The OSMO Foundation announced Thursday it has received a $1 million contribution from National Bank in a partnership that looks to further its work in developing Montréal’s startup ecosystem.
National Bank and OSMO have been partnering since 2013, with the financial institution supporting OSMO’s Notman House, a technology hub that offers office, event, and communal spaces for startups, investors, and technology partners.
“Entrepreneurship in the city is booming and represents an important driver of innovation for economic and social development in Quebec.”
OSMO is a Montréal-based not-for-profit organization with the goal of growing and developing the city’s startup ecosystem. It’s most recent project, along with Fondation Montréal Inc., is the creation of Bonjour Startup Montréal, an online platform to help connect startups and entrepreneurs with industry experts and established corporations.
This $1 million contribution from National Bank will go towards continuing to build on that goal of helping Montréal startups by fostering collaboration between all aspects of the ecosystem from startups to large institutions in the private sector.
“National Bank was founded by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. That’s why we’re proud to support OSMO in creating an ecosystem that will encourage collaboration among all stakeholders in Montréal’s entrepreneurial community. Entrepreneurship in the city is booming and represents an important driver of innovation for economic and social development in Quebec,” said Louis Vachon, president, CEO of National Bank and board member at OSMO.
OSMO’s ultimate goal is to position the city of Montréal as one of the top 20 global businesses ecosystems. Along with Fondation Montréal, OSMO recently conducted research (along with research organization Startup Genome) to get a better understand the city’s startup community. The findings show that while there is strong ideation and activation, the ecosystem is lacking in community, connectedness, and internationalization.
This financial partnership with National Bank is likely an extension of the not-for-profit’s work to build stronger connectedness. Patrick Gagné the CEO of OSMO noted that the foundation is looking to develop more corporate partnerships in the coming years. “Entrepreneurs and organizations have a huge interest in working hand in hand…and it’s with great pride that we count on National Bank as one of our key partners,” he said.
Thus far OSMO’s partnership with National Bank through Notman House has helped it support more than 150 Montréal startups and contributed to more than 1,000 jobs. Other partners of the program include Vidéotron, the Government of Canada, the province of Quebec, as well as business incubator Google for Entrepreneurs.