This is the story of my life so far…
I am a French Canadian (Quebecker) born on February, 1978, in Quebec City (Quebec, Canada). I began to show an interest in computers at the age of 8, following my father’s passion, whom started his career as a mathematician creating punch card programs for the government of Quebec. I had the chance of having an Atari 2600, a KeyPro 10 and an IBM 386 PC before I was 10 years old. When the Internet became public in 1995, I was building ‘’super-computers’’ connected to the Internet directly from home.
I am definitely a techno geek, but I am also a born entrepreneur. My grandfather was a successful entrepreneur and he has always been an inspiration for me. I come from two proud families of hard workers (Hamel & Goulet) who pioneered the villages of St-Ephrem-de-Beauce and La Guadeloupe.
Like many kids, I sold lemonade. At around 12 year old, I was cutting lawns in the neighborhood as my first summer job. In my teenage years, I was a champion at the game of Monopoly. I was born to be a businessman. I wanted to be an entrepreneur, a financier or an economist. I incorporated my first business at 19 (Xpress Direct Marketing), selling direct marketing prospect lists and fax broadcasting services. I also organized Rave parties (electronic music all night long parties) while I was studying Business Management at University Laval. With my all time business partner, Jonathan Defoy, I created a group who tried to hold a pre-season exhibit game of the NFL in Quebec City. During spring 1999, we also had the idea to launch Bibli@tech, a used book exchange marketplace for students.
While I was studying at Laval’s Faculty of Administration, I was elected VP Finance of the business students association. I was also part of the Management Information Systems team at the Commerce Games of 2000. I also played inter-faculty hockey and trained teachers on using PowerPoint and the Web to digitize their classes’ material. Teaching university teachers… Mission impossible.
In the summer of 1999, I started to work for my uncle’s software startup which had just raised 1 million dollars in VC funding. Decisif Software Solutions was developing CRM and Business Phone System Software. I first started as Network Administrator. My first mandate was to build an e-commerce server using Microsoft Commerce Server. It was so complex and expensive to securely process transactions online that I recommended my uncle to forget his wet dream of selling Cuban cigars online. This was a great opportunity to improve my technical skills. However, I moved to a Marketing Manager role because I wanted to be involved with the sales and business development team.
More coming soon:
– 2000 bubble crash and 9/11
– Starting Biztree
– Biztree: The first 10 years
– Biztree: 2013
– Where I am going now…