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Éditions Fortissimo Banks on Cilex and Music to Boost Language Learning

You might have heard this before: learning music and nursery rhymes helps children become comfortable with sounds and retain new words. It would be fair to say then that music enhances a child’s learning potential. This is the founding principle behind Éditions Fortissimo, a business that also decided to enhance its own growth potential through coaching with Cilex.


Éditions Fortissimo is a company that aims to foster children’s development and academic success through music, based on scientific principles. They offer membership to a web platform that hosts Pseudo: a catalogue of songs built from made-up words designed to spark children’s interest in reading. The company was founded between Wakefield and Montréal in 2017 by Ms. Anie Vachon, now its president, and Ms. Anne-Marie Desbiens, its vice-president.


"Pseudo was created through closely following ongoing developments in the research on music and learning."

The two businesswomen met in 1985 and taught music initiation together for several years. Ms. Vachon studied speech therapy and has a master’s degree in music didactics, while Ms. Desbiens worked for several years in the field of music education.


“In 1997, I suspected that teaching music initiation to young children was helping them develop their auditory skills, which would benefit them when learning to read afterward. Pseudo was created through closely following ongoing developments in the research on music and learning. After a year of in-school trials, I have to admit that I started getting an itch to launch a company with it. Today, Pseudo can be used by people playing key roles in young children’s development: educational childcare workers, teachers, parents and speech therapists,” explained Ms. Vachon.


Pseudo is currently used in over forty educational centres in Québec, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario, France and Belgium.



A second launch


After experiencing a few bumps with their web platform, the two entrepreneurs took part in the digital transformation course offered by the École des entrepreneurs du Québec. This prompted them to target two specific business objectives: optimizing their platform to offer a smoother user experience, shifting their business model toward a subscription model.


“It’s Alexandre Dion, the digital communications adviser at SADC Papineau-Collines, who recommended Cilex to us. Its innovation services were a perfect match to our needs! We needed coaching that would push our ideas further,” explained Ms. Desbiens.


This is when they met Farid Dagher, innovation catalyst at Cilex.


“Farid Dagher guided us through the transformation of our platform and our business model. He helped us see things clearly and get into an entrepreneurial mindset. Farid has great listening skills and he helped us tremendously in properly targeting our needs,” added Ms. Vachon.


"We went from a bicycle to a BMW thanks to Cilex."

Little did the two entrepreneurs suspect that coaching with Cilex would engender what they now call the second launch of their business. They will shortly be releasing a web platform integrated with Outseta and Webflow to sell subscriptions all over the world.


“Thanks to Farid’s invaluable collaboration and brilliant ideas, our clientele will be able to easily log on to our website with their subscription, and then download PDF files and access videos. Our platform’s user experience will change considerably and for the best. We went from a bicycle to a BMW thanks to Cilex. We are going through a second launch,” exclaimed Ms. Vachon with a laugh.


Photos de Anie Vachon, présidente, et Marie-Desbiens, vice-président, sur fond bleu de Cilex
Ms. Anie Vachon (left), president, and Ms. Anne-Marie Desbiens, vice-president

The entrepreneurial mindset

According to the two businesswomen, coaching with Cilex allowed them to develop an entrepreneurial mindset.


“Coaching allowed us to broaden our horizons, to push our ideas further and develop a long-term vision for our business. Farid encouraged us to always see further ahead, to keep the future in mind and to accept our limitations. Coaching helped us cultivate an entrepreneurial headspace and to make entrepreneurial decisions,” explained Ms. Vachon.


After a bit under a year of collaboration, Ms. Vachon and Ms. Desbiens are proud of the road travelled and of having chosen a coaching service to help them move forward.



The ideal partner


According to Ms. Desbiens, Cilex allowed them to expand their business network by introducing them to various professionals from different industries, professionals on which they could call on to help now or in the future.


"They followed our pace."

“Farid Dagher knew which people to refer us to when he himself didn’t have the full answer to our questions. For example, he put us in touch with finance people, programming people, marketing people. Through Cilex, we also got the opportunity to take part in various webinars that allowed us to grow as entrepreneurs. We were never told what to do; rather we were supported in our efforts. They followed our pace,” she added.


Éditions Fortissimo’s new platform was launched on September 16th. Nearly 450 clients will become lifetime members. The company found a perfect partner in Cilex: a collaborator that helped them innovate and develop a long-term vision for their business.

 

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