With $29 million, MAIN Québec renews startup coaching program to support 375 startups

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Mouvement des accélérateurs d’innovation du Québec (MAIN Québec) is re-launching its startup coaching program with new funding from the provincial government.

MAIN Québec’s le Service d’accompagnement pour PME innovantes et technologiques (PMEit) is launching with $29 million and a goal to help accelerate the growth of 375 Québec-based startups by 2023.

“Support projects such as PMEit encourage Québec’s entrepreneurial fibre.”

Québec’s Ministry of Economy and Innovation is providing MAIN Québec a $12.5 million subsidy over three years to support PMEit. The new PMEit startup support program has been renewed for the years 2021 to 2023.

PMEit takes a unique collaborative approach to its acceleration coaching program. MAIN Québec partners with accelerators and incubators throughout the province to offer startups mentorship to improve their entrepreneurial skills.

Partner accelerators and incubators help to identify companies that would be a good fit for the PMEit program and identify coaches or experts that meet a startup’s needs.

“This model centres the entrepreneur in the support that is offered, preserves the trust and relationship with their incubator or accelerator and encourages peer-supported skill development while leveraging all the value-added resources of our network,” said Louis-Félix Binette, managing director of MAIN Québec.

The startups in PMEit will receive “intensive and customized” coaching and expertise totalling a maximum value of $75,000. MAIN Québec claimed more than 40 accelerators, incubators and support organizations in Québec have indicated they are interested in becoming partners for this new version of the coaching service.

Because the partners have not yet been confirmed, MAIN Québec did not disclose which accelerators or incubators have expressed interest.

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An earlier version of PMEit was originally deployed between 2018 and 2020. That program also received backing from the province. The first version saw MAIN Québec work with 38 organizations to provide support for 171 companies between 2018 and 2020, including 47 percent from outside of Montréal.

Some of the main partner accelerators for that first program included FounderFuel, Centech, and District 3.

The purpose of the PMEit program is to get startups to their inflection point more quickly. The organization said this requires an intensive contribution of coaching and expertise adapted to a startup’s specific needs, as well as access to an extended network of resources capable of supporting them in the long term.

“We need the inventiveness and audacity of our new entrepreneurs to accelerate innovation and increase our collective wealth,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Québec’s Minister of Economy and Innovation. “Support projects such as PMEit encourage Québec’s entrepreneurial fibre. It’s the kind of initiative that we must support to help entrepreneurs in a context of economic recovery.”

Support for companies in the PMEit program is expected to begin in the first quarter of this year.

Image source Unsplash. Photo by Adrien Olichon.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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