Montreal Startup Incubator Receives Nationwide Attention

  • By: mvadmin
  • Date: September 1, 2019
  • Time to read: 2 min.

Montreal’s Centech is one of the largest business accelerators in Canada and has received attention from across the country and more applicants than it can handle. One of the largest tech-company launchers in the country is a relatively unknown entity, an article in the Financial Post said. It added that Montreal’s Centech is home to technopreneurs from 26 universities in 11 countries across varied disciplines.

A business accelerator is a program that gives developing companies access to mentorship, investors and other support that help them become stable, self-sufficient businesses. Companies that use business accelerators are typically start-ups that have moved beyond the earliest stages of getting established.

Incubators are programs that “incubate” disruptive ideas with the hope of building out a business model and company. Primarily accelerators focus on scaling a business while incubators are often more focused on innovation.  Centech does both.

The Centech accelerator was established in 1996 and is one of the oldest incubators in the country. Over those years it has grown to become one of the largest tech company launchers in the country and has been ranked among the top 10 accelerators in the world according to University Business Incubator.

The fact that word of mouth is enough to fill their ranks is a clear testament to Centech’s success, the article said. This is often surprising for its founders since the accelerator doesn’t do any promotions but receives a large number of applicants.

Up to 2015, applicants were exclusively students from its founding partner, the École de technologie supérieure engineering school. At that point, it opened its doors to any applicants and is now home to technopreneurs from 26 universities in 11 countries. Projects range from smart lighting and 3D modelling for industrial applications to medical cannabis and monitoring tools for turtle nests, the article added.

The programs main focus remains on hardware and deep technology. According to its founder, 100 per cent of solutions developed there have software.

“We don’t create startups; we launch businesses. That’s a different mindset from other accelerators. Even when a company has significant seed round financing, they still need to know how to spend that money and build their business in terms of legal, cash flow and pipeline building.” director-general of Centech, Richard Chénier said.

However, Centech remains a largely unknown entity to many who are not a part of Canada’s start-up world and even to those who are.

Locketgo, a provider of temporary lockers for transporting to and from large events, is a member of the Centech two-year Propulsion Program. Since starting the company, Gabrielle La Rue has become a fixture on the startup scene.

Despite being a native of Montreal, La Rue hadn’t heard of Centech before someone recommended she apply to it.