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.

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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.

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