At Real Ventures, we always look for creative ways to improve the services we offer our entrepreneurs and we also strive to build strong, personal and long-term relationships with the entrepreneurs we work with, regardless of the outcome. In that vein, Real Ventures has decided to create an Entrepreneur in Residence (“EIR”) position at the firm. Although the EIR role at Real is a transitional position, we expect our EIR’s to have real impact, as measured against the service level we strive to provide to entrepreneurs and their startup ecosystem.
We are happy to announce today the appointment of Jean-Francois Gagne to that EIR role. Jean-François has been part of the Real Ventures family for a long time; first as co-founder of Planora, a company using artificial intelligence (“AI”) to optimize business processes, that we invested in back in 2011 and was sold to JDA Software in 2012; second as an active mentor since 2011 in our accelerator Founderfuel, and most recently as an investor in Real Ventures III.
Jean-François was until recently Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Product Officer at JDA, a multi-billion dollars provider of retail, supply chain and omni-channel solutions, where he managed hundreds of products, built and managed a product team of over 100 people and initiated JDA’s move towards integrating AI into their product roadmap. He obviously adds a unique expertise to the Real Ventures team.
The proliferation of AI and machine learning both in the enterprise and in our daily lives, automating processes and decisions, generating real-time insights, predicting behavior and outcomes and enhancing our human capabilities, will be one of the most important trend of the next decade. This is why we continue to be excited by products such as MLBD.ai, from our portfolio company Datacratic, that can dramatically simplify the implementation and cost of utilization of machine learning.
With the constant reduction in cloud processing costs, the growing availability of quality data and new purpose built database technologies, it is now becoming possible to integrate machine learning into any aspect of a company’s business, as well as into many consumer services, to reduce costs and improve performance and service levels. Jean-Francois’ experience in implementing such technologies and thinking through the right approaches and requirements will be invaluable to Real Ventures and our portfolio companies.
Jean-Francois exemplifies many of the qualities and personal traits we value at Real Ventures: successful entrepreneur, strong community collaborator, desire for impact, driven, generous with his time and committed to the success of the people he works with. As an EIR Jean-Francois will:
– help some of our portfolio companies with their AI and saas strategy;
– help us assess investment opportunities in the saas, enterprise and AI space;
– assist us in improving our service offering to the entrepreneurs we work with and the impact we have on the startup ecosystem in Canada.
In return, we’ll introduce Jean-Francois to the world of venture capital, and assist him with thinking through the projects he might pursue next. We’re honoured and thrilled to have him join our team and look forward to his contribution to the Real Ventures community. You can reach him firstname.lastname@example.org or on linkedin.
Also published on Medium.