Quebec government selects OSMO Foundation and Montreal Inc. as regional innovation hub

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The OSMO Foundation, a non-profit that supports the development of Montreal’s startup ecosystem, and Montreal Inc. have been selected to be an official regional innovation hub by the Quebec government.

OSMO and Montreal Inc. were selected after they submitted a joint bid in the Quebec government’s call for projects to create regional innovation hubs for the Montreal region. The announcement was made by Quebec Premier Phillippe Couillard at the Montreal Startupfest taking place this week.

As the regional hub for the Montreal region, a financial contribution of $400,000 will be disbursed annually to the hub for the development of entrepreneurship and innovation.

“We want to help reinforce and spread the influence of a startup ecosystem of which will always be proud to be a part.”

“Our vision, shared with OSMO, is that of an ecosystem recognized on a global level, easy to navigate for startups, tailored to their needs, and that maximizes the partnerships between organizations and multiplies advantageous connections for all,” said Liette Lamonde, executive director of Montreal Inc. “We want to help reinforce and spread the influence of a startup ecosystem of which will always be proud to be a part.”

OSMO and Montreal Inc. will work together to create a project centred around startups and entrepreneurs. By combining their expertise, the two organizations are planning to mobilize Montreal’s startups, organizations, universities, and business community and expand their impact internationally.

OSMO CEO Patrick Gagné’s interview with BetaKit editor-in-chief Douglas Soltys on the CanCon podcast.

“I am very pleased that we were selected to play this role for the innovation hub. We firmly believe that the collaboration between OSMO and Montréal Inc. will be beneficial to the ecosystem,” said Patrick Gagné, OSMO CEO-In-Residence. “Our partnership demonstrates the necessity of collaboration and of ‘coopetition’ to create a more successful ecosystem. In addition to sharing a startup DNA and to being anchored in the community, our two organizations are very complementary.”

In addition to being selected as Montreal’s regional innovation hub, the OSMO Foundation also announced that it has appointed four new members to its board of directors.

The new board members include Louis Vachon, the president and CEO of National Bank of Canada; Marie-Josée Lamothe, managing director of consumer goods and branding at Google Canada; Anne Martel, co-founder and senior vice president of operations at Element AI; and Richard Chenier, general director and director of technological entrepreneurship at ÉTS.

“I am extremely proud that our board of directors will be enriched by these talented people with diverse profiles who are passionate about OSMO’s mission.”

The OSMO foundation said the board members will leverage their professional backgrounds and complementary experiences to support the development of OSMO and Montreal’s startup ecosystem.

“I am extremely proud that our board of directors will be enriched by these talented people with diverse profiles who are passionate about OSMO’s mission,” said Alan MacIntosh, president of the OSMO Foundation’s board. “Their involvement will undoubtedly contribute to increasing our impact with Montreal startups and spreading our ecosystem around the world.”

The OSMO Foundation aims to support the development of Montreal’s startup ecosystem. Its first initiative was to launch the Notman House, a physical space to support startups and entrepreneurship in the region. The Notman House has held roundtables addressing issues in Canada’s tech community, and also hosted events such as the Montreal Startup Community Awards.

Since its launch in 2012, the OSMO foundation has also held over 1,000 entrepreneurship training events and hackathons, and launched events like Montreal’s Startupfest, Open House MTL, and TechAide for Centraide alongside supporting the launch of more than 150 startups including Bus.com and Element AI.

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi is a staff writer at BetaKit. As a fourth-year journalism student who has written primarily about entrepreneurship, Amira has developed a growing interest in Canadian startup, business, and tech news. In her free time, Amira enjoys reading, baking and watching legal shows.