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Tuesday 11 March 2014

Master in European Business (MEB): "I never thought I had an entrepreneurial mindset before the MEB!"

The Success Story of Caroline Lamaud (MEB 2012 - Paris / London track), co-founder of Anaxago, the largest crowdfunding platform in France launched in 2012


What is your previous background, and why did you join the Master in European Business (MEB) at ESCP Europe?

Before the MEB, I studied Finance at University Paris Dauphine, France and EBS Universität für Wirtschafts und Rechts, Germany.

I had previously worked in controlling, but my first true working experience was in private banking at Indosuez Private Banking, a Credit Agricole entity. After this I decided to complete my education with a more business-oriented master; I felt like I had spent enough time on Finance and wanted to try something else. I wanted to learn from professionals, teachers with real company experience who would open my mind to other sectors.


You’ve gone on to co-run your own company, Anaxago, since completing the MEB. Did you have already the idea for this before you joined the programme?

I actually never thought I had an entrepreneurial mindset before the MEB! I met my partners, François Carbone and Joachim Dupont at Dauphine, where we studied together; and when they launched Anaxago in 2012, they asked me to work with them as a third partner.

When my studies were over, I worked for Christian Dior Couture in their Watches and Jewelry Division. I was doing operational marketing, a brand new area for me. This experience was probably the richest I’d had at this point within a big company.

However, I decided to give the possibility of a new company a shot and started to work full time for Anaxago, and I am now in charge of marketing and communication therein. I manage the communication of each project, but the job also includes the wider spectrum of building a strong brand image for our company, public relations, and building awareness about crowdfunding in general.

Anaxago is dedicated to funding innovative companies with great potential. Via Anaxago, private investors can invest a minimum of €1,000 in the company of their choice. They become shareholders and a part of an incredible We raised €3 millions  in 2013, funding 15 companies. Hopefully 2014 will be a great year: we plan on doubling the funds raised and the number of companies financed.


How has your time studying the MEB helped you in your current professional life?

Studying at ESCP Europe helped me figure out to do in-depth work on a wide range of subjects at the same time.

ESCP Europe has also been really supportive since the launch of Anaxago, enabling me to work with them on different projects and upcoming contests. For instance, we launched a company consultancy project on crowdfunding with the MEB students spending their first semester at the London campus in September 2013. Tutored by Professor Terence Tse, the project’s results were presented to the European Commission of Crowdfunding in February 2014. A similar presentation will be held at the European Parliament in early April 2014.

Being backed by ESCP Europe where I only spent a year really meant the world to me!


In your opinion, what is the most important thing you need when making the decision to start a business?

When you start your business you need to make sure that you can sustain it in the long run. Overnight success with startups is very rare - it can take a long time to go there, with late nights at work and a lot of pressure. You should make sure that you are patient enough to wait for success to happen without being discouraged along the way.

You also need to have a focused, rational team alongside you. Be optimistic about your project’s potential, but not to the point where you cannot recognise mistakes you might make along the way!

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