Montreal’s startup community bands together amid COVID crisis

Individuals and companies in Montreal’s startup community are encouraging people to make online purchases at local companies during the COVID-19 crisis.

Specifically, local leaders have earmarked April 2nd as a day where people can buy online at local Montreal startups.

A few Montreal businesses began featuring one another in their newsletters to increase their visibility amid the pandemic, which eventually led to the idea of hosting a Facebook event that invites people to buy local.

Startups and COVID-19: Lending a helping hand

Hardbacon CEO Julien Brault told CTV News that the idea has a “pay it forward” type of message, encouraging those in the tech community to extend the generosity to others. He got the idea from 1642 CEO Bastien Poulain, who sent out word that he wanted to feature other businesses in his newsletter. He gave a shout out to Hardbacon

“It’s hard for every entrepreneur right now. Bastien offered to give anyone a bit of coverage in his newsletter but he wasn’t asking for anything in return. So I tried to do the same in the Montreal + Startups group,” Brault told MTLinTECH.

Around 430 people have expressed interest in the event.

On the Montreal + Startups group, Brault posted a Google document, encouraging members to list information on local businesses, promos and discount codes for shoppers to see on the Facebook event page. It has nearly 100 businesses now.

Anyone can edit the document. Brault is encouraging people to add their businesses – or those of others – to the list.

Paying it forward

Brault told CTV that he’s trying to help other companies in these uncertain times. In fact, it was him who received help from another small business when he asked some time ago. He’s told me over several chats how he struggled through his first year while building Hardbacon. Around that time, office furniture startup Ugoburo, who is co-hosting the Facebook event, decided to gift him a few items.

“I had no money. I was complaining on social media of having no desk and he sent me four desks,” Brault told CTV. “It’s a wonderful community.”

-Startups and COVID-19-

MTLinTECH has always believed strongly in community. We want to continue to tell stories of how the tech and research communities are coming together to support others or find innovative ways to save lives during this unprecedented crisis. Please continue to reach out to us with these stories.

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