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13 February 2020
MONTREAL, February 13, 2020—Further to the highlights released in July 2019, Montreal’s Startup Ecosystem Portrait is an overview of the state of financing for startups, the issues related to recruiting and retaining talent, and the challenge of accessing international markets.
Bonjour Startup Montréal, in partnership with the Institute for Entrepreneurship National Bank HEC Montréal, is proud to release this benchmark document after several months of work analyzing the experience of more than 400 startups.
An in-depth analysis of the economic vitality of Montreal’s entrepreneurship
“This work shows us the undeniable contribution these young innovative startups are making to Montreal’s economic vitality, which helps us fully appreciate the impact this dynamic ecosystem is having on Quebec’s broader economy. We hope this Portrait inspires local talent to start their own businesses now that they have a better understanding of the issues.” Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister Responsible for the Lanaudière Region
“Our city is recognized for its creativity and sense of innovation and offers a rich and dynamic ecosystem defined by audacious entrepreneurs and many partners who are counting on new generations and who contribute to the growth of startups. Montreal entrepreneurial ecosystem is on the right track to become even more performing, diversified and creative.” Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal
One of the findings of this analysis is that Montreal continues to gain strength as an innovative and collaborative city. Support and funding structures are evolving at the municipal, provincial and federal levels, and more and more Montrealers grasp the importance of focusing on innovation to take full advantage of the business opportunities that arise. It’s all in the data: Montreal is home to more than 1,300 startups, the startup community organizes more than 1,000 events every year, and about 60 support programs have been developed specifically for startups.
Priority issues: financing, talent and internationalization
Most entrepreneurs in Montreal consider access to financing as their biggest obstacle to growing their business. And yet with 27 investment firms in Montreal, there is no shortage of financing structures, not to mention the angel investors, support organizations and tax credits. The challenge seems to lie in identifying the right resources based on the stage the startup is in.
Of the startups surveyed, one third had a foreign founder – a fact that speaks to Montreal’s attractiveness on the international stage. That said, growing companies mention that talent acquisition is an issue, which makes it difficult for startups to advance to the scale-up stage.
Though the number of Montreal startups that have expanded internationally is still low, the Portrait has identified some solid solutions: more than 70% of entrepreneurs would like to have access to a local expert to help them with their export strategy. There is also a significant need to create a network of international partners to open other markets to startups.
Analysis for better collaboration
“This Portrait gives us a better understanding of the opportunities, and the challenges, Montreal startups face. We hope these findings lead to action and jump-start initiatives within our ecosystem. New, singular collaborations are already underway to develop solutions to make it easier to create startups and help them grow. 2020 will be an exciting milestone year, and we are ready to apply the lessons we’ve learned to make Montreal a high-performance startup ecosystem that reflects the inclusive and vibrant nature of this city we really love.” Liette Lamonde and Patrick Gagné, co-founders of Bonjour Startup Montréal
Several partners support Montreal’s Startup Ecosystem Portrait: CVCA, Institute for Entrepreneurship National Bank HEC Montréal, Investissement Québec, Quebec’s Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, Montréal Inc., Montreal NewTech, Montréal International, Mouvement des accélérateurs d’innovation du Québec, Real Ventures, Startupfest, the Ville de Montréal.
Download the Portrait here: bonjourstartupmtl.ca/en/portraitstartup
About Bonjour Startup Montréal
Bonjour Startup Montréal is an initiative whose mission is to facilitate the creation, growth and influence of Montreal startups and position Montreal among the 20 most dynamic ecosystems in the world.This organization is supported by the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation, the Ville de Montréal, the Fonds de solidarité (FTQ), Teralys Capital, the Business Development Bank of Canada and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
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Media contact and interview requests
Khatidja Kassam, Communications Advisor, Bonjour Startup Montréal, firstname.lastname@example.org, 514 659-1518