MONTREAL, Feb. 1, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Just one year following the end of the first cohort and about a year and half after its creation, InnoCité MTL is showing extremely positive results, and the General Manager, Béatrice Couture, is very proud of the progress that has been made by the first smart city startup accelerator in Canada. While one of the main goals of the program is to fast-track the marketing of products and services that have a tangible impact on the quality of life of city residents, more than 80 agreements have now been signed between businesses participating in the program and organizations from the public and private sector.
"Smart cities are still in the early stages, but Montreal is already proving to be a leader in the sector, not only in Canada but on an international level as well. When InnoCité MTL was created in 2015, the project was innovative and unprecedented, which inspired us to be creative and become leaders in the field. Just a few months after the program was created, we succeeded in creating a dynamic ecosystem and quickly became the meeting place for startups, large businesses, cities and investors. We were also able to build our credibility with renowned collaborators. They are already reaping the benefits from working in synergy with the businesses participating in the program, as more than 80 agreements have been signed and some major investments have been made with certain companies," stated Ms. Couture.
Fourteen startups have benefited from the InnoCité program since it was created. Applications for the fourth cohort, beginning in April 2017, are being accepted until February 10. These startups have already signed over 37 agreements with the private sector, 21 with the public sector and 22 with the municipalities.
AN INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE AND SUCCESSFUL JOB CREATION
InnoCité MTL estimates that the number of jobs created by the companies participating in the program will double by the end of 2017. To date, about sixty mentors and several marketing activities and events, including Demo MTL, have allowed the Montreal smart city ecosystem to grow and local businesses to prosper.
With the wind in their sails, some of these startups are now selling their solutions in other parts of the country, the United States, Australia and Asia. Investment rounds of several million dollars have allowed some of these companies to grow more quickly. For instance, the initial financing goal of $500,000 was largely exceeded by POTLOC, a young startup that allows residents to choose the businesses they would like to have in their neighbourhoods. A graduate of InnoCité MTL in June 2016, the startup will double the size of its team and continue to develop in France in 2017. Local Logic, a company that allows e-commerce sites to highlight their product location characteristics, is actively recruiting to expand its team from 7 employees to 23 by the end of 2017. The startup will expand into the United States and aims to have a presence in the 100 largest American cities by the end of the year.
PRODUCTIVE NETWORKING BETWEEN STARTUPS AND HIGH LEVEL PLAYERS
The City of Montreal supports the full economic potential of the Montreal ecosystem in the smart city context and its innovation is largely thanks to its partners like InnoCité MTL.
"I am very pleased and proud of the positive outcomes announced by InnoCité MTL, a smart city accelerator created under the initiative of the City of Montreal a year and a half ago. I am thrilled that more than 115 jobs have been created and that 80 agreements have been signed between the 14 startups who took the program and several clients from the public and private sectors. The buzz generated by the program contributed to Montreal winning the prestigious Smart Community prize in 2016. Once again, this demonstrates our support for innovative projects that will improve the quality of life of our city's residents", stated Mr. Chitilian.
The City of Montreal is offering mentorships and training for companies participating in the program, in addition to sharing urban issues and offering their expertise, by providing developers with open data. The city has already signed agreements with InnoCité startups, such as Key2Access, a smart city solution offering extra assistance at pedestrian crosswalks, and Sensequake, a startup offering the first earthquake remote sensing platform for buildings and infrastructures. Digital State also seized the opportunity to share its expertise by signing two service contracts with the City of Montreal.
In addition to the City of Montreal, the founding partner, the City of Brossard just signed a two-year partnership with InnoCité MTL. The organization has several collaborators, including large businesses, seasoned entrepreneurs, community partners and major investors, such as TELUS, Desjardins, Yellow Pages, GE Lighting, Real Ventures, BDC and Capital Intelligent Mtl.
TELUS, DESJARDINS AND YELLOW PAGES RENEW THEIR COMMITMENT AND FAITH IN INNOCITÉ MTL
The three main, founding partners, TELUS, Desjardins and Yellow Pages, have contributed without a doubt to the success of the program since it was launched. The General Manager of InnoCité MTL feels very honoured to have the expertise of the mentors and the first key customers of the businesses participating in the program.
"InnoCité allows us to have a lasting and positive impact on communities as well as entrepreneurs. The smart city concept is a logical step towards the future and is a wonderful opportunity for TELUS to get involved by improving collaboration between citizens and their city", mentioned Mr. Hugues Bélanger, General Director of Strategic Alliances at TELUS, the main, founding partner of InnoCité MTL.
Jean-Sébastien Pilon, Senior Manager of Safety and Innovation at Dejardins, added: "For Desjardins, partnering with InnoCité MTL represents a golden opportunity to help accelerate our entrepreneurs' success, as our partnership with POTLOC shows. It also allows us to promote the development of a responsible and sustainable economy, in collaboration with our members and the members of the community, by supporting their projects. Our hope for the future is to continue this type of partnership, not only in Montreal, but across the province and the country!"
"Yellow Pages is proud to continue to support and encourage the innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of our local talent as founding partner of InnoCité MTL. As a company that is constantly evolving in today's digital environment, we recognize the essential role that startups play in Montreal's technological and digital growth," says Matthieu Houle, Vice-President, Digital Media at Yellow Pages.
"I would like to sign off by inviting universities, cities and entrepreneurs to join the InnoCité wave in 2017 and to join forces with us. The more rich and diversified the environment is, the better off we will be to help the startups of tomorrow make the smart city evolve," concluded Ms. Couture.
* Information sheet on the InnoCité MTL report available upon request.
About InnoCité MTL www.innocitemtl.ca
The first smart city startup accelerator in Canada created under the initiative of the City of Montreal, Innocité MTL is a program that supports businesses to directly address the needs of public and private organizations. Starting in 2015, InnoCité MTL has been accelerating productive networking between cities, startups and the industry, fast-tracking urban innovations and product and services that have an impact on the quality of life of city residents.
Proud partner of the City of Montreal and the City of Brossard, around twenty collaborators and investors are participating in the InnoCité MTL program, as well as three main partners and founders: TELUS, Desjardins and Yellow Pages. InnoCité MTL benefits from the support of the City of Montreal thanks to the financial aid provided by the Government of Quebec, granted within the framework of the Montreal 2025 Agreement, administered by the Secretariat for the metropolitan region.
Partners and Investors
Capital Intelligent MTL
Fondation Montréal Inc.
Government of Quebec
Massy Forget Langlois
Quartier de l'innovation
City of Brossard
City of Montreal
SOURCE InnoCité MTL
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