MTLinTECH is proud to call Banque Nationale one of its sponsors.
At Banque Nationale’s Garden Party barbeque Wednesday evening in downtown Montreal, startup founders and different entrepreneurs had a chance to mingle with new contacts.
It’s all part of Banque Nationale’s effort to lend its hand to tech startups. Still, Pat Romanelli, the bank’s larger-than-life Associate Vice President technology sector admitted there’s not always been a warm association between banks and startups.
For starters, most Canadian banks can be reluctant to extend loans to high-risk technology plays. Romanelli doesn’t feel this should hinder his bank from helping.
“We’re not scared to say we’re a bank and we want to support startups and entrepreneurs,” said Romanelli as close to 100 congregated at Montreal’s Notman House Google for Entrepreneurs terrace. “We understand the risk, and, like startups, we’re going to pivot and learn even more. But the only way to learn is to start helping them by actually being present here, providing packages and support.”
Banque Nationale currently extends support to various events and conferences along with support to Notman House. Romanelli himself has been with the bank for 30 years now. He first started in 1986 as a bank teller and rose up the ranks to his current position.
Sometimes Banque Nationale can extend loans, other times it can’t. If it can’t, Romanelli said it tries to do the next best thing for startups.
“We don’t want to be seen as a traditional, rigid bank,” he said. “We want to be seen as a partner – we understand the good and the bad days of a typical startup. We can offer our financial solutions packages, our advising and sometimes we can provide a loan for whatever reason. We also have the right contacts to refer startups. We have enough reach across Canada and into the US to introduce startups to various other partners to help them get what they need.”