Mentoring: adoption makes a real difference

Jean-Philippe Carmona with his associates, Jonathan Borduas and Julien Arnaud

Mélanie Larouche | Journalist

Jean-Philippe Carmona is a proud entrepreneur who was selected for the Adopt Inc. program. Over the past year, he had the enormous privilege of being adopted by a seasoned and very committed mentor who created opportunities for him that he wouldn't normally have. 

Although the founding president of Caboma--a company that develops custom digitized products using a scanner--came out of the experience excited and having grown a lot from it, he also really appreciated making a true friend with whom he's built a lasting relationship.

Productive discussions
Once a month, Carmona and Guy Cormier met over a nice meal to discuss Carmona's business. They talked about his dreams and vision, his day-to-day, as well as his worries and concerns. 

They covered everything! "He listened very carefully, always asked very relevant questions, got me thinking about certain things and every time he connected me with someone who could help me move forward. Always the right person at the right time. Mr. Cormier is a very intelligent and sensitive man. He trusted me by giving me access to his huge network of contacts," says Carmona.

Cormier's commitment showed up in many ways, some of them unusual. One example: during a major talk he gave to members of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, he took the time to tell the audience about his rewarding experience with Carmona and his company, going so far as to encourage them to give him their support. "This man was incredibly generous!" says Carmona.

Surrounding yourself with the right people and taking chances 
Any entrepreneur knows how important it is to have good people around them. But it wasn't until he met Cormier that Carmona fully appreciated that wisdom. "You should definitely join various networks, whether for business or based on shared interests, and to knock on doors for help. We tend to think that certain people we really admire are inaccessible--that is, until we ask them for their help, and they're happy to give it! Our fear and lack of confidence get in the way. When you take a chance, you might be surprised at the result."

The cohort effect
Carmona has fully absorbed what he calls the "cohort effect." "It was one of the nicest things about this adventure--it was really huge! We have a lot of things in common as young entrepreneurs, and we really bonded over that. We have a strong connection."

Application period for the 2nd cohort
Launched in 2016 by entrepreneurs Nicolas Duvernois, Anne Marcottte and Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien III, Adopt Inc. requires mentors to really give of themselves. The 5 adoptees, all under age 40, got 12 monthly coaching sessions with their "adopter" or key people from their network, close strategic guidance, a one-of-a-kind training program and financial advantages from Desjardins, along with an annual contribution of $24,000.

The application period for the next Adopt Inc. cohort began on November 2 and will end on December 15, 2017. This time, the Desjardins adoptee will be mentored by Marie-Claude Boisvert, Executive Vce-President of Business Services.

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