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Interview

Hugo Salard (SKEMA 2015) presents the OrigaMe platform, to save money on bills

16 November 2020

A graduate of the SKEMA Class of 2015, Hugo Salard co-founded the web platform OrigaMe. He talks to us about his journey so far.

 

Hugo, could you tell us quickly about your studies at SKEMA?

I joined SKEMA in 2012 through the AST2 competitive entrance exam and I specialised in business law and commerce. I completed my business law degree programme and graduated in 2015. During that time, I took an academic gap year to study digital law at Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas.


What is OrigaMe?

OrigaMe is a startup I created in Nantes with two business partners. It is a free platform where people can manage their contracts and reduce their monthly bills with a few clicks. By identifying where they are paying too much (for energy, telephone/internet, entertainment, insurance, banking, etc.), we can help our users save up to €1,000 euros a year. And the service is completely free.


In what year did you create your startup?

We started OrigaMe in October 2019. We won the public choice award at the Salon des Entrepreneurs (entrepreneurs’ fair) in Nantes in November 2019 and we launched in March 2020... right at the time of the first lockdown!


How did you get the idea to create OrigaMe?

While chatting with my business partners, we realised that there are more and more subscriptions to manage and that we didn’t really know where our money was going. The average French person has 12 to 16 subscriptions, a number that is bound to increase as the years go by. We saw a real need for a tool that lists all our subscriptions.

At the same time, we noted that not one of us paid the same amount for the same type of subscription (fibre optic broadband, for example). Among our friends we found the same disparities. Some are clever and manage to save money, and others not so much…

Ultimately, OrigaMe allows people to take control of their monthly bills and make sure they are always paying the best price.


How does the platform work?

It’s very quick and straightforward: the user signs in to the origame.fr platform and enters their recurring charges (energy, internet, telephone, bank, insurance, streaming, etc.). Then they can visualise their recurring expenses and find out where they can save more money. Finally, they reduce their bills and very quickly start to save. To make such savings, our experts can either cancel unnecessary contracts on behalf of the user, or find them a cheaper deal for equal quality or better. The service is 100% secure and free. We get paid by the service providers when we have a partnership agreement with them (which is not always the case, unfortunately!).


Was it your time at SKEMA that put you on the entrepreneurial path?

Yes and no! When I was studying business law at SKEMA I thought I would become a lawyer, not a business owner. Once I became a lawyer after graduating from SKEMA, I never actually practised law. But I do think that my SKEMA education has been essential in my professional career: as a business owner, the management skills I acquired at SKEMA are more useful to me than my legal training.


What are your development plans for the future?

At the moment, we are helping 1,000 users to save money on their recurring bills. We would like to reach the 10,000 mark within 6 months. We are also continuing our developments and soon our users will be able to save hundreds of euros on banking and insurance. And the month of November has some big surprises in store for our users!


What advice would you give SKEMA’s students and alumni who are wanting to get into entrepreneurship?

I’m going to go against the traditional advice given: after finishing their studies at SKEMA, my advice is for students to continue discovering their skills and to me this means getting a job and some work experience before starting their own business. You can learn entrepreneurship by doing, but it is the reflection of our previous experiences.


What could the SKEMA community do to help you?

We are counting on the SKEMA community to try out (and tell others about) our web app, because it’s win-win: it’s a free and intuitive service that allows people to save money and (finally) pay a fair price for their bills. I’d like the SKEMA community to be the first to benefit!


A final word?

Pipo! (In reference to the list of “Pipos” in their final year at SKEMA Lille. These are the students on the verge of leaving the school, who “challenge” the student union candidates.)

 

ContactHugo Salard, Co-founder & CEO of OrigaMe

 

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