On October 6, more than 60 startups were showcased at the seventh annual Startup Montréal Grand-messe.
The event was the first edition hosted by the newly-merged Startup Montréal, which was created earlier this year by the combination of Bonjour Startup Montréal and Montréal Inc.
Bonjour Startup Montreal has hosted the Grand-messe showcase since 2018, though this year marks the first time the event has been in person since 2019.
National Bank sponsored the event, and announced $1 million over five years in new financing to Startup Montréal. The organization noted the funding will support events such as Grand-messe, and other connecting events for Montreal startups.
The event, which attracted 500 people, allowed companies to pitch, and community stakeholders to meet many of the emerging startups in the region. Afterwards, National Bank and media representatives gave “blessings” to a handful of startups. The blessings don’t come with financial awards, but highlight some of the startups that the sponsor and media attendees found interesting.
Moussa Bala Fofana and Laurence Dubois on National Bank gave two blessings: medtech startup RxTuteur, which has created chatbots for pharmacies, and Niosense, which uses data to track increase the efficiency of traffic flow.
Other startups that received recognition include home healthcare worker platform KnowMediQ; employee training startup Nurau; medical imaging tech startup Displaid; medtech startup Kat Innovation; and vehicle inspection startup Kiwiz.
With 60 startups taking part this year, the event was broken into seven sections: EdTech; Environment and sustainable development; Health/Medtech; Processes and optimization; Society and hobbies; Talent; and Women entrepreneurs (past participant from Startup Montréal’s pre-accelerator, Fondatrices).
Startup Montréal was created earlier this year with the aim of having one organization that can support the region in “its next phase of development.” Managing director Liette Lamonde noted earlier this year that the merger “was the next logical step to have more impact since we combine our expertise in representing the startup ecosystem and in supporting entrepreneurs.”
Startup Montréal continues to offer Montréal Inc’s existing services, including Grant+, access to its community of volunteer coaches, networking events, and its Fondatrices (FoundHers) and Recharge programs for women entrepreneurs. Startup Montréal also runs a later-stage accelerator called Hypercroissance Québec (Hypergrowth Québec), provides various support services for startups, and offers grants through various support programs.
The not-for-profit organization has also undertaken what it calls the first directory dedicated to Montréal startups. Startup Montréal is backed by the Government of Québec, the City of Montréal, the Government of Canada, as well as private partners and corporate donors.
Last year, Montréal’s tech sector showed signs of continued growth 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. Province-wide that narrative has changed a bit (as is true of many tech hubs) amid economic changes and newly-enacted legislation that some stakeholders worry could hamper Québec tech sector investment in future quarters.
Regarding Octover 6th’s event, Lamonde noted, “the enthusiasm for Montreal’s innovation is very real.”
“The growth of these companies is facilitated by the entire startup community of accelerators, incubators and other coaches as well as the first customers who trust them,” she said, calling the Grand-Messe an opportunity to “generate even more visibility and business opportunities for the participating startups.”
Feature image courtesy Startup Montréal.
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