Government of Canada support to mentor close to 600 young innovative businesses and propel them forward

News release

Government of Canada financial support will enable CEIM, Centech and Bonjour Startup Montréal to boost and equip innovative high-tech SMEs.

October 22, 2020 – Montréal, Quebec – Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)

Businesses and organizations across all sectors need innovative solutions to adapt to the new economic reality, enhance their productivity and ensure sustainable growth. With the help of new technologies, entrepreneurs will succeed in doing so. Innovation is playing a primordial role in the fight against the devastating effects of the pandemic, and the Government of Canada continues to be a key player in supporting technological development by ensuring that businesses can count on the resources they need.

During the crisis, the technology field has seen development opportunities arise in several sectors; it is even considered one of the solutions to enable Quebec to better adapt to the economic issues caused by the health crisis. It is therefore essential to support initiatives such as those of the Centre d'entreprises et d'innovation de Montréal (CEIM), the Centre de l'entrepreneurship technologique de l’ÉTS (Centech) and Bonjour Startup Montréal, three organizations that mentor entrepreneurs from Montréal and across Quebec on their technology projects. These incubators of talent and innovation—which offer crucial assistance to young, innovative businesses with strong growth potential at all stages of their existence—support the start-up of technology businesses, encourage business collaborations, especially on the international stage, and boost job creation.

Three key players to propel technology SMEs forward

The Government of Canada has been here since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to support the development and reinvention of SMEs, and we will continue to help them throughout the recovery.

To pursue their mission and propel their clientele forward, CEIM, Centech and Bonjour Startup Montréal can count on non-repayable contributions totalling $4,999,100 from Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions. This assistance, presented during a press briefing today by the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, strengthens the vitality of Montréal’s innovation ecosystem and supports job creation.

While CEIM and Centech are seeing their agreements renewed up to 2023, devoting the assistance from CED to their ongoing mentoring activities, Bonjour Startup Montréal is receiving support, among other things, to develop Inno Startup, an open innovation platform enabling networking between large organizations and start-ups.

CEIM’s incubation and acceleration services are unique in adapting their coaching to each project, providing a wide range of expertise and development strategies that give priority to entrepreneurs’ interests. Propelled by the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), Centech is one of the main incubators in Canada to concentrate on high-level technology. It offers two mentoring programs for start-ups to accelerate project development in line with market needs. Bonjour Startup Montréal is an organization with a mission to create the maximum social and economic impact for the city by accelerating the growth and raising the profile of the start-up community in one of the most dynamic ecosystems in the world.

Additional information on the projects is provided in a related backgrounder.


“The Government of Canada is committed to stimulating innovation by helping businesses and organizations adapt to enhance their long-term productivity and competitiveness. We are proud to be able to offer support for business incubators and accelerators in Greater Montréal like CEIM, Centech and Bonjour Startup Montréal, veritable technology engines for the future. The city abounds with talented entrepreneurs, and thanks to the support and collaboration of players such as these, we can give them the means to fulfill their ambitions and raise our city’s profile. As attested by today’s announcement, we were here for them before the pandemic, we are present today, and we will continue to work together to find solutions to create good jobs and make our economy even more resilient.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CED

“We thank the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and her team for CED’s financial support. This will enable CEIM to offer its incubation and acceleration services and launch a coaching program dedicated exclusively to exporting, which will be followed, in fall 2021, by targeted trade missions to Europe, the U.S. and Asia. 85 start-ups will benefit from these services thanks to the federal government.”

Hélène Desmarais, Chair of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Centre d’entreprises et d’innovation de Montréal (CEIM)

“We are very pleased with CED’s ongoing support, which is enabling us to go even further in mentoring start-ups. This new financial assistance will enable us to accelerate burgeoning technology innovation projects in Quebec. This will increase Montréal’s attractiveness in this field, across Canada and around the world.”

Richard Chénier, Chief Executive Officer, Centre de l'entrepreneurship technologique de l’ÉTS (Centech)

“Innovation and economic development are at the heart of ÉTS’s mission. Thanks to the Government of Canada support, Centech’s start-ups will be able to fulfill this mission by deepening their research, and we will be able to propel them to a higher level to help with the economic recovery. Whatever the situation, together, we are part of the solution.”

François Gagnon, Chief Executive Officer, ÉTS

“Thanks to the partnership with CED and our other collaborators, we will be able to mentor 20 organizations over the coming year in potential pairings with start-ups. We want to help provide concrete solutions to the business issues faced by organizations, drawing on the spirit of innovation that so characterizes start-ups.”

Liette Lamonde, Chief Executive Officer, Bonjour Startup Montréal

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Media Relations
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

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