Théo Lartigau: student, gamer and entrepreneur

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A passionate gamer, self-taught programmer and young entrepreneur, Théo Lartigau is also completing a Bachelor degree in Economics & Management at the University of Bordeaux.

Photo : Théo Lartigau: student, gamer and entrepreneur © Gautier Dufau
Théo Lartigau: student, gamer and entrepreneur © Gautier Dufau

Barely 19 years old, with 2 years of his Bachelor degree in Economics and Management under his belt and already a small business in the making. Théo Lartigau has plenty of get-up-and-go and above all, a teenage dream to fulfil: become an entrepreneur. "I've always been in a hurry to be self-sufficient," he asserted.

A gamer back in middle school, the young man spent a large part of his time in front of a screen. "I used to play a lot; sometimes so much I didn't sleep. I also watched game design videos on YouTube; I thought designing was amazing."

The idea gradually gained ground. After his baccalauréat, Théo left Dax, his hometown, to come and study economics and management at the University of Bordeaux, a strategic choice to make his entrepreneurial dream come true.

"Basically, I'm a science-and-math guy, more of the engineer type. But I enjoy economics and to be an entrepreneur, it's better to be business-minded. So my objective is to get into a Grande École business school like HEC or ESSEC once I obtain my Bachelor degree," he explained with determination.

Bingo! Théo has done well in all subjects. In addition to his courses, he has had time to make his project a reality. During the first lockdown, with a friend, he thought of creating a game about civilisation in a historical context.

But to actually do it, he needed to learn how to program. So be it, Théo taught himself using quality online resources that were free to boot. He learnt fast and wanted to go further. "In no time, I was really enjoying it and was sure I wanted to get into video game programming and development while I continued doing my Bachelor degree. I took three more months of classes," the young man explained.

That is how the 18-year-old student created Waterside in 2021, an independent mobile game development studio covering all the fields and skills required to create them: design, illustration, programming, sound design, marketing, etc.

Having an idea and bringing it to life - that's the principle of entrepreneurship.

Théo Lartigau, Bachelor student in Economics & Management at the University of Bordeaux

This project came into being partly thanks to the support from UBee Lab, the University of Bordeaux student incubator that Théo joined in 2020. "I applied during my first year, right after mid-terms and I'm really happy with the support I've been given. Ubee Lab is also a super place to meet people and exchange ideas," he said.

Since then, Théo has put 3 games online: Double Jump, Smash the Mosquito and Master of the Grid. Thanks to UBee Lab's help, his business model has made good progress. His goal? Attract the attention of game publishers and find financing to continue creating and marketing very good games that appeal to users. "I'm my own target," he said ironically, "that makes it easier!"
Théo is well aware that being an entrepreneur is an obstacle course, but without a doubt, he is on the right track.