The virus is spreading at variable speed, but mitigation measures have hit all sectors of the economy head on, with an effect not unlike that of firmly applying both feet on the brake pedal. Canada’s startup and innovation ecosystem wasn’t spared. Investors are being cautious, potential customers suddenly have other fish to fry. Our startup barometer confirms this: without fresh money and support, the engine of our future economy may well run out of steam, collapse and seriously hamper the recovery. Investments are needed quickly.
- The current state of economic and social uncertainty is pushing many businesses with high growth potential to review important parts of their strategy. For certain startups, the situation is also an opportunity to showcase their innovations on the world stage.
- The collaboration mechanisms already established by MAIN Quebec allow the latter to create a virtual office to support business accelerators and incubators and SMEs with high growth potential (startups).
- A three-part action plan, dubbed Le COUDE, will help the entire acceleration network:
- Barometer to follow the evolution of the challenges and needs of startups as the crisis evolves
- Channeling of the community’s efforts into working groups to understand needs, to coordinate initiatives and available resources and to identify synergies within the support ecosystem
- Improve the (virtual) support offer for SMEs in need throughout Quebec, in particular by using the network’s active coaches, experienced entrepreneurs and experts.
Montreal, March 17 2020 — SMEs with high growth potential (startups) are not immune to the volatility and economic uncertainty caused by government response measures to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mouvement des accélérateurs d’innovation du Québec (Quebec Innovation Accelerator Movement, MAIN)(MAIN) is rolling out a three-part action plan to mobilize and support the entire acceleration network.
“The challenges facing young innovative SMEs are multiple”, explains Louis-Félix Binette, Executive Director of MAIN. “Culture and tourism markets (among others) are collapsing. Supply chains and international marketing channels are broken indefinitely. Access to venture and growth capital has been delayed or is being questioned.
“Creating a startup requires a lot of investment upstream of the break-even point. A prolonged disruption could evaporate years of work, research and development and investment in a matter of months. This is why it’s critical to act quickly to understand the short and medium term needs of the affected businesses, adapt our support, and thus ensure the continuity of their success.” Mr. Binette emphasized.
MAIN is already setting up a virtual office to support business accelerators, incubators and startups. The office will draw on existing MAIN projects and count on the structured contribution of business accelerators from across Quebec to ensure the coordination of a three-part offer, dubbed Le COUDE:
- The establishment of a barometer to monitor the evolution of the challenges and needs of startups throughout this period of crisis: survey of startups via incubators and accelerators, analysis of results and dissemination to acceleration stakeholders in Quebec, with periodic updates;
- Channeling community efforts to identify the needs of startups and their support ecosystem in this new global economic context, then identify common solutions to make the most of network synergies;
- Improvement of the (virtual) accelerator and incubator support offer, in particular through the involvement of coaches, entrepreneurs who have overcome similar crises and qualified experts: expansion of the pool of expertise and capacity (notably by additional pro bono contributions), activities to match them with startups, feedback loops and experience sharing.
“The Mouvement has been working for over four years to put collaboration mechanisms in place that allow us to approach this situation with seriousness, calmness and resilience. The network accelerators are ready to roll up their sleeves and stick together to support startups from across Quebec to the best of our ability”, added Sébastien Tanguay, General Manager of Le CAMP and chairman of the board of MAIN. “The Mouvement is a reminder that the best way to deal with a crisis is to prepare for it.”
Any organization or business that wishes to contribute to the implementation of the Le Coude action plan is invited to communicate with the Movement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mouvement des accélérateurs d’innovation du Québec (MAIN) was created in 2015 by Quebec accelerator executives to energize the support ecosystem for SMEs with high growth potential. The mission of the non-profit organization MAIN Quebec is to strengthen the cohesion and efficiency of this ecosystem and to elevate its value and its impact within Quebec’s entrepreneurship and innovation development chain.
The MAIN rolls out projects across the province, in partnership with a growing number of accelerators, incubators and support and funding organizations, as well as with the contribution of numerous coaches and expert facilitators.
MAIN (Mouvement des accélérateurs d’innovation du Québec) has launched an English version of its website today.