The Scaleup Report

Hypercroissance Québec: Empowering Home-Grown Startups to Scale Beyond Borders

Home to the thriving tech ecosystems of Montréal, the Canadian province of Québec has been making large investments to support its innovation community. In 2022, Québec launched a CA$7.5 billion ($5.5 billion) Research and Innovation Investment Strategy. Yet for Québec startups, scaling and expanding into global markets can be a daunting undertaking. To support such growth, Startup Montréal — a nonprofit organization that facilitates the creation, growth, and influence of local startups — has joined forces with Apexe Global and the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation et de l'Énergie du Québec to create the Hypercroissance Québec program, an hypergrowth program to multiply the success of Québec-based scaleups in global markets.

The Essence of Hypercroissance

Hypercroissance, meaning hypergrowth, occurs when a company expands exponentially, achieving annual growth rates of 100% per year and beyond. Achieving hypergrowth requires a supportive environment, ample resources, and access to seasoned experts. Hypercroissance Québec provides all these elements and more to annual cohorts of qualified startups. A nine-month program provides selected startups with access to a network of successful executives, founders, customized workshops, and financial support.

The program also connects startups with potential customers, partners, and investors, both locally and globally. The goal of Hypercroissance Québec is to help startups increase their revenues, expand their teams, enter new markets, and raise funding to fuel the next generation of home-grown unicorns

Solving a Productivity Problem through Innovation and Investment

Mathieu Gervais, Assistant Deputy Minister for Science and Innovation for Québec, explains that Hypercroissance Québec is part of the government’s strategy to foster a robust and competitive innovation ecosystem in the province. “We have very strong academic institutions, and when we compare ourselves with other startup ecosystems, we perform well in terms of public research,” he says. “However, when it's time to transfer technology and the fruits of our research to the marketplace, we face challenges.”

“We’re not creating jobs just for the sake of creating jobs. We’re going to create jobs in innovative sectors covered by our startups and scaleups, and use that to achieve gains in productivity. This is how we're going to reduce the wealth gap. We're lagging behind our neighbors, Ontario and the United States, but we're investing heavily in innovation and technology transfer to close that gap. Investing in hypergrowth programs is linked to our objectives and strategy.”


Helping Startups Flourish at Home and Thrive Abroad

Hypercroissance Québec was also designed to avoid a talent brain drain in the region. Gervais explains that it’s critical that local startups can stay in the province when they are at the scaling stage. “We want to offer the best conditions for our startups so they can grow at the same rate here, instead of moving away in order to scale up,” he says. “Growth involves financing, marketing, exporting, and developing a company internationally, which are key for scaleups. This is one of the reasons we invested in a hypergrowth program, in addition to complementary initiatives such as a CAD $600 million commitment in venture capital funds.”

By curating a network of experienced coaches and mentors who want to give back to the ecosystem, Hypercroissance Québec opens the right doors, at the right time, to ensure that startups and scaleups thrive locally and are well equipped to expand internationally — a cycle that fuels growth, value, and innovation in Québec, and in turn is likely to attract more international investment and talent.

“We want to do everything we can to nurture our home-grown startups, but we also want to attract foreign startups,” says Gervais. “This creates a snowball effect — having the best talent attracts more talent. And creating a better ecosystem and quality of life helps us retain that talent. We offer scholarships and financial aid, but in the end, it’s all about the environment that we create and Quebec’s quality of life, which is unmatched globally.”

Success Stories From Hypercroissance Québec

The first Hypercroissance Québec cohort, launched in June 2022, included 12 fast-growing scaleups selected for their potential to achieve hypergrowth and expand to global markets. This industry-agnostic cohort included green technology company Viridis Terra; Zetane, which offers an AI development platform for enterprise and industrial applications of machine learning; and Alfred, which develops intelligent inventory and supply management of wines and spirits for the hospitality industry.

A driving force in the province’s startup ecosystem, Hypercroissance Québec is propelling the next generation of innovative ventures to global recognition and success and positioning Québec as a beacon of entrepreneurial excellence on the world stage.