Ricardo Poupada

Ricardo co-founded AskMen.com, the largest men’s lifestyle website in the world, where he was President/CEO prior to its acquisition by IGN, and months later Fox Interactive Media. In his re-titled role as SVP/General Manager of AskMen.com he was responsible for leading and managing the company’s growth, operations and strategic direction. His responsibilities would later extend to a secondary role also overseeing IGN International, with offices in London and Sydney. This included the international operations of IGN.com and AskMen.com, putting a total audience of 30 million monthly uniques under his purview.

In his leadership role post-acquisition, Ricardo helped AskMen.com triple in audience size, revenue and profits. He oversaw and supported a talented management team across editorial, sales development, SEO, business development, marketing, and engineering departments.

The work to define AskMen’s content footprint and voice, led to innovations in their work with advertisers targeting the highly coveted 18-34 male demographic such as being a pioneer in bringing to market ‘native advertising,’ surpass global audiences of 20 million readers a month solidifying AskMen’s No.1 market share, and expand globally with editions in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Turkey, Dubai and other countries. AskMen has been recognized by Time Magazine as a ‘Top 50 Site of the Year’ in 2008 and in 2014 won Digiday’s ‘Design Of The Year’ for its innovative re-imagining of the site.

Ricardo was also a contributor to AskMen’s content, in videos or articles, interviewing famous faces such as David Beckham, Hugh Hefner and Kate Upton. 

In December 2014, he co-founded angel investment firm Speed of Trust Ventures, extending his active role in angel funding and as a limited partner in iNovia Capital, RPFL-Kensington PE, and Richardson Capital. Ricardo has directly or indirectly as an LP invested in over 80 companies..

In 2016, Ricardo co-founded 5thWall.agency as CEO, a new digital agency focused on virtual reality, augmented reality and 360 video. From launch 5th Wall was immediately a pioneer and innovator in the VR/AR industry by shooting the largest VR shoot with paid cast ever done on the set of Fifty Shades Darker, the largest AR display project realized in the real estate industry, and the the first ever zero-gravity shoot with Tom Cruise for The Mummy VR Experience. 

5th Wall has been to work on a variety of projects and concepts for clients as diverse as Universal Studios, Twitter, CBRE, Manulife, Warner Bros, Montoni, Keurig, American Express, Deloitte, UEFA, Paramount, Videotron, and Desjardins. Introducing new ways of working with AR/VR as a holistic creative, strategic, and production company has helped 5th Wall stand out in across the entertainment, real estate, finance, travel and retail space.

He is a graduate of Concordia’s John Molson School of Business, an active member of Montreal’s Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO) chapter and former board member, a recipient of Montreal Young Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2005, Click Magazine Top 40 Online Marketers of Canada in 2009, and has been published in Wall Street Journal and Advertising Age. He has numerous interviews and profiles in media outlets such as Media Week, Advertising Age, National Post, Montreal Gazette, LaPresse, Huffington Post,  Journal de Montreal, TVA, Global, CTV, CBC, BetaKit, and Mixergy. Ricardo is also a regular conference speaker in the US and Canada, including appearances at Marketing to Men, IAB Canada conferences, NCTA, QBits, Infopresse Series & CEO Vision PDG Conference.


Reed Bousada

President of Bousada Interiors, he took over the company in 1996 at the age of 19, becoming the third generation to run the business and cementing his status as an entrepreneur.

During his initial decade running the company, Reed transformed the local family furniture business into a significant player in the national flooring business, with commercial projects throughout the province of Quebec, Ontario and Alberta. A critical decision in 2003 to close the furniture division to focus on the thriving flooring trade laid the groundwork for the company’s future success.

The company experienced significant growth in 2006, opening a showroom in Toronto and landing its first project outside of the province of Quebec. That same year, Reed also formed the Iron Hill Development company that focused on developing and reselling residential communities.

But the 2008 downturn and period affected Bousada Interiors, even threatening the company’s survival. Those precarious years, which required a back to basics strategy, relentless focus on cash flow and critical staffing decisions are still credited by Reed as the most important lesson he’s ever received as an entrepreneur.

