Paul Courtaud, young boss of Neobrain, specialized in AI

April 28, 2022 will remain etched in his memory. In a cafe, at half past one in the morning, Paul Courtaud signed the lease for his new Parisian premises. It must be said that his start-up, neobrain, needs space: employing 93 employees, it should double its workforce before the end of the year. Already, this career management platform has attracted 80 employers, mostly large groups looking for current and future skills.

The period is prosperous. In March, the 26-year-old entrepreneur completed a fundraising of 20 million euros, led by Alter Equity with Crédit Mutuel Innovation, XAnge via La Poste Ventures and its historic investor, Breega. The new money will be used to technically expand the platform based on artificial intelligencebut also to launch a start-up accelerator in the sector and to conquer Germany, Great BritainBrittany and the United States.

Entrepreneur at 14

It is precisely on American soil that Paul Courtaud’s vocation for entrepreneurship revealed itself. On a trip to the east coast, the teenager discovers the madness of American-style promotional offers. With his cousin, he thenidea to “tinker” with Fairlydeal, a website allowing users to find the best deals for group purchases, while donating part of the earnings to humanitarian associations. He is fourteen years old. His voice being that of a schoolboy, he communicates with his customers by email! Before ceasing its activity against Groupon and other KGB Deal, already established on the market.

But at 16, this son of an entrepreneur is doing it again with Futurness, a school guidance site mixing the resources of digital and traditional coaching. Seven years later, in 2019, he will sell the activity to the L’Etudiant group. Neobrain, which transposes the logic of skills analysis to professions, is then in the start-up phase. It was at this time that the young man found himself a key ally, Guillaume Sarkozy. The former general delegate of Malakoff-Médéric, who was leading a competing project, joined him in the capital of the start-up. And opens his address book. Neobrain takes off.

Harvard, a childhood dream

For his part, Paul Courtaud, already a graduate of HEC Lausanne and Sciences Po Paris, is realizing “his childhood dream”: studying at Harvard. On campus, he discovers “a pedagogy that constantly involves researchers on topical subjects”. What “make learning invigorating and connected to the issues of the moment”, sums up the young man, victorious from early cancer. It is perhaps from this favorable outcome that his stainless optimism was born. Pierre-Louis Quentin, classmate who became a close collaborator, testifies to this: “An obstacle? He questions himself without batting an eyelid and invests 1,000% in achieving his goals. Nothing stops him. »

He goes fast. Leading the development of a start-up and Harvard did not scare him. “Two-thirds of the courses take place remotely. I work them on weekends and evenings. In the summer, I go back to campus,” explains this hyperactive man who only sleeps 4 hours a night.

Humania co-pilot

Moreover, he co-pilots with Guillaume Sarkozy, the think tank Cercle Humania bringing together some 600 HRDs. The topic of reflection of the moment: being “Faced with uncertainty”. “The times to come will ask us for a lot of humility and the ability to question ourselves”, predicts, all smiles, the native of Toulouse, who occupies his meager free time fixing up a country house. Follower of teleworkhe also made this property in Loir-et-Cher a second office.

In a few months, the newlywed should finish Harvard. In focus, the official presentation of his Master’s degree with hat and ceremonial gown. He says he is looking forward to this moment, referring to his father, now deceased, who accompanied him for the first time on the mythical campus.

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Paul Courtaud, young boss of Neobrain, specialized in AI


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