Baron, 52 Entertainment, Chance and Socaps… winners of the Entrepreneur Award in the North region, Success Story

The Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for the North region were awarded to the finalists on Tuesday, October 5. In the Entrepreneur category, the jury rewarded Franck Duriez, and his associates, Corinne Devroux, Caroline Lemaire and Salvatore Spatafora, who took over VPciste Blancheporte in 2016. In the Start-up category, honors went to the co-founders of Agritech Jungle, Gilles Dreyfus and Nicolas Seguy.

Four other winning companies were designated, in the categories of family business, Born global start-up, social commitment and Jury’s favorite.

Philippe and Stéphanie Baron (Baron group): industrial filiation

This industrial SME born in Calais in 1983 is the work of a lifetime, that of the founder Philippe Baron, 66 years old today. The eponymous group designs and produces special machines and production lines. It has nearly 420 employees at 14 sites in France and achieved a turnover of 48.2 million euros in 2020.

The entrepreneur is an autodidact who trained in administration and management (MBA HEC) alongside his job as an entrepreneur. Since 2008, the founder and president has shared his office with his daughter Stéphanie Baron, who also graduated from an HEC Executive MBA, for a long-term transmission. The two leaders are winners of the Entrepreneur’s Prize in the North region in the family business category.

Olivier Comte (52 Entertainment): world leader in online bridge

The adventure started in 2003 with the release of a video game dedicated to bridge, Funbridge published by Goto Games. Over the years, the company, renamed 52 Entertainment and located in Villeneuve-d’Ascq (Nord), has become the world leader in online bridge with more than 4 million players registered on its platforms, 50 employees and a turnover turnover of 56.9 million euros, 30% of which is generated internationally.

52 Entertainment is majority-owned by investors. It has been chaired since 2018 by Olivier Comte, a former member of Infogrames, Bandai Namco and Ankama. The leader who multiplies acquisitions on the American and Chinese markets to develop a global ecosystem on bridge, an online game very popular with players of the 3rd age during the pandemic. Olivier Comte is the winner of the Entrepreneur Prize in the North region in the Born global category.

Ludovic de Gromard and Clémence Coghlan (Chance): coaching to find your way

Chance evolves in the Tech for Good movement. It is a social and solidarity economy company created in Beauvais in 2015 by Ludovic de Gromard and Clémence Coghlan, and whose scientific committee is chaired on an honorary basis by Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus. Its mission is to be a social mobility accelerator by offering 100% online vocational guidance training (coaching).

Chance’s algorithm makes it possible to find business ideas that best match the talents of job seekers. The startup already has more than 40 employees and a community of 150 partner coaches. Its co-founders are winners of the Entrepreneur Prize in the North region in the Social Commitment category.

Thomas Meyer (Socaps): at the service of industry 24/7

The history of Socaps, world leader in industrial maintenance, began in 1984 in Rouen (Seine-Maritime) with the creation by Jean-Louis Meyer of a sales office serving craftsmen. The company will be transformed into a Socaps cooperative in December 1999.

Thomas Meyer, current managing director, joined his father in the company in 2006. The manager worked to develop Socaps internationally with a move upmarket in the provision of technicians for the sectors of pharmaceuticals, food and cosmetics. He also created, in 2007, is a sister business company Socaps Group. Last year, the cooperative structure (370 members and 450 contracting technicians) achieved 40 million euros in turnover, and Socaps Group (37 employees) 23 million euros. 30% of the activity is carried out internationally in 115 countries. Thomas Meyer is the winner of the Entrepreneur’s Prize, Coup de coeur du jury in the North region.

* The Entrepreneur of the Year award is organized by EY, in partnership with HSBC, Verlingue, Steelcase and bpifrance.

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