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Student turned teacher turned entrepreneur – a road to success

François always had that dream of building his own startup but before giving it a go, he wanted to understand the basics of coding and how to build a MVP to be able to launch the tech product he had in mind.
François was finishing a master degree in business engineering at the Solvay Brussels School and as a side-project during his master degree, he was managing Airbnb rentals for about 10 property owners in Brussels. 
He spent most of his time optimizing listings on Airbnb and biking from apartment to apartment. As it came with lots of administrative burden and organization, he wanted to automate part of the job but he was lacking the technical skills to do so. To fix that, he decided to apply to Le Wagon right after, at least so he could better communicate with developers in the future.

And now, he is going to spill the beans on his journey, from Le Wagon to launching his own company!

What were your ambitions when you decided to apply to Le Wagon's web development bootcamp?

After my thesis in entrepreneurship I have always had that dream of building my own startup. Yet I do not believe in business guys who launch tech products. What I wanted was at least to understand the basics of coding and how to build a MVP so I would be able to create my own tech product.

Learning the basics of coding was a no-brainer to me in 2020. I was sure it would be a good investment, no matter the outcome and whether I would get a business-oriented job or not. There is a trend towards no code tools but without knowledge in software, it is hard to see how to use them and, most importantly, if it will solve your problem. When you are looking to automate things, knowing when to code and when not to code is actually very important and you need to get so coding knowledge to do so. 

Once you joined the bootcamp, what was your favorite part? 

Talking about code, the project was my favorite part. It brings all the concepts together and you start seeing the magic happen. You understand the power of code and the opportunities lying behind it. 

Also, you must build that prototype in a short amount of time so you learn how to prioritize. While it is not a technical skill, it is one that is most essential in my job today!

But aside from all the skills learning, my favorite part was actually the relationships I created at Le Wagon. I would probably not have gotten the chance to build my startup today if I had not met all these interesting people. Through events and the way they teach, they help you build connections that have a positive impact both on your career and personal development.

Your adventure with Le Wagon did not stop when you graduated right? How was it, moving from being a student to being a teacher? 

Being a teacher enables you to keep learning. When you can teach something clearly, that means you have really understood it. It made me realize I had to keep working hard so I could offer the best learning experience to students.
And again, it is a great opportunity to meet new people that have completely different backgrounds. That has a gigantic value to me.

Being a teacher wasn’t the only experience you got after graduating from Le Wagon?

After Le Wagon, I had the chance to land a job as a full-stack developer at Smovin, which is a startup in real estate. This is where I actually learned most of what I know today. Le Wagon is like university. It gives you a strong background so you can learn anything afterwards when landing a job. In my case, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by people that were better than me, by far. So it enabled me to learn a lot.

And so now you decided to go for the entrepreneurial life and co-founded Legacio. Can you tell us more about your startup?

In the context of mourning and inheritance, in Belgium, there is a de facto monopoly situation which is legally unjustified: it is the passage through a notary. We saw an inconsistency here that we wanted to solve and it's is how Legacio was born! 

So with a friend with 7+ years experience in family law, we built a simple way to deal with inheritance, using the right mix of human and technology. 

We take care of all the administrative burden and legal obligations that people face when they lose someone so they can focus on what matters: their family and close ones.

Did you get to put what you’ve learned at Le Wagon to use while founding this startup?

Yes, it helped me build the first version of our plateforme and website. Those skills enable me not to rely on an external organization and so, I could test my ideas at a low cost and quickly. This matters a lot in the first days of a startup.

What are the plans for the future for Legacio? 

We are looking to expand in Flanders and in France, but the focus is on the french-speaking part of Belgium for the moment and on offering the best customer experience we can.

To finish up, some words of advice for anyone attending Le Wagon bootcamp and who want to start their own company afterwards?

I believe attitude matters much more than what you know today. Learning how to code from scratch is hard. So my humble advice for bootcampers would be to stay determined, curious, and hard-working. It will pay off. 

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