Despite growing up inland, Ms Argaud has been sailing virtually all her life. “Like my father many boat owners live far away from the coast and have demanding jobs which prevents them from going sailing very often,” she says. “Wondering if something has happened to the boat during their absence – a theft, or damage caused by bad weather, for instance – is a constant source of worry. When connected objects started arriving, my dad and I thought that they might provide a solution.”
Together, they came up with the idea of Connected Rope: an autonomous device that is attached to the boat’s moorings and provides real time data about what happens to the boat directly to the owner’s smartphone or PC. It can also be set up so that it informs the harbour master or a local security firm in order for them to intervene as soon as there is an incident. In April 2016, Ms Argaud created her company Largowind to develop Connected Rope together with two colleagues.
The place to be
“I was working in Luxembourg when I started Largowind and I quickly saw that this is the perfect place to be,” says Ms Argaud who has also studied in France and worked in Austria. Largowind’s development received a big boost when the team obtained a place in Fit 4 Start, an acceleration programme managed by Luxinnovation that offers ICT start-ups four months of intensive coaching as well as pre-seed capital. “The regular coaching sessions were invaluable, but most importantly the programme allowed me to build an excellent network with people who believe in my idea and can advise me on management and strategic decisions,” Ms Argaud points out. “Fit 4 Start really opens doors for entrepreneurs. When I speak to friends back home about the support I receive in Luxembourg they are astonished and wish they could be part of it too.”
Ms Argaud’s entrepreneurial talents received a strong mark of public recognition when she won the Creative Young Entrepreneur Luxembourg award in June 2017. Connected Rope is only the start of her business journey. “We are currently finalising the product R&D and recruiting beta testers and expect to have a product that can be commercialised in early 2018, but we have plenty of other ideas for the future,” she underlines. “Our vision is to develop a complete ‘digital captain’ that allows sailors to use modern technologies in order to enjoy their passion fully while saving time, money and stress.”