Montréal’s vibrant startup and innovation ecosystem

published on December 7, 2023
Montréal Partners Industry News and Leaders

According to the Startup Genome, Montréal is one of the world’s most active startup hotbed cities, home base to over 2,500 active startups on the island of Montréal. With over 8,000 employees working primarily in the tech and artificial intelligence industries, the city ranked 36th among the nearly 300 cities considered for the annual Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking, thanks to its strategic location, highly educated talent, innovative spirit, high level of performance and attractiveness for both entrepreneurs and investors. In short: welcome to startup heaven.

Innovation starts at the Palais des congrès

Montréal’s unique spirit of joie de vivre extends above and beyond the vibrant neighbourhoods and cultural offerings into its work, with an open playing field for new ideas and startup organizations. 

With its storefront right on the ground floor of Montréal’s convention centre, Palais des congrès de Montréal, startup incubator MT Lab has pride of place in the city’s promotion. In fact, they have a partnership with the Palais’s Events Lab, which helps planners and delegates discover Montréal and elevate their experience through creative, affordable activities and solutions.

Choosing from 14 innovative local companies, planners can get added event value through experiential break-out sessions provided by the Palais’s Events Lab, augmented by design and technology. From Gallea’s pop-up art exhibits or Aglaé’s glow-in-the-dark plant technology that enhances room décor, to Made With Love’s custom mixology workshops and engaging networking activities powered by the Braindate platform or Atypic Labs’ augmented multi-sensory activations, the Palais can help planners find the right partners and services to meet event objectives.

Annual startup events that put Montréal on the map

Each calendar year, Montréal hosts some major startup-related events. They range from C2MTL, which brings business leaders and creative thinkers together, to Startupfest’s hip and happening networking and connection building, to World Summit AI Americas, highlighting the latest technologies and uncovered potential of artificial intelligence. 

You want inventive thinking and mind-blowing ah-ha moments? You’re in the right city.

More Montréal startups to know

There’s a seemingly endless list of exciting startups in Montréal, but here are some of the game-changers you may have heard of:

Arrivage. A farm-to-plate platform that helps local farmers connect directly with restaurants, caterers and other event providers, to encourage diversity in the local terroir and to reduce food waste. 

RE-AK TechnologiesSpecializing in emotional, cognitive and behavioral intelligence to make this knowledge available to everyone, starting with events professionals.

GHGSatA company that provides daily monitoring of carbon dioxide from every industrial source on the planet thanks to methane-tracking satellites in orbit, with carbon dioxide monitoring to come.

Brainbox AI. This startup uses GHG management and energy optimization in real estate, to help decarbonize and optimize buildings with the help of autonomous AI. 

My Intelligent Machines. MIMs provides biopharmaceutical companies with augmented intelligence systems to develop targeted and personalized treatments.

Wavo. A music data analytics and marketing platform supported by experts helping the music industry to make investments in artists more predictable, scalable and profitable.

Ova. The developer of the software called Stellar X allows neophytes to create collaborative virtual/augmented reality simulation spaces and breathe new life into corporate training approaches. The go-to, Montréal-made site for million people around the world to find work.

Agrisoft. This startup reinvents agriculture by bringing together researchers in agronomy and meteorology in projects aimed at improving decision-making processes for arable crops. 

Flinks. A technology company looking to revolutionize banking and financial data transfer processes. 

CarbiCrete. Their technology produces concrete without cement and without carbon, vastly reducing the industry’s carbon dioxide emissions. 

Polystyvert. A world leader in the recycling of polystyrene, aka the #6 plastic that could not be recycled, until today.

Helpful resources for local startups

To go with all the startups, there are educational experiences, networking opportunities and financial resources aplenty. Here are some to consider:

  • Startup Montréal: The world’s largest startup training and creation program.
  • MT Lab: Montréal’s tourism start-up incubator. 
  • PME MTL: offers a wide range of services to private entrepreneurs and social economy startups. 
  • École des entrepreneurs du Québec: helps entrepreneurs develop valuable skills for running a successful business. 
  • SAJE Montréal: stimulates the start-up and expansion of small- and medium-sized businesses. 
  • Entreprendre ici, Evol and Futurpreneur Canada: organizations that provide assistance to specific groups. 
  • CEIM: provides advisory services on startup management (IT, new media, green tech, industrial tech, life sciences).
  • Centech: provides startup assistance and incubator services in tech.
  • Diagram: assists the next generation of global companies.
  • District 3: innovation accelerator that helps entrepreneurs have a positive impact on their environment.
  • TandemLaunch: transforms advanced research into consumer products.


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