MT Lab: strengthening innovation in tourism, culture and entertainment
In Montréal, tourism plays a major role in the economy. The city offers a patented blend of European flair and affordability, which continues to attract leisure travellers. The city is also a tech hotspot. In 2016, we were named the Intelligent Community of the Year, and our status as a hub of innovation draws big conferences and international organizations. Understandably, we want to keep this forward-facing moment.
That’s why MT Lab was born.
LET’S GET STARTED
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.
The idea for MT Lab was inspired by Welcome City Lab, a 2015 project in Paris that invited travel start-ups to test products and services for partners and identify innovative new trends in international tourism.
ROWING IN THE SAME DIRECTION
Flash forward two years, and in June of 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, new services, linked objects, usage innovation, and collaborative/sustainable economy. Basically, anything that helps support the tourism, culture and entertainment industries.
Synergy is a buzz word that is thrown around frequently (and perhaps too generously). But in this case, there’s no better term to describe the collaborative spirit that has birthed this program. MT Lab is the product of a relationship between the academic community (UQAM), the municipal government (Ville de Montréal) and the private sector (that’s us).
We’re not keeping the game plan hidden. The idea behind MT Lab is simple: by being open to the world and making connections internationally, Montréal will attract the best ideas (and events) right to its doorstep.
In this case, a simple plan could have far-reaching positive outcomes!