Startup Montréal and its partners are working towards a more diverse and inclusive Montréal startup ecosystem

Startup Montréal and its partners are working towards a more diverse and inclusive Montréal startup ecosystem

by Startup Montréal
26 October 2022

Startup Montréal is announcing a collaboration with several financial partners, including the City of Montréal, CDPQ*, Scotiabank, and Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Davies) to implement multiple initiatives aimed at fostering diversity within the Montréal startup ecosystem. The main objectives of these actions are to help increase the representation of diversity groups, to promote their access to financing, information, and education, and to foster various networking initiatives for the benefit of traditionally marginalized groups.

It is in this context that the highlights of the Diversity Mini-Portrait were unveiled yesterday at the annual meeting of Startup Montréal partners Offsite 2022. The Mini-Portrait produced with the support of the CDPQ, the City of Montréal, and in collaboration with the National Bank – HEC Montréal Institute for Entrepreneurship offers a first glimpse of the level of diversity in the Montréal startup ecosystem and aims to raise awareness among the various stakeholders of the importance of taking concrete action in favour of diversity groups. 


The highlights of the Mini-Portrait reveal, among other things, that:

  • the best represented diversity groups in our sample of 200 Montréal startups are people who have immigrated more than five year ago (mostly from Western Europe) and visible minorities; 
  • the least represented groups are people from the LGBTQ2+ community, people with disabilities, and Indigenous people; and
  • a significant proportion of founders (30%) and managers (36%) claim not to belong to any diversity group.
  • In addition, while 45% of startups report systematically making a conscious effort to promote the recruitment of diversity talent, 57% of respondents have no diversity recognition and integration practices in place. 


 “These results confirm what we already knew and underline the importance for Startup Montréal and the various players in the ecosystem to continue to implement concrete initiatives for the benefit of diverse entrepreneurs,”said Liette Lamonde, Executive Director, Startup Montréal.

Among the concrete initiatives implemented, Scotiabank and Davies have offered four scholarships worth $20,000 each to diversity entrepreneurs in 2022 as part of Startup Montréal’s Bourse+ program. The four winners (Bazooka, Collogh Cares, Élance, and FemTherapeutics) will also have access to free legal services from Davies. This is the first year of a three-year project, and other diversity entrepreneurs will be able to benefit from these initiatives by 2024. 


“At CDPQ, we believe that a diverse and inclusive community helps to foster a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. By supporting Startup Montréal’’s new diversity and inclusion initiatives, we are proud to support the development of the full potential of a new generation of ambitious entrepreneurs,” said Ani Castonguay, Senior Vice-President, Public Affairs, CDPQ.

“For more than 125 years, Davies has focused on bringing together the most innovative minds from different backgrounds. We share Startup Montréal’s commitment to diversity and are proud to contribute to the growth of Montréal entrepreneurship by accompanying the winners of Startup Montréal’’s Bourse+ program with legal services and practical and strategic advice to help them reach the Montréal market and the international stage,”said Philippe Johnson, Managing Partner at Davies. 

“Diversity contributes to the enrichment of our entrepreneurial ecosystem in Quebec,” said Sylvain Corbeil, Senior Vice President, National Accounts and Corporate Banking for Quebec at Scotiabank. Our economy needs all kinds of talent, and we are very proud to support those from diverse backgrounds, especially with these scholarships,” he added.

Startup Montréal acknowledges the essential contribution of its partners and collaborators, who make these various diversity initiatives possible.

*CDPQ is a trademark registered by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and used under licence by its subsidiaries.


The infographic presenting the highlights of the Diversity Mini-Portrait is available here for download here.

View the pdf infographic

For more details on Startup Montréal’s projects, go to https://startupmontreal.com/en/our-projects/


About Startup Montréal

We are Startup Montréal, an NPO created by the merger of Bonjour Startup Montréal and Montréal inc. Our mission is to increase the existing potential of our Montréal startup ecosystem in two ways: to expand its reach and multiply its positive impact. We pilot projects in a collective and collaborative mode such as the Bourse+, the FoundHers pre-accelerator, and the Conciergerie, for the benefit of entrepreneurs and the entire innovation community. To achieve this, we receive financial support from the Government of Québec, the City of Montréal, and other key donors and partners. www.startupmontreal.com


For more information, please contact

Marie-Pier Kouassi, Public and Government Relations Officer

Marie-pier@startupmontreal.com | 1-581-993-5009