District 3 startups have access to results-driven & just-in-time support through programming, one-on-one coaching, expert sessions, workshops, global expansion support, seed fund opportunities, state-of-the-art wetlabs, and workspaces in Montreal and New York City. We take no equity and the intellectual property remains your own.
Launch & Grow Program
When starting a company, there are a lot of unknowns and I had to learn things I didn't know as a scientist. The training provided me with the skills and knowledge to fill the gaps I was missing to build a successful business."
Mina Mekhail, PhD, Co-Founder of Impactful Health
Coaches & Experts
Head Coach, District 3
JD Bégin is a venture capitalist turned entrepreneur and angel investor. As head coach at District 3, Bégin helps founders find product market-fit, grow their key metrics, and secure financing. Having previously worked as a growth advisor and mentor to firms such as VM6 Software Inc., Techstars and Traction Ventures, Bégin leverages more than 15 years experience to uniquely equip startups with the tools they need to grow into successful enterprises. Bégin holds an MBA from Concordia University, as well as a bachelors of Business Administration in accounting and finance from UQAM.
Social Innovation Coach, District 3
Jonathan Chaloux was the former Manager of Culture at l’Esplanade, an accelerator and collaborative workspace specializing in entrepreneurship and social innovation, as well as co-founder of Coworking Québec. Passionate about social impact and the mechanisms to create it, he works collaboratively with ecosystem players and enjoys making connections to accelerate the development of social projects.
Senior Life Sciences & Medtech Coach, District 3
With a wealth of international experience in taking ideas to market and always at the dynamic intersection of where entrepreneurship and experiential learning meet, Edna Chosack, M.Sc., MBA, is a Senior Coach at District 3. Chosack co-founded Simbionix Inc. As co-founder and VP Strategic Marketing, she became internationally recognized as being one of a handful of experts who leverage medical-simulation experiential learning into business success stories–helping to transform Simbionix into an international surgical-simulation leader, acquired by 3D Systems. In Montreal, Edna established and served as Director of CAE’s surgical-simulation business line. She was a member of the advisory committee at McGill University’s Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning. She is also a strategic marketing and product management consultant, carrying over her experience in other markets.
Director, AI Commons
Gilles Fayad spent his entire career launching new products. His track record has been to move up the food chain to successfully solve one problem after the other, and in doing so he acquired a broad technical expertise, managerial acumen, and international exposure. He is deeply fascinated with the impact of technology on society, complex mathematical problems, deep learning, reinforcement learning, and the relationship between form and function in design. If you cannot find him sailing or diving, you can lure him with a coffee into a game of chess, Go, or simply in a discussion on reinventing the world.
With over 15 years of racing experience, Kevin Ferah has developed an essential link between engineering theory and practice. Kevin cofounded BEEM, an automotive technology company, in 2014. He brings expertise in sales, commercialization, and product engineering. Along with his co-founder, they have successfully scaled their startup BEEM. BEEM is a data automation platform helping businesses unlock the power of their data. Their product Fleet, is a leading loaner car management software helping car dealerships across Canada eliminate expenses and generate revenue with our proven process and technology. Kevin holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the École de technologie supérieur.
Social Innovation Coach, District 3
Julie Hamel (MBA) is a senior business advisor with over 25 years of experience. She began her career as an entrepreneur before becoming a social economy advisor in 2006. She successfully managed many fast-food franchises through the 90s before becoming the general manager of a major private non-profit golf course. Her range of expertise includes among others, marketing, operations, and business development. For the past ten years, her social preoccupation has led her to invest most of her time and energy in the field of social economy, including helping dozens of non-profit organizations. Julie has been involved with Concordia’s District 3 since 2015 as the Social Entrepreneurship Coach.
Executive Director, District 3
Xavier-Henri Hervé has a 25 years track record for transforming strategic plans for innovations into business on an international scale. An engineer, Hervé leverages 20 years of experience in several technologies and engineering intensive domains such as aviation, information systems, simulation, and green tech, at Mechtronix, Oracle Corporation, CAE Electronics and Bombardier. Hervé enjoys a worldwide network built in over fifty countries. In 2011, Hervé was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Concordia University’s Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science. He holds an MBA from INSEAD, as well as a bachelor of engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from Concordia University.
