I am an e-commerce entrepreneur from Montreal, Canada. A few twists and turns in my career landed me in beautiful Brussels for three months and I could not be more excited. My entrepreneurship path started in high school with my winning first prize in a business creation contest where I built a jewelry business with a few classmates. At university, I studied accounting and business administration while working in the financial industry. I learned a lot from the business world, but I missed the thrill of creating something of my own.
The excitement of brainstorming the possibilities of where an idea could take me was what led me to embark on an entrepreneurship competition in Albi, France with the help of the LOJIQ. It is a Quebec organization whose mandate is to promote the professional and personal development of young Quebec adults abroad. Coached by entrepreneurs, marketers and scientists we had two weeks to come up with a product that would promote sustainable development. After intense brainstorming, business planning (and a few meltdowns), we proposed a kitchen cart that would allow you to grow fine herbs at home. We pitched in front of local investors and it was nerve-wracking yet exhilarating. We won the first place, then I went back to Montreal with a whole new level of self-confidence. When I went back home, I launched my first business but after careful validation I realized that my idea was not viable. I let it go and went on to the next project which brought me to e-commerce. It is a roller coaster ride where I wear many hats from marketing to sourcing, but entirely worth it.
What I appreciate the most is that I have the freedom to take on other projects that benefit the Montreal tech and entrepreneurship ecosystem. As of late, I have contributed to the growth of a skills incubator in Montreal called Les Pitonneux. They are a non-profit that offers a programming, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things bootcamps for people from different all walks of life, from aerospace engineers to art majors. At the end of the workshops they pitch their project in front of hundreds of people within the local tech community. Often, they land prized jobs in the industry or launch their own startups. I have witnessed firsthand how technology and entrepreneurship can transform lives and the economy.
I am now at the Microsoft Innovation Center Brussels a public-private partnership with the local government and notably, Microsoft. I cannot think of a better place to learn about innovation than with the help of the corporation that pushed the tech revolution in the first place. My goal is to learn as much as I can here and to see all the promising startups hungry to lead the next tech revolution here in Brussels. My hope is that I can open a channel between Montreal’s and Brussel’s startup scenes. I will be attending all the tech and entrepreneurship events that I can find and will be sharing my discoveries with you. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment below. If there’s anything I’ve learned in tech entrepreneurship is that open communication and collaboration paves the way to innovation.