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 $10,000, 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.

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 a program that is equally relevant for public or private foundations, impact investors, businesses, organizations or government bodies seeking to enhance the impact of the projects they fund and the capacity of agents of change with whom they collaborate, thereby reducing the risk of their investments.

The Civic Incubator Program

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

Consolidating

At the end of the Consolidating module, participants will have developed the skills and know-how to promote the successful deployment of a project with a positive social and environmental impact. The module will address the following concepts in particular:

  • Gaining a better knowledge of oneself as an agent of change;
  • Developing an attitude and approach conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship;
  • Increasing one’s resilience to better face the obstacles encountered in the deployment of a project.

Understanding

At the end of the Understanding module, participants will be able to analyze the context of the implementation of a project, based primarily on data from field research. The module will address the following concepts in particular:

  • Conducting field research to analyze a problem or issue using real data;
  • Deepening the understanding of assets and obstacles, their causes and effects, stakeholder dynamics, influential trends, etc.;
  • Identifying the best intervention opportunities to solve the targeted problem.

Designing

At the end of the Designing module, participants will be able to design an innovative project with positive social and environmental impact using the principles of service design. The module will address the following concepts in particular: 

  • Defining a vision of the desired impact of your project;
  • Defining one or more strategies to achieve the desired impact;
  • Mapping the user journey of your project to better understand the barriers to adoption and opportunities for improvement;
  • Taking a critical look at issues and blind spots that could reduce the chances of success for your project.

Deploying

At the end of the Deploying module, participants will be able to define the main characteristics of an effective project deployment strategy. This module will address the following concepts in particular:

  • Mapping out the major deployment phases of your project;
  • Identifying the most appropriate legal form of organization to deploy your project;
  • Mobilizing an ecosystem of partners to support your project (public, private, philanthropic, citizen, etc.);
  • Defining a financial strategy to ensure the deployment of your project and its sustainability;
  • Communicating your project effectively. 
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The first cohort 2018-2019
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