Skip to main content

French company launches beachside tech accelerator to foster aquatic innovation

nasa lidar laser plankton coral reef ocean
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Of all the great metaphors provided to us by Mother Nature, perhaps none is more poignant than the sea. Vast, unknowable, and infinitely full of possibilities, the ocean has inspired many a legend. And if a new French startup accelerator has its way, it’ll also inspire many legendary companies.

Taking the idea of a room with a view to new heights, the accelerator, aptly named Blue Builder, is located in the Saint-Jean-de-Luz along the southeastern coast of France, hopes to attract a specific kind of entrepreneur. In particular, the accelerator is looking for individuals with grand notions about devices or services that can be employed in a whole slew of water sports. And what better way to inspire innovation than to place aspiring entrepreneurs right next to their ideal environment: the ocean?

It’s a clever idea, to be sure. After all, founder Benjamin Böhle-Roitelet notes, makers should be fully immersed in the lives and lifestyles of their target audiences. And considering that Saint-Jean-de-Luz is a veritable haven for surfers, entrepreneurs who are lucky enough to be accepted into his accelerator should have plenty of willing beta testers.

Not only does Böhle-Roitelet hope to foster an environment that is inherently inspirational, but he also “wants to focus on quality of life for everyone involved,” VentureBeat reports. Indeed, the founder hopes that having a beachfront accelerator will alleviate some of the stress that often accompanies the early stages of starting a company. And if feeling the sand between your toes doesn’t force you to take a deep breath, nothing will.

Currently, Blue Builder owns around 2,000 square meters of real estate and will feature prototyping studios and workshops, which will allow play with various materials, including flexible polymers, metal, wood, and resins.

Branding itself as the “first startup accelerator focused on ocean, surf, and action sports,” Blue Builder is actually the second accelerator Böhle-Roitelet has helped found. The first was the Ekito accelerator, based in Tououse.

So if you’ve an idea that’s water-centric, consider heading over to Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Even if your idea goes bust, you may be able to get in some serious R&R while you’re at it.

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
4 simple pieces of tech that helped me run my first marathon
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar displaying pace information.

The fitness world is littered with opportunities to buy tech aimed at enhancing your physical performance. No matter your sport of choice or personal goals, there's a deep rabbit hole you can go down. It'll cost plenty of money, but the gains can be marginal -- and can honestly just be a distraction from what you should actually be focused on. Running is certainly susceptible to this.

A few months ago, I ran my first-ever marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment I had no idea I'd ever be able to reach, and it's now going to be the first of many I run in my lifetime. And despite my deep-rooted history in tech, and the endless opportunities for being baited into gearing myself up with every last product to help me get through the marathon, I went with a rather simple approach.

Read more
This bracelet helps you fall asleep faster and sleep longer
woman-in-bed-wearing-twilight-apollo-on-ankle

This content was produced in partnership with Apollo Neuroscience.
Have you been struggling to get the recommended seven hours of sleep? It's always frustrating when you get in bed at a reasonable time, then toss and turn for a hours before you actually sleep. The quality of that sleep is important too. If you're waking up multiple times during the night, you're likely not getting the quality REM cycle sleep that truly rejuvenates your body. If traditional remedies like herbal teas and noise machines just aren't helping, maybe it's time to try a modern solution. Enter the Apollo wearable.

Now we understand being a little skeptical. How can a bracelet on your wrist or ankle affect your sleep patterns? Certainly the answer to a better night's sleep can't be so simple. We considered these same things when we first heard of it. We'll dive deeper into the science behind the Apollo wearable, but suffice it to say that many people have experienced deeper, uninterrupted sleep while wearing one.
A non-conventional approach to better sleep

Read more
The 11 best Father’s Day deals that you can get for Sunday
Data from a workout showing on the screen of the Apple Watch Series 8.

Father's Day is fast approaching and there's still time to buy your beloved Dad a sweet new device to show him how much you love him. That's why we've rounded up the ten best Father's Day tech deals going on right now. There's something for most budgets here, including if you're able to spend a lot on your loved one. Read on while we take you through the highlights and remember to order fast so you don't miss out on the big day.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 -- $200, was $230

While it's the Plus version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 that features in our look at the best tablets, the standard variety is still worth checking out. Saving your Dad the need to dig out their laptop or squint at a small phone screen, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 offers a large 10.5-inch LCD display and all the useful features you would expect. 128GB of storage means plenty of room for all your Dad's favorite apps as well as games too. A long-lasting battery and fast charging save him the need for a power source too often too.

Read more