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Meeting our success stories / Interview with Thomas Landemaine, CEO of Yvivre

Information updated on 27/02/20

“Montpellier is a very dynamic metropolis in terms of real estate, one that also supports innovative projects with its business assistance structures, including Montpellier BIC.”

Thomas Landemaine Yvivre©Camille Sonally

Thomas Landemaine, Yvivre ©Camille Sonally

Incubated at the Montpellier BIC facility, Yvivre is revolutionizing shared living with its digital platform launched in November 2019. The solution enables future owners to custom design their home and co-property space at a lower cost by exchanging information throughout the planning process.

The first program will be completed in 2022, with “So Wood”, a low-carbon footprint building located in Montpellier’s Port-Marianne-République district. In the meantime, the company and its five employees are already working on other projects in the Montpellier Métropole area, Bordeaux, and Paris region.

Why did you choose Montpellier?

Above all, my heart is in Montpellier. I was born here. After studying at the school of architecture in Paris-Malaquais, I had an opportunity to continue my route in North America. But when I decided to create my own architecture firm, I preferred to come back to this area that I know well and to which I am firmly attached. In addition, Montpellier is a very dynamic metropolis in terms of real estate. One that also supports innovative projects with its business assistance structures, including Montpellier BIC. The ecosystem here makes it easier to exchange ideas – whether with elected officials, decision-makers, or companies – and therefore to develop projects. Montpellier Métropole also benefits from a strategic geographical location in the heart of the Mediterranean area, and it’s only about three hours to Paris by train.

How did Montpellier BIC and its teams contribute to your success?

It’s no coincidence that Yvivre made the decision to join Montpellier BIC six months after it was created. Snapkin, a company founded by one of our partners, Jérémy Guillaume, had already been successfully incubated there. Since startups have to deal with specific funding issues and legal frameworks, Montpellier BIC’s help is quite valuable. Their teams assisted us with training from beginning to end, introducing us to business networks, and helped us seek solutions and funding that resulted in subsidies from the Occitanie Region, Bpifrance, and Banque Populaire. They also taught us how to ask ourselves about our own concept, questioning it and presenting it, and giving us the chance to be involved with other entrepreneurs to avoid working in isolation.

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs who want to start a company?

To get started with entrepreneurship, you need enthusiasm, beliefs, and team spirit. Founders often feel that they must face their many challenges alone. It is important for them to learn how to surround themselves with the right people, share ideas, and become part of their ecosystem. Originating in Montpellier, the French PropTech movement is a perfect example: by enabling startups to join forces, PropTech provides additional energy to help them drive their projects forward.

How do you envision the innovative company of tomorrow in Montpellier?

I see it as a company that opens itself to other worlds, other professions than its own, working with other companies rather than separately in order to find synergies likely to help develop optimal solutions. One day, we would like Yvivre to set up its offices in a collaborative workspace, rich with collective energy, such as Montpellier’s Tropisme Hall or Innovation Hall. We are just one gear in the machine that produces housing: startups can join our project by bringing complementary ideas to meet the major challenges of tomorrow in terms of climate change, urban density, and living together.

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