Today, with the business still headquartered in the Eastern Townships, revenue has quadrupled since 2009, thanks to a relentless focus on commercial construction that now account for 95% of sales. The growth has led to expansion of Bousada Interior’s commercial offices to Toronto and Ottawa with further plans for offices in other strategic Canadian locations.

Bousada Interior’s flooring contracts include the Ilot 9 project in Griffintown district of Montreal, Landsdown Park stadium in Ottawa, CUSM ‘Mega Hospital’ Research Center in Montreal, John Abbott College, Balnea Spa, DevMcGill’s M9 Phase I,II, III & IV and many more.

In December 2014, he co-founded Speed of Trust Ventures, an angel investment firm, as a partner.

Reed has been an active member of EO (Entrepreneur’s Organization) for 10 years now. Companies and associations often solicit him as a speaker and advisor, his story of taking over the family business at the age of 19 and growing it 100-fold serves as an inspiration for not only a new generation of entrepreneurs but seasoned executives. Reed’s business dealings over nearly two decades has helped him develop an impressive network of some of the most influential business leaders in Quebec, often acting as a rainmaker on behalf of other entrepreneurs.

Reed was a finalist of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2006, a winner of the Galla D’Excellence award in 2007, and presented with the Ordre du Merite du Commerce de Details in 2008. In additional to his multiple business ventures, Reed is also involved in many charitable and community projects.

 


Pier-Luc Gaudet

Pier-Luc is a born entrepreneur. His first journey as a business owner was at the age of 20 while studying business administration at UQAM in Montreal, buying a grocery store with dreams of creating a chain.

Shortly after, his pursuit of a second bachelor degree in law at the University of Sherbrooke didn’t prevent Pier-Luc from another entrepreneurial adventure, this time as co-founder of Qualité Étudiants, a pioneering idea in the province of Quebec built around creating entrepreneurs through student painting ‘franchises.’ Over the years, Pier-Luc has helped produce dozens of success stories of students-entrepreneurs earning over $100,000+ during summer months, often giving them the experience, confidence and financing that led to them creating other start-ups.

The success of Qualité Étudiants led to the creation of Vitres.Net, a residential maintenance service focused on windows, where Pier-Luc went on to lead as President as well. More new divisions quickly followed it.

Today, Pier-Luc’s principal business is Groupe Residencia, the parent company of five businesses, all in the residential services industry. Four operate under the franchise model, with three of those targeting students exclusively. The subsidiaries are Qualité Étudiants (1994), Vitres.Net (2001), Go Gazon (2014, specializing in landscaping), Résidencia Sécurité (2014, residential alarm company) and Surfacex (2013, specializing in the development and coaching of young entrepreneurs) .

Every summer and during shoulder seasons, the franchises of Groupe Residencia co-ordinate over 20,000 residential projects and create over 1,200 jobs. For many, the vast majority students, this becomes an invaluable first exposure to business. The unifying and motivating nature of being your own boss and working with your peers in groups has been responsible for creating a countless new generation of entrepreneurs. 

In December of 2014, he co-founded Speed of Trust Ventures, an angel investment firm, as a partner.

Pier-Luc is a member of the Montreal chapter of Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), where he serves on the board as well. He was President of EO Montreal in 2013-2014, and led a significant growth in the organization in membership and business community outreach, receiving numerous accolades and testimonials for his leadership.

The incubator nature of Qualité Étudiants, that fosters self-starter entrepreneurs by providing a structured support system has given Pier-Luc a front row seat in what makes small, nimble start-ups work. He loves acting as a mentor to high-potential members of his team. His greatest strength is providing support during the initial stages of launch and is recognized by his staff as someone who fosters autonomy, risk taking, and and a culture of success celebration.

As an entrepreneur, executive, investor and community leader, he has prospered in the business world for past two decades, yet he holds the hope of fulfilling one of his dreams… to invest in the successful start-ups of his former franchisees. 

 

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