Fourteen contestants will square off to try to earn a job at Awabot, a Lyon firm specializing in robotics. Bruno Bonnell, Chairman of Awabot and emblematic figure in the French business world, has been chosen to play the role of the boss in this new show.

The game

This reality show is an adaptation of “The Apprentice,” a program launched 11 years ago in the United States by NBC, whose first version featured American billionaire Donald Trump. According to Nicolas Coppermann, CEO of Endemol and producer of the show in France, Bruno Bonnell is perfect for this role: “He is a great television character.”

Out of 1,000 applicants, only 14 were selected. The cast is composed of 7 women and 7 men, aged 21 to 45. Their profiles are diverse: a young company manager, a self-taught man, more experienced professionals and some graduates of France’s elite grandes écoles. These contestants will have to show off their qualities and skills during the 6 challenges that will include, for instance, temporary stints as fishmongers and laundry workers.


The boss

Bruno Bonnell is a “serial entrepreneur” from Lyon and expert in robotics. He is the founder of Infogrames/Atari, an international video games company, one of the presidents of Robopolis, a European leader in service robotics, and Chairman of Awabot. His role in the game? He will choose which candidate to eliminate at the end of each challenge, following a debriefing.

The prize

What’s at stake? A position as Director of Business Development at Awabot. Founded in 2011 and based in Villeurbanne, next to Lyon, Awabot designs and produces robots for education and for the general public. The new recruit will be in charge of “launching a new product that does not yet exist and that will change people’s lives,” explains Bonnell. In his view, the skills required are “knowing how to sell, negotiate, do marketing, come up with ideas and be creative.”

Focus on the robotics sector in the Rhône-Alpes region:

  • Sensors: 17%
  • Artificial intelligence: 10%
  • Systems: 50%
  • Components: 20%
  • Mechatronics/actuators: 25%
  • Human/machine interfaces: 10%