Startupfest plans a “fresh start” for in-person event return in July

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Startupfest de Montreal, au Parc Jean Drapeau du 9 au 14 Juillet 2019. Photo: Dominick Gravel / Startupfest
“We need fresh starts for founders in Montreal and beyond,” the org said.

After having to transition to online festivities last year, Startupfest is planning for a return in-person this July.

Launched in 2011, Startupfest holds an annual event for founders and investors focused on tech entrepreneurship. It claims to have had more than 15,000 attendees since its inception.

“We need fresh starts for founders in Montreal and beyond; for the kinds of organizations we choose to create; and for society itself.”

This year, the event is being held from July 13 to 15 as it looks to present “an entirely new facet” of Startupfest with the theme focused on fresh starts.

“Faced with huge challenges and massive opportunities, we need fresh starts for founders in Montreal and beyond; for the kinds of organizations we choose to create; and for society itself,” Startupfest said in its announcement. “We don’t want a new normal—we want a fresh start. That begins by sharing fresh ideas, making fresh contacts, taking fresh risks, and finding a fresh perspective.”

RELATED: How Startupfest pivoted from Canadian tech summer camp to a ‘hybrid’ event

Despite having to postpone its face-to-face festivities in 2020, Startupfest ran what it claimed was one of the world’s largest hybrid model events. Startupfest streamed the event through a live broadcast with an audience in Old Montréal.

In 2021, Startupfest branched out from its traditional festival format to offer virtual workshops focused on various aspects of startup growth.

In addition to an in-person return, Startupfest announced that it is launching a technology platform that it has been developing since before the pandemic hit. The group is testing matchmaking and gamification strategies on the platform, along with a mobile app that “encourages healthy, productive meetings with genuine contacts.”

Startupfest is one of many tech events that has had to adjust to the new reality of limited in-person gatherings.

Web Summit is one such group that also built its own tech platform to host a new style of event. Web Summit held its annual tech conference in 2020, hosted both in-person and online through its proprietary conferencing platform, developed for the 2020 Collision conference.

Collision cancelled its in-person event altogether and transitioned to an online format due to public health concerns associated with COVID-19. Collision is set to return to Toronto in-person in June.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a journalism student at Ryerson University and a staff writer for BetaKit. Follow her on Twitter @charlizealcaraz

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