More than 100 mentors and experts take part in coaching and supporting start-ups in the ToasterLAB program. In order to let you get to know these experts and experienced professionals, each month we will be publishing a "mentor profile".


Pierre-Alain TRUAN

Innovation director,
Bpifrance Burgundy Franche-Comté



Why you should listen to him


Steeped in the innovation sector since the beginning of his career, leading him to Bpifrance (France's public sector investment bank), Pierre-Alain is an engineering graduate with a Masters in technology and innovation management from EMLyon business school. But he is first and foremost a... dreamer. With a visionary frame of mind, as well as ambition and a far-reaching sense of what is possible.


And this is specifically what gives him satisfaction mentoring the entrepreneurs and start-ups within ToasterLAB: "By working in innovation management, I have ended up being more and more in contact with company founders, and with their dreams and ambitions."


"These entrepreneurs are the real visionaries: they put everything into realising their company's goals. This is what motivates them," he explains, while differentiating between a daydream and an ambition, the latter being anchored in reality. "In the business world, we are surrounded by rational data, by facts and figures. But it is our dreams and aspirations that make change possible and that allow companies to grow. And it's exhilarating to work beside people who have the drive to go far!"


Unlike managers of established companies, "who have the necessary structure to guide their ambitions," Pierre-Alain considers that start-ups "need to build their own launch pad." And his involvement in ToasterLAB's acceleration program was a natural step: "coaching, teaching, mentoring... In Bpifrance, we are first and foremost a social network of entrepreneurs, providing support, funding and risk management. When ToasterLAB was launched by Vitagora, of course we were going to a part of it."


For Pierre-Alain the dreamer, it's also about giving yourself permission to go all the way, but also to staying open to any eventuality. As an amateur improv player in his spare time, he has been a part of theatre and musical circles for years, and has learned to say yes to the road less travelled. "This means that you have to engage in active listening, to be able to jump on an opening. To reach your goal, you need to keep in mind that all roads are permitted."




  • Innovation management
  • Innovation finance
  • Business consulting



"By dreaming, you are giving yourself permission to go as far as possible, to take opportunities as they appear. To reach your goal, all roads are permitted."

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By Clément

Business Developer and "start-up back-up" as he likes to call himself, Clément was immersed in world of start-ups before joining the ToasterLAB team. A keen volonteer for a number of evironmental causes that he holds dear, Clément is the main point of contact for ToasterLAB's start-ups. Contact him:  :