Startup Canada: FounderFuel Launches Accelerator Program In Montreal

Today, another early-stage accelerator program hits Quebec’s largest city, joining Year One Labs and others in an effort to support and grow Canadian entrepreneurship. FounderFuel was created by the team behind Montreal Start Up, a venture investor that has backed Beyond The Rack and the recently-launched Real Ventures, a $50 million seed-stage venture fund. Today, Real Ventures announced that it will be contributing over $2 million to FounderFuel’s accelerator program.

Ian Jeffrey, who was formerly formerly VP of Tiny Pictures and subsequently Director of Marketing at Shutterfly will become FounderFuel’s General Manager. Jeffrey told TechCrunch that FounderFuel aims to be the “Y Hibernator” for Montreal-based startups. Though, considering Y Combinator accepted 60-plus startups for its summer program this year, FounderFuel has its work cut out.

The program will accept approximately 8 teams into its first batch and will dole out $10K to each team, plus an additional $5K for each founding member. The program is 12-weeks long, beginning August 15th, with a demo day planned for November 7th in Montreal. 85-plus mentors from around the world are joining the board and will lend their knowledge and experience to the selected teams. The program is now open for submissions, with a deadline of July 1st.

With relative proximity to both New York and Boston, FounderFuel will be tapping a number of U.S.-based mentors, like David Cancel of Performable and David Hauser of Chargify in an effort to provide quality mentorship to the founding teams.

“Having spent time in Montreal recently as part of the ‘Do More Faster’ tour, I think I’ve got a read of the place and a good sense of the vibe”, said Foundry Group Partner and TechStars Founder Brad Feld. “And I’ve got to tell you, in terms of the dynamics for Entrepreneurship, it’s a powerful place just to hang out in”.

It’s great to see another support system for Canadian entrepreneurs hitting the streets of Montreal. With any luck, FounderFuel will be the Red Bull for innovation in Montreal.