Esprit d'entrepreneur
Is there such a thing as a natural entrepreneur? Or is it an acquired set of skills? We relaunch the “nature vs nurture” debate with the help of two brothers, Patrice and Pascal, each the founder of his own startup.


The spark that lit the fire: meeting a need

Let me introduce Patrice and Pascal, otherwise known as the Arbault brothers. These siblings are longtime members of the Vitagora network, and have more than their mere parentage in common: there also share the status of founders of their own businesses. Patrice created Nexidia in 2007, a startup specialised in industrial microbiology. Pascal was behind the creation of DAVI, a startup focused on ‘humanising’ human-computer interactions.
Why did they both take the path of entrereneurship? Without consulting each other, they gave me the same answer: forget the idea of creating for the sake of creating. They launched their businesses in order to offer a solution to an identified need. An element that should always be at the heart of any business venture. 
For Pascal, a trained educator, the need was to allow his (frequently absent, oh dear) students to access their classes from home while preserving the human interaction. For Patrice, it was the need for expert guidance in the field of microbiology since potential clients were expressing a need even before he created his business. Nature – 0, Nurture – 1.

The fuel for the journey: the urge to create

An astute observation may have given birth to the idea, but a burning desire to create was the catalyst for transforming the idea into a business. Pascal admits to having a feeling of something missing in his life: “Seeing how my career would play out even before starting, it was not to my taste”. For Patrice, a series of role plays during a skills analysis put a spotlight on a “desire to build something”.
Finding personal fulfillment through a professional endeaver, giving free flight to your ambitions, and taking up new challenges: for these brothers, the desire had always been present. Only entrepreneurship could satisfy the urge. And only the urge to create could have drawn them into the tumultuous world of business ownership. Nature – 1, Nurture – 1.

So, is there such a thing as a natural entrepreneur?

Meeting a market need? Or satisfying a desire to create? We currently have a draw in our spirited contest of nature vs nurture. However, Pascal and Patrice both agree: the values of personal fulfillment by investing yourself in your work, transmitted by their parents, certainly played a role in their life choices… 
For the Arbault brothers, the most important element is to share your motivation with your team. In other words, have a taste for leadership. Patrice explains: “building my company was first and foremost about people”. Well, that’s funny, his brother said almost the exact same thing (again without consulting)… Whether it is a question of shared genes or upbringing, it is clear that for both these brothers, the most important aspect of entrpreneurship is sharing their adventure with others. 


By Christophe Breuillet

Managing director of Vitagora and AcceleRise, Christophe is the big boss! His various areas of expertise cover innovation and food business development, internationalisation and influence strategies… basically Food “Business” with a capital B! You can contact him at: