It all began with a simple idea.
Montreal is thriving as a startup ecosystem, but it shouldn’t end there. The rest of Quebec is vast and filled with entrepreneurs: why not bring some of the experience assembled in Montreal’s startups and see what could be done to help link and grow local ecosystems together?
LP Maurice from Busbud, Noah Redler from the Notman House, and Christian Belair from the Regroupement des Jeunes Chambre de Commerce du Quebec got together to help turn that spark into a tangible project: a tour of Quebec’s regions by some of Montreal’s top entrepreneurs.
This wasn’t to be a recruiting ploy, or a way to sneak talent into Montreal’s growing ecosystem. Local municipalities were a bit wary at first, but when it was made clear that the purpose of the tour was to nurture local ecosystems, they welcomed the initiative with open arms.
The entrepreneurs on the trip were a diverse collective, from LP Maurice of Busbud, Sophie Boulanger from BonLook and Cai from Provender, to social entrepreneurs such as Christine from E-180, and Fabrice Vil from Pour 3 Points. Agency f and co. were on hand, as well as Noah Redler from the Osmo Foundation. All of them came together to go out and explore, nurturing deep bonds between the regions and Montreal. They came in with the attitude of how they could help, and left with friendships that will last.
Most of all, they smashed the notion that you needed a big city to build something meaningful. In Baie-St-Paul, a warm welcome awaited them. Entrepreneurs from throughout the region came in with bright new ideas and hopes.
In a world where software can be built with a few people and one vision, it’s important to reflect the diversity of problems and needs with a diversity of teams creating solutions.
One entrepreneur named Marco Pilotto, an extreme sport enthusiast, was building out a better and more mobile wheelchair by creating a company to improve wheelchair wheels. A generation of young, bright entrepreneurs was coming together in the regions of Quebec, building an incredible network of value.
Noah Redler of the Notman House, and one of the organizers of the trip, maintains that what they’re doing goes beyond any virtual incubator ideas that have been spawned before to connect the regions with Montreal. These were genuine human connections being made through animated face-to-face discussions.
The tour continues towards Gaspesie, Rouyn-Noranda, and ends at the city of Luc-Megantic, so recently devastated by the explosion that cost so many lives. The message of hope and possibility the tour brings will continue until it has touched every corner of Quebec.