Canada

Montréal

MEMBERS:
Centech Montréal International Startup Montréal Ville de Montréal

"Montréal demonstrates a strong dynamic of innovation and a high level of performance and attractiveness for both entrepreneurs and investors. Access to capital, talent, and high quality support from key private and public stakeholders working together allows our ecosystem to stand out globally in several cutting-edge sectors."

Guillaume Caudron
CEO Reseau Capital, Quebec VC & PE association
Top 10 North American Ecosystem in Affordable Talent
Top 5 North American Ecosystem in Bang for Buck
Top 20 North American Ecosystem in Talent & Experience

Highlights

Montréal offers a strategic location and highly educated talent. With its world-renowned cultural life and safe neighborhoods, it’s a great place to live and work. A strategic gateway to European markets and other North American startup hubs, Montréal is just 90 minutes by air from New York, Boston, and Toronto, and less than an hour from the U.S. border. It is home to seven universities and more than 200,000 students, including 35,500 international students. These universities rank first in Canada for research funding, taking in more than $1.34 billion yearly. Local companies recruit from a bilingual, tech-savvy talent pool.


Montréal’s startups attracted $1.6 billion in funding in 2021, a new record for the city. BKR Capital, the first Canadian VC fund dedicated to Black-led businesses, recently opened an office in Montréal. Female-led fund Accelia Capital is also based here.


With dedicated task forces, collective briefs, monthly meetings, and an annual ecosystem partners’ event, founders benefit from a host of startup support organizations that collaborate on a daily basis. MILA, the Quebec AI institute, has joined forces with BDC Capital to nurture AI-related startups. Aerospace group Aéro Montréal and incubator Centech are working together to foster sustainable innovation within the aerospace supply chain. Aéro Montréal also organizes the Global Aerospace Supply Chain Summit. Cycle Momentum and Innovacorp have allied to boost their mentoring and networking offerings. Women Techmakers Montréal was created by Google to highlight women in technology.

Ecosystem by the Numbers

EARLY-STAGE FUNDING
(2019H2-2021)
$857 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$687 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
(2019H2-2021)
$24 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$28.6 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$1 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$671 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$6.8 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.7 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY (2021)
$63 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$46 k
8.3 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
11.3 bn
196
GLOBAL AVG.
101
Amount ($)
Count (#)

Exits

(2017-2021)
EARLY-STAGE FUNDING GROWTH TIER (2018/19 VS. 2020/21)
5
Calculated on a scale of
1 (lowest) to 10 (highest)
TOTAL VC FUNDING (2017 - 2021)
$5 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.5 bn
TIME TO EXIT (2017 - 2021)
10.4 years
GLOBAL AVG.
9.4 years

Sub-Sector Strengths

Life Sciences

The Montréal Life Sciences cluster links government, research, and industry. Home to 16 research centers and 14 world-class university research chairs in Life Sciences-related fields, CA$590 million was invested in Life Sciences in Montréal in 2021, representing 30% of all VC investment in the region during the period. Montréal General Hospital launched a new health tech incubator in September 2021. Congruence Therapeutics’ raised a CA$63 million Series A in February 2022, and Ventus Therapeutics raised a $140 million Series C the same month.

AI, Big Data & Analytics

More than 600 researchers and 14,000 university students in AI-related programs call Montréal home. The International Center of Expertise for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (ICEMAI) is one of two global centers of expertise. It supports the responsible use of AI and analyzes Canada’s capacity to commercialize and adopt AI-related technologies. The Quebec government made a CA$100 million investment in Sherbrooke Quantique, an innovation zone focused on quantum computing. Concordia University is launching an Applied AI Institute. AI-based travel app Hopper raised a Secondary Market round of $35 million in February 2022. 2022 saw a new partnership between AI Sweden and AI-research institute MILA.

Fintech

Montréal is a hotbed for sustainable finance. The city ranked first in Canada and third in North America among the 78 financial centers considered for the Global Green Finance Index 7. Montréal will host the second annual Sustainable Finance Summit in 2022. Fintech Cadence has partnered with Fintel Connect to support startups in the sub-sector. The CA$120 million the Station FinTech Montréal Accelerator launched in 2021. Opportunity Fund invests in later-stage Fintech startups. Fintech platform Zapper raised a $15 million Series A in May 2021. Crypto exchange Shakepay raised a CA$44 million Series A in January 2022.

Reasons to Move Your Startup to Montréal

Educated Talent

Montréal is home to several of Canada's best universities, including McGill University (currently ranked joint 27th in the world and second in Canada). Five new programs have been created in recent months to further support the transfer of academic talent towards entrepreneurship. In February 2022, the startup ecosystem welcomed hyper-growth program Hypercroissance Québec to provide tailored support to its most promising scaleups.

Government Support

Montréal offers strong governmental support, funding programs, and three new provincial strategies to support innovation. Quebec’s 2022–23 budget extended a temporary increase in the tax credit relating to investment and innovation through 2023. The increase was implemented to accelerate the province’s post-pandemic economic recovery. In February 2022, Quebec announced two new innovation zones, one specializing in quantum science and one in digital technologies. The government plans to invest more than $150 million in these innovation zones.

Quality of Life

Montréal is a hub for creativity, arts and culture. Extremely safe and dynamic, the city offers residents excellent public transportation and easy access to nature. The cost of living in Montréal is lower than in other major Canadian cities including Vancouver and Toronto. Montréal tied for first place in North America with Boston in the QS Best Student Cities 2022 Rankings, and it ranked ninth globally.

Selected Startup Organizations

Startup Genome Members

Key Ecosystem Players

Startup Genome
Partners

BCF Ventures
CEIM
CEuMontréal
Creative Destruction Lab
Cycle Momentum
District 3
EVOL
Esplanade
Fintech Cadence
Founder Institute
FounderFuel
Futurpreneur Canada
Groupe 3737
HEC Montréal
IVADO
Investissement Québec International
MILA
MT Lab
Ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation du Québec
Montreal NewTech
Montréal InVivo
Next AI
Notman House
PME MTL
Polytechnique Montréal
Quartier de l’innovation
Réseau Mentorat
Startupfest
TandemLaunch
Techstars AI
V1 studio
Zu

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