Success stories

Recent testimonies of successful business networking - Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme

New entrepreneur:
James Markey (United Kingdom)

Company name: JPMentors (Start-up)
Sector of activity: Education and training services

"One year ago, I wondered how I was going to pay his rent after a few more months.This year, I wondered why on earth I didn’t join the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme sooner."

Host entrepreneur:
André Cosson (France)

Company name: HRV Simulation,
Sector of activity: Education and training services

Period of exchange: 01/2019 until 04/2019
Duration of exchange: 4 months

Last year new entrepreneur, James Markey from the United-Kingdom, was only 26 years old, only spoke English, and worked for big business before having the idea for starting his own.

Now, one year later and only one year older, everything seemed changed for him. He now speaks not only English, but French too. Yet most importantly, he has incorporated his own company, JPMentors in the UK and has become its CEO.

He gets to choose the projects he takes on and, as a dream come true, he gets paid to travel to places like China in order to do business on behalf of his clients. On top of that, he has got through to the finals of a new start-up competition, he has been interviewed about the business, written a book to help other entrepreneurs and there is no sign of it slowing down just yet. So, let’s rewind.

James Markey quit what will be his last ever job -"I can no longer call my work "work” because I enjoy it too much, you see - because I wanted something new, but I did not know what.”

After a bit of travelling and a bit of soul searching, he studied financial management and he decided that he wanted to start his own business and he also wanted to expand his mind by learning a new language.

So, the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme seemed the perfect opportunity for this. He typed up his business plan, whilst starting to learn a little bit of French in the hope to find the perfect business mentor. And he did. Thanks to the British Library and Laval Mayenne Technopole, he ended up with host entrepreneur Arnaud Cosson, the CEO of HRV Simulation, in Laval, France.

From day-one the door of opportunity opened to him. he was given the time to work on his own business, flesh out ideas with the team and look for potential customers. Alongside that, he was given the opportunity to pick up live business experience on things he has never done before: supporting Arnaud with an investment pitch, demonstrating their products to potential clients and get involved in creating both the CRM system to support the growth and the marketing channels to create a future pipeline.
That is when it clicked for him. This was what he was thriving in.

Taking a business that already has an idea and helping transforming it into a commercial success. He did everything he could to be a better entrepreneur ready to start out on his own. He learnt how to code from the development team, he learnt how to design videos from their designer, he learnt how to present from their commercial. They were amazing and he took it all on. With Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, he never would have had this opportunity.

Then, with Arnaud’s help, we looked at what he was good at and pivoted the purpose of JPMentors into a specialised growth-consultancy business taking businesses from research projects, through to a start-up and through to a scale-up stage business.

In his final week he pitched the business and HRV Simulation decided to become his first client. Since then, he has launched JPMentors online, has a few clients in the UK and France and he is now looking to take on his own member of staff so he is able to continue taking on clients. 

He has even invested in other small business to help other people get started on their dream. His experience at HRV Simulation showed him how important it is to be flexible and open to new opportunities. 

That one needs to go out to get what they want! Last but not least, never fear to ask for help. "This attitude is what will help me in the long run” says James.

For more information, please contact the local contact points involved in the exchange:

New entrepreneur's contact point:
The British Library Business & IP Centre (London)

Host entrepreneur's contact point:
Laval Mayenne Technopole (Laval)

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