Civic Incubator

A program that aims to prototype and develop ideas for projects with social and environmental impact, imagined by citizens or engaged collectives.

A program for local development organizations, public institutions, businesses or for foundations and investors.

Integration of the Civic Incubator

Selected in the framework of a call for projects, the winning proposals benefit from a free accompaniment program to help them evolve from an early stage of development to a level of maturity that will allow them to move to the deployment and financing stages.

This program, valued at $15,000, includes a commitment of approximately seven hours per week over almost four months, including hours dedicated to work and to participation in workshops. These workshops will include developing a mindset conducive to social innovation, understanding the context of the project’s implementation, as well as the design and deployment of the project having a positive social and environmental impact.

The Civic Incubator call for projects is underway!

Do you have an idea in mind that you haven’t dared to pitch yet? Have you recently started a project and feel like you need a hand? Does joining a community of dedicated social and environmental impact leaders appeal to you?

Find out more and submit your project!

Deadline: October 31, 2021

Objectives of the Civic Incubator

The Civic Incubator is based on an open approach involving users and aims to keep innovations aligned with the needs identified by communities. It makes it possible to:

  1. Identify emerging projects with a high potential for positive social or environmental impact and support their incubation, from the idea stage to the determination of a deployment strategy;
  2. Support the emergence of new social entrepreneurs and a network of urban builders and agents of change who collectively want to tackle the social and environmental problems of our cities and develop the full potential of our living environments;
  3. Highlight the challenges and opportunities facing our city, which must be addressed in order to imagine the Montréal of tomorrow.

The program also fosters the linkage of projects that emerge from the Civic Incubator with the resources most likely to support their full deployment.

The Civic Incubator is open to: IndividualsCollectivesSmall non-profit organizationsSocial entrepreneurs

Above all, the Civic Incubator seeks people from every walk of life—people who are motivated by the idea of having a positive socio-environmental impact and who recognize that exchanging ideas with others presents an invaluable opportunity to magnify the impact of their work.

Three leaders of the 2019-2020 Civic Incubator cohort share their stories

The Civic Incubator Program

The program provides social innovators with support divided into four modules:


At the end of the Understand module, participants will be able to analyse the various facets of the targeted problem, with an emphasis on data from field research. As a participant in this module, you will:

  • conduct field research to analyse your problem or issue based on real data;
  • deepen your understanding of assets and issues, their causes and effects, stakeholder dynamics, influential trends, etc.;
  • identify the best opportunities for intervention to solve the targeted problem; and
  • deepen your understanding of your target users and quickly identify those most likely to support you so you can prioritize them during the deployment of your project.


At the end of the Design module, participants will bbe able to define a successful impact strategy and design an innovative project with a positive socio-environmental impact. You will use data from field research and the principles of service design, among other things. During this module, you will: 

  • define a vision of the desired impact of your project;
  • define one or more strategies to achieve the desired impact;
  • map out the user journey of your project to better understand barriers to adoption and opportunities for improvement; and
  • take a critical look at the challenges, including blind spots, that could reduce your project’s chances of success.


At the end of the Deploy module, participants will be able to outline a successful project-deployment strategy. During the course of this module, you will learn how to:

  • outline the main phases of your project’s deployment;
  • identify the most appropriate legal structure (non-profit organization, cooperative, Inc., etc.) through which to deploy your project;
  • mobilize an ecosystem of partners to support your project (public, private, philanthropic, citizen…);
  • define a financial strategy to ensure both the deployment of your project and its sustainability; and
  • communicate your project effectively.


At the end of the Strengthen module, participants will be able to mobilize your full potential as a change agent in the implementation of your project. The module will assist you in your efforts to:

  • gain a better understanding of yourself as an agent of change;
  • identify internal blockages and discover strategies to overcome them;
  • develop confidence in your ability to lead transformative actions for our living environments; and
  • increase your resilience in dealing with the obstacles you will encounter during the deployment of your project

The previous cohorts
In a training program lasting just over three months, project leaders had the opportunity to develop their projects to a level of maturity that allowed them to move to the deployment and financing stages.

Partners of the Civic Incubator program

Potentia: Thinking differently about aging well at home

HYF Forêts urbaines: greening cities for better living

InterGen Studio: Using multimedia to create intergenerational links

Joining Tout ce petit monde to animate social capital

Fighting food insecurity: alternatives to food banks?

With Couleurs d’enfants, inclusion begins in early childhood

Tribou is aiming at the economic inclusion of women entrepreneurs

Vélorution Saint-Michel: Making the bicycle a tool for change

Q.Wow: the will to enhance the Québec territory

The MIS unveils the second cohort of its Civic Incubator

Little “wild balls” get Montreal waltzing

The MIS’s Civic Incubator in video

From poker player to cryptocurrency consultant

Ten projects to transform Montréal