The new org will have “a substantially greater impact,” says Startup Montréal.
Two of Montréal’s most notable innovation organizations have joined forces in an effort to better serve entrepreneurs and startups in the city.
Bonjour Startup Montréal and Montréal Inc have merged and become Startup Montréal, a new not-for-profit organization, to support the city’s startup ecosystem during its next stage of development.
“The time has come to propel the Montréal startup ecosystem to its next phase of development … It is by working together that we will achieve this.”
According to Startup Montréal, together, the organization will have “a substantially greater impact” on the city’s startup ecosystem.
Liette Lamonde will serve as named managing director of Startup Montréal, while Pascale Audette will act as chair of the new organization’s board. Lamonde previously served as CEO of Bonjour Startup Montréal and executive director of Montréal Inc.
“The time has come to propel the Montréal startup ecosystem to its next phase of development,” said Lamonde. “More young businesses must succeed in their growth in an environment supported by all of Québec and recognized in the rest of Canada as well as on the international stage. It is by working together that we will achieve this.”
Audette, who has been tasked with working to define the new organization’s governance structure and “enhancing” its financing model, is a seasoned corporate director and veteran entrepreneur who formerly served as CEO of Montréal-based Carebook and as a member of Bonjour Startup Montréal’s board of directors.
“My journey as an entrepreneur made me want to give back to the community,” said Audette. “I want to use my managerial skills by contributing to the success of Startup Montreal, but also to the success of the startup ecosystem as a whole.”
Startup Montréal will continue to offer Montréal Inc’s existing services, including Grant+, access to its community of volunteer coaches, networking events, and its FoundHers and Recharge programs for women entrepreneurs.
The new organization will also continue to operate “most” of Bonjour Startup Montréal’s initiatives for orientation, outreach, and collaboration, with plans to adjust them.
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Montréal Inc, formerly known as the Fondation du maire de Montréal pour la jeunesse, was founded in 1996 with the goal of supporting new, innovative Montréal companies. The organization offers bursaries, workshops, and business connections. In 2018, it was selected to be an official regional innovation hub by the provincial government.
Bonjour Startup Montréal was launched in 2019 after the OSMO Foundation was selected to be an official regional innovation hub by the Quebec government alongside Montréal Inc. OSMO created Bonjour Startup Montréal as a means of mobilizing Montréal’s startups, organizations, universities, and business community towards its ultimate goal of positioning the city as one of the top 20 most dynamic ecosystems in the world.
Montréal’s tech sector showed signs of continued growth last year, as the city broke its previous venture funding record in 2021. Last year, overall investment in Montréal startups rose by roughly 33 percent to $1.6 billion, from the $1.2 billion raised in 2020.
Startup Montréal is getting financial support from the Government of Québec, the City of Montreal, Canada Economic Development for Québec Regions, as well as other partners and corporate donors.
Feature image by Tobias via Unsplash.