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02 November 2020

Irma FUBIANI (TBS 2017) - Creator of 1-watt

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Innovation and a market strategy for a lasting planet: that is my motivation. 

Passionate about ecology and sustainable development, with a degree in Economics, I have more than 15 years’ experience in international business development. And more recently, (in 1917) I passed an Aeronautics MBA at TBS.

Today, I am developing at start-up activity called "1-watt". It is a light bulb with an extremely low carbon footprint and a shelf life of 25 years. From now on, changing a light bulb helps reduce global warming, it’s a simple as that.

Why did you choose Toulouse and TBS for your studies ? 

If you live in Toulouse, the Aeronautics world is all around you. I therefore felt that the specialized aeronautics program was the right choice in order to learn about the aeronautics business. The added value of the program is the quality of the professors and teaching staff who share their vision and knowledge thanks to their wealth of experience in their areas of expertise. Moreover, French is not my mother tongue so the fact that the program is run in English was another positive element.

What are you doing today and how did you get to where you are in your professional career ?

I did all my studies in Mexico. In 1996, passed my thesis about sustainable development, a first at the university. I then went on to do my master’s degree in Environmental Economics in Canada.

I wanted to work in the Mexican Ministry of Ecology, but the stars had mapped out a different route for me.

After a long illness, a friend convinced me to become a co-owner of 3 franchises of an American company. I was then hired to manage the high growth of the group in Latin America and in the Caribbean. After that, I left the American continent for Spain and Portugal. After 10 years in the same position, I had no clear development prospects, so I left my position in search of a new adventure.

In 2010 sustainable development wasn’t very active in France, and it is even harder for a foreigner to work in this public sector.

It was the market needs, the opportunities to answer the needs of some embassies, companies and artistic groups who were looking for temporary accommodation in New York that almost accidently led me to develop a service company for stays in New York. Sustainable development and respect for the environment have always been the key differentiators of my service offer.  

A few years later, when my French had improved, I felt ready to take on a new challenge. I wanted to discover business in France and the aeronautics world.

In 2017, I started at TBS on the Aerospace MBA course. This MBA gave me the opportunity to work on several aeronautical projects. I realized that there weren’t many initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint in this industry. There remains a great deal to be done.

That is the reason behind my decision to get involved for the planet by developing my own project. When considering the cost of a product, it is important to take into account the « costs” of manufacturing and consumption on the environment. When I shared my ideas about designing new products that allow us to live our lives without damaging the environment, I developed 1-watt: a light bulb with a 25-year life, made of very good quality parts and which works on only one watt.

I am happy to have found a product that respects the environment and that I am proud of.
Finally! Today I can say to my children: here is your mum’s contribution to the future of our planet.


What advice would you give to TBS Alumni, students or graduates, who would like to start an entrepreneurship? 

Always do what you love and don’t give up! If you have something that motivates you, keep going.

Perhaps conditions to develop projects are not easy today, perhaps expatriation is necessary, perhaps a president needs to change, or you need to change schools, give yourself time and look for the right conditions. But never let go of this fire inside that lights up your spirit.

How has the Alumni network been a support to you?

DIt is essential to have an alumni network in the aeronautics sector. I met an Alumni and I was able to share ideas about several topics. In addition, since I was not a native of Toulouse or France, the TBS network provided me with good support when I needed it.

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