The Startupfest Village

It takes a village…

The Startupfest Village is one of the most unique and attractive aspects of the entire event. Our goal is to create an environment that encourages people to look away from their screens and make real-time connections. Unlike other events, where you’ll see a speaker onstage and then they’re whisked away to catch their flight, you can catch ours hanging out in the Village, perhaps with a beer in hand, eager to spend time with attendees. The Village provides attendees with unbeatable networking and opportunities we promise you haven’t experienced anywhere else.

The 2024 Village

Prizes | Village Partners | Startup Services | Networking & Opportunities | Accelerator Zone | Export Experts

More partners and opportunities being added daily!

Prizes and Investment Opportunities

$100k Best of the Fest Investment Prize

Champion: Startupfest

The $100k Best of the Fest Investment Prize has always been the most coveted prize at Startupfest, where hundreds of founders pitch for the chance to be crowned "Best of the Fest". We bring together a fantastic team of angel investors to award one startup with a $100k investment in the form of a convertible note.

Open to:
All startups in attendance. No application required.

When to pitch:
Wed. July 10 from 11AM - 5PM
Thur. July 11 from 11AM - 5PM

Investment prize winner will also get the Emerging Companies Package from our partners at Osler, for a value of 5000$.

Learn more

$100k Women in Tech Investment Prize

Champion: The Firehood

The $100k Women in Tech (WiT) Investment Prize is back! The Firehood is bringing together an incredible team of angel investors who will award one female-led startup with a $100k investment. That means one female founder attending Startupfest will walk away with an important investment, and access to an amazing network of investors.

Open to:
Any female-led startup in attendance. No application required.

When to pitch:
Wed. July 10 from 11AM - 5PM

Thur. July 11 from 11AM - 5PM

Investment prize winner will also get the Emerging Companies Package from our partners at Osler, for a value of 5000$.

Learn more

$100k Black Entrepreneur Investment Prize

Champion: Rep Matters

Back for the third year, and championed by Rep Matters, the $100k Black Entrepreneurship Investment Prize will bring together up to 10 angel investors ready to invest $100k in a Black-led startup.

Open to:
Any Black-led startup in attendance. No application required.

When to pitch:
Wed. July 10 from 11AM - 5PM
Thur. July 11 from 11AM - 5PM

Investment prize winner will also get the Emerging Companies Package from our partners at Osler, for a value of 5000$.

Learn more

2SLGBTQIA+ Investment Prize

Champion: QueerTech

Startupfest is proud to partner with QueerTech to introduce the inaugural 2SLGBTQIA+ prize to the event this summer. Currently valued at $60k, this prize is an exciting addition to our investment prize and opportunity lineup. 

Open to:
Startups with the most senior member of the executive team identifying as part of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. No pre-application required.

When to pitch:
Wed. July 10 from 11AM - 5PM

Thur. July 11 from 11AM - 5PM

Investment prize winner will also get the Emerging Companies Package from our partners at Osler, for a value of 5000$.

Learn more

Grandmothers Choice Award

Champion: Startupfest

Our Illustrious Grandmother Judges are back. Countless entrepreneurs line up each summer to make their cases to the grandmothers—and for good reason. These ladies can see a good idea (or a bad one) from a mile away, and they certainly have no qualms about calling it as they see it. The winner of the (non-cash) Grandmothers’ Choice Award may not walk away with newfound riches, however, they will leave with a treasure trove of good advice and a ton of bragging rights.

Open to:
All startups in attendance. No pre-application required.

When to pitch:
Wed. July 10 from 11AM - 5PM
Thur. July 11 from 11AM - 5PM
Fri. July 12 from 11AM - 3PM

Learn more

$50k Student Entrepreneur Investment Prize

Champion: Front Row Ventures

The FRV Student Entrepreneur Prize is back for its second year! Front Row Ventures (FRV) is Canada’s leading university-focused and student-operated VC firm with a presence on 20+ university campuses across Canada. This is a $50k investment under FRV's standard safe note, (subject to standard legal due diligence).

Open to:
Canadian startups with at least one co-founder currently enrolled at a Canadian university or who has graduated no longer than 6 months ago. Pre-registration is mandatory to pitch.

When to pitch:
Wednesday: 11:30AM - 5PM
Thursday: 10AM-12PM and 1PM-5PM

Investment prize winner will also get the Emerging Companies Package from our partners at Osler, for a value of 5000$.

Learn more

$25k Impact Grant

Champion: Fonds de solidarité FTQ

Fonds FTQ is excited to once again launch the Impact grant, a $25,000 prize reserved for the most innovative impact startup. We celebrate the boldness and creativity of startups that aim to create a better future for everyone. Candidates for the grant will be automatically added to the pipeline of our partner funds: Accelia Capital, AQC Capital, i4 Capital Amorchem and Theodorus.

