Start-ups take stage
“A mix of excitement—and fear!”
That’s how Sarah Jenna describes her feelings before getting up on the Olympia’s stage to present her Montréal start-up, My Intelligent Machines (MIMS). Sarah had just five minutes to convince investors that MIMS— a combination of artificial intelligence and bioinformatics—deserves a $2.5M injection!
On the same stage, Marc-André Roberge, co-founder of Nectar, another young Montréal company, surprises the audience by saying:
“The honeybee population plunges 40% every year due to pesticides.”
Nectar invented electronic sensors that are installed in hives, providing constant readings of temperature, humidity and sound frequencies of the bees inside. Beekeepers use this information to prevent epidemics and optimize honey production.
The Dreaded Demo day
Last summer, Sarah and Marc-André participated in Demo Day by FounderFuel, a business accelerator that helps start-ups monetize their good ideas faster.
After three intensive months of training and mentoring by experienced entrepreneurs, start-ups that have just completed the program present their projects to the public at Demo Day. They show their lead product, explain their approach and describe their strategy to an audience of investors and prospective partners.
Every summer in Montréal, this event has become a ritual both loved and hated by Canadian hi-tech competitors.
The young entrepreneurs who make their mark on Demo Day stand out for their imagination, energy and ambition. Montréal has become one of the world’s 45 business creation capitals, as home to some 2,000 start-ups that will invent the economy of tomorrow.