As part of the major Campus Montréal fundraising campaign, bringing HEC Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal and the Université de Montréal together in a joint appeal to philanthropy, AGF Group President Serge Gendron today confirmed a $1-million donation aimed at promoting excellence and entrepreneurship.
This contribution will establish the Serge Gendron Fund, worth $600,000, intended to finance scholarships for Polytechnique students registered in master's programs in civil engineering. The $400,000 second part of the donation will go toward the Centre d'entrepreneuriat Poly-UdeM to support the promotion of entrepreneurial skills among students and to encourage business projects relying on technological innovations with strong commercial potential.
The Centre d'entrepreneuriat Poly-UdeM has just launched its Profil Technopreneur initiative to provide student teams with guidance to help start up technology companies that emerge from innovations developed on campus. Profil Technopreneur participants will benefit from supervision by experts and mentors for two semesters. The Centre will provide eligible students with individual bursaries of up to $15,000, and the Profil initiative will cover a portion of project costs. The first wave of business projects will be presented at a Demo Day in May 2015.
“The most prosperous companies are those that are most enterprising, and training in engineering provides the best preparation for experiencing business,” said Mr. Gendron, an engineer and Polytechnique Montréal graduate who is also a successful entrepreneur. “If I can do a little something to nurture this movement for the future, I will be very pleased.” In the early 1980s, Mr. Gendron took over the reins of the then-troubled family company. AGF Group, a manufacturer and installer of reinforcing steel, now has more than 2,000 employees in 17 plants and handles projects around the world.
“We are very grateful for this donation, unique in its scope and visionary in its nature, with its support both for top students and top projects,” said Christophe Guy, CEO of Polytechnique Montréal. He noted that Mr. Gendron has always been very active in the Polytechnique Montréal graduate network, having helped in the fulfilment of numerous projects and having chaired the Polytechnique Foundation.
HEC Montréal Director Michel Patry sees this donation as highly encouraging. “Succeeding in business requires plenty of knowledge and solid management expertise, but above all it requires examples of success. It takes models, and Mr. Gendron is a very good one!” Meanwhile, Guy Breton, Rector of Université de Montréal, hailed this gesture, which fits well with the spirit of the Campus Montréal campaign. “Our campaign aims for an unparalleled community engagement with the cause of teaching and research in every area of knowledge. Through his generous donation, Mr. Gendron demonstrates wonderfully his sense of belonging to the greater community of our university's graduates.”
In recognition of this outstanding gift and this sustained involvement with Polytechnique Montréal, the institution's geometronics laboratory will be renamed Laboratoire Laurent-Gendron in honour of Serge Gendron's father, founder of the company his son heads today, a pioneer of francophone Québec entrepreneurship and himself a 1948 Polytechnique Montréal graduate.
About Campus Montréal
Campus Montréal is the umbrella organization bringing together HEC Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal and Université de Montréal for a joint fundraising campaign. These three institutions make up the biggest francophone university complex in the world, and the leading centre of university research in Canada. The institutions that make up Campus Montréal are in the top 1% of the world's best universities. John Parisella is Executive Director of the Campus Montréal major fundraising campaign, with Louise Arbour, Hélène Desmarais, Geoffrey Molson, Michael Sabia and Thierry Vandal serving as Co-Chairs.
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