 

Open to:
Québec based startups. Your company must be in the pre-seed or seed stage

When to pitch:
Wed. July 10 from 11AM - 5PM
Thur. 
July 11 from 11AM - 5PM

Investment prize winner will also get the Emerging Companies Package from our partners at Osler, for a value of 5000$.

LEARN MORE

Audience Choice Award

Presented by BDO

The Audience Choice Award this year will be awarded to the best pitch out of the 7 winners of our investment prizes. During the closing ceremonies, the winner’s circle will each take the stage to vie for the one prize voted on by every attendee- and one will be crowned the Startupfest 2024 Audience Choice.

Village Partners

Quebéc Tech

Québec Tech (formerly Startup Montréal), was born out of the need to make the innovative entrepreneurship ecosystem more bold and ambitious. Together with key partners in Quebec's entrepreneurial ecosystem, we propel tech startups by mobilizing resources and tools to accelerate their growth, while taking into account their social and environmental impacts.

Québec Tech and 15 of its partners from the Québec startup tech ecosystem will be gathering in a festive and inviting atmosphere throughout the festival! Whether you're looking to meet export experts, accelerators/incubators, support organizations, or simply to chat and enjoy the festival atmosphere, they're expecting you in large numbers.

BDC

The bank for Canadian Entrepreneurs.

Their support for entrepreneurs takes 3 distinct forms. First, in the form of term loans, with special expertise in tech lending. Second, capital investment, which includes specialized capital, such as venture. Third, advisory services to entrepreneurs; an offering that makes BDC unique on the market.

Cultivator

Cultivator is a Saskatchewan based incubator that is designed to help START, GROW and SCALE innovative tech startups.

They're here to prove that Saskatchewan is the place to be, not just the place to be from. They connect prairie-based startups with world-class mentors, investors and operators to help them scale their startup, as well as support the top agtech companies from across Canada and the UK through their AGTECH ACCELERATOR program. Come chat to learn how you can be a part of their eco-system.

Startup Atlantic

Atlantic Canada is the place to build your startup, and they're here to show you why.

Atlantic Canada is unlike anywhere else. It’s what makes them different that helps them stand apart on the global stage. Startup Atlantic is a network that works together putting founders first. It’s an easy job sharing their Atlantic-edge with the world, and they are the proud brand, voice and community showcasing their ecosystem and giving it the attention it deserves.

DMZ

DMZ is a global startup ecosystem.

Visit their booth to learn all about DMZ's world-class Incubator and Talent Academy courses. Their team is ready to answer questions about the Toronto startup landscape, discuss global expansion opportunities, and offer insights into what 18 months of tailored programming looks like. 

Invest Ottawa

They support tech startups in the capital region from ideation to scale.

Each step in the Invest Ottawa Venture Path is designed to shorten the path to growth. They help today’s entrepreneurs leverage the experience, expertise and insights of businesses leaders who have been there and done just that — successfully launched and grown world-class technology enterprises.

Networking Opportunities

Braindates

Champion: E-180

The perfect platform and space for knowledge sharing and connecting with peers.

Learn more

Match-Ups

Curated 1:1 meetings between key players in the startup ecosystem.

Learn more

Investor Lounge

Champion: Espace CDPQ

A Startupfest first, the Investor Lounge, brought to you by Espace CDPQ, offers the investment community a private space to meet and mingle. Open to registered attendees of GPFest and LPFest

Accelerator Zone

Find all accelerators and incubators in one place!
If you're an incubator or accelerator, this zone is your place to shine; a place to meet with your counterparts from across Canada and beyond. 
If you're an entrepreneur, this is where you can find the best organizations to accelerate your startup.

Startup Services Zone

Here you’ll find a variety of service providers looking to connect with startups! From legal experts to accounting, these service providers are here to help and provide founders with valuable business advice.

Meditation Breaks

Enjoy a meditation break dedicated to inner peace for both body and mind, brought to you by YogaTribes. Come relax in the Zen Zone and let yourself be guided through simple but profound meditation and breathing techniques. These sessions are open to all!

Accelerator Zone

Centre for Women in Business

The Centre for Women in Business is dedicated to helping women-identifying and gender diverse business owners and entrepreneurs across Canada succeed through exposure, connection, and learning.