Co-Founder, Lean for Flourishing
Combining experience with her strong entrepreneurial skills and ability to build successful enterprises in emerging markets, Ondine has always aimed to affect positive change within her community and industry through business. She is a highly creative and innovative business developer and strategist, having started six successful organizations over two decades. Ondine can turn ideas into revenue generating socially focused businesses and has successfully managed this process from creation to established entity.
Ondine is the co-founder of Lean4Flourishing, a social enterprise focused on designing Flourishing Business Model Innovation accelerators, incubators, and startup programs. She is a social impact coach at District 3, Concordia University, providing specialized coaching, mentorship and development of social enterprises. In addition to District 3, Ondine in heavily involved startup ecosystem, providing coaching and mentoring for several notable organizations such as: Innoweave Social Enterprise Coach, LEF Business Mentor, Futrepreneur Mentor, Startup Weekend mentor, McGill Dobson Cup judge Mentor, SLASA mentor, InnoCite MTL Mentor, Startup Day Canada Mentor, YES Montreal Mentor.
Alexandre Lataille is driven by a true passion for automotive technologies that have always pushed him to innovate. As the CEO and Cofounder of BEEM, an auto tech company, he is focusing on reinventing the way we interact within the automotive ecosystem, starting with the customer, the vehicle, the dealership and the manufacturer.
Prior to founding BEEM, Alexandre specialized in data-driven automotive product development, business processes and analytics. He managed projects to the highest industry standards, with a tenacity that saw him rise swiftly in the ranks of Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), a leading recreational products manufacturer. Alexandre started his career as a testing engineer for the Volvo Group, where he realized his passion for a data-driven approach to problem solving and product development, which he applies to BEEM today.
Founder & President at Vectr Growth Advisory
Aaron Linden has more than 10 years of experience in management consulting and venture analysis, including assignments in Canada, the US, Asia, and across Europe. His professional experience includes business development, strategic planning, market strategy, business modeling, project management, and corporate development. He is also a guest lecturer at the John Molson School of Business.
Before joining the BDC, Aaron spent 5 years working in Corporate Strategy across two separate Fortune 500 companies, where he developed expertise in generating new business models, guiding executive-level business planning, and delivering data-driven recommendations to Senior executives. Aaron holds a Bachelor of Commerce Honors degree in Finance from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, and an MBA from Concordia University in Montreal.
Global Managing Partner, Quadbridge
Ryan Peters is an experienced founder and managing partner with a demonstrated track record of entrepreneurship and an ability to scale companies for over 10 years. His company, Quadbridge Inc. is a leading-edge, full-service IT Solution partner that specializes in hardware and software supply to medium and large enterprise clients in both the U.S. and Canada. Ryan has strategic advisory and general operational expertise, and strong business development experience with an understanding of International Socio-Economic Development, including NAFTA, E.U., Mid-East, and Asia. Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree in political science.
Program Director, District 3
Jane Somerville, MBA is the Director of Programs at Concordia University’s District 3. In this role, she is responsible for leading and developing the program offering targeted to entrepreneurs building startups. Jane is a passionate business professional with more than 25 years of experience working with Canadian entrepreneurs. Prior to joining D3, Jane worked at BDC where she helped small, medium and large companies across Canada, across all industry sectors, building and delivering innovative advisory services in strategic management, digital marketing and sales management. As an entrepreneur herself, Jane founded an online directory of furniture and furniture stores in major Canadian cities.
Consultant, Co-op Interface
Eric Steedman has over 20 years experience as a consultant and entrepreneur, having developed, launched and managed a variety of projects, both for and non-profit. Eric’s expertise is largely focused on solving business challenges, including business planning, market research, and organizational and financing strategies. A big-picture thinker with a keen eye for detail, Eric is never afraid to dig deep for the key answers to client’s questions. Known for his big smile and polite charm, Eric works closely with clients to see their visions of impactful and innovative projects come to fruition. After starting his career in responsible investment management in New York City, Eric returned to Montreal to complete an MBA at McGill. Eric holds an M.Phil in politics from the University of Glasgow, and a Honours BA in political science from Carleton University in Ottawa.
Co-Owner, DX Consultant
Daniel Stoll has always strived to design and develop products that bring delightful customer experiences, to have products sell themselves. He has a track record of galvanizing innovation and creating go-to-market strategies based on a product-led growth approach, providing value to customers by shortening time to value. His work has been recognized for shortening the sales cycle significantly in complex sales. Daniel holds a Master’s degree in Telecommunications Engineering from the École d’ingénieurs du numérique.