‘Leverage Your Idea’ university challenge returns to Montreal

Fondation Montréal is ready to launch its second annual “Leverage Your Idea” contest, in which students and university grads can potentially build their idea into a startup.

Those aged 18 to 35 can submit their business ideas online until October 30 while finalists will be announced during a 24-hour bootcamp. Eight of the ten finalists from last year’s event launched startups while two obtained grants from Fondation Montréal.


“We are witnessing a tremendous blooming of entrepreneurial ideas in Montréal. This contest is thus a wonderful opportunity to introduce students to the essential skills needed for getting a startup off the ground” said Geneviève Grandbois, an ambassador of the challenge and founder of Geneviève Grandbois Chocolates.

The ten winners will receive visibility in the Journal de Montréal and the Journal 24 heures, access to coaching, training sessions, workshops, mentorship and more over 12 months, the possibility to obtain a grant between $5,000 and $30,000 and access to a seat in the coworking space at La Gare for a three-month period.

The top three winners will receive consulting services from EY and Norton Rose Fulbright, while the grand prize winner will receive $15,000 in press visibility offered by Québecor Groupe Média

The challenge is being presented by Banque Nationale. Those interested in submitting an idea can do so here.

According to Fondation Montreal, the challenge was established to “ignite a passion towards entrepreneurship within our university communities, to stimulate friendly competition between universities and to strengthen the relationship between students and the business community.” As such, it’s being held in collaboration with several Montréal-based universities.

The 24-hour bootcamp will give participants “the chance to experience being a collaborator in an entrepreneurial team, to benefit from expert-level advice from the Montréal business community and to develop their ideas with the help of My Business ModelTM developed by Banque Nationale.”

According to Fondation Montreal, since 1996 it has awarded more than $7 million in grants to help start 902 businesses in Montréal, which have created more than 2930 jobs. The Fondation has contributed to investments of over $61 million in Montréal.


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