2012 Entrepreneurship and Innovation Contest: seven winning firms originated at HEC Montréal

December 12, 2012

The Centre d’entrepreneurship HEC-POLY-UdeM rewarded 11 new businesses at the 15th edition of its annual Entrepreneurship and Innovation Contest, seven of them founded by students or recent graduates of HEC Montréal. At the award ceremony on December 5, these firms that originated at the School took home $56,000 in cash prizes and services.


The seven winning firms are:

Novothermic Technologies inc.

Developing and marketing innovative hot water heat-recovery solutions that take advantage of potential energy savings for the firm’s partners and clients.

Entrepreneurs: Guillaume Lacroix (MSc 2011), Manuel Théberge (MSc 2006 and PhD student; MSc in Mechanical Engineering, Polytechnique Montréal), Benoît Champoux (Master’s in Mechanical Engineering, Université de Sherbrooke), Loïc Frohn-Villeneuve (PhD in Mechanical Engineering, Université Laval) and Marc-Antoine Legault (Master's in Mechanical Engineering, Université de Sherbrooke)

Prizes: $14,000 from Jacques Foisy and $1,000 from Polytechnique Montréal

Award in the form of services: $3,500 from RSM Richter and $1,500 from the Caisse populaire Desjardins de Verdun

NB: The team was also saluted in June in the 2012 Quebec Entrepreneurship Contest, when it won the Grand Prize for Young Entrepreneurs in the Business Creation category, along with a cash prize of $20,000.


La Boussole des Arts inc.

An interactive portal adapted to opera industry needs, including a professional network, job offers and a database.

Entrepreneur: Marc-Antoine d’Aragon (specialized Graduate Diploma in Management of Cultural Organizations 2011 and Master’s student in the Master’s in Management of Cultural Enterprises program)

Prizes: $6,000 from Jean-Pierre Chartrand/Novacap/Réseau Capital and $4,000 from BMO Financial Group

Award in the form of services: $1,000 from Boivin Desbiens Senécal Chalifour, s.e.n.c.r.l. and $1,000 from the Caisse populaire Desjardins de Verdun



Custom solutions and consulting in information technologies.   

Entrepreneur: Joseph Helou (MBA 2012)

Prizes: $5,000 from Gestion Univalor, $1,000 from HEC Montréal, $500 from Vector7 and $500 from Rheolution



Virtual event consulting, support and organizing.

Entrepreneurs: Nadir Popat (Certificate in International Business 2010) and Vivien Virgili (Certificate in Financial Management 2010)

Prizes: $4,000 from the Fondation Marie Françoise et Marc Beauchamp and $1,000 from Adviso Conseil inc.



French-language online platform for linking up clients (corporate or individual) and qualified freelancers.

Entrepreneurs: Cyril Brouillard (MBA 2010) and Julien Goguet (MBA 2010)

Prizes: $4,000 from the Fondation Marie Françoise et Marc Beauchamp and $500 from CIVA Solutions Ressources Humaines inc.


Akela Surf

Eco-friendly surfskate product manufacturing and distribution.

Entrepreneurs: Servio Anez (Certificate in International Business 2010 and student in the Certificate in Business Management) and Annie Gagné (Diploma of collegial studies in administrative techniques, Cégep de Rimouski)

Prize: $4,000 from Jean-Pierre Chartrand/Novacap/Réseau Capital

Award in the form of services: $500 from NLP Technologies


École de mécanique cycliste de Québec (EMCQ)

Bicycle mechanic training centre.

Entrepreneur: Martin Renière (Certificate in Marketing Management 2012)

Prize: $3,000 from Paul Labute


Front row: Jean DesRochers (RSM Richter), Philip Bénard (Électrobac and 2011 winner), Pierre-Luc Laparé (GolfAvenue and 2009 winner), Martin Renière (EMCQ and 2012 winner), Mélanie Gagnon (HEC Montréal Foundation), Claude Chapdelaine (Chapdelaine Consultants), Vivien Virgili (Virtuanima and 2012 winner), Felipe Gallon (Solo fruit and 2001 winner).

Second row: Franck Bares (HEC Montréal), Marc-André La Barre (La Barre Construction inc. and 2004 winner), Paule Tardif (Centre d'entrepreneurship HEC-POLY-UdeM), Catherine Cafiti (C Traiteur and 2010 winner), Louis Jacques Filion (HEC Montréal), Joseph Helou (Dynamaze and 2012 winner).

Third row: Cyril Brouillard (Humaneos and 2012 winner), Eloï Abraham Zayat (Zayat Aroma inc. and 2011 winner), Marc-Antoine d’Aragon (La Boussole des Arts inc. and 2012 winner), Servio Anez (Akela Surf and 2012 winner), Susan McDougall Chartrand (Fondation Jean-Pierre Chartrand), Yannick Pagé (CIVA Solutions Ressources Humaines inc. and 2003 winner), Yanouk Poirier (Leaders & cie and 2002 winner).

Back row: Félix Morin (Succès Scolaire and 2007 winner), Simon Lamarche (Adviso Conseil inc. and 2003 winner), Nadir Popat (Virtuanima and 2012 winner), Manuel Théberge (Novothermic Technologies inc. and 2012 winner), Guillaume Lacroix (Novothermic Technologies inc. and 2012 winner).

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