Techopia Live at SaaS North: What separates the Ottawa and Montreal startup scenes

Techopia Live took a few minutes at this year’s SaaS North conference to explore the differences between Ottawa and Montreal when it comes to building a startup.

We picked perhaps the perfect person to provide that perspective: Pablo Srugo, a principal with Mistral Venture Partners. Srugo joined the Ottawa-based seed capital fund last year after building a few startups of his own here in Ottawa. A few months ago, he relocated to Montreal to take the fund’s investments to the Quebec metropolis.

Though Srugo told Techopia Live that while there are a lot of similarities between the two markets – they’re only two hours apart via Highway 417, after all – the density of Montreal’s startup scene tends to dwarf Ottawa’s. Where there are just a couple locally based sources of capital in Ottawa, Montreal has at least a dozen investment funds and a larger mass of startups vying for their attention.

Srugo is quick to give Ottawa its props, however.

“The other side I’m noticing is just how strong Ottawa is for its size,” he said.

He recalled a recent meeting he attended with 50-some founders of burgeoning Ottawa tech firms, all gathered in a room to talk shop. That kind of a “tight-knit” community is rare in tech, he said, and should be viewed as a strength of the Ottawa market.

To hear Srugo’s insights on attracting investment to your software company from the floor of SaaS North, watch the video above.