“Seoportrait” series: the “start-up” as a tool for wealth redistribution

Business creation has changed a lot in the last twenty years, so right now we’re mainly hearing about “start-ups” that should change entire sections of the global economy. Commendable ambition for entrepreneurs who should not lose sight of the essentials: a Get started is an inclusive business model, in its own way, in which all members benefit from astronomical uptake, if any.

This is partly why Jean-François Gauthier created the organization Startup Genome, which lists each year the cities where young shoots are the most dynamic and thriving. And while what the California -based businessman said about Montreal and Quebec is encouraging, it can also serve as a lesson in humility.

Montreal and its young shoots

Startup Genome is an organization founded in California by a Montrealer who wants to draw a global picture of the so -called “ecosystem Get started “. Anyone interested in the economy and technology is familiar with Silicon Valley, where tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple came from. Are there other Silicon Valley outside of California, and if so, how are they comparable to the original? Startup Genome answers this question annually.It ranks in Montreal 31at world ranking of these ecosystems, a slight improvement compared to previous years. A small work, observation by Jean-François Gauthier.

“Overall, Montreal ranks very well. The metropolis should interact with other very large cities with almost as many inhabitants as Quebec. Tokyo, Singapore and Seoul are big cities. Montreal has also undergone significant government underinvestment over the past ten years, compared to these other cities. But that is changing. And the city is starting to take better advantage of its proximity to other major technology centers in North America, such as Boston and New York. »

North American Networking

We often refer to Canada as a country with two unions, one francophone concentrated in Quebec and the other anglophone, more focused on the rest of North America. This cultural proximity to the United States benefits Toronto entrepreneurs embarking on technology ventures, as there are virtually no language or cultural barriers. Toronto also relies on the Waterloo region, where BlackBerry, despite its failure over the last ten years, has created an R&D center on new technologies. The Montreal business community has no shortage of allies elsewhere on the continent …

“Business people in the United States hardly hear of Montreal, but Toronto is well known. Montreal’s reputation in Silicon Valley is very thin but international relations are essential for technological success. This is what helps young shoots to grow quickly. Fortunately, it’s not just Silicon Valley that has it. Montreal might look to New York, and even to London or Europe, where it probably has a better reputation than Toronto. This explains why investment funds like Rho Ventures and Garage Capital are present in Montreal and not in Toronto.

Quebec Inc. and innovation

The term “innovation” is one of the words that can be used in all sauces. Many large companies have dedicated it to projecting an image of an innovative company at the forefront of its industry. However, the relationships between Quebec inc. and Quebec’s youngest technology companies are still relatively lukewarm today, says the founder of Startup Genome.

“You have to remember that basically, the Get started are corporate rivals of big business because they are on a mission to shake up the entire industry. For a more traditional company like Bombardier, the culture of a Get started is very difficult to include. This is normal, but it is changing. We see this on the banking side where fintech is [fintechs] made the reaction of the institutions, which in turn were trying to innovate. But the main flaw of large corporations is that they often ignore young shoots from their own locality. Some German and Asian companies send representatives to California, as they have no idea there are technos in their home country. »


Unicorn is a company created just a few months ago whose value suddenly exceeded a billion dollars. There are a few in Montreal, including travel specialist Hopper. There seems to be a new unicorn being created in California every week, so it may seem more lucrative to start a new business in some cities than others. Why?

“The financing model of a young tech company is pretty consistent. The Series A round (which in principle represents the first major venture capital investment in a company) is the same everywhere. However, there are funds in investing ten times more in the United States than in Canada.They are also more numerous and investing heavily now.Meanwhile, the number of new businesses has not really increased.So the checks they give to funded companies are for larger amounts, which accelerates their market value.That is to say, investing is not just about money.You also need support.It is what is being built in Quebec and this is what helps to make it unique, ”Concludes Mr. Gauthier.

To be seen in the video

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