MT Lab: strengthening innovation in tourism, culture and entertainment
In Montréal, tourism plays a major role in the economy. The city’s creative flair and buoyant energy continue to attract leisure travellers from around the globe. At the top of a brand new decade, Montréal maintains its position as a world-class destination for visitors and as a hub for innovation in many key sectors as well. Understandably, we want to keep this forward-facing momentum.
That’s why MT Lab was born.
WHERE IT ALL STARTED
In 2012, the City of Paris created the Welcome City Lab, an incubator for urban tourism that invited travel start-ups to test products and services for partners and identify innovative new trends in international tourism. Following a visit to the project in 2015, the idea for a Montréal chapter of the Welcome City Lab was born: the MT Lab.
The idea behind MT Lab is simple: by being open to the world and making connections internationally, Montréal will continue to attract the best ideas and talent.
As the first startup incubator in North America dedicated to tourism, culture and entertainment, MT Lab is a joint venture between the UQAM School of Management, the Ville de Montréal and Tourisme Montréal. At its essence, MT Lab supports fledgling entrepreneurs whose purpose is to create innovative solutions to various challenges faced in tourism, culture and entertainment.
ONE GOAL, ONE DIRECTION
In June 2017, MT Lab began hosting its first cohort of start-ups in various fields, including digital technology, artificial intelligence, fintech (financial technology), virtual/augmented reality, and in many other innovative and collaborative domains, like linked objects, usage innovation and the collaborative/sustainable economy. MT Lab is the successful product of a synergistic relationship between the academic community (UQAM), the municipal government (Ville de Montréal) and the private sector (that’s us).
Aligning these three entities toward one goal, MT Lab offers a year of incubation for startups that have the potential to innovate in their respective sectors, plus training and conferences with industry leaders, a co-working space encouraging collaboration between start-ups and partners, as well as demo days where start-ups get to strut their stuff for potential partners.
In 2020, two of these startups, Locketgo and Les Cabinets, accompanied Business Events Montréal to PCMA Convening Leaders and had the opportunity to showcase their services. Locketgo provided lockers to safely store belongings and charge digital devices. Les Cabinets worked their magic with washroom makeovers and personal pamperings that made attendees feel like VIPs walking the red carpet.
MT Lab has now launched a call for projects for the 2020-2021 cohort of startups. We can’t wait to see the next wave of innovations that will emerge in the years to come!