From Vancouver to Calgary to Toronto, Canada has some of the best cities in the world for the tech industry. But you don’t only have to look to the English-speaking part of the country to see the nation’s blossoming startup scene. Between French and English Canada, the bilingual cultural melting pot of Montreal is home to one of the most exciting startup scenes in the country.
Renowned for its beauty, culture, and large arts scene, Montreal has also birthed many exciting tech startups over the past decade. Quebec’s biggest city is of course home to offices from tech giants like Ubisoft, Unity, and Apple. But Montreal has also consistently produced smaller tech startups with innovative, creative visions and products.
These tech startups are inflected with the unique culture of the city, with its friendly, relaxed, European style, accessible education, and support for small businesses. Entrepreneurs can access a lot of help within this Quebecois city, between startup accelerators like MTL Lab, and startup organizations like Bonjour Startup Montreal.
Let’s look at 8 of the most exciting, innovative, and growth-oriented startups in Montreal in 2021.
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Launched in 2011, Wavo is a music industry startup that burst out of the creative, bustling Montreal arts scene. They’re tackling the field of music marketing, with their products sitting at the intersection of artificial intelligence, music, and marketing analytics.
Wavo’s platform is specifically designed for music industry professionals to use, with products and services that help with facets like marketing automation and business intelligence. Their approach is uniquely catered to the music industry, and integrates things like machine learning models and Big Data to assist.
Wavo’s now an important global leader in music marketing as the industry evolves into the digital, data-centric future. Their team includes 135 employees, most of who are Montreal-based (though virtual for now), and is slated for continued growth. In 2020, Wavo was presented the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 award for rapid revenue growth and entrepreneurial innovation.
The laid-back residents of Montreal are a lot more eager to relax in the sun than they are to work. *Hopper has been trying to make that a lot more accessible to them, even in the dead of the city’s brutal winters. In 2015 Hopper launched their travel app, which uses data and automation to help customers purchase flights and accommodations at the lowest rates possible.
Hopper’s mobile apps for both iOS and Android have surged to popularity, becoming some of the world’s most popular travel apps with over 20 million downloads. This nifty app uses predictive analytics and automated comparison shopping to find the sweetest deals possible, and notify users whether they should wait or book immediately. Hopper employs around 500 people, and they’re looking to double their workforce over 2021 as the travel industry recovers.
Montreal’s Brainbox AI holds the prestigious title of having been recognized by TIME Magazine as one of the best inventions of 2020. You’ll definitely want to watch this Montreal-based company through 2021. Their product is a system that uses self-adapting artificial intelligence to optimize the energy consumption of buildings, saving consumers money and working against climate change.
Brainbox AI boasts a 20-40% reduction in carbon footprint and a 25% reduction in energy costs for their consumers. Better than that, they enable HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems to operate autonomously, responding to weather conditions. That means no more fiddling with the heat dial. Let the AI take care of keeping you comfortable.
Livescale is bringing a technology that’s seen success in other regions to the west. Since 2016, they’ve been operating out of Montreal, making a name for themselves as a premier service that integrates e-commerce with livestreaming. They refer to their technology as a live shopping solution.
Livescale’s product is a platform that helps brands connect with their consumers across different media platforms, by making it easy to sell their wares through live streaming. This is the shopping channel of yesteryear brought into the digitized 21st century. Livescale’s worked with big-name clients like Urban Decay, L’Oreal, Lancome, Vans, and more. They’re definitely a startup to watch in 2021.
Lufa Farms isn’t just any food delivery services. The Montreal-based startup has made a name for itself since 2009 for connecting consumers with a local network of innovative farms and food makers. Like many other delivery services, customers sign up for food baskets through Lufa through a subscription model, and receive nifty selections of products on a rotating basis.
But Lufa Farms goes above and beyond this tried and true model of food subscriptions. They’re famous for their own innovative rooftop greenhouses throughout urban areas in Montreal and elsewhere, where they grow food that they send out to subscribers. A company like this with such complex infrastructure necessitates a lot of data analytic work; future data analysts should keep this company on their radar.
Dialogue has made a lot of traction in the 5-odd years since their inception. This Montreal-headquartered startup is aiming at the noble goal of reducing barriers to quality healthcare in Canada. They’re accomplishing this through the fast-growing field of telemedicine.
Virtual healthcare is an industry that’s growing exponentially, especially because of how the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way healthcare operates. Dialogue connects their partners with robust healthcare services remotely. The businesses they partner with use Dialogue to provide telemedicine to their employees, improving worker wellbeing, productivity, and job satisfaction.
My Intelligent Machines
We’re living in the age of Big Data - as in, there’s an unprecedented, massive amount of information being produced constantly. This means we need new, intelligent technologies that can harness the power of all this data. That’s where companies like My Intelligent Machines come in.
This Montreal-based startup is an expert in the realm of artificial intelligence software, specifically in how it applies to the realm of the life sciences. MIM’s software enables the modelling of biological systems, using the massive amounts of data aggregated from databases to allow users to run bioinformatic and machine learning algorithms to capture key insights. Does this go a bit over your head? Don’t worry - all you need to know is that this is a startup to watch in 2021.
AON3D is a rapidly growing Montreal startup that’s dominating the field of 3D printing. 3D printing refers to machines that print 3-dimensional objects using different thermoplastics. This technology has applications for a variety of industries, from healthcare to architecture.
AON3D’s technology makes 3D printing cheaper and more accessible. Since their founding in 2015, they’ve manufactured high-temperature industrial 3D printers that use high-performance thermoplastics. They also provide platforms, software, and solutions that go along with the printers. They’ll definitely need expert developers to help them as they continue to grow.
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