Newsletter subscription
Log in

Portrait: Georges Klenkle, KEDGE Alumnus and successful entrepreneur! 

Interview with Georges Klenkle, KEDGE graduate (class of 1995), member of the KEDGE foundation since 2010 and co-founder of Degetel, Eugeka, and more recently Freemium Play.

Georges Klenkle graduated from  KEDGE Business School’s Grande Ecole Programme and 1995 and has been a member of the KEDGE Foundation since 2010. 

With more than 25 years of significant experience in the world of entrepreneurship, this KEDGE alumnus new technologies enthusiast and expert in industrial and information technologies, services, user experience, e-commerce, mobile apps, and digital strategy.


As a former student of KEDGE, what memories do you have of the school, and which ones have shaped you? 

I can’t tell you how enriching my time as a student at KEDGE was. Other than the ultra-favourable setting the school offered (reputation, the excellence of the professors, geographical location, student life where anything was possible)  the ease AND necessity of working as a team brought me a lot.  That was when I understood the importance and strength of a network, which is a necessary complement to working on yourself.  As I was shy at heart, I forced myself to lead several events, including the election campaign for the student office and, for three years, I shared a flat with five other Kedgers, some of whom were from other countries. This cohabitation was often the epicentre of many student parties.

You graduated from KEDGE in 1995.  Would you tell us about your path since you left school, and particularly about the company you created in 1999 and managed for more than 20 years?

 Having rubbed elbows with many European students while in school, it was quite natural for me to begin my career in Germany. I worked there for three years, then returned to France to work for several ESNs (enterprise social networks) in France, including Sopra-Steria and CapGemini. That’s when I learned that computer science is cyclical, especially in terms of technology. At the end of 1999, I saw the opportunities arising out of the "blue ocean" of the Internet, whose vast expanse had been largely underestimated by the major IT firms. So, at the age of 26, I created Degetel, a computer consulting and engineering company 100% dedicated to the Web 1.0. I am very proud to have signed, launched, and developed many prestigious websites, such,, Le Ministère des Dom-Tom (I was born on Reunion Island), and 

Next, I was determined to pursue the (r)evolutions of the internet. Through companies I created, I worked on developing mobile applications from 2004; telecommunications/network convergence in 2008; social networks in 2012; sustainable development in 2013 (through sponsorship); the Internet of Things in 2014; e-Health in 2015; and artificial intelligence in 2017.

After that,  worked on developing Degetel internationally by creating subsidies in Belgium and Portugal, bringing the company up to nearly 500 consultants and a turnover of 47 million euros in 2019.

At the beginning of 2020, you handed Degetal over to the Technology and Strategy Group, a specialist in the industrial engineering sector. Why? 

There are several reasons why I chose an actor in the industrial engineering sector. Firstly, I believe in blurring the lines between the digital and industrial worlds, and in converging towards what is called Industry 4.0. One of the latest examples is represented by CapGemini’s acquisition of  Altran. Secondly, handing it over is was justifiable in that we were able to create an internal top management team that would make it easier to pass on the business to a buyer. Finally, after 21 years in the same company, it was becoming harder and harder to continually reinvent it. A new start was therefore in order! 

Tell us about Eugeka, a private investment fund in the new technologies sector that you founded in 2005. What is its mission and how do you join?

Eugeka was born from the concept that an idea is not everything, the execution is what’s most important. As I had provided support to engineers and salespeople throughout my career, many of whom have created businesses, it made sense to be able to provide them with financial and other support throughout the entire life cycle of a start-up - from its creation to its development (at pivotal points of course), including to potential transfers to a producer. 


It’s easy to apply.   starts with an email to, followed by meeting with our teams.


The fact that Eugeka is a private funder does not impose a time limit on investment, which makes my associates freer in their development. Eugeka's mantra is to provide permanent assistance to new start-ups and creators seeking to disrupt their environment. For example, Eugeka has co-created the Bordeaux start-up, FreemiumPlay, with Nicolas Yvelin, also a KEDGE graduate. FreemiumPlay is the 1st gift e-card provider solely dedicated to digital entertainment - THE greatest gift idea to spread happiness while sticking to preventative measures.  FreemiumPlay has nearly 40 partners including premium brands (including OCS, Deezer, Playstation, Xbox, Strava, and others), and more than 50 B2B customers for shared services centres, fidelity programmes, incentives, HR programmes, brand activations, etc.


To continue the more than 1000% growth it’s experienced over the last three years, FreemiumPlay is looking to recruit between 5 and 10 new talents.  To apply, send an email to


Your career has already been extremely successful.  What are your development goals for the future?

I often say that we are at the beginning of the revolution of the Internet. First, there is a lot left to do, in technologies as well as applications.  In particular in e-health, blockchains, quantitative IT, and artificial intelligence. You can also say that we are at the start of an industrial revolution, with wealth creation first captured by a few actors - the happy few - before becoming widespread. We saw this with GAFAM, NATU and other BATX, but now other actors will emerge, and there will be many, many more. So much the better!

 So for now my goal is to continue our support for start-ups in the new industrial revolution. 

These last few years, you have become more involved in the network and the school.  How and why?

Essentially, the school taught me the importance of a network, locally, nationally, as well as internationally. 

Both recently and several years ago, I hosted the KEDGE alumni branch in Paris. After that, I was appointed to the KEDGE Foundation, within the college of donors, for having contributed to several projects by providing skills-based sponsorship. I’m also a member of the Strategic Entrepreneurship Committee. Lastly, along with Jean-Emmanuel Vernay & Christophe Montague, I run the KEDGE Business Angels Club, started by Quentin Dumontet. 

I think the desire to share is in my DNA, which is where my appetite for helping young companies with their development phase comes from. I especially find it very rewarding to talk to the students and graduates of KEDGE.

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs who would like to create a start-up? What are the keys to success? Do you have the soul of an entrepreneur? 

I set up my first company when I was 22, just out of KEDGE. I only had one client at the time, so I decided to return to the world of employment to gain more skills. Then, at the age of 26, I tried to start two companies at the same of which the only one materialised as Degetel.

I also created several subsidiaries within Degetel itself based on what was needed or geographical areas. The lesson I have learned out of that is that there is no set time to get into entrepreneurship. If an activity isn’t working out, you don’t have to persist.  You also need to continually adjust what you offer to adapt to the current markets. Finally, knowing how to surround yourself with the right people is a key factor for success.



0 Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment.

No comment