BDC Entrepreneurship Bursary Program
Montreal, February 17, 2016 – On February 16, Wineout, a company founded by École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) students and graduates, received a $20,000 bursary as part of the BDC entrepreneurship bursary program.
Combining wine and engineering
The innovative concept behind Wineout is the fruit of young entrepreneurs who transformed their passion for wine into a business thanks to a multidisciplinary engineering team. Terence Kao, who has a master’s degree in electrical engineering from McGill University and who graduated from the ÉTS short program in entrepreneurship, and André-Philippe Boulet and Jérôme Combet-Blanc, ÉTS students, developed Vegas Tasting, an educational wine tasting game in the form of a mobile application that lets users hone their knowledge of wine while having fun. Wine agencies and producers can also benefit from the application, which allows them to promote their products within the app and on users’ social media accounts.
The company’s unique nature, the quality of its product and the marketing progress made is what spurred the jury members to select Wineout. Vegas Tasting is the young company’s first mobile application about wine and the team is already working on new mobile apps, all in keeping with the mission to democratize information on wine. “For us, the BDC entrepreneurship bursary represents a springboard to persuade the industry’s cream of the crop to join our team. We are convinced that the key to our success lies in our application’s ability to revolutionize wine tasting and in our team’s complementary skills,” states the company’s CEO, Terence Kao.
The BDC entrepreneurship bursary program: A true lever
In September 2014, the Business Development Bank of Canada and the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) developed a partnership to create the BDC entrepreneurship bursary program to encourage engineering students who want to start their own business. Bursaries of up to $20,000 each are accessible to candidates enrolled in the short program in entrepreneurship, a 12-credit program offered at ÉTS since January 2014.
“At BDC, we want to encourage the creation of a new generation of entrepreneurs: young people attuned to the rapid evolution of technologies who want to start their own businesses,” states Pauline Amourdon, Senior Vice President, Financing and Consulting, Quebec Region, BDC. “Our campuses are brimming with talented students who have excellent ideas and who need a bit of help to get started. Today, we are proud to support Wineout and we hope that this young company will record strong growth in the years to come.”
Transforming good ideas into real businesses
In April 2015, ARA Robotique, a company that specializes in the design of an autonomous autopilot for multirotor drones, received the first BDC entrepreneurship bursary. “The bursary literally gave our business wings,’” say founders Pascal Chiva-Bernard and Charles Brunelle. Thanks to the credibility and visibility obtained after receiving this bursary, the entrepreneurs were able to secure other bursaries and grants, thus enabling them to triple their team in under a year and meet their first customer. Today, they continue to develop their technology in order to position their company globally.