“In recent years, the rapid rise in maturity and growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Québec City has positioned it among the most dynamic in Canada.”
The Québec City ecosystem has evolved and matured in recent years. Its startup economy is now considered a best in class ecosystem, with 369 startups per 100, 000 people. The CA$1.3 billion ($948,000) QuébecResearch and Innovation Strategy initiative aims to boost collaborative research, increase access to research and innovation expertise for businesses, and drive technology innovation via entrepreneurs. Accelerator LE CAMP supported 122 startups in 2022, and won the InBIA technology accelerator of the year award, as well as the Dinah Adkins award 2022. It generated an economic impact of $194.5 million in 2022. The financing obtained by the startups working with LE CAMP amounts to $109.3 million. The Impulsion PME Program from Investissement Québec helps startups access capital by matching funding up to $1 million in initial rounds. Many specialized incubators including Quantino, 2 Degrés, and Mycellium offers industry-specific expertise and equipment to accelerate product development.
Québec City benefits from its easily accessible location, with the U.S. border approximately 100 miles away and direct flights to many international destinations. The provincial capital, it has a European flavor with easy access to nature and outdoor activities. Canada’s Start-Up Visa offers permanent residence to qualified immigrant entrepreneurs.
LeddarTech, which creates environmental sensing platforms for autonomous vehicles, raised $147 million in 2022. QScale, a mega data center will invest almost $1 billion to build one of the world's most important and innovative computing centers with energy recovery. Omy Laboratoires, an AI-powered personalized skincare product company, raised $11 million in an April 2023 venture round.
Ecosystem by the Numbers
AI, Big Data & Analytics
With over 39,000 IT professionals and leading institutions like Laval University's Institute Intelligence and Data, Québec City is a hub of expertise. QScale's upcoming data center and Vantage Data Centers' investment further solidify the city's position as a tech hotspot. Plus, with a collaborative ecosystem between industrial and academic sectors, responsible AI use, and research expertise in data analysis and processing, Québec City is the optimal size for deploying smart systems.
Québec is at the heart of innovation in biopharmaceuticals, medical devices and cosmetics. With the largest infectious disease research center in Canada, CRI, and numerous spin-offs such as Infectio Diagnostic (now Becton Dickinson) and GenePOC (now Meridian Bioscience), the city is a pioneer in health research. Cell culture products company Saguaro Technologies closed a $1.1 million seed round in February 2022. Personalized preventive health startup Biotwin raised a $3.6 million seed round in May 2022.
Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics
The Québec City region boasts a powerful concentration of businesses in the optics-photonics and related fields thanks to world-class research centers like INO, the largest center of expertise in optics and photonics in Canada, and Laval University’s Centre for Optics, Photonics and Lasers (COPL). Unique incentives foster innovation, giving the region a distinct advantage in these cutting-edge industries.
Reasons to Move Your Startup to Québec City
More than 500 high-tech companies in Québec City generate nearly $2 billion in revenue annually. The city is home to more than 35,000 tech employees and the ecosystem has Canada’s highest ratio of researchers to population, boasting more than 5,500 researchers and 400 laboratories, research centers, and institutes.
Québec businesses can claim up to 30% of eligible expenses related to R&D. The government has set aside up to $2.7 billion over five years for R&D- related tax credits. The government has also extended the temporary increase to its investment and innovation tax credit through December 2023. Québec’s investment and innovation tax credit (C3i) encourages businesses to acquire manufacturing and processing equipment, hardware, and software.
Cost of Living
The province of Québec is one of the most affordable in Canada, with some of the lowest rents and electricity prices, as well as subsidized child care. The cost of living in Québec City is 19% cheaper than in Montreal, 34% cheaper than in Toronto, and 52% cheaper than in Vancouver. The government is investing CA$3.8 million ($2.77 million) by 2026-2027 to offset recent price increases.
Selected Startup Organizations
Startup Genome Members
A major player in the entrepreneurial technology ecosystem of Québec since 2016, LE CAMP is an accelerator-incubator dedicated to tech businesses, from market validation to international growth. Located in the heart of Québec City, LE CAMP offers high-level support programs and services, regardless of the startup’s location. It is also a place of incubation and animation of the technological entrepreneurial ecosystem of the Québec City region.
Key Ecosystem Players
News from the Ecosystem
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