Visit Grow Now at Startupfest's Accelerator Zone! 🌟 They are a government-backed incubator for female tech founders. Their program is free and equity-free. Discover unparalleled content, business advisories, coaching, ecosystem connections, and networking opportunities. Ask them about funding, scaling, and growth strategies. Learn how they can elevate your startup! 🚀 #GrowNow #WomenInTech #Startupfest

Creative Destruction Lab

CDL-Montreal, a nonprofit organization powered by HEC Montréal, offers an objectives-based program designed for massively scalable, seed-stage, science- and technology-based companies.

Come meet the CDL-Montreal team and discover the CDL program. They are eager to connect with you and explore how their mentors can accelerate your startup's growth.

Find them in the Québec Tech Zone.

Groupe 3737

Canada's leader in creating wealth with impact, by and for ethnocultural diversity.

Groupe 3737 will provide information on upcoming cohorts of our various free, bilingual programs, as well as on the personalized coaching offered by our passionate advisors.

MT Lab

MT Lab is the first incubator-accelerator dedicated to open innovation in the tourism, culture and entertainment industries in North America.

They are a platform for open innovation and networking, a space for experimentation and monitoring, as well as a place for coworking and entrepreneurial support.

Find them in the Québec Tech Zone.

ACET

ACET is a technology incubator-accelerator that helps entrepreneurs build tomorrow's world by propelling innovative technologies with a positive societal impact.

They offer a full range of services and personalized support to maximize your chances of success.

Find them in the Québec Tech Zone.

Next AI

Next AI is a world-class 6 month founder and venture development acceleration network for AI-enabled startups.

Pitch to the Next AI team for your chance to win an exclusive venture spot in the 2025 cohort of Next AI! Next AI ventures get access to mentorship, founder development, exclusive perks, free dedicated workspace in Montréal and Toronto, a large investment ecosystem & more. They also join their community of 500+ most-promising AI startups. Come do you 1-min elevator pitch at their Demo Table!

Find them in the Québec Tech Zone.

LE CAMP

LE CAMP Accélérateur - Incubateur | Accelerating the growth of innovative technology companies.

Focused on technology commercialization, their support programs can be short, medium or long-term. Whether you want to get off to a flying start or equip yourself for success in the critical phases of your business project, LE CAMP has the right program for you!

Find them in the Québec Tech Zone.

An incubator initiated by Guy Laliberté in 2018, Zú supports and propels entrepreneurs who use technology to develop solutions that revolutionize the creative industries.

Does your company offer innovative technology for the creative industries? Zú assesses your project's stage of development and offers integrated support throughout the startup's lifecycle. Learn more about Zú's incubation program, based on the mentoring methodology of MIT's Venture Mentoring Services, and discover how Zú can support and accelerate your growth.

Find them in the Québec Tech Zone.

District 3

Whether you're an individual with an idea, or a startup in the transition phase to an SME, D3 Hub can help. They offer the knowledge, network and skills you need to go from idea to impact.

Come and meet them to discuss the resources offered by District 3: expertise in biotech, healthcare, high-tech and social innovation; coaching and personalized programs; Biohub lab; support for international expansion, investor network and financing.

Find them in the Québec Tech Zone.

IDEA Mississauga powered by Invest Mississauga

IDEA is Mississauga’s collaborative lead for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. A distinctive community that supports and connects local and globally minded entrepreneurs and businesses, generating international recognition for the City.

The inclusive Step-Up Program provides EIR Support, C Suite Level Training, and Grants, Starter Company Plus for mentorship and grants, and Business Advisory services with legal, financial, and marketing expertise. Startups can ask about eligibility criteria, application processes, and tailored advice for their specific needs.

CTS - Catalyseur Technologie Santé

The growth catalyst dedicated to healthcare technologies.

Come and learn more about their support programs, focusing on Québec/Canada and international marketing, as well as pre-startup and startup financing. Come and discover the “Knowledge Hub” for healthcare technologies, and get involved in their Harfang Program, designed to meet the specific needs of access to healthcare in remote regions.

Find them in the Québec Tech Zone.

Centech

Centech propels high-potential technological innovation projects stemming from science and engineering, providing entrepreneurs⸱e⸱s with an ecosystem of resources, tools and contacts to support them in their business growth.

Meet their experts⸱e⸱s at the Acceleration and Propulsion programs and ask your questions for the next call for projects! Let's discuss your innovation and its technology as well as project submission. Expert⸱e⸱s in open innovation on site; discuss networking between startups & large companies. Their team looks forward to meeting motivated⸱e⸱s entrepreneurs⸱e⸱s & getting to know the ecosystem!!!

Find them in the Québec Tech Zone.

