Ernest C. Mercier Lecture in Entrepreneurial Science awakes to the thrill of chocolate

A plate of chocolate

York alumnus Dan Tzotzis (BBA’02, MBA ’10), co-founder of AWAKE Chocolate, will present the 2022 Ernest C. Mercier Lecture in Entrepreneurial Science, on Thursday, March 24 from 5 to 6:15 p.m. over Zoom.

Dan Tzotzis
Dan Tzotzis

In his lecture, “Bracing for the Entrepreneurial Thrill Ride,” Tzotzis will share stories from his life as an entrepreneur. For 20 years, Tzotzis has been a leading entrepreneur and will share his perspectives on what to expect as a new entrepreneur and the important lessons he has learned in the rollercoaster ride that is an entrepreneur’s life.

Corporate finance associate, turned corporate sales associate, turned entrepreneur, Tzotzis, along with his two partners, co-founded AWAKE Chocolate, one of North America’s best tasting energy products. Quitting their corporate gigs in August 2012, the trio used their collective 35 years of industry experience, to transform AWAKE from a mere idea into a multi-million-dollar brand.

Now with more than 20 years of leading and operating businesses in both the corporate and entrepreneurial world of consumer goods, Tzotzis has added coach, instructor and mentor to his professional arsenal. In January 2021, he became a part-time MBA instructor in the entrepreneurship faculty at the Schulich School of Business. Since then, he has helped hundreds of students get their businesses started.

Tzotzis is a graduate of the Schulich School of Business and sits as an elected board member and the treasurer for a Greek community organization in Mississauga.

The lecture is presented by the Lassonde School of Engineering and the Schulich School of Business. There will be a Q-and-A session immediately following the lecture. All are welcome, however pre-registration is required and can be completed at

About the Ernest C. Mercier Lecture in Entrepreneurial Science

To inspire and empower future generations of students at York with a sense of the possible, Ernest C. Mercier’s wife, Eileen Mercier, a York graduate (MBA ’77, Hon LLD ’10), established the lecture series in her late husband’s name. Bridging the worlds of business and commerce with the intensive research world of STEM, the series presents an entrepreneur and renowned scientist who has used his/her own science education as a springboard to other enterprises.