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28/06/2021

Interview with Alexandre, KEDGE graduate and founder of Kokoon!

A born entrepreneur, Alexandre Robert (GEP 2018), is the co-founder and CEO of Kokoon - a start-up that offers a personalised rental property hunting service.

Created in 2019, the Kokoon startup has set itself the mission of reinventing and humanising rental property hunting by matching the property hunter (the "Kokooner") with the best possible tenant, in order to find him or her a new home as quickly as possible. Kokoon was founded by President and CEO Lénaïc Boucher, and Alexandre Robert, the Managing Director. A third person was quickly added to this team: Angela Isamat. With her expertise in the sector and her work background, she quickly became a partner and is the Head of Operations. Kokoon has more than 20 employees at the Paris headquarters and more than 180 Kokooners in the 15 largest French cities.

 


INTERVIEW - ALEXANDRE ROBERT 💬

To begin, tell us about what you did before you created Kokoon.

I started my own business as soon as I finished at KEDGE. While still in school, I was in charge of sourcing and the startup acceleration programme of the Galeries Lafayette group for almost two years.

I created the "Accede Aquitaine Entrepreneurs" association when I was at KEDGE, as well as the school's incubator, which provides assistance to student entrepreneurs, helping them create companies, and introducing them to relevant professionals. I was the President of Accede for a year and took part in launching the first "Millésime de la création", which brought together 800 people for a day of workshops, presentations, and competitions on the Bordeaux campus.

Finally, I  attended KEDGE in China for six months as part of my Master 2.

LINKEDIN - ALEXANDRE ROBERT

 

How did the education you received at KEDGE Business School help you become who you are today, and what was it about its teachings helped you develop your business/ project?

The school enabled me to align my career plan with my desires, mainly because of the tailor-made courses and the ability to choose courses by adapting my internship periods. I took courses in finance, entrepreneurship, and business model canvas, which helped a lot when I created Kokoon. What’s more, managing an association of 30 persons prepared me for the management of a company.

 

What are you doing today? What gave you the idea and the desire to do what you’re doing today?

When I was a student, I really struggled to find accommodation in Bordeaux and Paris, and I found the same problem in China too! When I met Lénaïc Boucher, the other co-founder, I found out that he had had the same problem, and he is 20 years older than me! And at the time, he was working as a salesman in the north of France. If two such different people have the same problem, it’s because the problem is systemic.

We decided to create Kokoon to tackle this problem, which affects everyone, especially those who are going through a major life change! There are now 25 of us in our little venture, working in our offices in Paris, and 180 Kokooners (hunters) throughout France.          

KOKOON.FR

If you were to give advice to any KEDGE graduate who wants to do something similar, what would it be?

My advice is very simple: school is not only about classes! It’s absolutely vital to use the community network while at school to increase your skills and build your network! And after you graduate, the Alumni and/or Association networks are real assets - something that is often forgotten in France. You can use the school’s influence to get a job easily or, even better, to start your own business!

 

Why do you think it is important for a school to have a robust alumni network?

The key is to help each other. This network is indispensable for finding the right people to contact and for opening doors! Because of this network, I have found internships, partners, and clients. KEDGE Alumni is obviously what binds us to our school for life.

FIND  OUT MORE

 

 

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DID YOU GET A PROMOTION, OR ARE LAUNCHING A PROJECT OR A START-UP?

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