| Press Release

Two École Polytechnique entrepreneurs awarded the 2019 "X-Grant Silicon Valley"

Amine Mezzour (Class of 2012) and Anthoine Dusselier (Class of 2014) have been awarded the 2019 “X-Grant Silicon Valley”, financed by the École Polytechnique Foundation and the Friends of École Polytechnique, its sister organization in the United States. The two winners will each receive $50,000 and top-level mentoring from Californian investors and entrepreneurs.
 
Amine Mezzour (Class of 2012), co-founder of Lalilo: a teaching assistant to help students learn to read
 
About 20% of students come into middle school with literacy problems and 80% of school dropouts are due to this very issue. In 2016, Amine Mezzour (Class of 2012), Laurent Jolie (Class of 2012) and Benjamin Abdi (Class of 2013) created Lalilo, a teaching aide for personalized education in reading.
 
The web application is designed for students from kindergarten to 2nd grade and uses artificial intelligence to offer personalized exercises based on the strengths and difficulties of each student. To achieve this, the start-up is developing one of the first voice recognition algorithms, which corrects pronunciation, as well as a recommendation algorithm that uses the data collected to suggest the most appropriate course of learning. This teaching tool therefore allows teachers to track the progress made by their class, as well as that of individual students.
 
Lalilo is accessible via tablet or computer and is currently used in 1,000 schools in France and in more than 15,000 schools in the United States. Until now, the application has been free of charge, but the start-up is currently working on monetizing it. “We are thrilled to receive the X-Grant Silicon Valley award, especially as this is the third time we have applied for it. The financial endowment will allow us to develop our business and expand our team, says Amine Mezzour. 
 
Anthoine Dusselier (Class of 2014), co-founder and CEO of Tarmac Technologies: a platform for improving airport fluidity
 
After completing a Master’s in Entrepreneurship (with École Polytechnique, HEC Paris and UC Berkeley), Anthoine Dusselier (Class of 2014) co-founded Tarmac Technologies along with Maud Payan and Delphine Deleger. Their goal is to improve the ground management of aircrafts. Although airlines have worked to extensively digitalize the passenger experience, the same cannot be said for the management of operations carried out while planes are on the ground. With the air transport sector continuously growing, some airports are on the brink of reaching their saturation point, and these operations represent therefore strategic challenge. They may cause delays, and therefore significant costs for companies. 
 
To improve airport fluidity, Tarmac Technologies has developed an application that puts airlines in contact with service companies (cleaning services, airplane meal delivery services, baggage, etc.). Among other things, it allows real-time tracking of what is happening on the ground and improves communication between the different parties. The start-up is also creating a web platform providing access to performance reports in order to better analyze malfunctions and improve general efficiency.
 
Being awarded the X-Grant Silicon Valley award is truly rewarding and encourages us to pursue our project. It gives us access to top-quality mentoring which will offer us greater flexibility in developing our product”, says Anthoine Dusselier. 
 
X-Grant Silicon Valley: a grant to pinpoint talented entrepreneurs and promote innovative ideas
 
The grant “X-Grant Silicon Valley” was created in 2013 and is intended to reward talented students from the l’X (École Polytechnique) entrepreneurial ecosystem. It is designed to support the school’s work in entrepreneurship and innovation. To be eligible, applicants must present an innovative project involving a connection with the Silicon Valley. Each year, two winners are chosen. They each receive $50,000 as well as top-level mentoring. The grant is financed 50% by the École Polytechnique Foundation and 50% by the Friends of École Polytechnique, the Foundation’s sister organization based in the United States, thanks to generous donations by alumni living in California.


ABOUT THE FRIENDS OF ÉCOLE POLYTECHNIQUE / The Friends of École Polytechnique is a sister organization of the École Polytechnique Foundation. Its aim is to accompany the Foundation in its fundraising efforts in the United States of America. It is managed by a Board of Directors, chaired by Eric Setton (class of 1998). The Friends of École Polytechnique has been approved by the International Revenue Service as a public charity organization. All donations are considered as deductible charges.

About the École Polytechnique Foundation

Created in 1987 by twenty leading French companies at the request of Bernard Esambert (class of 1954), the Chairman of École Polytechnique Board of Directors at the time, and with the support of the Alumni Association, the École Polytechnique Foundation builds bridges between the business world and École Polytechnique, including its students and research professors. The Foundation is a recognized public-benefit organization that works to promote École Polytechnique. This status entitles it to receive gifts and bequests from both individuals and companies. The funds raised are directed to École Polytechnique programs, facilities, students, and research professors.

Files to download

190529PRXGrantSiliconValleyEN-pdf

190529PRXGrantSiliconValleyEN-pdf

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