Ludivine Romary: "We can accomplish what we want, without fear"
Can you tell the genesis of your company?
Since January 2022, MyEli markets elegant and connected jewelry to protect women in case of danger. In one click, our bracelets and necklaces transmit to the five emergency contacts chosen by the user, a pre-recorded text message, accompanied by a GPS position. Secondly, they generate an automatic call to the same recipients. By double-clicking on the connected jewel, the user can also reassure loved ones informing them that it has arrived at its destination. To date, we have sold 2 jewels, mainly in France and Benelux. Our second fundraiser is underway.
What made you want to start a business?
Several factors made me want to embark on the adventure: my master 2 in business school, whose validation was based on an innovative start-up project; THE #Metoo movement who made me want to take part in the feminist fight; and a personal episode traumatic enough to create a feeling of insecurity when I found myself alone in the street. The acts of domestic violence, which skyrocketed during the confinements, opened my eyes to a real need.
What obstacles, as a woman or for another reason, have you encountered?
The first difficulty was to find the partner who mastered the engineering aspect of the project. Indeed, a connected jewel represents about twenty miniaturized components on an electronic card, itself inserted in a precious metal. The second difficulty is indeed toto be a woman in tech. I think I justified myself more than a man. I often had a questionnaire in front of me, I was very often tested.
The third difficulty is related to finances, the sinews of war for a start-up. We needed around 400 euros to get started. To obtain them, I spent a lot of time “rolling out the red carpet” with institutional, banking and shareholder partners.
What does intellectual property mean to you?
Trace the date of creation of an innovation, prove that MyEli is the owner of its technology and its design: these elements come under the intellectual property (IP), essential to protect its product in all its components (technical, marketing, design). And this especially in the particularly complex field of the Internet of Things. Faced with increased competition, the INPI directed me to a CPI firm. This support allows me to adopt a clear and effective IP strategy in France and abroad.
Within your company, what levers do you activate to reduce inequalities between women and men?
The communication of MyEli conveys strong messages around "fearlessness" and the idea that "woman is capable of accomplishing what she wishes, without fear". We are also partners of Defid'Elles, imagined by Christelle Gauzet, winner of Koh Lanta 2008. These raids of 40 km, bring together over two days and three events, about sixty participants, all levels combined. This proves that even without training, we can surpass ourselves, we can achieve it. With MyEli, the same message of encouragement shines through: even without experience, you can start a business in tech.
You were the Be A Boss 2021 winner. What do you think of this type of initiative to promote female entrepreneurship?
I think there is a balance to be found between these events dedicated to women, more and more numerous, and which constitute a solution to put themselves forward, and those which reward above all the project, whatever the gender of the person who carries it. I am thinking in particular of CES Las Vegas 2022, during which MyEli won an innovation prize against 15 other start-ups in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. This recognition, in both cases, makes us extremely proud.
Which woman, famous or not, has particularly inspired you?
Without hesitation Justine hutteau, founder of Breathe, a brand of solid cosmetics. We are from the same generation of entrepreneurs and launched our BtoC project, aimed at women, at the same age. I really admire his marketing strategy. In addition, MyEli jewelry bears the first names of great ladies of our world : Simone (de Beauvoir and Veil), Rosa (Parks), Olympe (de Gouges), etc.
- Year established: 2021
- Workforce: 6
- Turnover: 200K€
- Brands: 2
- Soleau envelopes: 2
- Designs & models: 3