Published on September 11, 2023Updated on November 09, 2023
With her consulting firm HY-Plug, which focuses on green technologies and energy in the maritime industry, young entrepreneur Camille Lopez is on course for energy transition.
Business leader Camille Lopez grew up in the South of France and is now about to prove herself in Monaco. After studying international business and spending a year in London to perfect her English, she entered IUM (International University of Monaco). “It was a dream of mine! I’ve always been attracted by the Principality’s multiculturalism, international outlook and vision of entrepreneurship. I have the impression that here, when it comes to creativity and professional ambition, everything is possible. After applying for a second-year Master’s Degree at IUM, I was lucky enough to be accepted and obtained a merit-based scholarship,” she says.
Picture: Camille Lopez won first prize in the Business Creation Competition organised by the Junior Economic Chamber of Monaco. A endowment of €40,000 was presented to the founder of Hy-Plug by Mélanie Dupuy, President JCEM 2022, and Jean Castellini, Minister of Finance and Economy.
One day the student heard about the Mark Challenge, a business plan competition organised by IUM. Lopez, who is driven by a strong competitive spirit, immediately wanted to take part. “That was when the basic concept of HY-Plug was born. It brings together my areas of interest: engines, boats, new technologies and environmentalism. I’ve been going out to sea with my father since I was a young child, and I’ve always been aware of the importance of acting in an environmentally conscious way.” Lopez drew up an initial business plan: “The idea was to provide a consulting service and support for innovative projects in the ports sector, and, more broadly, the yachting industry. And I had the honour of winning the Sustainability Special Award and the Yachting Special Award in the 2021 edition.” Galvanised by these prizes, Lopez entered the Monaco Ocean Protection Challenge (MOPC) in the same year, run by the Musée Océanographique de Monaco: “This competition rewards the best business plan that presents new concepts and economic models with a positive and measurable environmental impact on the ocean.” She won the contest in the Student category.
Encouraged by the enthusiastic response to her project, Camille Lopez founded her company in May 2021 in France. But before approaching potential clients, she focused on the market, suppliers and technologies. “I wanted to understand everything about the business and completely master my subject so I could provide concrete answers when prospecting for new customers.” She took part in yacht shows, conferences and other events focusing on biofuels, green energies and new technologies. “Our strength lies in the fact that we’re aware of the latest developments across all these sectors. And we become a link between them,” she says. In January 2022, Camille finally began knocking on the doors of companies she thought could benefit from her services. “My very first client was SMEG Monaco,” she says, smiling.
With characteristic determination, Lopez then decided to pitch her concept to the jury of the Business Creation Competition, organised by the Junior Economic Chamber of Monaco. Once again, she took first place, winning the Government Prize! “My ambition has always been to set up HY-Plug in Monaco. This prize and its endowment of €40,000 have enabled me to speed things up. I plan to use this money to fund my travel, invest in a marketing strategy and develop a team of staff in the long term.” The French entity is not about to disappear, though. “HY-Plug France will deal with the ports aspect, while HY-Plug Monaco will be dedicated to the yachting industry.” Camille Lopez is convinced that the future of yachting is green.