They make the Université de Lyon: meet Jérémy Argusa

On The May 4, 2021

The UdL met with Jérémy Argusa, a young doctor who completed his CIFRE thesis in the L-VIS laboratory working with the rugby coaches’ union in December 2020. Jérémy was a project leader during the first edition of the Innovation Academy, a hands-on training program organized by the UdL’s doctoral studies department based on creating value and innovation.

What is your background?

I suppose what I am doing today began during the second year of my Master’s degree at the University of Créteil, where I worked with the Massy professional rugby team to complete my dissertation on the difficulties coaches face in training players to make decisions. My findings led me to work on a thesis with the professional rugby coaches’ union (TECH XV). The aim of my thesis was to create a serious game that would help train players in decision-making. The main challenge was figuring out how to design this serious game. The L-VIS laboratory contacted the SATT PULSALYS to help me find a service provider and start developing the product, but we encountered a number of administrative difficulties regarding the CIFRE thesis. PULSALYS then suggested that I contact the Innovation Academy, which had been set up by the Université de Lyon and the SATT, to help me build a team to work on my project.

Can you tell us a bit about your time at the Innovation Academy?

First, I had to pitch my project in order to build a team. I worked with three teammates during the program. I became good friends with two of them (Sabina Tartea and Tristan Salvadori), which naturally led us to team up. It’s funny; if the business plan we made back then had worked out, we would be rich by now! I have very fond memories of the Academy. It was a new adventure for me with a wide range of training modules. Working as a team was a good way to discover each other's skills and to see how we could work together in the future. I also gained a lot from working with the instructors and other participants. I guess one might think of the Innovation Academy as a mini incubator for beginners. It encourages you to think about how marketable your innovations really are. This training program took us out of our comfort zone: that is, out of our laboratories.

So what’s next?

The project has gone through some changes since we left the Academy. We have been through a number of partners and advisors, since it was difficult to get the right support for our project. I also joined the Student Entrepreneur Diploma, but the course was too demanding given my thesis, my professional activities and my personal commitment as a coach at the Rilleux-la-Pape club. We also entered the Lyon Start-up competition and made it to finals. It was a very exciting experience for us as we had to keep thinking ahead to meet the requirements of the program.

Since defending my thesis and that of one of my partners, we have returned to Manufactory. We are now working on a different solution than the one we came up with at the beginning of this adventure, using our newfound entrepreneurial spirit and scientific thinking. I am now working as a rugby coach at the Stade Métropolitain. I think this journey has made us realize that entrepreneurship is nothing like the academic world. As its name suggests, it requires continuous involvement, a sense of commitment and the ability to surround yourself with people you can trust. If I could go back and do it all over again, I don't think I would develop our “MaHi” project in quite the same way.

In addition to this project, Tristan, Sabina and I have been involved in several challenges and competitions that have given us the opportunity to test and develop other ideas such as “Spark20”, an online platform to facilitate teaching through role-playing games that encourage student-professor interactions (with the help of Lucie Denis), or “advertgames” designed in collaboration with students from the Université Lumière Lyon 2’s Gamagora program (KéMu). We will be working with a computer graphics intern and an IT development provider in the next few weeks to help us move forward with our projects. These side projects are inspired by the problems we face on a daily basis and the needs of our partners. We need to make the most of every opportunity! In my opinion, three years as an entrepreneur is just enough time to find your feet. Entrepreneurship can be very exciting and is a real opportunity to break away from what we are used to. Over the next few weeks, we will be testing our solution with our main partners and then launching our project: “MaHi, the first virtual reality serious game to train rugby players in decision making”.