Etienne Cadoux - President of Ding Esports and co-founder of Agence Y
1) Firstly Étienne, could you explain your path ?
I'm 26 years old and I'm an entrepreneur since 3 years. Following my graduation in 2014, I immediately co-created Agence Y, an audiovisual and digital communication agency with my friend, Anne.
Anne and I had no professional experience in this field - the video for me, the digital for Anne - we learned everything at the same time, I was still learning to use the material on my first shootings!
From October 2015, we took an office at Now Coworking, which opened its first space and is now leader of private coworking in France. Going out of the house, chatting, meeting people, networking, it was very useful for us and the progression was great: 6 recruitments between the end of 2016 & 2017, and a turnover that went from 30k in 2015 to 230k in 2017, with a target of 380k in 2018!
At the end of 2016, I gradually began to withdraw from the audiovisual sector and devoted myself to strategic direction and sales, to finally withdraw from the operational management of the Agency in 2017 and leave this place to Anne, who occupies the role of Agency Manager since the end of December!
I moved to Lille at the end of January to create my new project, Ding Esports!
2) Can you explain what Ding Esports is?
Ding creates multiple projects, all related to esport and add value for both amateurs and novices in the video game world.
The first officially launched project is Ding Studio, the largest multi-purpose webTV studio network dedicated to esport in France. In the idea, these studios are thought to be polyvalent: customizable or usable, welcoming esport and non-esport. From 45 to 100m² depending on the city, the aim is to offer impeccable service, everywhere in France.
We work in partnership with Now Coworking, which hosts our studios, and follow their development plan. Within 5 years, we will be present in the 10 largest cities in France. Outside the cities where Now Coworking will be based, but also internationally, we are open to all the opportunities!
In parallel, we are working with the CCI Grand Lille to create an esportive federation in the Hauts-de-France. Lille has all the assets to become a European capital of Esport! The aim is to promote exchanges between the different actors of the region, hosting and organizing events, but also the installation of companies and startups esport on the territory.
Other projects are in the luggage, we will announce them during 2018 :).
3) What strategy(es) will you deploy with your team to optimize (more) your start-up ?
Initially, we had planned to announce our project in March, but the CCI Grand Lille, through its president Yann Orpin who supports our project, offered us the opportunity to present our project to 700 business leaders to the wishes economic forces of the CCI Grand Lille mid-January. It is an exceptional chance to count the CCI Grand Lille among our partners!
After a one-minute pitch, the local and social spin-offs were very good, we had to urgently create our social media, complete our visual identity, the landing page of the site and so on. Our various initiatives are very well received, we had the chance to quickly meet important players in the region.
Overall, we did in 3 weeks what we planned to do in 6 months. We will stay discreet until the finalization of the design of our studios with our partner. Then we will spend the second, see you in March!
4) You have a very educational approach through Ding Esports, especially with the general public. Why this dynamic?
I am convinced that the development of esport must (also) go through pedagogy. Today's esport is growing at an incredible speed, some have not seen it happen, others trying to catch the wagon.
For the general public, esport needs to be explained, popularized. There is a lot of work to do. When the esport is explained, it generates interest, even admiration, but also, sometimes, misunderstanding (how could I miss this?) Or denial: the unknown makes fear. Esport challenges the world of tomorrow.
I think sport has to serve the esport to foster understanding by drawing parallels, because the model is close. It's a very exciting challenge!
Today's neophyte is the spectator of tomorrow, we see our approach as an opportunity for the esports actors.
5) [PROMO TIME] : What is the role of Agency Y in the Ding Esports project today ?
First, the quick recruitment of Alexandre was possible thanks to the Agency Y which wears the cost of his CDI and my salary the time that the project starts.
The communication is fully managed by the Agency. What's interesting is that in Rouen, nobody is really interested about Esport, unlike Alex and me. The two approaches are complementary, the overall vision is broader. In addition, we can use them as guinea pigs to test our projects!
We are thinking about adapting the expertise of Agence Y to esport. I like to think that competition must be healthy and that alliances allow you to go higher and further. We keep in touch with agencies esports that have welcomed our approach and our structure as a whole. To be continued.
6) You have won the "Now Academy" call for projects, allowing you, among other things, to have a workspace at the Palais de la Bourse in Lille. What, in your opinion, were the strong elements that made you win?
First, it's a great tool for a space like Now Coworking. A WebTV studio fully equipped, customizable, in all spaces in France, it is an additional service
Now Coworking is not a place dedicated to the Esport. However, our spaces are integrated perfectly, our studios have been thought "polyvalent".
Our studios, apart from their "B2B rental" uses, will be used to explain and democratize the esport. We are already receiving messages of encouragement and curiosity, coworkers of entrepreneurs, freelance, individuals, institutions
7) Finally, the Chef's tips : You have created and developed the Y Agency, based in Rouen, which now has 7 employees. What does this experience bring you today at the dawn of the Ding Esports adventure?
When I created Agency Y, I had a lot of ideas, time and willpower, but no professional experience, no setback, no network. Morally, you have to be solid, learn to manage the hazards of everyday life, the lack of cash, the constant feeling of not knowing if we will be able to pay or not at the end of the month. Find customers and build loyalty. Federate your teams, bring them the best possible working conditions.
The slightest error of appreciation and organization can sometimes take on enormous proportions. I think I could have sank a good dozen times. You have to hang on, and it paid off. Agency Y today has fabulous development opportunities, a gold team. I don’t regret the sacrifices that Anne and I have made in the last 3 years to get there!
Today, I have 3 years of experience as a business leader, it is little and huge at the same time. I dread this adventure differently, the financial pressure, the day-to-day management, I have a broader vision of what awaits me, and most importantly, a great communication team that accompanies me to promote the project. This announces only good!
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