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Montreal launches $100 million fund aimed at Smart City start-ups

Photo: Ville de Montréal
Photo: Ville de Montréal

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre this morning announced the creation of the Capital Intelligent Mtl initiative, a $100 million fund aimed at both start-ups and established businesses which are offering solutions for urban challenges, launched in partnership with 23 venture capital firms, financial institutions and corporations.
Fresh off the success of yesterday’s Start-Up Demo Day in the Old Port, Harout Chitilian, Vice-chair of the executive committee in charge of Montreal’s Smart City initiative, introduced Mayor Coderre, who referred to the city’s 2015-2017 Smart City Action Plan before talking more generally about how this new initiative will push Montreal to the head of the pack of cities taking innovation seriously as a matter of policy.
“The vision and the leadership of the city of Montreal and of the venture capital industry takes shape today in the form of Capital Intelligent Mtl,” said Mayor Coderre. “The message to entrepreneurs is clear: there’s a future in smart cities. I strongly encourage businesses to step up and become international smart city leaders. As President of Metropolis, I will seize every opportunity to invite entrepreneurs from Montreal and elsewhere to submit their projects.”
Metropolis is the World Association of the Major Metropolises, created in 1985 with a membership of more than 120 cities globally, and representing metropolitan regions with more than a million inhabitants, and tends to focus on projects related to urban sustainability.
Capital Intelligent Mtl will be targeting start-ups or companies in a period of rapid growth, which are developing innovative solutions to urban challenges with capital requirements between $150,000 and $5 million, which promise to generate employment in Montreal.
Capital Intelligent Mtl and its 23 member partners will review and pre-qualify those companies.
“The Government of Quebec supports Montreal’s economic development and Quebec entrepreneurial success by investing in technology startups,” declared Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy and Minister responsible for the Montreal region, Martin Coiteux. “Capital Intelligent Mtl offers businesses the financing they need to embrace digital and its applications and pursue the development of innovative projects so that they might become world leaders in their field.”
President of Teralys Capital and founding member of Capital Intelligent Mtl, Jacques Bernier added, “What a great opportunity for entrepreneurs from here and elsewhere: venture capital funds coming together to stimulate the growth of innovative projects. The signal we’re sending to entrepreneurs and investors is clear: we’re ready to do business to encourage the development of the smart city.”
Teralys Capital, through the closing of a significantly oversubscribed $375 million fundraising round in March, is now Canada’s largest innovation-focused private investment fund, managing over $1.6 billion in venture capital.
The administration of Capital Intelligent Mtl will be funded with $400,000 from the city of Montreal, $300,000 of which comes from the Quebec government’s Entente Montréal 2025 framework, administered by the Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine du ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Occupation du territoire.
Total funding will be granted to PME-MTL Centre-Ville, which is mandated to coordinate Capital Intelligent Mtl’s activities.
“That so many important venture capital industry players are mobilizing to offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to bring their smart city vision to life is a testament to the potential of this sector,” said Executive Director of PME MTL Christian Perron. “Capital Intelligent Mtl offers our ecosystem unprecedented opportunities.”
The 23 venture capital firms, financial institutions and corporations partnering with the City of Montreal on Capital Intelligent Mtl are: Québecor, Le Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Fondaction CSN, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), BDC Capital, Desjardins Entreprises, Teralys Capital, iNovia Capital, Emerillion Capital, Cycle Capital Management, EnerTech Capital, McRock Capital, Interaction Ventures, Tandem Expansion Fund, Novacap, Real Ventures, Anges Québec, White Star Capital, Rho Ventures, OpenText Enterprise Apps Fund, Bank and Clients, Georgian Partners and Claridge.

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