Kevin Polizzi et Stéphane Soto
Understanding and taking ownership of tomorrow
Kevin Polizzi and Stéphane Soto have set themselves the challenge of taking over thecamp, an immersive place and emblematic project of French Tech, but which is indebted to the tune of 28 million euros. Their aim is to make it an innovation center representative of the Provençal region.
Par Clotilde Roux – Photographie Christine Criscuolo
Kevin Polizzi, founder of Jaguar Network and representative of the Unitel group, signed the takeover of thecamp in July 2022 and offered its chairmanship to Stéphane Soto. After starting his career in IT, he created Olympic Location in 2009. In 2014 he represented the Aix-Marseille French Tech label and this is when the two men met. Their obvious complicity and complementarity are essential to complete their project of making thecamp an essential key to guaranteeing the region’s transformation.
What is thecamp today?
Kevin Polizzi: It’s a tool that brings the business world together. The project is the same as that of its creator, but has been enriched with a new vision and a more technological approach. Our goal is to welcome public and private organizations to give them access to innovation and trigger their transformation.
Stéphane Soto: Starting from thecamp’s initial tagline of «The smart and sustainable city», we projected ourselves into a context of environmental, climatic and societal issues, whilst adding the technological component. We want to provide answers to today’s challenges by relying on 3 essential pillars: education, sobriety – our ability to consume more wisely and more sustainably – and obviously technologies, with AI, the Internet of Things, the metaverse etc.
How does this work in practice?
K. P: For a few hours or even days, companies enjoy a completely immersive experience: working, thinking, experimenting but also, thanks to our hotel and restaurant services which are open to all, eating, sleeping or playing sports!
S. S: We propose to those who create value, to share it and spread it in the region. After only 8 months of managing the transition, incoming requests and giving a new path to thecamp, this spring we will offer training programs and manufacturing laboratories.
What are these FabLabs?
K. P: These are workshops whose study programme provides solutions that can be implemented in the field. Thanks to a hundred connected objects, we will experiment with 3 themes: smart construction, decarbonization and 5g. A business leader who enters the FabLab must leave having solved 3 to 4 problems. He will somehow be the «doctor for the twenty-first century».
S. S: These study programmes will then be implemented in companies and schools but also in phytosanitary companies and among farmers etc. Innovation is about bringing people together to do community business.
You are two entrepreneurs, is thecamp a new entrepreneurial project?
S. S: No, we see it as a mission of general interest. Thecamp deserves to be sustainable and is an incomparable place in the eyes of the world.
K. P: It is general interest project but operated by a private entity to guarantee an ultra-short timescale which is more in line with that of the technology sector. Our role is to centralize value and make it accessible and shared on a better basis.