Augmented Reality Business China FrenchTech Marketing Shanghai Start-up

Starting a company in Shanghai: The interview of Romain, co-funder of EEXAR

Starting a company in Shanghai: The interview of Romain, co-founder of EEXAR

    At only 24 years-old, Romain Dessain-Gelinet left France to start his Augmented Reality company in Shanghai with his co-founder Nicolas Letendrie. The start-up called EEXAR was initially a student project. Ex-student from a French Business School, Romain explains why Nicolas and him decided to start their company in China rather than in France.

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– Hello Romain

– Hello Sarah

– You are the co-founder of EEXAR. Could you please present your company?

– So in a few words, EEXAR is an Augmented Reality Company. What we do is we develop the vanguard sales. Basically we equip every salesman with a tablet and AR glasses to improve the sales process from product presentations to the final quotation.

– Why did you choose this name?

– Actually we were called “Rocket & AR” before. It started as a student project for a year but we found out that it was quite a chillish name. Especially the logo were kind of childish. So we went through an all design thinking for finding the new name. It did not work and at the end we just had the co-founder Nicolas who typed EEXAR on internet, found that is was an available domain name and it sounds nice. There is ” XAR” in the name which is “extended reality” and we go for Enterprise Experience and Augmented Reality.


Starting a company in shanghai : EEXAR

– Why did you make the choice to set up your business in Shanghai?

– So as I said before it was a student project so we were pitching this project in France. But I was doing my internship in China for my last year so I was also pitching the project here. And we had like two difficulties in France. In France people are telling us “It’s a good idea”. In China they are telling us “It’s a good idea, when do you start?” So we decided to be in here instead of France.

– Because you had more contacts, more people that encouraged you?

– We have our contacts, my network was well-developped here because I had a year and a half of internship before. The community in Shanghai is like as soon as you are starting something they all want to be part of it. And the second thing is technology adoption. People here are willing to try new things.

– So, do you speak chinese?

– Ting bu dong (“Je ne comprends pas”, en chinois)

– Did you know how to set up a business in China before to come here?

“Actually, starting a company is not that hard”

– No I didn’t. Actually I came here, the last time was for a 6 months internship, and my goal was to fundraise 1.5 million dollars for a company. I was thinking “Actually, starting a company is not that hard, because fund raising is close to start a company : the projection, the pitching… And I was like “ok, just do it!”

– Ok, that’s a lot of courage. So, do you have investors, and if you have, where did you find them?

– Currently, we don’t have any investor in our company. We are “Bootstrap“; that means our clients fund us for the project we do for them. However, we do need fundraising to play faster cause we want to have a full software ready by the middle of next year instead of 3 years from now. So we have some investors, Business Angels we are talking to, to fundraise 200 000 dollars. It is a long process, your project needs to be perfine, you have an idea you pitch in the front line.

– Which type of visa did you have when you arrived?

-Tourist Visa. The story is I heard about a program with the chinese government called the entrepreneurship Visa. The fact is you arrive here with a tourist Visa and then you transfer it into an entrepreneurship Visa if you are qualified. We were recommended by an incubator called “K-tech but at the end we had this Visa. It is like a resident permit for one year.

– So now you have the entrepreneur Visa?

“The entrepreneurship Visa allows you to stay in China, but not to get paid.”

– I have it and now we are switching to working Visa, because the entrepreneurship Visa allows you to stay in China, but not to get paid. So even if you have a company and you are making profit, you can’t get money from it with this kind of Visa.

– That’s difficult thus, how can you survive? Did you receive any help?

– A lot, it is not like in France. Actually if you start in France for example you will just have financial help mostly and you will get 50 000€ if you want for your company, free of charge. It is pretty good. However, if you start there having clients is pretty complicated because in France they require that you have a background, a great team, other used cases.

It is not the case in Shanghai, you have a team, you have a prototype, technology is working so we go for it. We decided to use that so the help we had was mainly from the community who connected us with people who needed our technology and also told us how to develop our business in Shanghai.

– Do you have kind of a PEPITE ? You know in France we have PEPITE in Business School and IAE. Have you heard about it?

– I was a PEPITE actually in France, in Rennes, for an another project. For consulting and transformation technology between France and China. However there was a few support. It was good for connecting us with other entrepreneurs, but few added value for your own project.

And right now the PEPITE in Shanghai is the French Tech PEPITE and it’s a completely different environment. Here they push you to investors they push you to pitch or to clients. This is a way more worth the time in the company than in France.

– Maybe it is more professional and less scholar?

– Exactly.

Startign a company in shanghai: augmented realty helmet

– How do you advertise your company in China?

