Eric Larchevêque (Ledger): “Cryptocurrencies represent a revolution as important as the birth of the Internet”

Eric Larchevêque, co – founder of General ledger (15th French unicorn, valued at 1.5 billion euros), launches Algosup, a computer school that trains developers in 5 years. He also participates in the show Who wants to be my partner ? (M6), a ” a great opportunity to show entrepreneurship in prime time with a positive light “.

How did you become an entrepreneur?

Eric Larchevêque: When I was a student, I already wanted to chart my own path, even though it wasn’t very popular in 1995, when there was no talk of startups. In my class we were only 2 out of 120 or 130 to start a business, today it would be half. For me, it was a direct call. I don’t think we can say we were “born” that way, but in a way, we’re “wired” with a certain unconsciousness, acceptance of risk-taking. It is not an easy path compared to other simpler alternatives. A number of qualities, even defects are clearly needed.

What qualities are needed?

EL: Among the mandatory qualities, I will mention resilience, because entrepreneurship is difficult, it is a permanent emotional uplift, where you constantly put out fires, but you need to be able to manage it. The word resilience is a good summary of the main qualities you need to have.

Did you have financial capacity when you started?

EL: As for the initial investment, even though it was not an industry, I had to look for money. Personally, I studied microelectronics, and to get started on the internet, at that time, I needed a capital of 50,000 francs. I charged him during my studies as a freelancer for an electronics magazine and I charged royalties for a technical book I had written.

you opened Coinhousecryptocurrency exchange platform, and continuously, General ledger and its security solution for cryptocurrencies, how do you feel about the future of this new virtual currency market?

EL: It’s a world I’ve known since 2013 and I have a very positive view of cryptocurrencies. In my opinion, this is a revolution as important as the birth of the Internet. In reality, blockchain and bitcoin involve two revolutions. The first is that it is possible to exchange securities natively on the Internet without a trusted third party, thus creating a fully decentralized financial system. The second is to redefine the currency, which is no longer issued by a central bank, but by an algorithm.

Therefore, this currency is of a different nature. This combination produces a very interesting cocktail, the impact of which will be lasting. I look forward to dedicating the next few years of my life to this technology. Create Coinhouse, I immersed myself in this universe and met a maximum of people who evolved in it. This allowed the creation of General ledger.

But is there a great deal of mistrust in these values?

EL: Indeed, the same thing happened during the birth of the internet, where only the dangers, pornography, terrorism were mentioned … The phenomenon is identical for blockchain and bitcoin, but things have already changed since 2015-2016 , the public is more educated. , psychosis is lower, decreases. However, the general public will use these systems without even knowing it, through applications or games. For example, many artists enter this market and monetize their work through “NFT”, without really knowing how it works in detail.

Create alone or in partnership, what is your preference?

EL: To be successful, you need partners. Personally, when I develop an idea, I want to find partners to share it with. So I just created Prices, and I went to all the entrepreneurial snacks, start-up weekends, etc., where I finally met Thomas France, who became my partner. It is also in General ledger, where we are 8 co-founders, each with specific responsibilities. It’s also quite an art to combine this, because partners don’t have to shoot in the legs “It’s complicated, there’s no recipe, it’s a bit like getting married.

It is life, instinct and taking advantage of daily opportunities. In 1996, for my first club, I went to Fnac to buy business start-up books, the first one was called ” LLC “It doesn’t make you dream, but the first sentence was” To know how to lead is to know how to surround oneself That phrase defined my career as an entrepreneur.

Is knowing how to surround oneself also knowing how to delegate?

EL: Absolutely. We have become a great company because we have managed to find people with great know-how. In the house of General ledger, I went from 100% to about 15% of the capital, it’s the price of success, you have to learn to let go, to trust. It’s one of the keys to success, not clinging to everything, not having control over everything. Sometimes it is necessary at the beginning, but it is necessary to learn to delegate, to give rise to new talents and, above all, to give confidence from the beginning, not after a few years. When you hire a super talent, dear, what’s the point of giving him actions and then micromanaging him?

You are a shareholder and a member of the board of directors of General ledgerbut your main activity today is business angel?

EL: Yes, this is my main activity. I drive it every day, without a specific goal, because it’s more of a hobby than a job. I look at files, I manage the shares. I have no agenda, I take the time to live. I’m going to Paris, but my center of gravity has changed. Sologne is my haven of peace.

How did you start the adventure? Who wants to be my partner? »

EL: I was not approached at first, the casting began in 2018 and 2019, looking for profiles with notoriety, which was not my case. I set foot in the door, because I knew this American show and I liked its concept. This show was an opportunity for me, because I’m a fan of all trades, but the topics covered in the show are very diverse, I’m sure I approached sectors radically different from what I do. I managed to convince the production and started as a “substitute” in season 1 “. Who wants to be my partner? it’s a great opportunity to show entrepreneurship at peak audience time in a positive perspective, which is important to me.

I loved the experience, the filming, and I invested in following closely the companies I was involved in. I’m an “initiator” in season 2, and my wish has come true, because I’m having a lot of fun getting together, following the candidates, and discovering other worlds. This gives a good image of the entrepreneur who, I hope, creates vocations. However, talking about money and heads on television at prime time was not easy. Nicolas de Tavernost really led the project. There will be a season 3 and many more I hope entrepreneurship has a special place in the heart of the French.

Your news is also that ofAlgosup. Can you tell us more?

EL: This is a computer school that trains developers in 5 years through a 100% English course, a project where I am associated with Éric Jeannin. This started from a clear and alarming observation, there are not enough developers in France, and this will increase because the needs increase, recruitment is difficult, we see it in General ledger. The answer is, therefore, the creation of additional schools. Our idea is to bet on profiles of high school graduates who are not considered developers. They simply have to play a video game based on logic and thought in order to validate their mood; a good solution especially for girls who are not necessarily interested in this field.

The approach is to work as close as possible to the world of work, so that the culture shock occurs at school and not when it comes to the company. Beyond software technology, we also work a lot on soft skills, such as knowing how to express ourselves or working as a team. The setting is ideal in Vierzon al Cher, in an old local General ledger. Land is available, we are close to Paris, life there is pleasant, which allows us to have teachers from GAFAM and around the world. Our desire is to create a great European campus, with students from all over Europe. The era is also the revenge of medium-sized cities. Algosup therefore, it is my priority for the next few months.

Did you also create the Eric and Iveta Larchevêque fund?

EL: What is important for the future is the education of the new generations, with the goal of equal opportunities. For now, our action is limited to Vierzon. With the website of General ledger in Vierzon, we noticed a problem ” glass ceiling for local employees, due to English. We have created teachers who go to primary school to learn the language.

Did you play poker professionally for two years, an abandoned passion?

EL: I don’t play poker anymore, but it’s true, I had a semi-professional career with championships during which I learned a lot. Poker and business have things in common, you have to take calculated risks, have confidence in your instincts, know your surroundings, while you have good self-control and, therefore, good management of your emotions. There is a lot of human in poker, a good entrepreneur can be a good player and vice versa.

Interview with Anne Florin

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