Justine Perussel: “Devote 100% to a project to give it every chance of success”

Justine Perussel, 36, co-founded TEMO in December 2018. The start-up markets electric boat motors - made in France, portable and durable - in 32 countries. A success hailed nationally (Be A Boss 2022 winner) but also by boating professionals (DAME Awards 2020, NINA Awards 2019). On the occasion of World Intellectual Property Day, dedicated this year to women, a look back at this exemplary journey.
Justine Perussel: "Devote 100% to a project to give it every chance of success"

Can you tell the genesis of your company?

TEMO is a brand of boat electric motors, made in Pays de la Loire. Light and practical, our range is intended for pleasure craft such as boat tenders, rowing boats, kayaks, dinghies and small sailboats. To date, we have sold 3 engines in 500 countries.

What made you want to start a business?

Three factors: the idea, the person behind the idea and the passion from which this idea emerged. The idea of ​​developing an innovative and unique engine on the market came from my friend and partner Alexandre Seux. We have some complementary characters and skills and are both boaters. The confidence I had in him and in our duo, from the start of the project, was decisive. After having lived 10 years in Germany, where I worked in communication and marketing for the digital and clothing industry in particular, TEMO arrived at the right time to reconnect with my country of origin and the world of boating that I particularly like. I embarked calmly on this entrepreneurial adventure, to quickly become TEMO's first full-time employee and give the project every chance of success.

What obstacles, as a woman or for another reason, have you encountered?

We are engine manufacturers, in an industrial sector, nautical specialists. A very masculine environment. However, I did not feel any particular brake as a woman. As a leader, I have always had a respectful relationship with the people around me.

As an entrepreneur, however, the biggest obstacle was the Covid. From our first fundraiser to the events planned at sea for the launch of our brand, through our first deliveries and the testing of our engine components: the health crisis has turned everything upside down. Our tandem has come out of these pitfalls stronger, to stay on course even better!

What does intellectual property mean to you?

A vast subject that I discovered with TEMO. The question of the innovation protection and intellectual property (IP) as a whole has been quite central for us. We approached the INPI to register our brand in France, in Europe and abroad, but also to protect our patents and our design. Industrial property is an important part of the value of our company.

Within your company, what levers do you activate to reduce inequalities between women and men?

For a year, we have been working on further structure our Corporate Social Responsibility approach. The question of gender inequalities is an inherent part of the reflection and direction that we want to give to TEMO. For the time being, we are 100% equal in our workforce. We are also proud to count among our partners, the incubator axandus, through which a team mainly composed of women, very involved and experienced, assemble our engines. They do remarkable work, close to goldsmithery, which again contrasts with the image of a factory universe that we often imagine to be masculine.

You were the Be A Boss 2022 winner. What do you think of this type of initiative to promote female entrepreneurship?

I was extremely happy that TEMO reaches a very wide audience, and no longer niche, in the competition Be A Boss. Furthermore, I am pleasantly surprised to be approached by many professional groups that support women in their entrepreneurial project. I am thinking in particular of the accompaniment of Move your Box in which I was able to intervene in Nantes or in Entreprendre Network, with whom I participated in a day of raising awareness among college girls. These local or national initiatives promote local exchanges and female solidarity. They are a great way to take flight as leaders.

Which woman, famous or not, has particularly inspired you?

At the risk of sounding cliché, I'm thinking of ma mère, whose course is quite atypical. She raised four children before returning to school at age 40. She graduated and also ran a business. I admire his strength for juggle her life as a woman, her role as a mother and her function as a business leader. She is always in action and continues to fascinate me. I hope to become the same model for my daughters.

TEMO in figures
  • Year established: 2018
  • Workforce: 15
  • Turnover: 1,8M€
  • Brand: 1
  • Patents: 3
  • Designs & models: 2