Quebecor announced Thursday a $1 million donation to HEC Montreal as part of a partnership to help start-ups with their digital strategy.
The funds offered as part of the “AsterX Quebecor Digital Entrepreneurship Program” will allow the Industrial Research Chair in User Experience (UX Chair) at HEC Montréal to support around ten companies each year, for 10 years.
Thus, a hundred start-ups will be able to benefit, free of charge, from the support resources of the UX Chair launched five years ago. Concretely, they will be able to take advantage of expertise and laboratory time to test their products and services before they are marketed.
The digital experience research tools available are used in particular by the eight large member companies of the Chair, including Videotron.
For Pierre-Majorique Léger, holder of the UX Chair, this donation will have a “major impact” and allow “give a little boost” to Quebec entrepreneurs who are starting out.
“Typically, the kind of digital experience research that can be done here is only available to a select number of organizations that have more resources. This donation will make these methods accessible to start-ups that need them,” he explained in an interview with the QMI Agency.
He also pointed out that when a business starts up, “every penny counts”. Testing your product allows you to detect and solve a problem more quickly, while saving money.
“If we find a problem [during a user test], it will cost 100 times less to correct it at the start than to wait for the product to be on the market,” said Mr. Léger.
This partnership between Quebecor and HEC Montreal is “a natural alliance that will promote the success of local businesses and their influence beyond Quebec,” said Pierre Karl Péladeau, President and CEO of Quebecor.
“We are committed to propelling entrepreneurs by empowering them to drive innovation in sectors that, like the digital industry, help drive our society forward,” he added.
The companies that will be part of the program will be selected by a jury following a call for applications launched on the Chair's website.