Coffee Time ☕

Caroline Chevrier

Discover with us our new entrepreneur in residence; Caroline Chevrier

The April edition of Coffee Time would like to introduce you to Caroline Chevrier, our new entrepreneur in residence at Centech!

Learn more about her inspiring entrepreneurial spirit and her dedication to contributing to the future of innovation. As the founder of three companies focused on health, a speaker on women’s entrepreneurship and a mother, Caroline shares her impressive and inspiring personal journey.

Caroline, can you speak about your background?


« I have an atypical background that combines science and business. I hold a bachelor’s degree in microbiology, a certificate in marketing and a master’s degree in business administration from ESG. My entrepreneurial journey began at the age of 29. I wanted to have new challenges and I felt like starting a company with my vision. I founded SIXDEGRÉS, my first company, specializing in medical communication and health marketing. A few years later, Edelman, a global public relations and marketing communications firm, acquired my company. I said yes to that opportunity, since it quite rare to have the happiness of being acquired by a firm like Edelman. It was also a chance for me to collaborate with the best. I was surrounded by brilliant and passionate experts and colleagues. My role was to develop the health practice in Canada, and to help increase awareness of the Edelman Brand in health in Quebec.


During that time, I built and founded the Alliance for the Education of Probiotics. I founded this second company because I saw a need in the industry. Most companies were communicating the benefits of probiotics in a very isolated way. I told myself that to give credibility to the whole thing, for health professionals and for the clientele, they needed a credible and unbiased tool to recommend the best products for their patients. So, we created the guide, which is a compendium similar to what is done for medication. I wanted to create one, but for bacteria. Then, there was the search for strategic partners, and, after a year, we had a very credible guide that was used by the majority of health professionals in Canada. Three years later, a guide was deployed to the United States.


I think that, in life, when you are an entrepreneur, you’re embarking on a great adventure. You learn as much from your successes as from your failures, while asking yourself big questions about the many decisions to be made.
I took a sabbatical year after the sale of my company to spend time with my family and my daughters, and to take the time to do things I never had time for before. During that year, I still kept myself busy. I wrote columns for Henkel Media and others. I stayed active doing some mentoring and sitting on boards of directors. In short, I took the opportunity to take some time for myself, without stopping completely, to continue to stay involved in a bit of everything. It’s difficult for me to stop completely.


Two years ago, I founded a strategic consulting firm to meet the needs of today’s companies’ manpower shortage. I collaborate on strategic mandates with clients in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and food sectors and a few small SMEs. I have expertise in medical communication, medical education and health marketing in addition to all aspects related to management and business management. I am currently in the consulting world.


I have a lot of fun consulting. I have beautiful mandates, and it’s very versatile. I do a little bit of everything. There are never two days the same, my days are always very hectic (laughs).


Working in an agency has allowed me to collaborate with a very wide range of companies, from large companies on the stock market to startups.


Over the years, I have acquired a good understanding of the health ecosystem. I am nestled in what I do, but at the same time, I work in a wide-spectrum field. »

How did you hear about Centech?


« I heard about Centech three years ago through the Entreprendre sans idée [become an entrepreneur without ideas] course given jointly by the École des sciences de la gestion and the École de technologie supérieure. I was a coach and ambassador for the ÉSG and was asked to be in the Jury that was taking place at Centech. I met a few people there who are still at Centech to this day. It was obviously the energy, the people, and the welcome that made me fall in love with Centech. Then, recently, the opportunity to join as an entrepreneur in residence came up, and I am very happy to be joining Centech!


I think what really draws me in is entrepreneurship. It’s seeing entrepreneurs working on innovation and helping them reach their full potential. Sometimes that just means giving advice or offering to listen—it’s really being there for them. These companies are SMEs, but eventually some will become multinationals. There’s a high level of enthusiasm and energy at Centech. I am always impressed by the ideas and projects of entrepreneurs. I find that very inspiring! And, what’s more, the program is run by pros. Martin Enault and Philippe Thompson and the great team behind are doing an exceptional job. The team of entrepreneurs in residence is made up of experts with impressive backgrounds. »

What are the specific challenges facing women entrepreneurs in the technology sector?


« I did a bit of research on the topic and I would say that one of the challenges, especially for women tech entrepreneurs, is the lack of female role models that they can look up to. I asked myself whether I knew any women entrepreneurs who are role models, but I didn’t necessarily come up with a name. The women I surveyed who answered this question told me that they would like to draw inspiration from a woman entrepreneur, but that women entrepreneurs are rare. In my case, I was lucky to have a strong role model when I started out—Isabelle Hudon, the first CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. She did a lot for women in business and women entrepreneurs.


The second challenge that I ran into and that I see is that, if you are a woman entrepreneur, it can be a lot to juggle several roles at the same time, especially when it comes to family. Personally, that slowed down the process in my business. I saw the numbers go down during my two years on maternity, and go up as sone as I came back. For SMEs, it is often the entrepreneur who does business development in addition to management. Let’s just say, those two years were a bit more intense. Lucky that I had an extraordinary team and that I was well surrounded.


There are many challenges for women entrepreneurs. There are a wide variety, but those are the ones I see regularly and that I’ve experienced. That’s why we need role models, to normalize these challenges and issues and make them common knowledge. There’s still a lot to be done for women entrepreneurship. »






If you had to choose a superhero to promote your strategy, communications, medical marketing and medtech consulting business, who would you choose and why?


« Great question! I’ve been thinking about the answer. My first answer on the spot was obviously my two daughters. What could be better than my daughters eventually taking over?


Then I told myself that I’d answer your question for real, since my daughters aren’t superheroes just yet (laughs)!


I asked myself who our heroines are. I had to do a little research to remember who they are, since I couldn’t think of anyone. I ended up choosing Wonder Woman. Prior to 2017, there were no heroines headlining on the big screen. And, that’s something.


So Wonder Woman was the first female superhero to see the light of day and that was only in 2017.


I would choose Wonder Woman, simply because I think she’s brave. She’s confident and she follows her instincts. And let’s not forget that she made $100 million at the box office (laughs)! »



Communications – Centech

Mélina Cyr St-André