Later this fall, the Jewish community in Montreal is reaching out to the startup ecosystem by throwing Tech Shuk Montreal, a one-day event to raise money for their latest philanthropic project.
Put together by the Jewish National Fund of Canada (JNF), a fundraising organization that raises money to build the State of Israel, proceeds will go towards constructing a therapy room at a hospital in Jerusalem for patients suffering from mental illness and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“[JNF] is primarily an environmental agency. So we usually work with donors on different projects,” Naomi Mazer, Development Manager at JNF told MTLinTECH. “A lot of it is connected to research and development and innovation. And the group I am working with decided to take on a project in Israel where they will be building a therapy room in Herzog Hospital in Jerusalem. They have a new hospital for PTSD. And because we have an incredible startup community in Montreal, and we’ve never done anything like this within the Jewish community really, we decided to organize Tech Shuk, an event that our Toronto counterpart has done for a couple of years now.”
Tech Shuk was created to function as a mutually beneficial startup networking event, connecting Montreal startups with investors in the Jewish community.
“We’re really interested in engaging this community. The event itself is a simple vision. We want to make sure to have the right people there, services and resources for startups, people who can invest in startups.”
The Jewish community has very strong business leaders and we want to engage them and expose them to the best and brightest startups in Montreal. And we want to say the same thing to the startups in Montreal, the Jewish community has some outstanding opportunities for you. Let’s help make some connections.
The evening will begin with a VIP reception, an opportunity to network with potential investors in an intimate setting, featuring dinner and drinks.
“We’re also having what we’re calling the Demo Pit. We’re inviting startups to come set up booths and stations to show their ideas. We’ll have different resources present at tables as well. And we’re also going to have our version of a Dragon’s Den-style competition that we’re calling the Lion’s Den. So far we have four lions on board. Lise Watier is one. Alan MacIntosh from Real Ventures, Angelique Mannella, the Associate VP Innovation at McGill, and Lenny Roth. He’s originally from Montreal but lives in Florida now and is very involved in the Jewish community. He’s the co-founder of Yarotek, a Miami-based solar energy company.”
All interested startups should apply online for the Demo Pit here, and register to be considered for the Lion’s Den here. For those interested in sponsoring the event, you can download more information here. Four startups will be selected ahead of time to present to the Lions, and a fifth team will be selected to present the night of the event.
“The night of we’ll have the people in attendance choose the final team to pitch to the lions, so there is an additional opportunity as well. All startups involved have to be prepared to pitch, because you never know when you’ll have the opportunity.”
The winner selected by the Lions will receive a mentorship package complete with professional services, media exposure and the opportunity for investments. They will also take home a cash prize, although the amount has yet to be disclosed.
“We want to encourage startups to sign up. And there’s a way to get involved for anybody at any level, whether it’s the tech you’re interested in or the cause, too. We’re going to create those opportunities for people there.”
Tech Shuk is happening at Evo (420 Sherbrooke St. W.) on November 28th. The VIP reception begins at 5:30 pm.