Enthusiasm of start-ups: Montreal has “few crusts to eat”

Montreal remains among the 40 most important start-up ecosystems on the planet in the annual “Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2022” ranking. (Photo: Andrew Welch for Unsplash.com)

Montreal treads the water in annual rankings “Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2022 » [«Le rapport mondial sur l’écosystème des start-ups»] ]from the Californian firm Genome startup.

The metropolis is at the bottom of the pack of the 40 most important start-up ecosystems on the planet, tied with Melbourne, Hangzhou, Mumbai and Munich. Vancouver is in 30th position, while Toronto is in 17the ranking in this ranking that lists more than 140 cities or regions. Silicon Valley was in first place, followed by New York and London tied.

“We’re very good, but we still have crusts to eat,” said Startup Montreal general manager Liette Lamonde. He is glad that Montreal is still part of the top 40, ahead of cities like Hong Kong, Dublin, Madrid or Moscow, as the rise of Chinese or Indian cities is increasingly felt.

Without seeing the details of the data explaining the position of Montreal and the other cities not provided in the report, he acknowledges that Montreal is lagging behind the other two largest cities in Canada.

“Last year, Vancouver did three times better than us in venture capital and Toronto four times. It’s definitely in their favor, because these are easy numbers on which to base trouble. classification, ”said the head of Startup Montreal.

However, he points out that development has been made to stimulate investment in the metropolitan area and good projects have succeeded in finding capital.

Montreal strengths

The report features that the Toronto-Waterloo region has the highest concentration of artificial intelligence start-ups in the world. Vancouver gave birth to five unicorns during the study period compared to four for Montreal.

University and talent pool, quality of life and state support are three factors mentioned in this study for setting up a start-up in Montreal. Life sciences, fintech as well as artificial intelligence and data analytics are the most important sectors. The value of the Montreal ecosystem is estimated at US $ 24 billion, while start-up funding is $ 857 million. In Toronto, it is US $ 46 billion and US $ 2.7 billion respectively. Very clear advantage therefore for the capital of Ontario.

Montreal excels in relevant indicators for low cost for its computer engineers as well as the number, quality and impact of research and education on the life sciences. It is also below average for the number of students in science, technology, engineering and math. Montreal is also in the top 5 of the North American ecosystem in terms of profitability for technology start-ups, i.e., the average amount of cash earned in a round of venture capital.

For all other indicators, this is average or below average.

Quebec is also mentioned in this report. The city is the area in North America with the highest return on investment and at 3e room for labor costs. The value of its ecosystem is estimated at US $ 1.2 billion. The cost of living, tax credits and a skilled labor force are seen as Capitale-Nationale assets.

Back on the slope

Liette Lamonde believes the “current painful” environment for start-ups in Montreal is the lack of locomotives like the Lightspeed that are growing so fast.

“We’re working hard to increase the total value of start-ups in our ecosystem,” he said. We have a good base with about 1600, but we don’t have much in hypergrowth. For this particular type of business, it’s hard to find mentors and coaches here who can help them. “

However, he believes that the creation of the Hypercroissance Québec program in February will fill the gap and provide good help. Conducted in partnership with his organization and Apexe Global, from Silicon Valley, this initiative aims to help Quebec’s innovative, fast -growing companies reach the billion dollar appreciation mark. The Quebec government has injected $ 6.5 million into this special mentoring and marketing assistance program.

He also praised the support of the Legault government, which seeks to grow exports and higher contributions from start-ups to its new Quebec Strategy for Research and Investment in Innovation 2022-2027.

“What the various actors lacked was the understanding that a start-up is not an SME; that sales are not there first and require patient capital. We have taken big steps. “

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