Entrepreneurs Under 25 is a new series that seeks to profile up-and-coming web entrepreneurs 25 years old or younger.
Launching a startup takes a certain type of entrepreneurial spirit. But it also takes the right kind of fostering environment. Just ask Younity’s Loïc Souêtre.
Originally from France, he moved to Montreal for school and found a startup community that fostered the go-getter qualities he already possessed.
“I’m from Paris actually, a small town near Versailles, and I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. Both my parents were doctors and my father owns 9 or 10 companies,” Souêtre told MTLinTECH. “My father always pushed me towards entrepreneurship when I was young. I wanted to study abroad because my father and my brother did.”
Currently a student at HEC Montreal set to graduate in December, Souêtre found the first year of university a bit redundant, and so turned elsewhere to occupy himself.
“The thing is, you’ve got one year which is like prep school, and it was really boring. You’ve got maybe 15 hours of class, but they weren’t super intensive. That’s probably the reason I started the company, because I was bored. That’s when I started working on Younity. I didn’t know anything about startups really. I was a complete newbie.”
It opened my mind to what I did and didn’t want to do. Now I think I really like entrepreneurship and the way it works. I like the way you have to learn so many things so quickly because when you’re learning you feel great.
The idea for Younity, which attempts to improve upon the process of finding a new roommate, came from Souêtre’s real-life difficulties.
“I came from abroad and was looking for roommates when I started school. And I realized it’s really really hard to find someone. Because you have to live with that person for a year. HEC put on like a speed dating thing, but it was so stressful. Finally, after 2 weeks of looking for someone, I actually decided to live alone.”
Once Souêtre and his co-founder had a problem, they started doing their research and trying to figure out how to go about creating a solution. That’s when his entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and Younity was formed. But he also credits the Montreal startup ecosystem for being a big reason he started his own business at all.
“I think it’s the people, it’s how the people behave. I was back in Paris, and I asked myself ‘would I have started the company in Paris?’ And I think my answer would be: definitely not. Because here you feel like everybody’s super open and they want to help you find a cofounder or help you find a developer or give you tips. In Paris, to me, the people are really constrained. The fact that people are so open, I think that’s the only reason i wanted to start something here.”
Younity will be releasing a public bid soon and officially launching this summer.
Have you read the rest of the Entrepreneurs under 25 series?
Retinad’s Samuel F. Poirier and Anthony Guay – January 11
Wizrd’s Rory Bokser and David Kleiman – January 12
Ambo Technology’s Pascal Leblanc – January 19
LaPresse3D’s Omar Ayesh – January 24