2021 Global Startup Ecosystem Report: How did Montreal stack up?

Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) released its 2021 Global Startup Ecosystem Report on Wednesday and Montreal cracked the top-30 list. Well, sort of. Montreal tied for 31st with four other cities.

What did the report say about Montreal?

From first to fifth, the highest grades went to Silicon Valley, New York City, Boston, LA and Seattle. North America continued to dominate the Global Rankings, with 50 percent of the report’s top 30 ecosystems in this region. 27 percent of the cities came from Asia while 17 percent of the cities came from Europe.

Montreal climbed four spots to earn a tie for 31st with Dallas, Hong Kong, Munich and Sao Paulo.

“Other Runners-Up that have experienced impressive growth are Montreal, Dallas, and Delhi,” noted the report’s authors. “Those ecosystems have seen an increase in early-stage funding, positioning them to become top performers. To the extent Runners-Up display gaps, it is generally in the Performance, Knowledge, and Experience Factors.”

While Montreal earned a 7 (out of a maximum 10) in both “startup success” and “exits,” it unfortunately earned a 1 in “economic value,” defined by the report’s authors as “the economic impact of the ecosystem, calculated as the total exit valuation and startup valuations over two-and-a-half-years.”

It further earned a 2 in “access,” defined as “a function of early-stage funding volume and growth,” and a 4 in “Quality and Activity,” defined as “the number of local investors; those investors’ experience (average years investing and exit ratio); and their level of activity (percentage of investors active in the first quarter of 2021 and the number of new investors).”

Other scores that Montreal earned (out of 10):

1 – Local Connectedness: a function of the number of tech meetups in the ecosystem.

3 – Infrastructure: A Life Sciences-focused metric that considers the number of accelerators and incubators, research grants, and R&D anchors (for example, top research hospitals and corporate R&D labs) in the ecosystem

Here’s what the report said about Montreal


Total early stage funding: $706 million

Ecosystem Value: $10.2 billion

Median Seed Round: $700K

Median Series A Round: $5 million

Software Engineer salary: $64,000

Sub-sector strengths: Life Sciences, AI, Big Data and Analytics





JF Gautheir, the founder of Startup Genome, noted a few interesting observations about the previous 12 months.

Whereas in the early days of the pandemic venture capital reduced, soon it grew—even surged—in sectors where the pandemic underscored new opportunities or tremendous need.

Moreover, wrote Jonathan Ortmans, the CEO of GEN, the pandemic “put the spotlight on entrepreneurs as powerful economic drivers comfortable with uncertainty.” Massive job loss was paired with record rates of entrepreneurship as innovators adapted or pivoted their businesses to address challenges head-on and capitalize on fast-emerging opportunities.

Gautheir further noted that Silicon Valley’s grip on tech talent had finally begun loosening, due to more worker decentralization as an offshoot of the pandemic. Indeed, . Silicon Valley experienced a net outward migration of technology and managerial talent, driven by both Covid-19 and an astronomically priced real estate market.

“Those resources are turning up in cities and countries on six continents, where they are joined by record infusions of venture capital and a tech industry that is growing at its fastest rate since 1999—but with much stronger fundamentals,” wrote Gautheir, noting growth in both Latin America and Africa.

The amount of venture capital flowing into U.S. companies in 2020 was down to 51% from 84% in 2004, according to the National Venture Capital Association. The rest of that money went globetrotting. Asia, in particular, has been strong. In China, which began its pandemic recovery relatively quickly, investments rose steadily, reaching more than $37 billion in the first five months of 2021, according to GlobalData.

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