bulk, massage balls (siam tampon), fagots of purification with sage.

natural products

Feuilles et Fleurs products in their new packaging

 

These natural products are for people who acknowledge the importance of health, that prevention is better than cure with chemical products, who are also environmentally friendly and want to learn the clean way of doing cultivation.

I am also looking forward to Feuilles et Fleurs conducting a workshop of 4 DIY sessions in collaboration with Wellness and SensiBio where participants will learn how to make their own cosmetic and cleaning products. The sessions are as follows:

5th February 2019: Sun’s cream and repair oil

26th February 2019: laundry, stain remover and dishwashing liquid

19th Mars 2019: deodorant, two kinds of toothpaste and makeup remover

9th April 2019: 3 soaps, powder shampoo + bar shampoo

workshop

The aim of this work is to be ecological, to reduce waste and also economic.

The Turbine Test Drive Programme was really beneficial to Feuilles et Fleurs. It made me realize the importance of structuring my company and gave me a more acute vision of the future.

Up to then, Feuilles et Fleurs was a very small company that I just liked working on, today, I have started taking action to make it a good and profitable business!

I never had any entrepreneurial training. As an incubated start-up at Turbine, I am really looking forward to all the experience and knowledge I will be getting through the coaching and workshops. I believe that it will help me avoid certain mistakes and guide me in making the best future possible for Feuilles et Fleurs. I understand that Turbine has a really good network too, and this will help me.

I am so thankful to Turbine for selecting Feuilles et Fleurs for the incubation program after Test Drive. I am really excited about the upcoming adventure!

Business for entrepreneurs are their passion project, but it’s probably also their number one source of stress.

So entrepreneur, when your productivity is directly tied to your business’s success, it’s all too easy to neglect life’s necessities in favor of long hours at work. However, while it’s good to chase your goals, successful entrepreneurship requires balance.

It’s possible to achieve work-life balance, manage your stress, and still achieve your business goals, but it doesn’t come without a little effort. Here are four changes you need to make to strike a healthier balance for your business.

Set a Work Schedule and Develop Routines

Routines and schedules foster productivity and prevent work from bleeding over into the rest of life. They also provide structure and predictability in the often-unpredictable world of entrepreneurship. Decide what time to start and finish each workday and commit to it. Zapier recommends adopting a morning routine to get you in the right headspace for work and an evening routine to put today behind you and prepare for tomorrow. During your workday, schedule your time so you know exactly how long you can spend on each task without sacrificing productivity in the process.

Upgrade Your Workspace

You won’t be productive if your desk chair is giving you backaches, your computer is running slowly, or your family is interrupting you every five minutes. And as an entrepreneur, letting your productivity suffer is as good as throwing money away.

 

If you’re working from a home office, make sure it’s ergonomic, organized, and free from unnecessary distraction. If outdated equipment is holding you back, upgrade it. You’ll easily pay back your investment with increased productivity. Also, if your home office has too many limitations, a co-working space could be the answer. With clean and ergonomic workspaces, co-working spaces offer a professional and convenient office environment for entrepreneurs. Plus, co-working spaces offer a lot of other benefits to budding businesses.

Be Good to Your Body

Junk foods and sugary drinks help you power through hectic days at work, but they’re not the best for your health or your productivity. Instead, be deliberate about what you eat and drink. You’ll fuel your body with high-quality foods and hydration that keep you operating at peak performance throughout the workday and beyond.

 

Eating well is easier when you plan ahead. Plan and prep meals at the beginning of each week so you can grab and go in the morning. Keep a reusable water bottle at your desk so it’s convenient to stay hydrated, and watch your coffee consumption. A little caffeine is great for a boost, but too much could lead to insomnia, anxiety, and other unpleasant effects.

 

Don’t forget sleep! Not surprisingly, sleep is key to your ability to stay focused at work. If you forego sleep to chase deadlines, you’ll pay for it in lost productivity the next day. If you routinely skip sleep, both your business and your health will suffer.

