Martine and The Start-Up
The Inspiring Tale of a Startup Founded by Two Women
“I don’t really like my first name.” Those are the first words that appear on the screen in front of Marie-Pierre. I burst into laughter and immediately confess, “Me neither!!” Marie-Pierre has a big smile, and we chat like two friends. The only difference is that Marie-Pierre talks to me through her screen, thanks to her gaze directed at the letters. Marie can no longer move. She has ALS (Charcot’s disease) and is completely paralyzed. Only her eyes allow her to communicate with those around her, and she does it with a great sense of humor.
Deep inside me, as I look at her and interact with her, my heart tightens, and I realize that this exchange is made possible thanks to the advancements in AI in the field of robots serving people like Marie, who are imprisoned in their bodies but free in their minds. Why, you may ask, start with that?
Each of us has our own perception of this technological advancement called AI—some see it as a threat, others as an opportunity. But how do we know if it is truly useful? How can we determine if it can improve the lives of people like Marie-Pierre?
To answer this question, we must first ask ourselves a personal question: What does it change for me? Before considering what it can change in the world.
This awareness led me to embark on the adventure of Theolex, not with the aim of changing the world, but of continuing to transform myself in order to observe the changes taking place in the world.
I told Marie-Pierre. I’m not a fan of my first name. I believe my father chose it as a tribute to Martine Carol, a famous actress at the time. My mother eventually gave in and agreed to give this name to her third daughter.
Of course, I received all the Martine books and heard all the comments about her familiar adventures.
So today, in a spirit of revenge, I have decided to dedicate this collection to Martine under the title “Martine and the Start-Up,” to all those who made this magnificent adventure possible, whom I will introduce to you throughout my story.
Why a start-up? Isn’t it preferably reserved for men, preferably young and full of prospects? I didn’t fit into any of these categories: a woman at the end of her career, having worked for over 30 years in one company, a major bank, and as such, a privileged employee in the private sector. There was no resemblance to all those young talents without money and without stable employment seeking an exit through entrepreneurship.
Nevertheless, I decided to disregard stereotypes and prejudices and embark on this bold adventure. I knew that the path would be filled with obstacles, but I believed in my ability to overcome them and succeed.
That’s how our start-up, Theolex, was born. A unique story that proves that entrepreneurship is not a matter of age, gender, or professional situation, but rather a matter of passion, determination, and the will to surpass oneself
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 France License