What if its cover was the solution that all surfers dream of? Corentin François wants to believe it. At 22 years old, the Ploemeurois has just created AvelBag and is about to market a shock-resistant surf bag. An innovative product whose “technology is inspired by the medical field and first aid”.
A working prototype has already emerged. “I was able to test it, it’s really encouraging”. The product has, according to him, a “great adaptive rigidity. It’s light and it avoids all other protections. The cover is sufficient in itself ”. The trademark is registered, the patent should follow. Corentin François explains “being in the pre-launch and marketing phase”. This is expected at the beginning of 2022. History in particular to catch the market of surfers who go abroad to indulge their passion.
As for the name, AvelBag, it associates two terms: the wind (avel in Breton), which evokes “the technology which uses the air” and bag (bag in English), which “defines my project and gives it its international side” .
Corentin François has been surfing for ten years, frequenting the local spots of Guidel, Kerou (Clohars-Carnoët) or La Torche (Plomeur). But not only. He sometimes goes abroad for his passion. This is where the idea was born. “It all started with an observation: when we transport our boards, especially by plane, we find them regularly damaged”.
The market study, carried out in 2020, shows that 45% of surfers have experienced inconvenience. He too had the bitter experience of it. “It creates a lot of frustration and stress.”
Graduated from a DUT in mechanical engineering and a boating and yachting trades license, the student-entrepreneur has just completed a nine-month training course as part of the HEC Challenge plus program, which enables those with innovative projects to prepare their business creation. “I am more of a technical and scientific profile”. This support has enabled him to develop his “commercial fiber” and to “feel more legitimate, more credible” to defend his project.
2021 winner of the Pépite prize
The young Ploemeurois is supported by the Jean Guyomarc’h Foundation, one of the objectives of which is to promote original initiatives in the interest of Brittany, in order to create jobs there. A grant of € 3,500 enabled him to finance the prototype and register his trademark. For a few days now, he has been one of the Breton winners of the Pépite prize (student centers for innovation, transfer and entrepreneurship), carried since 2014 by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. , to develop an entrepreneurial culture among students and young graduates. “I received a financial aid of 2000 €”.
Bicycles, musical instruments
With his first prototype, Corentin François was able to validate the mechanical aspect, the design. “I still have a bit of hardware to add”. A second prototype should soon allow surfers to test the product. “I will orient myself towards French surf ambassadors”. Corentin François works with a French company specializing in the manufacture of waterproof and inflatable products. “My desire is to work locally”.
After surfing, he plans to extend his invention to other supports in water sports. Bicycles and musical instruments are also in the sights.