Thriving Montréal startup community

Montréal International is pleased with the report on the startup ecosystem providing the first detailed profile, along with figures, of this fully thriving community that has helped boost the local economy and enhanced Greater Montréal’s international profile.

The city has set itself apart due to its vibrant startups (between 1,800 to 2,600 startups), a skilled pool of talent (about 8,000 employees), a solid support network, spinoffs of more than $700 million in direct and indirect production and $360 million in venture capital investments over the past five years. Some 22% of the startups mentioned that they hold at least one patent and 67% of the startups state that they offer a product or service that meets the smart city market. This should not come as a surprise since the Intelligent Community Forum named Montréal as its 2016 Intelligent Community of the Year.

Startups are a strong driving force for innovation and contribute to Greater Montréal’s economic growth.  In focusing on the vibrant startup ecosystem, the study will certainly attract high value-added international technology companies to the city.

The report also highlights the importance of skilled labour for startups, specifically international talent. It was determined that no less than 41% of the 8,000 individuals working in the Montréal startup ecosystem were foreign-born. The availability of foreign talent is one of the main factors that makes the city so attractive to businesses, according to Montréal International.

This issue was discussed at the first Attractiveness Forum held this past November 4. The Forum participants, many of whom are senior managers of foreign subsidiaries, proposed a series of solutions that were in line with the recommendations in the Montréal startup ecosystem study, including:

  • Simplify the immigration process for foreign talent
  • Simplify the recognition of foreign competencies and degrees, especially when it comes to skilled labour
  • Bring businesses and foreign subsidiaries in the Québec business community closer to the startup community, so as to foster innovation and to go digital

A white paper with key recommendations from the Forum, intended to make Greater Montréal more attractive to businesses and more competitive globally is being prepared.

The report on the startup ecosystem produced by Credo, in collaboration with Fondation OSMO and Startupfest, can be downloaded here.

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