Pierre-Antoine Roy launched Crafty in 2016. After a pivot from a first business model, Crafty became a SaaS platform to make skills explicits and reachable within a company. In 2017, Pierre-Antoine joined STATION F in the really first batch of the Founders Program. He left STATION F after spending two years on campus and is now the former CEO of Crafty as the startup has since been acquired by Talentsoft.
First of all, can you tell us a little bit more about Crafty and what you’re doing?
Just before STATION F we experienced the acceleration program of NUMA. During this program, we discovered that we needed to pivot for different reasons. At the beginning we created a marketplace where you can find people from a company, allowing them to have side projects with other companies. Those companies can be big corporations, SMB or startups. For example, at this stage we worked with BNP, MyLittleParis, Blablacar, Decathlon…
We discovered that in our marketplace, we built a technical tool in order to detect and value skills. A lot of customers asked us if it was possible to use those technologies to match internally. That’s why we took time to do a market analysis, a competitive landscape and so on with this new pivot. Directly after this acceleration program, we joined the Founders Program at STATION F.
You’ve joined STATION F’s Founders Program in 2017. What have you experienced?
It was quite a new start. We leveraged a lot of different possibilities with the workshops that were available and there were many interactions between founders of different startups. We benefited from an ecosystem and not only just a place. Most of the time, when people talk about STATION F, they talk about a building. Of course, it is but there is a whole ecosystem inside that building and I think this is the most powerful part of STATION F.
There’s also guild meetings in the Founders Program (guilds are small groups of startups who discuss together about the challenges they meet). And during that time, it’s very important to share with other founders. For every step you have to reach, in your sales process, defining your product cycle, etc., it’s a very powerful time to share with others.
How long did you stay at STATION F?
We stayed two years. We spent the whole time possible in STATION F and with the benefit of hindsight, I think it’s a good time, it’s enough. At the end, it’s also the time to leave the place to other startups in order to let them benefit from the ecosystem. We really enjoyed those two years.
How are things going now?
After STATION F, we took our own office so it was another step. It’s different because when you’re at STATION F, there’s, of course, your startup, but other people in the same space are like your colleagues. When you are in your own office, you have to create and define a big part of your culture.