Financial speed-dating finds fertile ground

(Left to right) Anne Villeneuve (Employment Québec), Gladys Delva (Economy, Science and Innovation Québec), Deputy Mayor David De Cotis and Laval economic development staffers Jean-Philippe Charbonneau and Bonnet Huor.

Laval entrepreneurs made more than 200 quickie hookups last week during a financial speed-dating extravaganza at the Palace convention centre, Nov. 30.

“The event brought together about 100 participants from more than 70 Laval companies with 16 organizations that finance such firms,” said Deputy Mayor David De Cotis, who leads Laval’s economic development efforts.

“The business meetings aimed at increasing economic engagement,” he said in an interview. “Participants would sit down at a cocktail table with the Business Development Bank of Canada or Export Development Canada, for example, to make their pitch and see if they could make a deal. Every ten minutes a bell would ring and they would change partners, moving on to the next financial organization to pitch their ideas to.”

De Cotis told The Suburban that the speed-dating proved so popular that many entrepreneurs undertook to pre-arrange some of last week’s meetings.

“The demand was well-evident in advance of the event,” he said. “They decided to hook up by pre-planning their meetings with the financing organizations before they even arrived.”

The strong response to the activity ensures that entrepreneurs can expect a bigger, better reprise in 2018, De Cotis promised.

“We revived an approach that hadn’t been used for five years,” he concluded. “It was a good prelude to a second edition next year.”

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