Coffee Time ☕

Geoffrey Poincheval

Interview with the Acceleration Program; Meet Geoffrey Poincheval, who supports entrepreneurs during the whole Acceleration Program!

Coffee Time presents the Acceleration program. A gateway to Centech, this 12-week intensive program allows startups to lay solid organizational foundations, establish a business model according to the target market, validate the technological project’s potential, and refine their product and so much more!


From their first day, the accelerated companies embark on a tough entrepreneurial adventure. All the teams jump right into networking and discovering the Entrepreneurs in Residence who will follow them over the coming weeks.


Through workshops, conferences and exchanges, companies will be able to fill their toolbox with a lot of knowledge. Being surrounded by a group of entrepreneurial minds with such a great thirst for impact creates a synergy that those teams will be able to benefit from throughout the program.

What are the concrete benefits that the chosen startups can expect from the Acceleration Program in terms of resources, workspaces and visibility opportunities?


” In terms of resources, more than 70 people with expertise are involved in the program. These are all people who are experts in different areas: accounting, marketing, sustainable development, investing…


We also have more than fifteen Entrepreneurs in Residence who built their own businesses and are now ready to support entrepreneurs every day. The idea is that at the end of the twelfth week of the program, the startups will have done work equivalent to 12 months.


In terms of visibility, our Entrepreneurs in Residence have an increased notoriety, which allows startups to develop a large network very quickly. The Centech community quickly creates connections. For example, last week, during the launch of the Acceleration cohort, everyone present was encouraged to take a selfie at the same time and publish it on LinkedIn. Well, this innocuous moment had a big impact! The scope of this movement was much greater than one would have thought.


With each cohort, we see the richness of the networks of the accelerated companies. We notice this a lot at the Discover Innovation event, where young companies are encouraged to create their own booth, invite their own network and the public, and then present their tech solution during the exposition. ”

Would you like to come visit companies during this event?


Can you explain to us in simple terms how this sustainable and measurable development initiative at Centech works and how it is beneficial for businesses and the community?


” The community and the management team raised the issue that if we do nothing, within five years, companies that go through Centech’s programs will be unable to raise financing and build their business if they don’t incorporate concrete actions linked to sustainable development into the internal functioning of the startup.


We are lucky to have Martin Enault, cohort lead, who has been working on the subject for a long time and who is knowledgeable about the issues. Based on this experience, we told ourselves that the only way to take concrete action would be to start with small steps. What we want is for startups to begin this quest with two concrete objectives: one objective for product development and another one for a main axis of their choice. They must choose an axis in which they are not comfortable or an axis where they are certain to have a big impact.



We want these objectives to be concrete and measurable. We want to see actions and indicators that come out of these objectives. For us, this is how we will succeed in having a real impact, by determining actions that will be implemented as soon as the company is created.


Companies are and will be supported accordingly. We have around seven sustainable development experts who participate in the cohort. Among them, we have Republik, which participates as a sustainable marketing agency. We also have the CERIEC and the sustainable development center of the École de Technologie Supérieure, which supports us around product development and circularity. We also have Groupe 3737, which supports us on the inclusion and diversity of the team structure. Finally, we have Coop Carbone, which supports companies on multiple aspects related to sustainable development.


The resources are there, and the expertise exists. We are lucky to have around forty companies in the development and creation phase. If we want to change things, sustainable development must take place starting with the first stages. This is how we manage to implement sustainable processes that will not require a major overhaul in terms of business development. ”

And finally, if the Acceleration Program were a superhero, what would its superpower be and why?


” Speed. I’m thinking of the superhero Flash, as an example. Acceleration is three months long, but startups leave the program with to the equivalent of 12 months of work. The idea is to get to the answers as quickly as possible. Whether these are positive or negative, the important thing is to be ready to adjust and to validate the technological project’s potential. We don’t want to waste time, whether it’s on success or failure. The idea behind this is to save entrepreneurs some time. There is no miracle solution. We will not be able to help a project for which there is no demand, and we will not be able to turn it into a multinational with a snap of our fingers.


On the other hand, we will be able to make entrepreneurs aware of the range of opportunities that present themselves to create the company and to make it a business. If the answer is negative, we can help them pivot. If the answer is positive, we can guide them to avoid pitfalls. We also help them to remove their blinders. When you start an entrepreneurship journey, you are in love with your solution and your idea. You can find everything in everything and sometimes your business can be harmful to you. The idea here at Centech is to open companies’ eyes so that their project is good and beneficial for their team and for the world. ”




For any informations or questions about the Accélération program, reach out to



Communications – Centech

Mélina Cyr St-André