Venture for Canada (VFC) announced the launch of the VFC Quebec Advisory Council. The entrepreneurs, innovation ecosystem leaders, and post-secondary representatives who serve on the council will work together for 16-months to advise VFC on how to grow its social impact into Quebec. The council members include representatives from organizations such as Bonjour Startup Montreal, Element AI, and L’Université de Sherbrooke.
“The Quebec Advisory Council will play a critical role in thoughtfully envisioning how VFC can support entrepreneurial youth and startups in Quebec,” says Scott Stirrett, Founder and CEO of Venture for Canada.
“Quebec’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is growing rapidly, as evidenced by the phenomenal growth of companies such as Lightspeed and Nuvei. We are excited to explore how VFC can further catalyze Quebec’s dynamic young people to develop an entrepreneurial mindset,” added Parm Gill, Chair of Venture for Canada’s Board of Directors.
VFC currently operates within all other Canadian provinces. In 2020 over 1,000 Canadian post-secondary students and recent graduates will participate in VFC’s programs and thereby gain work experiences at innovative small businesses and startups.
About Venture for Canada
Venture for Canada is a national charity that accelerates the careers of Canadian youth by providing immersive learning opportunities at Canadian startups and small businesses. Through VFC’s programs, young Canadians gain the skills, experience, and networks to lead more entrepreneurial and impactful careers, and innovative Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises gain access to the talent that they need to grow. To learn more, visit https://ventureforcanada.ca/
About VFC’s Quebec Advisory Council Members
Valérie Forget is an innovation program designer with a keen interest in the development of commercial collaborations between startups and large organizations. She has established a series of open innovation programs and skills development programs for various stakeholders within the startup ecosystem, including an online incubator program and a summer lab in artificial intelligence. Currently, she performs the role of Innovation Director within the non-profit organization Bonjour Startup, whose mission is to support the development of the Montreal startup ecosystem and to ensure its international influence.
Danièle is a prominent and successful businesswoman and entrepreneur. The founder and CEO of Danièle Henkel Entreprises, she specializes in innovative, non-invasive technologies for medico-aesthetic centres. She is also actively developing brand franchises that offer medico-aesthetic express services and a cosmetic product line. Among her achievements, in 2019, Danièle was a winner in Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards by WXN. In 2018, she garnered the Medal of Honour of the National Assembly of Quebec and was nominated as a leadership champion of the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi). In 2017, she was awarded the Knight of the Order of Merit of France medal, and the Mayor of Paris, the Honorable Anne Hidalgo, referred to her as “uniqueness in universality”.
An eminent speaker, Danièle champions many causes internationally including social entrepreneurship, education, succession, social skills, health, human and ethical values in business. A keen supporter of women’s entrepreneurship and financial emancipation, Danièle never hesitates to invest in, finance and support promising companies as she did during five seasons on “Dragons’ Den”. She recently launched a digital television platform, danielehenkel.tv, dedicated to empowering small and medium-sized businesses and to offering regional entrepreneurs enhanced outreach.
Her personal story, told in two French-language autobiographical works, Quand l’Intuition Trace la Route and Au Coeur de mes Valeurs, continues to inspire generations of women and men.
Danièle sits on several boards and consultative bodies for private, public, parapublic and paramunicipal organizations, and served as the Chair of the Board of Directors for Parc Jean-Drapeau from 2015 to 2019.
Liette’s first source of inspiration and energy comes from the entrepreneurs she has had the privilege to work with throughout her career. Looking to make a positive impact, she has been evolving in philanthropy for the past 15 years as Executive Director of Fondation Montréal inc., a non-profit that catalyzes the success of young, innovative and ambitious businesses through startup grants and access to a prestigious business network.
In 2019, Liette co-founded Bonjour Startup Montréal, an organization whose mission is to help Montreal be the best place on earth to launch and grow a startup and to let the whole world know about it.
Liette is a Chartered Professional Accountant who studied law, with a focus on international business. She started her career assisting entrepreneurs in their export ventures within the Government of Canada and later became CEO of World Trade Centre Montreal.
Chloe is the co-founder and CEO of Espace-inc, an accelerator for entrepreneurs. She graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from the Université de Sherbrooke and has baa much-diversified experience in innovation and technology transfer, more specifically in clean technology. Standing by her profound values, Chloe’s actions have always been motivated by her desire to make a difference, both socially and environmentally. Since 2015, she has been bringing together experienced entrepreneurs and high-level experts around a human, agile and collaborative organisation with the goal of providing concrete support to emerging entrepreneurs in order for them to reach their full potential and build lasting businesses. Throughout her career, Chloe has coached a dozen entrepreneurs of all horizons, has joined a number of boards of directors and has developed and executed many innovative projects including the creation of the first Dark Sky Reserve, a world premiere. She received Radio-Canada’s ‘’Scientifique de l’année’’ prize in 2007 with this project.
