Edouard Morice, an honors professor of physics turned entrepreneur, is taking Cours Thalès to a new level
What is the activity of Cours Thalès?
Cours Thalès was founded in 2007. We offer courses to prepare for competitive entrance exams for higher education after secondary school. Our company is based in Paris. Over 3,000 students have come to us. Today we are growing.
When we met up with Capital & Dirigeants Partenaires we needed capital, on the one hand, and on the other hand outside advice to help us think about ways to develop the business. Significant funding with a stake in equity is planned. Up to now we have benefited above all from strategic and operational advice from our Board.
We were two associates. Our investor came in as a third party and brought a new eye to all our activity. The meetings of our shareholders’ committee are very useful to me. We get together often and these are useful moments, a time to lift your head and look at the road! Bruno Annequin has critical distance and a more strategic vision, in particular for possible digital deployment. He brings relevant information to address questions where we may have doubts.
When we began working with Capital & Dirigeants Partenaires our sales were increasing but our profitability was not good. We had spent a lot to support our growth, without turning a profit at the time. Nonetheless business was coming in, and we were hesitant to recruit. My first associate said that we didn’t have the means to hire an employee. I had the feeling that it was going to be complicated, and that was where the advice of a professional investor put my doubts to rest. He recommended hiring not one but two people right away. The growth was there, and it had to be nourished or it would die. My associate and I needed to hear that.
What are you plans for the longer term?
We are considering opening our own preparatory course school. But before we start developing our organization for bigger projects like that, we have to complete this restructuring phase of our activity. We have to build up our procedures and organization so that the business can reach a comfortable cruising pace of operation.
Likewise for our deployment in other cities: today we are based within the city limits of Paris, and some of our students come from fairly far away to attend our classes, because they can’t find the equivalent elsewhere. The option of opening classes in other cities is in the works.
Do you have plans to start up online teaching?
Not yet. We feel that that is another type of business. It is one of the pathways for diversification that we can approach when we have reached a stable level in our operations. We do use social media, however, to maintain contact and stay in touch with our students.