Portrait | Entrepreneurship / Innovation

They make the Université de Lyon: meet Cyprien Lefebvre

On The May 21, 2019

Meet Cyprien Lefebvre, Co-founder of WeeeFund, a project incubated by Beelys.

Please introduce yourself in a few words.

As part of my profound commitment to social and environmental causes, I took a sabbatical year during my mechanical engineering studies at the École nationale d’ingénieurs de Saint-Étienne (ENISE) to travel to Germany and give meaning to my career aspirations.

When I returned to school, I transferred to the École Centrale de Lyon to study entrepreneurship. I have now become the co-founder of WeeeFund, an organization that was incubated by Beelys (Boost the Spirit of Entrepreneurship in Lyon and Saint-Étienne).

What did you learn from the Université de Lyon’s Student-Entrepreneur Diploma (D2E) during the launch of WeeeFund?

During Beelys’ D2E incubation program, I was given full, personalized support by two mentors, one from the academic world, and one from the professional world. The high-quality educational program and workshops are a major advantage of the program. When I joined Beelys, my first goal was to test WeeeFund’s business model by conducting a pilot project with a patron client. I met my goal thanks to Visiativ.

In addition to providing a community of entrepreneurs, Beelys offered to house my organization within its premises. This is a major benefit for a student-entrepreneur. I very much appreciated the advice I received about striking a balance between my personal life and my career.

The Beelys team was very available to help me turn my idea into concrete actions, move my project forward and implement it. After this experience, I decided to continue the adventure by taking part in the JEA program (Accelerated Young Companies).

WeeeFund was officially launched this year. What are the ambitions of this innovative, responsible startup?

WeeeFund is an organization that helps companies commit to citizen action against the digital divide and electronic waste, by supporting digital education projects within socio-educational organizations and reusing their computers.

Its approach is to offer free support in the three “e”s in its name, WeeeFund, to schools: electronic materials, digital education, and computer maintenance (ndt: in French, “entretien”). The project is innovative as it depends on companies’ global commitment to offering financial, human resources and material investments (with used computers).

In March, our first client, the Visiativ company, agreed to support our project. In November, the Segeco François Gayte Foundation joined us.

Our ambition by the end of 2019 is to set up about ten similar computer rooms throughout the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. We would also like to expand the WeeeFund team by recruiting community service volunteers and interns, with the aim to offer a full-time position in the medium term.