SIM-Cognibox is proud to announce the signing of an agreement with new strategic and financial partners to accelerate its growth and development. "The contribution of new players with key skills that complement our own will take the company into a new phase," said Chantal Trépanier, who has led the business for close to 20 years. The group of investors joining the team at SIM-Cognibox, whose software solution is revolutionizing contractor management, include Georges Karam—a seasoned entrepreneur who has made his mark in the information technology field, BDC Capital, Fondaction and W Investments Group LP.
Photographed (from left to right): Paul Chaib, Chantal Trépanier, SIM-Cognibox, Georges Karam, Guillaume Felx, BDC Capital, Marie-Josée Rioux, Fondaction and Maxime Tourangeau, BDC Capital.
"I can’t wait to help the company move into a higher gear and realize its full potential," said Georges Karam, the new CEO. "Cognibox is set for a wonderful future, with a cutting-edge product in an emerging sector. Its potential is huge, its foundations are solid and diversified, and there is a clear fit with the existing team."
For Chantal Trépanier, Chief Strategy Officer, the choice of partners and the new governance framework was determined by very specific goals: "First, we wanted to give ourselves the means, in terms of both finance and expertise, to sustain strong growth. Next, we wanted to work with people who share our values and are prepared to maintain jobs and operations in Shawinigan and Quebec, which is a fundamental commitment for us. All this so that we can deploy our technology more widely on the international stage. This makes moving forward with this new team very stimulating for me and the current team."
Thinking big, looking further ahead
Since its founding in 1972, SIM-Cognibox has achieved many major milestones and shown a singular capacity to reinvent itself that has forged its DNA. The new phase will provide it with the resources to achieve its ambition: to make SIM-Cognibox a Quebec industry flagship and enable it to assert itself as a world leader in its field of expertise.
"With this substantial share in the equity of SIM-Cognibox, BDC Capital is supporting two experienced Québec entrepreneurs, Georges Karam and Chantal Trépanier, in their goal of taking the company to another level," said Maxime Tourangeau, Director, Growth Equity, BDC Capital. "As a member of the executive team, Georges Karam will help SIM-Cognibox increase its international presence. SIM-Cognibox is well positioned to benefit from anticipated growth in the occupational health and safety market."
For Geneviève Bouthillier, Assistant Head of Investments at Fondaction, several factors lie behind the development fund’s participation: "Naturally, this is in line with our vision of responsible development in Quebec. We are sensitive to the company’s technological potential, but also to its regional roots and its values. Its expertise highlights the excellence and competencies of local suppliers, which has a ripple effect on employment in many areas such as mining, aerospace, agri-food, chemicals, pulp and paper, pharmaceuticals and public utilities, to name just a few."
Two accomplished managers whose successes are underpinned by shared values
As Chief Executive Officer and Chief Strategy Officer respectively, Georges Karam and Chantal Trépanier both view shared values as a key success factor.
Georges Karam is a computer science graduate and holds an MBA. He is a coach at the École d’Entrepreneurship de Beauce and a YPO member, and received the Ernst & Young 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Québec, category B2B. At the time of divesting one of the businesses he founded, it had close to 3,000 employees in Canada.
Chantal Trépanier, M.Ed, won the Entrepreneure, grande entreprise category in the 2013 Prix Femmes d’affaires du Québec awards, and the Investissement Québec 2015 CEO of the Year Award. She launched the technological shift that led to the creation of Cognibox software, the main driver of the company’s growth that has made it one of the largest employers in the Mauricie region.
A risk management and contractor compliance leader, SIM-Cognibox offers one of the most complete and flexible solutions on the market. Cognibox helps major corporations by compiling health and safety, sustainable development, quality and procurement data for over 8,000 contractors performing work for more than 250 hiring organizations throughout the world. Its software provides access to a world-class business process as a service environment for contractor management.
BDC Capital’s investments are designed to support, promote and encourage sustainable development. It manages assets of over $2 billion collected as retirement savings from more than 160,000 shareholders. Fondaction supports the development of more than 1,200 SMEs, including many social economy enterprises. Between 2015 and 2018, Fondaction reduced the carbon footprint of its stock exchange investments by 51%. To learn more, visit bdc.ca/capital.
Fondaction’s investments are designed to support, promote and encourage sustainable development. It manages assets of over $2 billion collected as retirement savings from more than 160,000 shareholders. Fondaction supports the development of more than 1,200 SMEs, including many social economy enterprises. Between 2015 and 2018, Fondaction reduced the carbon footprint of its stock exchange investments by 51%. To learn more, visit fondaction.com.
W Investments Group LP
W Investments Group LP is a private investment partnership, formed and operated by successful investors with strong experience as entrepreneurs, operators and managers of private and public companies.