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Entrepreneur Jerem Febvre: A born leader in business
When, at the age of 16, Jerem Febvre told his classmates that he was going to start a business, they laughed, but that didn't stop him. If anything, it fuelled his fire even more.

fToday, Febvre, who hails from Paris, France, is the president and co-founder of Sublime Skinz, a cutting-edge digital advertising agency that operates in 17 countries, reaches over 300 million users per month, and has a prestigious client list that includes Disney, Samsung, AT&T, Netflix and Coca-Cola.

Sublime Skinz, which Febvre began in 2012, was named a French National Champion by the European Business Awards in 2016, selected as #109 on Deloitte's 2016 Technology Fast 500 Europe, Middle East & Africa, and ranked within the Financial Times Fastest growing companies FT1000 list in 2018. Helping to generate over $75 million in revenue since 2015, Febvre and his co-founders currently employs 142 people and has over 4,000 B2B clients, and the numbers continue to rise.

Though the international success of Sublime Skinz says leagues about Febvre's strengths as a leading entrepreneur in the modern age and it has made him a globally recognizable figure in the world of digital advertising, it is not the first successful company he created from the ground up.

"I love to build and develop projects from scratch. I am very creative. I need to take responsibility and have a full impact," explains Febvre.

Though Febvre's immediately family is largely comprised of artists and teachers, his knack for business was evident early on his life. At the age of 15, he started Chae Plaisanteries, his first record label.

"When I told people in my French High School I was starting a business, they all laughed at me, like 'Is it a Joke?'. So I came up with a silly name-- 'Yes it actually is a joke, it's called 'Chae Plaisanteries,' the French word for 'pleasantry.'"

This was Febvre's first entrepreneurial experience, and it was a successful one at that.

"I founded a music band and I started managing it, booking concerts and producing recordings. To me it was an artistic project first, but I quickly realized I loved the business part of it," recalls Febvre. "Little by little, I started managing 2, 3 then 5 artists, dealing with their live venues, contracts with producers, marketing, merchandising, and websites."

At 20-years-old, Febvre was awarded the "Defis Jeunes" (DDJS) by the French Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports for a music production project that he led for the French rock band Les Rois Barges. While most of his peers were still figuring out their collegiate majors, he was already an experienced music entrepreneur with his own small business.

Febvre went on to attend the Institut des Metiers de la Musique where he obtained a degree in music business administration, and for a short time afterwards, he worked as a marketing assistant at EMI Music France, assisting globally recognized talents such as as Paul McCartney, Kylie Minogue, Gorillaz, Radiohead and Coldplay. Despite his love for the music industry, however, being an assistant was never in the cards for Febvre.

He recalls, "[I] felt pretty frustrated, being just a tiny, insignificant part of a much larger process. I wanted to design and control my projects from A to Z."

He had already started his own successful business, and he knew he wanted to do it again, this time in the tech industry. His first foray into the budding world of start-ups came in 2008 when he and three friends, Theo Faucon, Nicolas Devaux and Jonathan Fussi, created the game, Heroville.

"We kind of adapted a board/card game concept to the Internet with the emergent technologies that had been used by startups from the late 90s. I was the business guy in a very unconventional group of 4 co-founders," Febvre explains. "I came up with the concept and wrote a large part of it, then I took the responsibility of business development, audience acquisition, partnerships and monetization. It was a lot of fun!"

At the time Febvre and friends started Heroville, PBeMs (play by email games where players sent their orders via email to a game master) were the norm and social media networks like Facebook and the massive multiplayer online platforms we know of today were practically non-existent. Though the game was a relative success, more importantly, it was a pivotal turning point for Febvre as an entrepreneur.  

"The game became pretty successful, with over 100,000 players. The game eventually was acquired by a gaming company, not for a huge amount, but enough to be a revelation on the potential of the startup industry… In comparison to the level of work provided in the music industry, it was clear to me that the return on investment was way higher and that chances were much higher to have a positive outcome."

Febvre's horizons expanded and he steadily found himself entering into new markets. He went on to co-found numerous startups such as Gameek, a digital business development agency that helps young webgame publishers increase their revenues through ad optimization.

"It was the first time I was in charge of managing advertising revenues for third party publishers. It was real awakening for me cause I had the chance to develop relationships with a large range of publishers, with different needs, different resources, and different expectations," says Febvre. "That was also a time where Google was becoming stronger in Europe, and we had to bring a significant added value to convince websites to keep working with us. At that time, we learned a lot about programmatic advertising, and all the differentiators that would later leverage at Sublime Skinz."

In 2011 he also started the app Music Angels, which promoted artists, publishers, and labels in the music industry while generating incremental sources of revenue through traffic and social media activity. Coming at a point in time when the music industry was undergoing a major overhaul and losing money at a record pace, Febvre saw the perfect opening to create an app that would help bridge the gap.

He says, "I love to look a people's problems and figure out solutions that will make good businesses. The more people face the same problem, the more potential your solution has. I find passion in identifying the right idea, and to execute it in a way that is different, or that no one would do that way."

Over the year Febvre's savvy business skill, creativity and knack for predicting future trends in various markets have helped lead a plethora of companies to achieve astronomical growth. While Febvre has proven himself to be an exponentially talented entrepreneurial force in the tech industry, it's clear that those same talents and his unique way of processing the world are what made him successful in the music business at such a young age.

When asked about the similarities between creating a music business compared to a tech start-up, Febvre says, "Like in any other project, you imagine a concept, then you need to bring it to life, give it a concrete existence, and an organization to structure its production phases, then you need to promote it, and offer support to the people that use it. This is common to building any project, from a song, to a startup, a car or shoes. The only difference is in the art industry, subjectivity has a much larger role in success, and customer expectations are way more complicated to anticipate."

We certainly see this with Sublime Skinz today, which has been continually praised for its innovative business model and extensive contributions to the digital advertising industry under Jerem Febvre's leadership. Having been named as one of the Red Herring Top 100 Europe Winners, Les Echos & Statista's 2019 French Growth Champions, Deloitte's Technology FAST50 France, the TOP25 French Startup of the year by L'Express, the TECH5: Europe Fastest Growing Companies by The Next Web, as well as many more accolades that reveal its superior standing in the global industry, Sublime is undeniably one of the world's top tech businesses today.

Some people seem to be have been born to lead and spark innovative changes within society and Jerem Febvre is undoubtedly among that rare group of individuals.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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