Montreal launches first incubator in North America dedicated to tourism, culture and entertainment

By Oliver Griffin March 22, 2017

Université de Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and its School of Management (ESG UQAM), Tourisme Montréal and the City of Montréal have launched MT Lab, an incubator dedicated for tourism, culture and entertainment startups. 

A joining of academic, entrepreneurial and municipal sectors, MT Lab has a mission to host fledgling entrepreneurs from Quebec, Canada and abroad in the tourism, transport, festivals, culture, hotel, restaurant and entertainment sectors.

MT Lab plans to host its first cohort of approximately eight to 10 start-ups in various fields: technology, digital technology, artificial intelligence, fintech, virtual/augmented reality, new services, linked objects, usage innovation, collaborative and sustainable economy, etc.

MT Lab is possible due to a financial contribution of $200,000 from the City of Montreal, originating from the Fonds de développement des territoires, a program of the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Occupation du territoire.

Montréal Mayor Denis Coderre, said, ”Montréal is a catalyst for entrepreneurial strengths, and the start-up ecosystem makes a significant contribution to the city’s economic activity. The MT Lab initiative participates in the sector’s burgeoning activity, while reinforcing Montréal’s draw by building on the innovative energy of young entrepreneurs. The incubator is part of our development strategy for an increasingly innovative and successful metropolis.”

Tourism is a real economic engine in Montréal and Quebec, and MT Lab is helping to reinvent it, due in part to its partnership with Paris’s tourism incubator, Welcome City Lab.

Yves Lalumière, president and CEO of Tourisme Montréal, added, ”One sure way to increase the number of tourists in our city and the quality of their experience is to increase and diversify the tourism offer. MT Lab will undoubtedly contribute to the reinvention of our offer with a view to positioning Montréal at the top of the list of cities to visit.”

MT Lab will be located at UQAM, in the heart of the entertainment district, in the Pierre-Dansereau Science Complex. The incubator will offer start-ups a set of services, including conference areas, an open space for coworking with open access and mentoring.

“A fine example of a university contribution to the vitality of its community, MT Lab will make the advanced expertise of UQAM and its School of Management available to start-ups, to foster innovation in key sectors of the Montréal economy,” said UQAM rector, Robert Proulx.

The start-ups supported by MT Lab will benefit from an environment dedicated to entrepreneurship as well as tourism and innovation observatories, in addition to privileged access to the business networks of several incubator partners, who will be announced shortly.

“ESG has placed entrepreneurship at the heart of its mission. This tourism enterprise incubator will play a role in the development of Québec’s economy to which ESG is proud to contribute,” added Stéphane Pallage, dean of ESG UQAM.

The call for applications from young businesses is currently underway and will run until May 5.


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