SUMMERSIDE – March 2, 2018 – RDÉE Prince Edward Island has just revealed that the three « dragons » – or judges – of its 2018 Dragons’ Contest are a credit union manager, an entrepreneurial researcher and developer and an innovator in artificial intelligence.
« We are extremely grateful and lucky that Alfred Arsenault, Pauline Roy and Olivier Bertrand, three experts in the field of entrepreneurship, have accepted to judge our entrepreneurial projects contest, being held Saturday, March 17, at 5 p.m. at the Centre Belle-Alliance in Summerside, » says contest coordinator Velma Robichaud. « I certainly don’t envy them because they’re going to have an extremely hard job. They’ll have to pick the best of our three finalists, who will all present marvelous projects with huge potential. The winner will then receive an investment of $10,000 to help get his or her project off the ground. »
She notes that the finalists are all entrepreneurs wishing to expand an existing business: Stéphanie St-Onge-Cornish of Summerside, who wants to expand her foot-care salon, Blossom Foot Care; Gabriel Mercier of North Rustico, who wants to set up a cheese-making operation at his Isle-Saint-Jean Farm; and Sylvain Gagné of Charlottetown, who wants to expand his wild blueberry-producing facilities at Gagné Blueberries.
Originally from France and living in Canada for the past 13 years, Olivier Bertrand considers himself a « serial entrepreneur ». He has more than 25 years of experience within the private sector in the fields of design, marketing, innovation and banking. He is currently working with three businesses: xoxolo.com, les Druides du Web and Elumicate Inc. He is however focussing most of his energy on that last new start-up business, which is developing technological solutions in artificial intelligence. The business has developed interesting partnerships with the University of Moncton’s electrical engineering and IT science departments. Bertrand is also the president of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Canada, Atlantic Network.
Pauline Roy is the executive director of the Centre Assomption de recherche et de développement en entrepreneuriat (CARDE) at the University of Moncton as well as innovation officer with the Innovation Support Bureau at the university. She played a key role in the establishment of the CARDE’s Patrick Albert Entrepreneurial Mentorship Program. A long-time supporter of her community, Roy is a member of the organizing committee of a series of breakfast conferences for South-Eastern New Brunswick for the Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick as well as a volunteer with the Frye Festival in Moncton. She is also the past president of Alianco, an organization that contributes to the advancement and the development of the professional translation industry in Atlantic Canada.
Born in Mont-Carmel, Alfred Arsenault completed his bachelor of administration degree at the University of Moncton in 1988. The following year, he was hired as a loan officer at Evangeline Credit Union. He was promoted to assistant manager in 1993 and general manager in 1997. Under his leadership, the institution changed its name to Evangeline-Central Credit Union and tripled its expanse; it now has three branches: Wellington, Tyne Valley and O’Leary. Over the years, Arsenault served on various boards, including PEI Credit Union Central. He is currently corporate secretary with the Credit Union PEI Investment Corporation and director of League Data.
Roy was one of the contest’s dragons in 2016 while Arsenault helped out in 2017. Bertrand is however brand-new to the event.
The coordinator notes that the contest finale, which will last about an hour, will be similar to the Dragon’s Den TV show. Event host Martin Marcoux will introduce the three finalists, one at a time. They’ll come before the judges and the public to present their project in seven minutes each, using various images and financial projections on the big screen and possibly with the help of product samples or demonstrations. The judges will then be able to ask them a few questions.
Once the three contestants have completed their presentations, the « dragons » will retire to make their choice. They have to pick the project they consider to be the most ready to proceed and to have the most potential for success.
Then, later in the evening, at the end of the 2018 Entrepreneurs’ Gala, being held across the hallway, the name of the winner will be revealed with great fanfare. Economic Development and Tourism Minister Chris Palmer and the contest coordinator will present the winner with the huge championship cheque.
The finale of the contest is open to the public, free of charge. However, tickets are required to attend the Gala portion of the evening. Tickets are available at the Centre Belle-Alliance, the Wellington Rural Action Centre and the RDÉE PEI office at the Carrefour in Charlottetown.
Major sponsors of the event are the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Innovation PEI, the Collège de l’Île, Mermaid Marine Products, HMS Office Supplies, LP Electronics and the Cassidy Group.
Secondary sponsors are the Wellington Royal Canadian Legion, Wellington Esso and Convenience Store, les Francofolies de Charlottetown, the Summerside and Charlottetown Chambers of Commerce and the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI.
CUTLINE: The « dragons » or judges of RDÉE PEI’s 2018 Dragons’ Contest are Pauline Roy, Olivier Bertrand and Alfred Arsenault.
For more information:
2018 Dragons’ Contest
902-854-3439, Ext. 229