Entrepreneur Spotlight: Timothée Bergeret

From Helmets to Infl8 Technology

May 27, 2023

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Timothée Bergeret

From Helmets to Infl8 Technology

May 27, 2023

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Solving Problems of Waste and Durability

Meet Timothée Bergeret, CTO and Co-founder of Infl8.

“We created Infl8 to revolutionize the way in which brands operate and grow with air based-products. Being an alternative to plastic, metal, wood, and cardboard, Infl8 technology helps reduce human impact on the planet.”

Timothée started Infl8 with his two partners Hugo & Thomas back in 2021 and has since grown the company into a leading provider of air-based technology that combines properties of air and textiles to design highly protective and durable products.

In the early days, the Infl8 team set out with a different but bold vision - to create an inflatable helmet that could be carried in a pocket, allowing cyclists to protect themselves anytime, anywhere. As Timothée explains:

“When we started the business, we discovered that the first reason why people are not wearing a helmet is simply because it's too bulky to carry around. Every bike rider should be able to have a helmet in their pocket”.

Despite initial skepticism, the team persevered, and eventually brought the Bumpair helmet to market - a compact and EU-certified solution that provides exceptional protection.

As they worked to perfect the Bumpair helmet, the team gained a unique expertise in shaping "solid air" - a combination of air and textiles that gives products remarkable durability and adaptability. Driven by a desire to reduce waste and improve the lifespan of products, such as extending life of an impacted helmet, Timothee and his partners realized they could do so much more with this new technology.

Timothee recalls how they asked themself the question:

"What if we could use air as an alternative to traditional protective materials such as polystyrene, cardboard or wood?"

This was the beginning of Infl8’s technology which allows for highly durable and long-lasting products that help to reduce the impact of waste on our planet.

The Revolutionary Air-based Technology

When asked what sets their technology apart, Timothée provides some examples:

“Pressurised Air trapped in tailored and ultra-resistant textiles has the ability to be highly protective when inflated, and foldable when deflated”, he explains. Additionally, “air pressure can be adjusted with Infl8's signature valve. The deceleration value at impact in an object protected with a layer of pressurized air is up to 4 times greater than that of any other solid material”. Infl8 products compress during impact to cushion the blow, then return to their original shape and can be reused for many cycles. Even after a shock, Infl8 technology bounces back to its original state, allowing for extended product life. This technology allows products to be inflated for maximum protection or deflated for easy transport.

Challenges and Triumphs🎖️

However before success, most entrepreneurs go through some bumps on their way. Same applied to Timothée and the team. The biggest challenge they had to overcome in the early days were certification tests. As Timothée shares with us:

Technically, the biggest challenge that we experienced at the time was to pass through the certification tests. You need to go through challenging crash-tests. We had to become experts on soft materials like fabrics and polyurethane, also sewing and plastic welding. From a market and product view we needed to optimize and enhance the inflation systems. It had to be easy to use and available everywhere”.

However despite the challenges it only took Timothée and his team one year to launch between the idea and the first B2B deal to be signed and about two years between the idea and the first delivery.

The Bold Move🤔💡

The craziest decision the team made that ended up being a game-changer for their business was deciding to become an ingredient-brand like Goretex. After 2.5 years of developing and selling helmets, they realized they were mastering a new material - Infl8-Air. With their technology, they can replace plastic, metal, wood, and cardboards in many products. Air allows them to create products that adapt and adjust easily, are not altered after a shock, and achieve better protection performance. Applications are endless.

Words of wisdom - acknowledge what you don’t know 🤝📚

“No compromise on your product and test it as fast as you can with design and user tests”. Timothée emphasizes the importance of being humble and acknowledging that when you start out you know nothing, but the market knows everything.

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