Canada

Montréal

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Montréal has become one of the most-watched ecosystems of North America over the last years. We welcome all entrepreneurs who want to create maximum social and economic impact for the city and its citizens.

Liette Lamonde
CEO, Bonjour Startup Montréal
Top 10 North American Ecosystem: Affordable Talent
Top 30 Global Ecosystem: Performance
Top 15 North American Ecosystem: Funding

Highlights

The COVID-19 pandemic did not limit the ambitions of Montréal's startup ecosystem. In 2020, more than $1.2 billion was invested in startups through venture capital, thanks to megadeals such as AppDirect ($185M) and Sonder ($170M). The first two quarters of 2021 are continuing to be record-breaking for the metropolis with a 37% increase from last year's numbers, supported by funding rounds by Hopper ($170M) and AlayaCare (CAD 225M). This growth in venture capital is proof that the city's startups have international intentions. As stated by Chris Arsenault, partner at Inovia Capital: "What were early-stage tech companies 10 years ago, have grown into growth-stage companies." Montréal also saw two impressive exits, with Telehealth startup Dialogue going public at a valuation of $779M and Fintech company Nuvei going public at a valuation of $3.4B, raising $700M in the biggest initial public offering of a technology company in the history of the TSX. Montréal is also attractive to international investment and talent. In the first semester of 2021, foreign direct investment accounted for $1.86 billion and fDi Magazine (Financial Times) placed the city at first place in the FDI strategy category of the Tier 2 Cities of the Future 2020/2021 global ranking, and second, after San Francisco, in the Economic Potential category. Talent and affordability have a lot to play in these rankings as it is a pole of attraction for Quebec and foreign students with its four major universities and its deep research capacities. With all this in mind, Montréal is truly a top-tier ecosystem that plays among the best.

Ecosystem by the numbers

TOTAL EARLY STAGE FUNDING
$706 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$548 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
$10.2 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$13.68 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND
$700 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$480 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND
$5 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$3 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY
$64 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$44 k

Sub-sector Strengths

Life Sciences

Greater Montreal has 620 organizations, 150+ research centers, 11 post-secondary institutions, and 80 multinational subsidiaries, many of which collaborate via open Innovation programs and AI-driven public-private partnerships. Innovators benefit from the lowest cost of clinical trials and R&D centers in North America, 29% tax credit for scientific research and experimental development, and newly added support organizations including Montreal General Hospital’s Healthtech incubator and District3’s BioHub accelerator. Local biotech Ventus Therapeutics raised a $100 million Series B round in April 2021.

AI, Big Data & Analytics

Greater Montreal has seven AI accelerators, nine research centers, 17 corporate labs, AI-powered supply chain hub SCALE AI, the world’s largest academic research center in deep learning MILA, and the Institute for Data Valorization IVADO. AI contributes to the strength of Montreal’s Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics, Medtech, and Mobility sectors . Notable successes this year include Dialogue’s IPO raising US$80 million in March, AlayaCare’s US$185 million Series D in June, and HeyDay’s US$48 million acquisition by Hootsuite after only three years post-launch.

Reasons to move your startup to Montréal

A Place to Be

Montréal is affordable, friendly and has a buzzing social scene. It ranks ninth best student city in the world, and best-ranked in North America. Praised for its laid back yet lively lifestyle, it has one of the most affordable markets in North America for tech talent and office space. For working, studying or starting your business, Montréal is the place to be.

Export and Innovation Hub

Canada gives investors market access agreements through 15 trade agreements to 49 countries making Montreal an export hub supported by its port and airport, both close to the downtown area. 38% of local startups export internationally.

Funding Support

Montreal is the investment capital in Canada with six of the 10 most active VCs in Canada in 2020 based in the city. There are also seven investment funds ($876M total) and access to $33M from PME MTL, Montréal’s entrepreneurial support network.

Startup Community

Startup Genome
Members

Startup Genome
Partners

FounderFuel
Techstars AI
Tandemlaunch
Montréal Inc.
MT Lab
BCF Ventures
Founder Institute
Ministère de l’économie et de l’innovation du Québec
Numana
Ivado
District 3
La Base Entrepreneuriale
MTL Newtech
Notman House
PME MTL
Quartier de l’innovation
Réseau Capital
Startupfest
Cycle Momentum
Montreal InVivo

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Local Ambassadors

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