The startup Graapz has won the “retraining” prize in the Entrepreneurial Ideas Competition, organized by the Paris-Saclay Community’s business creation center in partnership with Essonne Développement.
Alexandre Durand was headed for a career in ecology research when the entrepreneurial bug bit him. With support from the Student Entrepreneur Diploma, he founded Graapz, an eco- and socially responsible redistribution network for unsold fruit and vegetables. Sharing in this venture is Elise Lacave, who has come on board while also studying for her master’s at Université Paris-Sud.
Graapz is a service to redistribute unsold fresh produce. The team provides partner stores with equipment—mainly baskets—to collect their unsold fruit and vegetables. These baskets are then sold through very affordable subscriptions (€20/month for a weekly 3kg basket, i.e., 4 baskets/month). It’s an effective way to combat food wastage while saving money.
Graapz is being incubated at the Social Factory and the business is currently in a trial phase, with fruit and vegetable baskets on offer at Proto204 on the Université Paris-Sud campus in Bures-sur-Yvette. 2017 promises to be a good season with new distribution points planned in central Paris-Saclay, in Paris and throughout the greater Paris region.
The “retraining” prize in the Entrepreneurial Ideas Competition means Alexandre and Elise will receive tailor-made support to get Graapz up and running. For six months, they also have free access to a co-working space or an office in one of the Paris-Saclay incubators. The prize also includes 2,000 euros and a digital tablet.
The Paris-Saclay Community’s business creation center holds the competition, in partnership with Essonne Développement, to promote the creation of new businesses and jobs in the region. Five projects were selected by a panel of business leaders, startup support agencies, funders and local elected officials.