Every year, the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation sponsors the participation of 25 emerging entrepreneurs at C2 Montréal. Throughout the three days of the event, they meet industry leaders and experts and collaborate on finding creative solutions to real business challenges.
The contest application period ends March 23, at noon, and here are four reasons why, according to four of our 2016 alumni, you really should take time off from your busy schedule to fill out the application form:
1. You may very well meet your next business partners
Our alumni are unanimous: the people you meet here make C2 Montréal and the Emerging Entrepreneurs Contest an absolutely unique experience.
Geneviève Rousseau (Bonapp) forged links with Restaurant Candide’s John Winter Russell, with whom she is now collaborating, while Shawn and Devin Young (Classcraft) have begun discussions with Québec Premier Philippe Couillard and have developed a partnership with the Québec Delegation in New York. “We work in education,” Shawn notes, “so it’s very attractive for the government of Québec to have an education company do well in New York.”
2. You’ll build strong relationships with fellow entrepreneurs
FreshMint’s Daniel Perel agrees that networking with the other competition winners, investors and participants was the most useful part of the experience: “I am still in touch with several of them. These relationships really go beyond the handshake or the conversation,” he says.
Devin observes that, “we don’t build businesses in a vacuum, so it’s all about the relationships we build. Now, among the contest winners, we consider one another as peers. The idea is to be part of the community and help one another out.”
“We consider one another
- Devin Young, Classcraft
3. You’ll get close to far-out innovators
As part of their participation, the 2016 alumni had the opportunity to meet with hotel entrepreneur Chip Conley, who spoke to them about entrepreneurship with a warmth and openness that really made an impression. According to Devin, “Chip went deep into stuff that is meaningful to us as entrepreneurs in that point of our journey. He shared a very emotional point of view, and that’s the most meaningful stuff. You could go to a thousand conferences, you would never get this deep.”
“You could go to
a thousand conferences,
you would never
get this deep.”
- Devin Young, Classcraft
This spontaneous and authentic contact is something the Emerging Entrepreneurs have shared, but each was marked differently by the talks and the activities they experienced. Geneviève was deeply inspired by Massimo Bottura. “For months,” she says, “I felt like I was tilting at windmills, talking about food waste – me with a business that’s more oriented toward people than profits. When I was listening to him basically telling people ‘waste is your wonderland,’ I was so happy that the message was being heard! This is the beginning of a change in behaviour towards waste, and it really encourages me. I now feel that Bonapp has gained credibility by being selected, and that I have gained confidence and a network.”
“When I was listening to Massimo Bottura
basically telling people that
‘waste is your wonderland,’
I was so happy that the message
was being heard! ”
- Geneviève Rousseau, Bonapp
4. You’ll gain a new perspective on your business
Daniel Perel, for his part, stresses the value of the overall experience. “You get three days to take a step back, get out of the day-to-day stress and reflect on your business. It helps to put things in perspective and better think about the future. You just have to be in the right mindset and be ready to take it all in.”
“You get three days to take
a step back, get out of the
day-to-day stress and reflect
on your business. ”
- Daniel Perel, FreshMint
He continues to be nurtured by this transformative experience, revisiting from time to time the lessons he learned: “I still look at my notes from the talks every now and then.”
Emerging Entrepreneurs are still amazed by the power of the collision of ideas and are still inspired by the people they met.
You only have two days left to participate in the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation’s Emerging Entrepreneurs Contest. Fill out the form here.