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Big Bang Techno is an event created in collaboration with InnoCité MTL, a smart city startup accelerator, and Capital Intelligent Mtl, a group of 24 investors and venture capital funds who have a “mission to help entrepreneurs with innovative urban technologies for smart cities to find financing,” explained Capital Intelligent director Michel Brouillette. Over the course of the next three years, Capital Intelligent MTL has a mandate to invest no less than $100 million dollars to bring Montreal up-to-date with recent technologies. “The city and its citizens benefit from cutting-edge technologies, as do entrepreneurs and investors,” Brouillette continued.
Phi Centre was the host of the event, where four startups included in the third cohort of InnoCité MTL were invited to pitch in front of investors. “It’s now been more than 18 months since the launch of InnoCité MTL with mayor [Denis] Coderre, and I would like to thank the City of Montreal for their leadership, for having supported our ideas, and for having supported this initiative,” said Béatrice Couture, general director of InnoCité MTL.
“What is remarkable is that there is a brilliant ecosystem in Montreal that has developed over the last few years,” said Jacques Bernier, Managing Partner at Teralys Capital, a private fund manager financing private venture capital funds investing in innovative businesses, and Chairman of the Board of InnoCité MTL.
Amin Dada, CEO of City Parking, was responsible for breaking the ice. He touched a chord with Montreal motorists by emphasizing the frustration of the desperate search for parking in the city and how our many “trips around the block” waste time and gasoline. His application works to solve this problem by connecting drivers to owners of private parking places for a fixed fee.
The mayor of Montreal then took the floor to emphasize Montreal’s Smart City model, adding that the Montreal startup ecosystem facilitates social and sustainable development as well as major economic development. He also spoke about Montreal entrepreneurs in terms of creative audacity. “Montréal is truly an extraordinary hub for smart cities and startups,” he said.
Jeremy Barnes, CEO of Infra.Ai, continued the evening by introducing his company, which works to transform existing infrastructure into intelligent infrastructure. Infra.Ai collects data through services already in place. For example, Google Street View can be used to analyze how much a concrete section of an overpass lowers each year under the weight of automobiles. This information is calculated by the latest algorithms in artificial intelligence, through a wireless network system. The next step is to make good use of this data to improve urban infrastructure.
Frédéric Proulx, CEO of We Grab It, then explained how his company plans to “redefine the way we get rid of our objects.” We Grab It is eco-friendly, allows automated pairing between customers as well as online payments, and is an improved version of Kijiji and Craigslist.
Finally, Théo Corboliou, co-founder of Give a Seat, explained how his company offers discounted event tickets while making a donation to a non-profit organization. Without creating negative marketing that affects the image of a company — discount websites can give the impression that the show is struggling to sell tickets for a mediocre show or service — Give a Seat makes it possible to combine positive action and entertainment.
Startups can apply to InnoCité MTL to be part of the next cohort here.
Photos credit Toshimi Jan Muñiz