Élo: Realizing the Dream of Simple and Accessible Mentoring

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Catherine Légaré and I have been with Academos for several years. During our time here, we’ve come to realize that life’s too short to be bored—finding your dream job is important! Indeed, we mobilize our team every day to help turn these dream jobs into realities. Each year, Academos facilitates around 20,000 mentor-mentee matches from all trades and professions. 

We’re strong believers in digital platforms. These spaces democratize mentoring and make it more accessible. Above all, they bring flexibility, personalization, and usability to an age-old practice. Over the past 19 years, our digital mentoring platform has evolved dramatically to become a user-friendly web and mobile application that fully addresses the needs of today’s mentors and mentees.

Broadening our horizons

At Academos, we knew the status quo was due for a shake up. We’d constantly hear comments like “wouldn’t it be cool to have a platform connecting us to people in our organization?” and “we need a tool to help us match with the right professionals.” Simultaneously, our Board of Directors asked us to start thinking about how we might monetize our platform. And thus, Élo was born. 

The new application makes it easy for organizations and businesses to forge mentorships at a reasonable cost and with excellent support. I can’t say for certain that everyone working on the project was born under a lucky star; nevertheless, the stars aligned for all of us as the project took shape. In just a few weeks, we obtained $100,000 in funding and a $10,000 grant from PME Montréal to complete this project. Our faithful partner Mirego joined us on the adventure, and Kabane created a winning branding strategy.

Élo Co-founders Catherine Légaré and Lyne Maurier with Gilbert Samaha, Consulting Services and Finance Director, PME Montréal
Élo Co-founders Catherine Légaré and Lyne Maurier with Gilbert Samaha, Consulting Services and Finance Director, PME Montréal

Nevertheless, these business partners guarantee Élo’s success. Moreover, they are all extremely invested in this new mentoring platform—masterminded by two Quebec-based women entrepreneurs, no less! Élo represents Academos’ natural next step. Finally, Catherine and I, along with everyone else in the organization, are committed to guiding people down a professional path that fulfills them. 

Lyne Maurier, Co-founder and Executive Director

Our cofounders

Catherine’s Bio:

Catherine Légaré is the co-founder and president of Élo. Nineteen years ago, she founded Academos, an organization helping young people transition into the professional world via digital solutions: the Academos Mentoring App and Enio App. Academos currently has a pool of 80,000 mentees and 2,600 mentors. Catherine holds a Ph.D. in psychology and has taught mentorship planning and coordinating at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). A member of Repenser l’école and Réseau québécois en innovation sociale, she’s a common guest on Laboratoire MaTV, among other media programs. 

Lyne’s Bio:

Lyne Maurier is co-founder and executive director of Élo. She holds an MBA from HEC. As the head of Academos for nine years, Lyn leads operations, finance, human resources, and business development. She also worked for many years in the private sector for businesses including Centre des congrès de Tremblant and l’Institut International de Recherche. Also an entrepreneur, Lyn received notable media coverage and praise for her unique Quebec-based culinary project: La Cuisine de Lili Margot.

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