Keep Your Finances on Track

There aren’t enough healthy routines and habits in the world to make up for the stress caused by financial woes. As a business owner, it’s imperative that you actively manage your business’ finances. If you don’t, it’s only a matter of time before your business fails. Additionally, entrepreneurs must closely monitor their cash flow. Staples Business Resource Center lays out the basics of cash flow management that every entrepreneur needs to know.

 

Entrepreneurship isn’t like other jobs. When you run your own business, you have more freedom and flexibility than you’d ever find in a typical career. However, if you don’t manage your business effectively, you’ll also have more stress, longer hours, and less financial certainty. With these tips, you can run a business that’s as manageable as it is successful.

If you still need help or guidance, you can always contact Turbine Business Incubator. This incubator for start-up is located in Moka, Mauritius and has for mission to enhance the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem in the Indian ocean. You will eventually find solace by discussing with the Turbine team.

Sure, Silicon Valley may be the first place that comes to mind when you think about startups. If you have entrepreneurial dreams, why not launch your start-up in Mauritius? Mauritius is ranked among the first countries in Africa and surely has a lot to offer to new entrepreneurs.

What is a Start-up?

A startup is a young company that is just beginning to develop. Startups are usually small and initially financed and operated by a handful of founders or one individual. These companies offer a product or service that is not currently being offered elsewhere in the market, or that the founders believe is being offered in an inferior manner.

Start-up VS SME

It’s no surprise that many are confused with start-ups and SMEs. They’re both established by entrepreneurs. They’re small in terms of revenue and number of employees. So, how are they different? Both are pursuing different business models and with significant differences in intent, function and funding options.

A start-up is temporary (usually lasts for 6 months) and it’s all about trial and error. For a start-up, it’s all about experimenting and testing your business model. The entrepreneur is usually uncertain about its target group or they are looking for a proper channel. Then they will start experimenting and searching for answers to the product they are trying to sell, checking out the market’s niche and how to maximize your revenue from the right customers. Finally, they will be able to grow it faster once your business model is settled and stabilized.

An SME is more permanent and it starts out with a structured organisation that focuses on the delivery of value to its already-known customers. An SME does not need to change its business model. Which means, at this stage, an SME is established with a stable and successful business model. SMEs are driven by making a profit and intend to secure a financially sustainable spot in a local market for the long run.

Launch your start-up in Mauritius

Now is an exciting time to witness the making of a startups scene, boosted by the returning Mauritian diaspora and local change-makers. And on a small island, you have the privilege to feel part of something huge! Want to launch a start-up? Why not?

Over the last 18 months, coworking spaces have popped up in each major business hub of the island. If you’re looking for a startup’s hub, The Turbine which a converted sugar factory turbine is the place to go and is the first startups incubator of the island.

Startups fill the void in society and create new ways to provide products and services to consumers. Mauritius being a developed island has still many unknown possibilities for new businesses for some beautiful years ahead.

8 steps to follow to Launch your Start-up in Mauritius:

  1. Conception of project/Business idea
  2. Preparation of business plan
  3. Deciding on form of business
  4. Choosing the right location
  5. Registering the business
  6. Look for funding sources for the project
  7. Implementing the project
  8. Planning and Organising Business Activity

How much does it cost to initiate a start-up?

Many people underestimate startup costs, and start their business in a haphazard, unplanned way. This can work, but it is usually much harder. A start-up might cost nothing but can also cost a lot of money depending on business nature. The 3 main costs incurred by start-ups are as follows:

  • Startup expenses: These are expenses that happen before the beginning of the plan, before the first month. For example, many new companies incur expenses for legal work, logo design, brochures, site selection and improvements, and other expenses.
  • Startup assets: Typical startup assets are cash (in the form of the money in the bank when the company starts), and in many cases starting inventory. Other starting assets are both current and long-term, such as equipment, office furniture, machinery, etc.
  • Startup financing: This includes both capital investment and loans. The only investment amounts or loan amounts that belong in the startup table are those that happen before the beginning of the plan. Whatever happens during or after the first month should go instead into the Cash Flow table, which will automatically adjust the Balance Sheet.

These will vary upon business nature – a simple Marketing Agency might need only some thousands of rupees to start but a small manufacturing agency might need some hundreds of thousands to start.

