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$2 Million for Emerging Entrepreneurs and the Hélène Desmarais Building

An outstanding donation made by the Lise and Giuseppe Racanelli Foundation

October 19, 2023

The HEC Montréal Foundation is honoured and humbled to announce an outstanding $2 million donation from the Lise and Giuseppe Racanelli Foundation, half of which will be directed toward the Hélène Desmarais Building and the other half to the Cursus entrepreneurial series of training activities and workshops within the Pôle Entrepreneuriat, Repreneuriat et Familles en affaires.

At the official inauguration of the Hélène Desmarais Building on September 15, 2023: Giuseppe Racanelli, with his wife, Lise (left), and daughter, Véronique.

Prolific philanthropist and entrepreneur Giuseppe Racanelli (HEC Montréal 1968) is dedicated to giving back and helping to pave the way for up-and-coming entrepreneurs, especially those who, like him, have decided to build their business in their adopted home of Quebec.

“Quebec has been very good to me. I grew up in Montreal after moving here from Italy as a young child. I received an excellent education and I’ve been able to make a name for myself in the business world. Through this donation, my wife, Lise, and I hope to give back to the society that has been so generous to us. This is also meant as a message of hope to immigrants by showing them that, yes, you can make your dreams come true here, start a company that does business all over North America and become a leader in your chosen industry.”

Giuseppe Racanelli, Founder and President of Ingénia Technologies

“My father is a man of ambition and compassion for others. Investing in higher education is important to our family, especially when it comes to supporting young entrepreneurs. By making innovation, excellence and engagement the foundations upon which he built Ingénia, he has shown how closely his priorities and HEC Montréal’s values are aligned. We share the same vision and commitment to those who will be the standard-bearers of change going forward.”

Véronique Racanelli, President of the Lise and Giuseppe Racanelli Foundation



Helping prepare today’s entrepreneurs for the challenges of tomorrow

This contribution from the Lise and Giuseppe Racanelli Foundation will go toward helping entrepreneurs that are just starting out and/or hail from cultural communities, with $100,000 a year over a 10-year horizon earmarked for the Cursus entrepreneurial series of activities, the goal of which is to support participants in the business acceleration and incubation programs operated as part of La base entrepreneuriale HEC Montréal.


“This outstanding donation by the Racanelli family will lend impetus to the Cursus entrepreneurial series of university-level workshops and training activities, supported by a network of entrepreneurs and faculty members specializing in key entrepreneurial disciplines. This series serves as the linchpin for the assistance provided through La base entrepreneuriale HEC Montréal. It will provide a significant boost for our mission to train well-rounded leaders who are equipped to drive the long-term success of their businesses.”

Luis Cisneros, Co-Director, La base entrepreneuriale HEC Montréal


“It is a tremendous privilege for us to welcome the Lise and Giuseppe Racanelli Foundation among the top donors to HEC Montréal. A contribution of this size will be a game-changer for both the institution and the next generation of entrepreneurs who, like Mr. Racanelli, will lead us forward as we face the challenges of our time.”

Michel Patry, President and CEO of the HEC Montréal Foundation


Passionate about making a difference

Giuseppe Racanelli graduated from HEC Montréal in 1968. He credits the School for putting him on the path to the successful career he has since carved out for himself. “HEC Montréal let me learn the ins and outs of working with equipment suppliers during an internship in Europe with a French multinational corporation. I even had a hand in getting a new division off the ground. I later started up my first business, Racan. In 2004, I founded Ingénia Technologies, a leading-edge company specializing in the design and manufacture of high-quality air handling units,” he explained.

“We have since gone on to set the standard in the industry, serving markets in Canada and the United States where quality and accuracy are paramount,” he added. “Our systems can be found in a wide range of healthcare, pharmaceutical, agrifood and industrial settings, as well as in museums and symphony halls.”

A forward-thinking leader who believes in putting people first, Racanelli is quick to acknowledge that the diverse backgrounds and cultures of his teams is his company’s greatest asset in terms of keeping ideas fresh and developing one-of-a-kind technologies. As someone who is always on the lookout for new solutions to meet his clients’ specific needs, he has devoted his career to fine-tuning automated processes and streamlining operations to make them as efficient and cost-effective as possible. “HEC Montréal taught me that 1 + 1 = 3, something that continues to shape my thinking to this day,” he indicated, with a confident smile.


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