Covid-19 Crisis : Interview with Frédéric Vial, Business Angel

This article is part of a our interview series with our partners. Our goal is to share different perspectives and experiences during this crisis from our Prestigious community.

Meet Frédéric Vial, business angel, coach of startups and INSEAD alumni. Find out below how Frédéric stayed busy during the confinement, his advice for facing these challenging times and what he thinks will happen next in the post-coronavirus world.

Can you describe yourself in a few words?

I am officially retired and now work part-time as a Business Angel, as well as a startup advisor.  For the moment, there are fewer candidates seeking new fundraising, however I am available to help assist funded startups in anyway that I can during this period.  On the personal side, I enjoy various sports, cultural, and social activities that keep me busy!

How has this pandemic affected you, personally and professionally?

All of my activities, including sports, went online via video.  I do not know how I would have survived this confinement without Zoom and WhatsApp!

How do you spend your time and what do you miss most during this confinement?

On an average day, I would spend 1 hour doing sports, 2 hours in meetings, and then the rest of time responding to lots of messages on WhatsApp or answering phone calls from family and friends.  Needless to say, I have a lot of time to think!

What do you recommend to pass the time, enrich one’s culture knowledge or stay in shape during this confinement?

Definitely, do some sports, read non-fiction books and relax a bit watching Netflix or a scientific, literary, artistic or travel program on TV.

As a Business Angel and startup mentor, what would you recommend to young entrepreneurs facing this crisis and potentially discouraged?

Being able to hold on financially during these few months of confinement …is not easy. But do not lose hope! We must persevere and continue to work as hard as before, improving our product, our business model.  We should also take advantage of the time to network, gain new contacts, and exchange information.

What are your predictions for France and rest of the world, post COVID-19?

Some sectors, such as tech, will recover more quickly and emerge stronger than before. A good example is digital health, which will certainly receive more attention and investment funding.  Unfortunately for some other sectors, the recovery will take more time and face more challenges.  These companies will have to re-evaluate their business model, products and services and find a way to turn this crisis into an opportunity.

When this is all over, where would you like to travel first and why?

I believe for the rest of this year, we will be rediscovering France again.  This is the perfect time to revisit or discover places that we still haven’t been to, for example Lozère which I admit I don’t even really know where it is! :)

Click here to connect to Frédéric Vial on LinkedIn and find out more about his background.

Leave a Reply