Born and raised in Haiti, Vanessa Cherenfant moved to Quebec in 2003 to pursue studies in Industrial Engineering. She is Strategy & Operations Director at Cogia where she is responsible for carrying out the organization’s strategic plan, leads the development of new markets/products and manages key customer and partner relationships.
This engineer and intrapreneur started her career in operational performance optimization with Quebec flagships such as Bombardier and the Créatech Group/Bell where she led the implementation of large-scale projects leading to millions in financial gain before shifting to a career in tech by first creating Elysia, a startup focusing on artificial intelligence to personalize the traveler’s experience, and then joining Officevibe/GSoft where she contributed to the success of the product attracting hundreds of world-class organizations as Director of Sales and Partnerships.
Vanessa is a talented leader best known for her strategic vision, her ability to mobilize multidisciplinary teams to deliver critical projects, her customer orientation and her ability to adapt to a constantly changing world.
She holds a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering with a specialization in Innovation & Tech Entrepreneurship from École Polytechnique de Montréal.
Strongly involved in the business community since arriving in Quebec, Vanessa sits on numerous board of directors and mentors young tech startups through programs such as Next AI and Founder Institute. Her realizations and multiple community involvements have earned her several distinctions and recognitions, including the Woman in Technology Award for a Startup Developing Innovative Technology from YES-SAP (2015), the Young Woman in Technology Award from the YWCA (2018) and was a Finalist for the Prix des Femmes d’Affaires du Québec by the RFAP, highlighting excellence in business (2018).
Her personal mission is to build a world that offers equal opportunities of success to each person. She has supported multiple initiatives and organizations in alignment with this mission: The Young Chamber of Commerce of Montreal through the launch of the Entrepreneurship program, Technovation program encouraging girls aged 11 to 16 to pursue a career in tech, Yes-Advancing Women in Tech Advisory Board. Vanessa is often invited as a speaker or panelist to discuss the place of women in STEM as well as the representation of diversity in business.
A word that defines you
“ The only person that can determine what you can or cannot accomplish is yourself. Don’t let anyone put a limit to your dreams and aspirations. The world needs you, your talents, your humanity, your dreams so please raise your hand, get involved, surround yourself with the right people and follow your path for the sake of us all.”