Launch of the fifth cohort of FoundHers

Launch of the fifth cohort of FoundHers

by Startup Montréal
27 January 2023

On January 25th, Startup Montréal presented the fifth cohort of the FoundHers program at a cocktail party. The program welcomes 17 women with entrepreneurial ambitions, ready to bring their business project to life! 

Some key figures on the profile of our new cohort: 

  • 18% are working full time on their project
  • 47% are 36 years old and over
  • 60% are from diverse backgrounds
  • 59% of the projects have a technological aspect
  • 35% plan to launch their company in less than 12 months
  • Sectors of activity: Information and communication technologies (5); Environment, sustainable development and circular economy (3); Life sciences; Furniture/decoration; Information and cultural industry; Video games.

“FoundHers focuses on the development of the human potential of women who wish to start their own business. The objective is to increase the number of women in our entrepreneurial ecosystem. We are not looking for solutions in specific sectors of activity, but to support women who want to go for it. And our team is delighted to feel the enthusiasm of the candidates towards our program”, says Liette Lamonde, managing director of Startup Montréal.

Startup Montréal acknowledges the contribution of its main financial partner BMO, without whom the FoundHers program would not have been possible at its launch, in 2019. 

“Each year, we have the pleasure of supporting ambitious women who propose innovative and sustainable ideas for our society. Contributing to the development of the full entrepreneurial potential of Montréal women is essential to us. It is an honor for BMO to be able to support the FoundHers Program since its inception,” says Fatiha Senhaji, National Managing Director, Sector Programs, Commercial Banking, BMO Financial Group. “It is necessary for these women to be able to seize all the growth opportunities available to them for their business projects. It is a privilege to accompany them on this journey.” 

A new collaborator also joined our initiative this year: Google Canada!

“We are excited to collaborate with Startup Montreal and their FoundHers program, delivering workshops to help their cohort grow and scale their companies. We love the work they are doing to support women-led startups in Quebec through programming and mentorship, which strongly aligns with Google Canada’s commitment to support this demographic through our own North American Google for Startups Accelerator for Women Founders,” says Iran Karimian, Startup Developer Ecosystem Lead – Canada, Google.

In addition, FoundHers is pleased to have Ubisoft back as a collaborator on the project.

“We are proud to collaborate with Startup Montréal to support the emergence of female entrepreneurial talent. Over the years, the companies that have emerged from the FoundHers program illustrate the creativity and potential of local women entrepreneurs,” says Olivier Delisle, Director of the Entrepreneurship Accelerator at Ubisoft.


Nine service partners also contribute to the success of this program: ACCLR, District 3, L’Esplanade, Evol, Futurpreneur, Jeune Chambre de Commerce de Montréal, Le Wagon, LOJIQ, PME MTL.

The cohort begins the Boost course on January 31st. This first course lasts five weeks and, thanks to workshops, co-development groups and personalized coaching, allows the women in the cohort to validate their idea and obtain a toolbox to start putting their project into action. 

From this cohort, 10 selected women will continue the program for an additional 12 weeks during the Lift course in order to propel these entrepreneurs to the pre-commercialization stage. At the end of the program, a founder will receive a $5,000 grant and 6 months of free coaching to support her business project. 

Learn more about the program: https://startupmontreal.com/en/our-projects/foundhers/