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adVentures’ founder, Antoine DUBOSCQ has had his portrait written by Julie LE BOLZER in French Economic and Business Newspaper “Les Echos“.

Translation :

Les Echos
Thursday, June 13, 2024
Personal Column

by Julie Le Bolzer

Title : Antoine Duboscq wants to keep tech high

Sure, there’s Slack, Microsoft Teams, and the like. But for Antoine Duboscq, the mind behind the French-made software Wimi, “there are alternatives to American solutions.” Boasting 150,000 users of his document-sharing, instant messaging, and electronic signature tools, the 55-year-old entrepreneur announces a 20% stake in Seald, a young French startup specializing in encryption. “The goal is for Wimi’s video conferencing solution to be end-to-end encrypted within two years,” states this advocate of digital sovereignty, whose clients include the National Assembly, Bercy, Eurazeo, and the Château de Versailles.

Another milestone, which he considers “a new step in the maturity of French Tech,” is Wimi’s creation of a joint venture with the Scientific and Technical Center for Building (CSTB) to accelerate the development of Kroqi, a platform for exchanges among construction professionals.

Art and Biotechnology

The man has a propensity for juggling multiple projects simultaneously. Proof? The startup studio Adventures, which he founded in 2010 and named after his initials, now counts seven companies. Wimi, of course. But also the consulting firm WMI, the biotechnology research lab GEG Tech, the digital art gallery uArt, the professional knowledge marketplace Eloquens. Not to mention the Canadian incubator BXVentures, and the training center Alte Academia. A group employing 70 people, with Wimi as its flagship, boasting 50 employees and 5 million euros in revenue.

His brain operates at 200 km/h, so he can’t be content with just one subject,” assesses his coach, Patrick Chassagne, co-founder of Melcion, Chassagne & Cie, adding that “he’s a fan of short-term decision-making but long-term strategy.” Duboscq describes himself as a “parallel entrepreneur rather than a serial entrepreneur,” though he didn’t initially take on that role.

The son of an executive at Balmain, a brand whose silk ties he still sports, this eldest of three children, born in Rouen, attended Ensiie and earned a postgraduate degree from HEC. After his military service “leading a cavalry commando in Saumur and a tank platoon in Germany,” he cut his teeth at Procter & Gamble before joining BCG, in London and then Paris.

At the turn of the 21st century, he was part of the first wave of executives from large companies turning their backs on “the prestigious business card and good salary” to embrace entrepreneurship. For him, this started with Wappup, a mobile internet service provider that won its lawsuit against France Télécom for “abuse of dominant position.” This was followed by the consulting firm WMI, the first building block of the series of startups now united under the holding company Adventures.

In Antoine Duboscq’s view, “French tech is like the Rafale, an export product developed thanks to the quality of French engineers.” Indeed, on the walls of his Paris office, this private pilot has hung several photos of propellers and cockpits. “But I no longer fly since I have a large family,” says this father of six children. Among them, young essayist Maxime Duboscq is the author of “Dear Professors, Help Yourselves Succeed,” a student’s perspective on how to captivate a class.

Besides his son’s book, his bedside table also holds the two volumes of “Harvests and Sowings” by Alexandre Grothendieck, a French mathematician with whom he shares the belief that “the fear of not succeeding is the primary barrier to innovation.