It’s been a big week for Founder Institute here in Montreal, where the organization has launched not one, but two new programs. On Monday, the local chapter announced a New “MedStack Digital Health Fellowship” program, and followed it up this morning by announcing that they are also launching a Global Supply Chain Tech Vertical in Montreal, in partnership with Scale AI.
“Scale AI launched an open call earlier this year to VC funds, incubators and accelerators, looking to help them identify and accelerate Canadian startups working in supply chain. They have the funding and can even help stage trials with corporations.” Said Sergio Escobar Lead Director at Founder Institute Montreal during an interview with MTLinTechnology. “Without Scale AI being there to support innovation in supply chain, it would have been impossible to launch an initiative like that.”
Founder Institute Montreal has also expanded its team of Mentors, which ironically was made possible in part because of the ongoing global pandemic. “Covid-19 has forced all our activity to become 100% virtual. It is ok now to do things over a Zoom meeting that might before have been done in person. We no longer have to arrange for Mentors to come from New York, Boston or Silicon Valley. Doing this online instead makes it easier to get more experts to participate” added Escobar. He noted the list of new mentors includes Clement Cazalot of TechStars Boston, Alex Norman of Angel List Canada and Chris Atkinson of FleetOps. A complete list of FI’s Montreal Mentor team can be found here.
“Integrating AI within the supply chain is key to boost productivity across industries in Canada, by transforming the way we produce and move goods and services. We are proud to extend our collaboration and support to Canadian start-ups in partnership with the Founder Institute as we aim to stimulate innovation, unleash the potential of the industry and foster the next generation of successful Canadian AI flagship businesses” Julien Billot, CEO of Scale AI, said in a statement.
The new program gives entrepreneurs working on supply chain technology access to industry experts across multiple tech hubs (Silicon Valley, Montreal, Boston, Chicago). This pre-seed acceleration program establishes Montreal as the global hub for the Founder Institute’s Supply Chain tech initiatives, and aims to inspire and support early-stage entrepreneurs by providing:
- Direct investment from BCF Ventures in up to 3 Canadian AI-Supply Chain startups who complete the program
- Several “Supply Chain Fellowships” Awarded to the Top Supply Chain-Tech Applicants, allowing them to participate in the program for free
- Feedback and Mentorship from 20+ top Supply Chain Tech Experts in Silicon Valley, Boston, Chicago, Montreal and beyond
- A Global Support Network of Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Advisors specialized in Supply Chain from the Founder Institute’s Network
- Over USD$3 MM in Partner Deals and Resources
This was the second announcement from Founder Institute this week in Montreal. FI is partnering with Toronto’s MedStack on a Digital Health Fellowship. Escobar pointed out that the now widespread acceptance of remote work and virtual meetings made it easier to partner with an out of market company. He also pointed out that we are at a tipping point. There is a new, pervasive and sudden acceptance of e-health and tele-health solutions among the population.
“This is the best moment ever to work on digital health solutions” according to Escobar. “Hospitals and clinics need digital solutions but there’s no supply! The public is now ready for this.”
“Now more than ever, the innovation community needs to work together to unlock any existing barriers in order to support the advancement of digital health solutions,” says Balaji Gopalan, CEO at MedStack.
“MedStack has been a long-time supporter of The Founder Institute and we’re very excited to offer this special opportunity to cutting edge, early-stage digital health companies.”
Applications are currently being accepted for both programs until August 2. The cohorts themselves begin August 12 and run through mid-December. FI normally accepts about 50 companies per cohort. However only about 22% typically manage to graduate from their rigorous program. Ideally, they are looking for companies close to or with an MVP already, with a prototype under development or ready for validation with customers.