I used to grow up in Nantes. Plenty of good souvenirs.
The Studies Era
I moved to Paris at 18 to start studying in ESME Sudria a generic Engineering school.
I graduated in 1995, with a diploma in “Electro-technics and High Power Electronic” (you know big electric motors for trains and such) with an option in Software Engineering. My diploma project was a 3D graphics renderer using radiosity based on this Siggraph article
The 3D software Era
After school, 3 friends and I founded a company called RAYflect where we were developing Ray Dream Studio, Photoshop and/or 3DS Max 3D plugins, our famous ones were named Four Elements, Four Seasons or Phototracer.
The company was eventually aquired by MetaCreations in 1999, and I went to work in their French subsidiary.
Founding another one
Back in 2000, the french MetaCreations subsidiary was closed, and the 9 engineers working there decided to start a new company called TinCell founded by an US VC fund called Ridge Venture, lead by Eric Hautemont.
We were mainly doing WAP services and Speech Recognition enabled phone services. The company unfortunately failed because we were really to early. At that same time I started doing Unix and Linux System Administration and Java development.