Réjean Bourgault, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Canada Country Manager, will appear on the show as part of an integration to award $100,000 to one entrepreneur this season. Bourgault will announce the AWS grant, a combination of cash and technology credits along with technical and business mentorship, in the show’s season premiere on April 10. He’ll return to unveil the winner during the season finale on June 12.

Réjean Bourgault, AWS Canada Country Manager

Photo credit: CBC/Radio-Canada

To determine the winner, Bourgault and his team will be evaluating the pitchers based on several criteria.

“We’re looking at how the entrepreneurs are using technology today, and how AWS technologies like cloud computing and artificial intelligence can help them improve efficiencies and innovate faster, to grow their business,” he said.

Dans l’oeil du dragon is the highly entertaining Quebec adaptation of the CBC hit, Dragons’ Den. It’s known for bringing together hugely successful and established Québecois business people — the dragons — with ambitious entrepreneurs who vie for their support and financial backing.

The integration with AWS represents several firsts for the show, including the first non-dragon to offer a significant grant to the entrepreneurs - without taking an equity stake in their business. Pitchers will be eligible for the AWS grant regardless of whether or not they score a deal from the dragons.

The show is a natural fit for AWS, where the startup journey runs deep in the company’s DNA.

“AWS began as a startup, and we’ve been helping entrepreneurs transform their ideas into a business since we pioneered the cloud in 2006,” said Bourgault. “Our vision was to democratize access to technology by taking everything that sits in a data centre and making it available to anyone with an internet connection. And today, we’re the world’s most broadly adopted cloud.”

Millions of customers around the world and tens of thousands in Canada, including the fastest growing startups, choose AWS to help them innovate faster and transform industries.

This includes AlayaCare, BrainBox AI and many others in Quebec, where Bourgault is based and where AWS has been established since 2016 with a data centre hub, local operations, ongoing investments and homegrown talent.

Through programs like AWS Activate, which provides critical resources and expert guidance, more than 280,000 startups around the world have brought their ideas to life.

About 80% of the world’s unicorns run on AWS, and it continues to level the playing field by enabling business of all sizes to access transformative technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, generative AI and the supporting cloud infrastructure.

In fact, AWS recently announced it’s offering free credits for startups to use major AI models.

“We’re excited to share our learnings, expertise and innovations with the entrepreneurs on Dans l’oeil du dragon this season,” said Bourgault. “We can’t wait to learn more about their businesses and uncover opportunities to help them accelerate their path to success.”

The Radio-Canada show airs Wednesdays, at 8 p.m. ET, on ICI-TÉLÉ and ICI TOU.TV. Learn more about the AWS integration and see episode recaps here.