Montreal’s Startup Open House This Week


It’s that time of year again.  The days are getting shorter. The leaves are falling to the ground. The temperature is dipping and the stores are all stocked with costumes and candy. Yes, it’s time for Startup Open House 2019. Once again this year organized by our friends at Montreal NewTech, on behalf of Elevate.

This Wednesday, October 30 the 7th edition of SOH Montreal will take place at… well, everywhere. 135 of Montreal’s finest startups will be opening their doors to the public, to once again welcome students, job seekers, investors, aspiring entrepreneurs, curious citizens and the occasional freeloader. A number of incubators, accelerators and other ecosystem actors are also participating, including the Holt Accelerator, Ecofuel, IVADO, Le Wagon, Startup in Residence Desjardins and CENTECH, which will be hosting the evening’s closing ceremonies.

“It’s really a sort of startup ecosystem buffet” says Ilias Benjelloun, Creative Director at Montreal NewTech and Open Innovation Strategist at Desjardins Lab. “It’s an opportunity to help all of the stakeholders in Montreal’s innovation ecosystem find the right talent, identify potential users of their products and of course, have a good time with their team and other members of the community.”

For those unfamiliar with the event, a bunch of startups basically open their doors and you just show up at the ones you find interesting. That’s it. No appointment, no reservation, no rescheduling. Just walk in, say hi and start a conversation. It’s the best way to learn more about the businesses driving our innovation economy. And if you’re lucky, there may even be some free food and beverages available when you arrive. Who knows, you may even meet a couple of CEOs.

At startupopenhouse.com people can take a look at what startups and community actors are participating this year, identify the ones they like and plan their route during the course of the evening. Click here to see the map of participating organizations.

For students and young professionals, this is a fantastic opportunity to speak directly and casually not only with hiring managers, but also with staffers at startups of interest and really get a sense of what the culture and work ethic are like in these places.

For the startups themselves it’s all about attracting more talent. Organizations who opened their doors last year said they benefited a lot from this unique event where they can also enjoy some well-deserved time as a team, have a little fund and mingle with others in the ecosystem. Creating these kinds of collisions are an important element in future collaboration and innovation.

“And for aspiring entrepreneurs, it’s definitely an opportunity to seize. A great way to get inspired, connect with the main ecosystem players and develop ties that will benefit the individual, and the community as a whole down the road. A healthy ecosystem is only as strong as its community members and their ties to one another” said Benjelloun, who expects as many as 3,000 unannounced visitors to pour into participating startups this week. But hey, chaos is part of startup life, right?

He adds that the most efficient way to experience SOH is to plan ahead by selecting a circuit of a few places to visit, and discover the stakeholders in those given areas. While public transit and cycling are options, Bus.com has offered shuttle bus transportation for the occasion as well. People are advised too register on the website for free so that they’ll receive more details.

SOH Montreal begins at 4PM on Oct 30. SOH 2019 also takes place in Toronto, Ottawa and Kitchener / Waterloo.

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