YSpace, York University

YSpace is York University’s pan-university entrepreneurship and innovation hub supporting startups and entrepreneurs from a variety of sectors and communities. Their programming spans across scaling innovative technologies through customer and investor capital to scaling agri-food businesses into mass retail to diversity-focused initiatives like ELLA for women-led businesses and Black Entrepreneurship Alliance (BEA) for Black-led businesses.

As an incubator/accelerator, they are always focused on driving value for their community. Their suite of 23 programs caters to startups and scaleups across the business life cycle. They have specialized support for automotive innovations, consumer packaged goods, women-led and Black-led ventures. Speak with them to learn more about how their bespoke model can help you achieve your goals in scaling.

La base entrepreneuriale HEC Montréal

The HEC Montréal Entrepreneurial Base is a university innovation hub that fosters the next generation of technology and impact entrepreneurs through entrepreneurial coaching programs.

Meet their team to find out more about their services! They offer coaching that is above all human and centered on the individual through three spheres of learning: knowledge, know-how and interpersonal skills, through university-caliber training and memorable experiences, and propelled by a diverse, high-performance and caring community.

Find them in the Québec Tech Zone.

Startup Services Zone

CANARIE

CANARIE connects Canada to the world. Their programs equip researchers, students, and startups in Canada to excel on the global stage. 

The DAIR Cloud Program accelerates new product and service development by providing Canadian startups with free cloud resources, hosted in Canada, and access to expertise in next generation technologies. DAIR gives Canadian start-ups and small & medium enterprises (SMEs) a boost toward commercialization.

Orchard Benefits

Finding a competitive & affordable employee benefits coverage for can be difficult - Orchard takes the burden off of founders. They work with 110+ startups providing not just best in class benefits coverage, but they also have a new product with lower administration costs and rate guarantees. They also provide benefits-related HR support – to free up your time to build your product. Work with them!

ZerotoOne Strategic

ZerotoOne Strategic helps companies extend their runway with non-dilutive capital, including grants, subsidies, and tax credits.

Join them at Startupfest to see if you're leaving money on the table with existing government funding opportunities. Their team has secured over $170M for hundreds of businesses. They offer full-service research, writing, and reporting to reduce overhead and maximize your rewards. Partner with them to focus on growth while they handle your funding needs

Ax-C, a space for innovation and entrepreneurship

THEIR MISSION: To provide an inspiring, inclusive and world-class space for high-growth technology startups. To bring together key players in a single ecosystem to stimulate, support and commercialize their innovations here and around the world.

Come and discover what the future Ax-C space will look like, scheduled to open in early 2025 at Place Victoria. Explore the various opportunities offered to technology startups, incubators and gas pedals, various support organizations and corporate partners who wish to collaborate with their ecosystem in terms of open innovation.

Find them in the Québec Tech Zone.

Canadian Intellectual Property Office

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) is a special operating agency of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. They deliver intellectual property (IP) services in Canada and educate Canadians on how to use IP more effectively.

As a business owner, you’ve worked hard to develop ideas, innovations and brands. But have you taken the steps to protect your intellectual property (IP)? With IP rights you can control how your creations are used, distributed, and monetized. If you are unsure where to start or are interested in knowing what support or funding is available to you when it comes to your IP, come and speak with them.

Investissement Québec

An essential partner for your business, Investissement Québec plays an active role in Québec's economic development by stimulating innovation and productivity, entrepreneurship and takeover, as well as increased investment and exports.

Across Québec, they support entrepreneurs and managers in the growth of their businesses by advising, financing and helping them to expand and innovate. Come and meet them to discuss how they can help you propel your company's growth!

Find them in the Québec Tech Zone.

MAIN

There have never been so many resources. MAIN knows them all. They can help you find your way!

The Mouvement des accélérateurs d'innovation du Québec is THE door to knock on for innovative entrepreneurs. Whether you're looking for an organization to accompany you, technical and financial support to protect your IP, tools to better understand venture capital or help with your mental well-being, MAIN can help. Come and visit them!

Find them in the Québec Tech zone.

Export Experts

Commerce International Québec

The network of regional experts for international marketing support to Québec SMEs.

Commerce International Québec is the network of regional export promotion organizations (ORPEXs) spread across Québec's 17 regions. ORPEXs offer Québec SMEs a local, front-line service to facilitate their international market development efforts.

Find them in the Québec Tech Zone.

Global Affairs Canada/Trade Commissioner Service

Global Affairs Canada's Trade Commissioner Service is a federal government team dedicated to helping Canadian companies expand internationally.

Find out more about the Trade Commissioner Service: advice on preparing for international trade, their network of 160 offices around the world, their International Acceleration Programs (ATC-CTA), business opportunities, etc.

Find them in the Québec Tech Zone.

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