Techstars Amplifies Montreal’s Burgeoning AI Ecosystem

03/12/2018 | By David Brown

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BOULDER, Colo., - March 12, 2018 - Montreal is the capital of Artificial Intelligence in Canada, boasting one of the largest AI academic communities in the world. It’s no wonder why Techstars is opening its third Canadian mentorship-driven accelerator in Montreal: Techstars Montreal AI Accelerator.

Techstars is grateful for the support from Real Ventures, Canada’s most active early-stage venture fund, for their assistance in bringing this accelerator to Montreal. Element AI, a Real Ventures portfolio company, is a key player in the AI scene in Montreal and abroad (Toronto, London, Singapore).  

“As a Montreal native, I’m thrilled to bring Techstars to my hometown,” said David Brown, founder and co-CEO of Techstars. “Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed and, with the support of Real Ventures, entrepreneurs in our program will have access to AI pioneers to help guide and mentor them. Montreal has all the ingredients that we look for as we expand our mentorship-driven accelerator programs - strong community of innovation, access to capital and the support from major corporations.”

Participating startups will benefit from the most concentrated pool of AI researchers worldwide with guidance from people like Yoshua Bengio, one of the founding fathers of AI, who is based at the University of Montreal. In addition, leading corporations like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Samsung, Thales, and others have invested millions of dollars in AI labs across Montreal.

“Building on our long-standing relationship with Techstars and the positive experience Real Ventures has had in Toronto with the first Techstars Accelerator in Canada, we felt it was vital to bring an AI-focused accelerator program with global reach to Montreal,” said Real Ventures partner, John Stokes. “With Techstars’ reputation and international network, it will be possible to attract extremely high-caliber and globally-minded startups to the ecosystem and create a positive feedback loop that will lead to greater success all round.”

Applications for the program open today and the deadline to apply is May 13, 2018. The program kicks off in September 2018 and will conclude with Demo Day in December during NIPS 2018 in Montreal.

Investing in Artificial Intelligence

Techstars Montreal AI Accelerator will select startups that advance the development and application of artificial intelligence across all industries and markets.

AI technologies and business applications continue to evolve. Startups focused on the following themes are encouraged to apply.

  • Deep Learning, machine learning, reinforcement learning
  • The advancement of image recognition and other domain/industry specific applications
  • Speech recognition, linguistics and natural language processing
  • IoT / sensor systems and autonomous vehicles / drones
  • Predictive analytics and recommendation systems (domain/industry specific applications)
  • Diverse application of AI in control systems, agent enablers and cognitive computing
  • “Augmenting” human experts across industries including supply chain, advanced manufacturing and robotics; smart mobility, transportation and smart city; cybersecurity, automated vulnerability assessment and intelligent remediation; health and medical advancement, from personalized medicine to genomics data processing; financial modeling, fraud prediction and detection; media creation, production, distribution and monetization

Interested in Becoming a Corporate Partner?

Techstars is looking for corporate partners to join the burgeoning ecosystem in Montreal. Corporations interested in partnering with Techstars to double down on AI in Montreal should email For entrepreneurs interested in applying to Techstars Montreal AI Accelerator, please check out the Application Toolkit.