“If someone knows us, he will tell the rest.”

– Basically we don’t. The fact is we work in B to B, so we don’t believe in marketing automation yet. What we do is talk to people, then refer us and that’s how we advertise. Because everyone is connected here and work with international companies. So if someone knows us, he will tell the rest.

– So this is World of Mouth.

– Exactly.

– Are you in chinese social media?

– No, I mean we are in Wechat. Mainly what we do is to advertise our success. For example we won this prize or we pitched there. It is good enough to show people we are existing but it does not bring leads. But I guess Wechat and Weibo are great in marketing. It could help us a lot if we were in a more advanced step.

– Do you think about doing it later?

– That is of course a plan , for sure.

– What are the important points you learnt until now?

“Better do than think. […] At least we have someting to show to other people.”

– Better do than think, definitely. I have started with 3 other entrepreneurs, we all got the entrepreneur Visa. So we were 4 starting, and today I am the only one left.

Because those three, they had good projects basis but they did not invest and try prototypes, and work on it. They were just pitching and fund raising. And they died out of cash flow. Instead of us, we were “ok, we have a link here, we develop right now because at least we have something to show to other people”.

– Thank you Romain.

– Thank you Sarah.

Starting a company in Shanghai : 10 Takeways

  • Choose a clear name with an available domain name for your website
  • Find an incubator to help you for the Visa requirements
  • Be aware you will not earn money with the entrepreneurship Visa
  • Be ready to pitch
  • Develop your network
  • Involve the Shanghai community in your project
  • Never stop looking for investors
  • Get closer to The French Tech Shanghai
  • Talk about the development of your company in social media
  • Better do than think



A.I eCommerce UX Virtual Reality

Creating memorable experiences in beauty with AI

In recent years, technology has become a real driver for change in the beauty industry. Indeed, the advancements in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have been completely reshaping experiences between companies and consumers. Beauty brands are now understanding that consumers are searching for a connection with the cosmetics they use. Thus, here are a few examples of beauty technologies that are currently booming.

Modiface x l’Oréal

The hardest thing for consumers when buying cosmetics online is probably the fact that they cannot touch the product. Indeed, it is harder to make a choice when you are only seeing pictures of products. This is the reason why l’Oréal acquired an AR and AI company last year: Modiface.

Modiface offers this ability to virtually try-on before buying. Therefore, it answers to Millennials’ wish to have everything fast and effortless. It works with makeup, hair color, beauty consultations. The most amazing aspect is that it is really possible to find a specific shade, hair color from anywhere.


 Nyx Lipsticks Virtual Try-On – Modiface


Urban Decay: Shade Finder – Modiface

Modiface allows consumers to test several looks on their face. Indeed,, they can find the right foundation, lipstick color. In short, this technology really enables consumers to buy with greater confidence.

Skin diagnosis by Modiface

The newest functionality of this technology is skin diagnosis. Furthermore, it is based on an AI-powered algorithm nourished by l’Oréal skin aging expertise and photo database. It has been collecting 10,000 clinical pictures from l’Oréal’s R&I evaluation. Moreover, It was also created with dermatologists to achieve a high level of skin assessment precision. This new feature was launched in January 2019 by Vichy.


Vichy Skin Consult AI

This algorithm will give a complete diagnosis of consumers’ skin by simply 3 steps:

  1. Take a Selfie
  2. Complete your profile
  3. Matrix of the skin and recommended skincare routine.

First, It will analyze skin priorities and strengths. Then, the technology will provide a 100% personalized skincare routine aligned with consumers’ needs. This is the first-ever technology powered by AI and science. It is like a free skin “consultation” for consumers which make this experience for them even more interesting. In this fast-changing world, consumers are more and more craving for personalization. 

Skin Matrix – Modiface

In conclusion, brands are now able to offer unique and personalized experiences to customers thanks to AI and machine learning. Above all, these new tech features have opened up a new world of closeness between beauty companies and beauty junkies. In other words, makeup consumers find both functional and emotional benefits in personalization.

BBC News. (2019). Five tech trends shaping the beauty industry. Available at: .
Beauty Business Journal | The Business of Beauty. (2019). Technology Driving Innovation In The Beauty Industry. Available at:
(2019). Le Teint Particulier – Fond de teint sur-mesure par Lancôme. Available at: . (2019). The Power of Artificial Intelligence for the Beauty Industry | Launchmetrics. Available at: .
L’Oréal’s ModiFace brings AI-powered virtual makeup try-ons to Amazon  – L’Oréal Group. Available at: .
Modiface Inc. (2019). ModiFace – Augmented Reality. Available at: .


