Télé Monaco Magazine - TMM
Find out more about Camille Lopez and the history of HY-Plug, through the creation of the new company in Monaco.
"The cultural plurality of the Principality, its international dimension and its vision of entrepreneurship have always attracted me", Camille Lopez.
Thank you to Télé Monaco Magazine for this article which reflects us well!
"Founder of HY-Plug, a consulting firm for innovative projects in the yachting industry, the determined Camille Lopez recently won the government the government's prize in the Young Economic Chamber of Monaco's Business Creation Contest (CCE) Chambre Économique de Monaco.
Could you tell us a few words about your professional background?
Originally from the Var region, after obtaining my baccalaureate, I continued my studies by entering a DUT in Marketing Techniques. During this training, I did several internships in companies several internships in companies in the automotive sector. I started in a dealership, at Volkswagen, before continuing at Citroën and DS Automobiles. Beyond all the facets of the sales consultant's job, these experiences allowed me to learn about events, marketing, etc. I then went on to complete a Master 1 "International Trade & Logistics" at KEDGE Business School in Marseille. After that, I realized that I was missing English. So I took advantage of a gap year to move to London. This allowed me to come back to France bilingual. The next step? Becoming trilingual by speaking Spanish fluently! You then decided to apply to the IUM, why this choice ? Joining the University of Monaco has always been one of my ambitions. It was one of my dreams. The cultural diversity of the Principality, its international dimension and its vision of entrepreneurship have always attracted me. I have the impression that here, in terms of creation and professional ambition, everything becomes possible. So I applied for a Master's degree at IUM and I was lucky enough to be accepted, in addition to obtaining a merit-based scholarship.
How was the idea of HY-Plug born?
The starting point was during my studies in Monaco. I decided to participate in the Mark Challenge, a business plan competition organized by the IUM, and that's where the basic idea of HY-Plug was born. The concept brings together all my interests: engines, boats, new technologies and environmental values. Since I was a little girl, I have been going out to sea with my father, I love nature and since childhood, my parents have made me aware of the importance of acting in an eco-responsible way. From all this, I realized a first business plan. The idea was to provide a consulting service, to accompany innovative projects in the harbor world, and more broadly the yachting industry. And I had the honor of winning the "Sustainability Special Award" and the "Yachting Special Award" for the 2021 edition. I have a competitive spirit, so I decided not to stop there. That same year, I applied to the Monaco Ocean Protection Challenge (MOPC) of the Oceanographic Museum, a competition rewarding the best business plan presenting new concepts and economic models with a positive and measurable environmental impact on the ocean. I won in the "student" category.
Did all these awards reinforce your desire to launch Hy-Plug?
Yes, it did. I was convinced that my company's ambitions were well-founded. So I created the company in France, in May 2021. But after that, I didn't start by canvassing customers. I wanted to do things differently. I first focused on the market, the suppliers and the technologies. I wanted to understand everything, to master my subject perfectly in order to have concrete answers to give, the day I was going to start prospecting. During this period, I participated in various yacht shows, conferences and other meetings focused on biofuels, green energy, new technologies... This is our strength, we are aware of the current events in all these sectors. And we become a link between them. And it is finally in January 2022 that I started prospecting, in a very targeted way. My very first client was SMEG Monaco. I have to say that since the beginning, I have received an incredible support from the Monegasque institutions and the yachting industry.
How did you find out about the Concours de Création d'Entreprise (CCE)?
As I said, I have a competitive spirit. After winning the two most reputable business plan competitions in Monaco, I continued to learn about the different competitions I could apply for and I discovered the JCEM. At that time, my project was too new. So I gave myself time to think about it and I applied for this 27th edition. Winning this competition was a little professional dream, so I gave it my all. From the presentation file to the presentation in front of the jury, I wanted everything to be perfect and documented in every detail. I therefore carried out simulations adapted to the Principality, by requesting banking costs from a Monegasque bank, by exchanging with a Monaco accountant, or by recalculating my projections by taking into account the parameters of the country such as the domiciliation, for example.
And you also won the Government Award...
Yes, it's quite incredible. From the beginning, I wanted to set up HY-Plug in Monaco, but the question was when. I didn't want to do it without having the necessary funds. This prize and the 40,000 euro endowment that came with it allowed me to speed things up. I plan to use this money to finance my travels, invest in a marketing strategy and develop a team, eventually.
Will HY-Plug France continue?
Yes, the idea is to keep the two entities, French and Monegasque. HY-Plug France will act on the port aspect, while HY-Plug Monaco will be dedicated to the yachting industry. I also plan to delegate some activities, to develop a team, while keeping the control on the different developments in order to guarantee a coherence and a clear line."