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Starting a new company is typically no day at the beach. But it could be, thanks to Blue Builder, a new French accelerator that focuses on surf and action sports startups.

Located in the southeastern coastal town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Blue Builder announced its opening this month and is accepting applications for its first class of startups. The accelerator is looking for entrepreneurs who have ideas about connected objects or services that could be used in a wide range of water-based sports, such as surfing.

Saint-Jean-De-Luz is tucked along a stretch of the Atlantic coast that is a popular haven for surfers. Blue Builder founder Benjamin Böhle-Roitelet said he wanted a location where entrepreneurs could live the lifestyle of the people who were meant to be their target market.

He’s hoping that this will enhance product development. But he also wants to focus on quality of life for everyone involved. He believes that having access to the ocean and beach each day will ease the stress involved in starting a company and help founders avoid burnout.

The accelerator will have about 2,000 m2 of space and include prototyping studios and workshops where founders can experiment with materials such as flexible polymers, metal, wood, and various resins.

Böhle-Roitelet noted that the new facility is just a short hop from the Pyrenees Mountains, making it an ideal location for entrepreneurs who have concepts they want to test for other extreme sports.

In addition to Blue Builder, Böhle-Roitelet founded the Ekito accelerator in Toulouse back in 2005.


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