China Digital Business eCommerce Les tuto tech Life in China Marketing MBADMB Mobile Shanghai Start-up

La réalité virtuelle (VR) et la réalité augmentée (AR) pour les nuls

Le MBADMB Shanghai a eu l’occasion, que dis-je, l’honneur de pouvoir participer à la première édition du Slush Shanghaï, événement international créé en 2008 en Finlande, ayant pour but de rassembler les investisseurs et les start-up. Une partie du salon au Shanghai World Exhibition était réservée à des start-up de réalité augmentée (AR) et de réalité virtuelle (VR), notamment des Finlandais comme Nemesis Perspective ou encore des japonais.


Mieux comprendre les concepts clés de réalité augmentée et virtuelle

La VR et l’AR sont deux concepts bien distincts. Il est parfois difficile de bien saisir les différences entre ces deux concepts, surtout quand ceux-ci sont utilisés en même temps dans la même technologie. On parle alors de réalité mixte.

La réalité virtuelle est la superposition d’un monde imaginaire à la réalité. Il s’agit de la grande tendance du moment, notamment avec la sortie récente de casque ayant fait l’actualité comme l’Oculus Rift ou le HTC VIVE par exemple. Cette technologie est donc utilisée essentiellement dans le secteur du jeu vidéo ou de la modélisation immersive interactive.

La réalité augmentée est l’application d’objets virtuels (sons, textes et images) dans un monde réel via des supports variés comme l’ordinateur, la télé, le smartphone, la tablette. Il s’agit d’une technologie beaucoup moins immersive que sa consoeur, la réalité virtuelle. Le jeu Pokemon Go ayant occupé une partie de l’actualité online et offline durant l’été, est un exemple parlant pour comprendre la réalité augmentée.

Ci-dessous à gauche, une vidéo de présentation de Pokemon Go pour ceux ayant fait une digital détox cet été et à droite, une vidéo pour mieux comprendre la réalité mixte.

Brève histoire de la réalité augmentée et de la réalité virtuelle

Sensorama Morton Heilig réalité virtuelleLes réalités virtuelle et augmentée bénéficient d’une popularité récente même si leur existence ne date pas d’hier. Le premier exemple de réalité virtuelle connue est la création de Sensorama par Morton Heilig en 1962. Il s’agit d’une machine à fonctionnement mécanique. Le créateur de cette fabuleuse machine souhaitait reproduire une expérience aussi immersive que le théâtre. Il n’était possible d’utiliser cette machine qu’avec quelques courts métrages, créés encore par Morton Heilig.

  EyeTap inventeur Steve MannLa réalité augmentée fera son apparition dans les années 80. Steve Mann invente le EyeTap, un device permettant d’afficher des informations virtuelles. Il s’agit d’une sorte de lunette, encadrant un seul oeil. La caméra enregistre la vue propre de l’utilisateur pour y surimposer des images générées par ordinateur. Les technologies mixant réalité augmentée et virtuelle émergeront dans la première moitié des années 90.Aujourd’hui, les applications de ces technologies sont nombreuses. La réalité virtuelle s’attaque à plusieurs niches dans des domaines comme l’éducation, la santé, l’armée et surtout en tête, le jeu vidéo.

La réalité augmentée et mixte ont un potentiel économique bien plus fort. Elles touchent à de nombreux secteurs plus larges comme l’industrie, la conduite, l’éducation, l’automobile, ou bien encore l’aérospatial. Le potentiel de ce marché à court terme est évalué à 120 milliards de dollars.

Disruption dans les supports d’informations : le développement de nouveaux supports d’informations

Loin d’être un fantasme pour férus de science-fiction, l’holographie est pourtant une technologie qui existe bel et bien déjà de manière commerciale, même si elle est pour l’instant essentiellement réservée à des clients professionnels (industrie du spectacle, boutiques de grands magasins, communicants) en raison de son prix.


L’holographie est montée en puissance et a suscité toute sorte de mythe après le carton mondial de Star Wars. La technologie est massivement utilisée dans ce film, comme moyen de communication interstellaire entre Jedi (cf. vidéo ci-dessous à droite). Elle est mise à nouveau au goût du jour, grâce à son utilisation dans des shows musicaux où des artistes revenus d’entre les morts ont pu performer comme Tupac et Michael Jackson (les meilleurs partent trop tôt). A moyen ou long terme, nos supports actuels seront remplacés par une technologie de ce type.Vous pouvez aussi nous suivre sur Twitter, Facebook et Linkedin pour des articles et informations liés à notre expérience d’étudiants en marketing digital à Shanghai. Tag MBA DMB au Slush Shanghaï