Unveiling of the Civic Incubator’s 2024 Cohort

Following a call for projects and a rigorous selection process, 30 winning project leaders will begin a mentoring program with the Maison de l’innovation sociale (MIS) in January 2024. The program will support them in channelling their projects from an early stage of development to a level of maturity favourable to their deployment in the Greater Montreal area.

“The entire team is thrilled to welcome project leaders with a heartfelt commitment to taking action on today’s complex problems in their Montreal living environments. In its collective intelligence, this cohort embodies the talent and engagement of change agents who don’t necessarily recognize themselves in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. At the Maison de l’innovation sociale (MIS), they have found a program that reflects their will and their capacity to take action in favour of a more resilient Quebec. We’d like to extend our congratulations and warmest welcome to them,”

says Sarah Abarro, Incubation Programmes Coordinator.

A civic incubator that promotes the emergence of a new model of entrepreneurship in Quebec

The 2024 Cohort of the Civic Incubator reveals an entrepreneurial preoccupation marked by questions regarding the inclusion of the vulnerable and marginalized; innovative processes aimed at reinventing our relationships, as much with others as with nature; and issues of food security, urban resilience and democracy. Winners will embark on a hybrid program lasting five months and comprising training sessions, practical workshops, mentoring and group and individual coaching. The program will also feature an evening of pitches in the autumn, in order for participants to clarify their concept, define their project’s impact strategy, test their idea in the field, and prepare to deploy their project.

A program recognized in the social-impact ecosystem

Named “Social Impact Champion of the Year” at the Start-up Community Gala on December 7th, the Civic Incubator is a unique program that attracts, year after year, individuals, collectives, small NPOs and social entrepreneurs motivated by the desire to make a positive and sustainable contribution to society. This is another type of entrepreneurship that is on the rise in Quebec and that has the potential to change the game.

“More and more of us are looking for opportunities to make a real impact on our environment. NPOs, too, are on the lookout for opportunities to renew and maximize the impact of their offerings. The Civic Incubator is thus a perfect vehicle for supporting these innovative initiatives, while at the same time de-risking them towards a successful deployment,” explains Marie-Christine Ladouceur-Girard, Executive Director of MIS. By the end of this cohort, she adds, “some 160 leaders of social and environmental impact projects will have passed through the Civic Incubator. What’s more, 70 percent of the teams in recent cohorts include at least one member who identifies with a diversity group. As requests multiply from regions seeking support in establishing similar programs in their territories, MIS is optimistic about scaling up this model in the coming months!”

A free program financed by key partners

MIS would like to thank the financial partners of this cohort who make it possible for the winners to participate in this program free of charge: the City of Montreal, the Fondation Béati, the McConnell Foundation and the Mirella and Lino Saputo Foundation.

MIS also thanks the members of the jury for their generosity in evaluating the applications received from candidates:

  • Sendy-Loo Emmanuel, doctoral student in communications; President and Founder of the organization WECAN
  • LN Saint-Jacques (he.she.they.them), Executive Director of Centrale agricole
  • Marie-Madeleine Gianni, Lead, Impact and Network, Startup Montréal, Ashoka Fellow (BET SHE CAN)
  • Emily Laliberté, Program Manager – Ville inclusive, Exeko
  • François-Xavier Michaux, General Coordinator, Transition en commun
  • France Émond, Executive Director, TIESS
  • Cécile Vergier, Economic Development Commissioner – Social Innovation, Ville de Montréal

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The potential realization of a positive-impact project idea—one that has long been brewing in the back of their minds—has motivated over one hundred change-makers to join the MIS Civic Incubator.

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