Montreal. Foto: Artur Staszewski / Flickr (cc)

Startups in Montreal’s digital technology sector create more than 8,000 direct and 2,000 indirect jobs, and the ecosystem’s contribution to economic activity in Montreal is about $700 million annually. In addition, the pace of startup creation has doubled since 2011, with some $360 million in venture capital invested during this same period.

These figures, which come from the first in-depth study entitled the Montreal Startup Ecosystem Report, speak to the size and growth of this sector. The study, conducted by Credo, in collaboration with the OSMO Foundation and Startupfest, was aimed at providing the startup community with statistical indicators as well as an assessment of economic benefits. It also makes a number of recommendations based on more than 50 interviews with key players in the community.

These recommendations, in the areas of talent, funding and the ecosystem, include:

  • increasing the exposure of Montreal students to the world of startups;
  • facilitating the attraction, integration and retention of international talent within startups;
  • clarifying the sources and the nature of available capital for Montreal startups;
  • consolidating the place of Québec Inc. companies on the Montreal startup scene;
  • designating entities responsible for government relations with startups.

The study’s findings were announced this morning at La Gare, a collaborative space, before some 100 influential members of Montreal’s startup community, including Harout Chitilian, vice president of the city’s executive committee responsible for information technologies and the smart city; Phil Telio, founder of Startupfest; and Michel Leblanc, president of The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. Speakers also included Sylvain Carle, general manager of FounderFuel, and Daniel Gagné, executive director of corporate services and entrepreneurship, Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation.