The government is playing dragons with promising start-ups

The Legault government is inspired by dragons and is putting $ 50 million on the table to invest in promising young companies, allowing them to take off.

“We’re setting up a program to help start-ups in the pre-marketing stage. This is the hardest step. This is often where it works or breaks,” explained the Delegate Minister for the Economy, Lucie Lecours, in an interview with our Parliamentary Office.

Impulsion PME will be managed by Investissement Québec, which will be able to invest $ 250,000 to $ 1 million in an “innovative company” with a convertible loan, meaning the State will be able to convert this loan into equity investment in the company.

“The parallel with the dragons is interesting,” laughs Ms. Lecours. But, not the same In the dragon’s eyenot the Minister of Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, and himself, sitting in chairs, will listen to the businessmen making pitch of sale.

Instead, they will be referred to a specialized venture capital team on the IQ of business incubators and technology development centers.

  • Listen to the economic column by Yves Daoust, director of the Money section of the Journal de Montréal, on QUB radio:

Half public money

In addition to capital, businesses will have access to consultants they can approach. The entrepreneur has to put as much money as the government into the venture. If IQ puts up $ 500,000, he has to advance the same amount.

“We also need to seek private funding,” Ms. Lecours.

Another ratio to follow: half of the program budget targets the larger Montreal metropolitan area and the other, the Quebec regions.

More for the regions

“In the regions, it is more difficult for entrepreneurs to access venture capital, but there are some good ideas,” the Minister said.

The maximum funding for a business in the regions is also higher, $ 1 million compared to $ 750,000 in Montreal.

The idea behind this option: encourage entrepreneurs to stay in their corner of the country instead of moving to Montreal to thrive their company.

Capital risk

Ms. acknowledges. Lecours that sometimes the State can lose money – “in venture capital, there is risk” – but believes that this program is necessary to “give vitamins to young shoots” and that there are trustworthy partners on the ground, the “ risk is mitigated “.

The estimated loss for the program is estimated at $ 15 million.

How many companies will benefit from this?

“We did not set a specific number, the important thing was that the file was properly compiled,” Minister Lecours explained.

SME impulse explained by Minister Lecours

There are many programs and hundreds of millions already available to help businesses in Quebec. However, Minister Lucie Lecours explained access to public venture capital for Get started is in the blind spot of Investissement Québec.

Q: Who is Impulse PME for?

Answer: This is specifically for seedlings and Get started. It takes a good idea, an innovative idea, an idea that will change the landscape of the Quebec regions. It’s not just in information technology, it’s broad. This is a pre-commercialization stage company. You’re not in your basement with an idea. You have come a long way. Our help will help them move from idea to product commercialization.

Q: Why is this program needed?

A: This is an angle not covered by the programs we have put in place recently for economic recovery. By adding SME motivation to the bouquet of these initiatives, the economic recovery we will soon be carrying out will be the largest economic recovery ever in Quebec.

Q: What is the risk component for the State?

A: The risk is mitigated, because we will find the most promising young shoots thanks to credible partners in the field. This is one for one. $ 1 private, $ 1 government invested. What we want is for solid companies to emerge. May they be companies that create a lot of jobs.

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