How can La Turbine help start-ups?

As an incubator, La Turbine help start-ups (businesses with either a tinge of innovation or an innovative concept/idea) to be established sustainably in their respective market. In their incubation program which lasts a year, La Turbine accompanies the entrepreneurs in taking the best decisions to achieve their milestones and objectives.

They are provided with a one to one weekly coaching and access to field experts in La Turbine’s network, potential investors, business angels and in many cases their first clients. A series of tailor-made workshops are designed for them to level up their entrepreneurial skills.

The incubated start-ups get free access to our networking and entrepreneurial events. Basically, they are considered as being a part of La Turbine. As mentioned before, La Turbine is a start-ups incubator with a co-working space. For the first six months, the incubated start-ups get to use the co-working space and its amenities freely. The last six months, they get a preferential rate. (This soothes their numbers)

There is an increasing number of people opting to launch their own businesses these days. There are various speculations that can aim to explain this phenomenon. One principal speculation, is that more and more people appreciate the satisfaction of working for themselves. Another is that people are increasingly connected and exposed to more and more innovative concepts. Perhaps people believe that being employed and working for someone else’s enterprise puts a ceiling on the figure one earns every month, whereas in running one’s own business, that figure has a direct correlation with how hard you are working. The mathematics here appears to be quite simple. But is it really?

In running one’s own enterprise, it is crucial to ensure that we are giving ourselves and the best tools and opportunities to succeed. In reality, it is very difficult to ascertain a startup’s chances of success. Running a startup is like juggling at least 6 balls during most of your waking hours and on one leg. For this reason, many startups decide to opt for an Incubation Program.

Benefits and possibilities offered to Start Ups by an incubator

Well who said you could not run your business from your own garage or from a friendly neighbor’s garage? This have worked very well for Larry Page and Sergey Brin since they now own the lion’s share of Google. Yet, let’s be realistic – the focus is to make enough day by day and to survive. One instrument that might come in handy remains the business incubator. An Incubation Program is one that is designed to help startups develop in its early stages. It does for a startup what an actual incubator does for eggs: Prepares them for hatching successfully and healthily. But metaphors aside, Incubation Programs offer coaching, workshops and networking for early stage enterprises. They provide a curriculum with set objectives specific to the startup and outcomes that it needs to identify and deliver. So, a business incubator, in turn, is an organization that provides these services.

To survive and thrive, what does a start -up need? What are startup’s basic necessities?

1. Affordable Workspace for Start-Ups

Business incubators firstly offer a co-working space for new entrepreuneur. These are cost effective workspaces with a varied pool of professionals renting seats to work. The benefit here is two-fold: a free workspace means exemption from having to allocate a significant sum from one’s budget. And secondly, it provides automatic access to a wide network of professionals that entrepreneurs can tap into for advice and better yet, collaborations. Since coworking spaces are known for their eccentric layouts and decors, it does not hurt to have the opportunity to impress potential partners and clients by welcoming them into a hip and trendy environment.

2. Access to a vast network of mentors, experts and industry partners

A crucial component of any business incubator corresponds to the large network of business advisors and partners that can help advance the business. From Entrepreneurs-in-Residence which provide high-level strategic guidance to specialized mentors for niche industries, the difference between success and failure can truly come down to who you know.

3. Funding opportunities for new entrepreneurs

Everybody knows entrepreneurs need money to expand and grow their businesses, and although many early-stage startup companies raise their initial funds through the 3 F’s (friends, family, founders), there will come a time when a more substantial round of investment is necessary. Membership in a business incubator not only can connect entrepreneurs to venture capitalist and/or angel investment groups, but it can make the business a more attractive investment opportunity to such groups.

4. Support system during the “treacherous” early stage waters

Whether it is a product flaw or an incompetent management team that leads to its demise, incubation programs strive to mitigate that early-stage risk of starting a business through programmatic and developmental resources. It also helps being able to talk entrepreneurs off the ledge when they have a rough day.

In a nutshell, Business incubators’ main aim is to educate new entrepreneurs in best business practices while providing mentorship and guidance.