Julian is a young French professional who arrived in Montreal in 2015 to complete a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering. During this period, Julian was strongly involved in the student entrepreneurial ecosystem in Montreal. Among other things, he co-organized the first edition of the UNI5 student entrepreneurial competition, bringing together students from 5 Montreal universities (ÉTS, HEC, Polytechnique, McGill, Concordia) with the goal of having them collaborate on business ideas.
In 2017, Julian joined AKKA Technologies, European leader in engineering consulting and R&D services in the field of mobility, as Business Development Manager. In charge of a portfolio of 8 clients in the aerospace and automotive sectors, Julian was responsible for a team of more than 20 engineering consultants.
In 2019, Julian returned to the Montreal entrepreneurial ecosystem by joining Centech, a world-class incubator for high-tech start-ups. He is currently in charge of strategic partnerships and his mission is to develop the best business relationships in order to accelerate the creation and development of early-stage technology startups in Quebec.
Anne Martel is a serial entrepreneur, Chief Administrative Officer and co-founder of Element AI, a Montreal-based artificial intelligence company that delivers cutting-edge products and solutions to large organizations globally.She is responsible for the vision, design, implementation and continuous improvement of operations groups, namely brand and marketing, human resources, government relations and public affairs, and legal functions.
Anne previously had a successful exit in the medical sector in 2014, where her focus was on manufacturing and distribution of medical devices. She holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University), and bachelor’s degrees in Fine Arts and Finance from Concordia University.
A passionate art enthusiast and philanthropist, she co-founded Continuum Foundation, with a mission to level the impact of technology on society. She is also involved in Montreal’s thriving community of entrepreneurs as a spokesperson, an angel investor, and a board member of OSMO Foundation, a non-profit established in 2009 to help grow the local startup community.
Eamonn O’Rourke is a seasoned builder and serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years of construction industry experience under his tool belt. He has built houses in Europe and North America, managing $45M+ in construction projects. With a world-class team under his leadership, Eamonn’s new focus is building technology to reshape the industry he came from. He’s been featured in Canadian Contractor, Construction Executive, The Construction Life podcast, and more. When he’s not burning the midnight oil, you can find him with one of his four children, jamming on his drum set, or building high-end wood furniture.
Driven by a passionate interest in start-ups and entrepreneurship and a desire to help revitalize Quebec City’s economic ecosystem, Sébastien Tanguay has been helping entrepreneurs to bring their projects to fruition since 2011. In so doing, he offers entrepreneurs personalized guidance, including training activities to help them determine the feasibility of their business concepts.
As a Kauffman Foundation-accredited trainer and as a past participant in MIT’s Quebec Techno Growth program, Sébastien has developed a solid range of skills. Currently serving as senior director of LE CAMP incubator-accelerator, he helps start-ups during all stages, from conception to growth. He is also board chair of MAIN (Mouvement des accélérateurs d’innovation du Québec) and a member of the Canadian Digital Media Network’s advisory committee. As co-founder of MyFoodPhone Inc. and co-author of Mobile Persuasion, Sébastien has in-depth knowledge of high-tech entrepreneurship, a field in which he has operated since 2000.
An entrepreneur and coach, Marie Texier uses her passion and expertise to foster human development. To that end, she creates spaces in which multi-disciplinary creation is placed at the service of innovative and transformative projects carried out within the framework of the Accélérateur entrepreneurial Desjardins (AED) at the University of Sherbrooke (UdeS).
Taking a profoundly humanistic approach, she uses the combination of strengths she has gained from her engineering, anthropological and coaching experience on the projects to which she contributes. Having worked in a wide range of professional contexts, she has conceptualized and founded a community of multi-disciplinary healthcare practitioners, in addition to mobilizing and launching business creativity teams with C2 Montréal’s strategic growth and business development division.
While working as an anthropologist, she specialized in change, providing young people with life coaching amid globalized social change. She is now focused on the need to guide youths seeking to navigate the new complexities of the labour market, to help them find meaning in the diversity of their lived experience and to develop their self-confidence with a view to achieving personal adaptability and taking concrete action in the world. She has become one of the driving forces within the AED, an organization whose commitment to transformation in this regard is deeply rooted within the university/college system.