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Montréal’s Startupfest Returns (And, Yes, There Will Be Grandmothers)

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International Startup Festival

Over the past six years, Montréal’s Startupfest has grown into an international gathering of the world’s most promising entrepreneurs and successful investors. The three-day festival features world-class content that will include keynotes, interactive how-to sessions, thought-provoking predictions and — in typical Montréal fashion — a dash of sauciness.

People visit the city to attend for a variety of reasons. For starters (pun intended), the content is top-notch, ranging from informative how-to sessions to casual storytelling and beyond. Additionally, the investment opportunities can’t be beat: $200k from Startupfest’s group of angel investors. Which startup couldn’t use a bit more cash? Finally, the networking opportunities (especially at the Tent Village) lead to new partnerships and future projects.

And that’s why people keep coming back.


Each year, Startupfest attracts a wide-range of industry influencers and founder favourites. The 2016 lineup is exceptionally strong!

Alexis OhanianAlexis Ohanian
Co-founder of Reddit
Alexis is a startup founder and investor in San Francisco, best known as the co-founder of Reddit, a platform for online communities to share links and have discussions.

Deepa KunapuliDeepa Kunapuli
U.S. Digital Service at the White House
Deepa is a storyteller and digital strategist at the United States Digital Service, a startup inside the White House that is redesigning and redelivering critical citizen-facing services.

Tim OReillyTim O’Reilly
Founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media
Tim publishes books, runs conferences, invests in early-stage startups, urges companies to create more value than they capture, and tries to change the world by spreading and amplifying the knowledge of innovators.

Kara SwisherKara Swisher
Executive Editor of Re/code
Re/code offers a distinctive take on tech news, reviews and events. Kara also hosts the Decode podcast and is co-executive producer of the Code Conference.

See more of the 2016 Startupfest speakers right here… 

The Tent Village

At Startupfest, the Tent Village creates an atmosphere that encourages people to put their screens away, and make actual in-person connections. Divided into industry sectors, the tents include demo spaces, pitch competitions and more. Unlike other events, where speakers are often whisked away to catch their next flights, at Startupfest attendees can catch speakers hanging out in the Tent Village — yes, with a cold beer in hand — happy to talk and available to connect with. The Tent Village provides attendees with networking opportunites unavailable anywhere else.

“I was here 3 years ago, and pitched Onavo, my company, and we picked up one of the top prizes and 3 years later we get picked up by Facebook. It’s awesome.”

– Guy Rosen, Facebook

The Grandmothers

The Startupfest has a bunch of different pitch contests. But one has become a perennial favourite: The Grandmothers. Each festival, countless entrepreneurs line up to make their cases to a panel of grandmothers. These ladies might appear sweet and innocent, but they are tough — and won’t be afraid to call founders out on their BS.

Fresh-baked apple pie not included! 

2016 startupfest line up

Cheat Sheet

Event: Startupfest
Dates: 13 – 16 July, 2016
Location:  Montréal’s Old Port (on the esplanade in front of the Science Centre)
Twitter: ‪@startupfest


Read this next: 10 times Montréal has made big headlines… 

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