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Montréal is welcoming and inclusive, and has many other advantages for international students, such as quality jobs, an affordable cost of living, a safe environment and a ton of activities, whatever the season…

La Presse | Montreal Gazette

Montréal named the best student city in Canada (even the world!)

Published annually, the QS Best Student Cities ranking showcases the best urban destinations for international students, based on a diverse range of indicators grouped into a selection of categories. Montréal has been ranked as the top student city in Canada — for the seventh year in a row! And with recently voting us the best student city in the world, it’s official: Montréal is a wonderful place to learn.

Montréal named the best student city in Canada (even the world!) | Tourisme Montréal ( 

Montréal startups are blooming

 Have you heard Harley Finkelstein’s recent comments on Montréal? The president of Shopify has often praised the city’s assets in the past. But these days, it’s something else! 

Olivier H. Rivas | Director, Business Development, Entrepreneurship

AUGUST 28, 2023

“I don’t think there’s any city in the world that is more entrepreneurial than Montreal,” he told journalist Toula Drimonis for a piece in CultMTL in which he discusses his return to Montréal and the motivations behind it. 

He goes on to say: “You have more people taking more risks. You have this default-to-yes mentality here.” 

His words speak highly of our startup ecosystem. And the fact is, they are in line with the reality on the ground.   

Venture capital: 53 projects funded in six months  

In Montréal, everyone feels at home. The city is at the crossroads of all kinds of encounters. It hosts the largest number of international congresses, was voted best student city in the world (Helpful Professor, 2023) and stands out for its strong growth in forward-looking sectors such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and clean technologies. These assets are what drives the city’s innovative character, sustained by a constant “clash” of ideas. 

The latest figures from the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) also confirm that venture capitalists are very active. With 26 deals worth $320M, Montréal stood out from all other Canadian cities in the first three months of the year. This is exceptional. Twenty-seven additional deals were recorded in the second quarter.  

Having said that, and to be totally honest, I didn’t fall off my chair at Montréal International, where I promote the city’s assets to international entrepreneurs.  

Over the past five years, my colleagues and I have accompanied some 40 international entrepreneurs who chose the city to launch their start-up amid a buzzing ecosystem:  

Moreover, in the spring of 2023, École de technologie supérieure’s Centech and the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship were ranked among the world’s top 10 university business incubators, out of 600 organizations in 90 countries surveyed.  

Over the years, Montréal’s creative and innovative character has driven our startups forward. And beyond their notorious economic impact, they have the potential to make a real difference in our everyday lives.   

Take FemTherapeutics (Negin Ashouri), for instance, who has developed a personalized medical prosthesis to improve the quality of life of women suffering from pelvic organ problems. Or Ubenwa (Charles Onu) and his mobile application that analyzes newborn babies’ cries to detect possible signs of respiratory distress. Or Orchid-B (Claudio Romano), who develops critical digital infrastructures for businesses. 

Harley Finkelstein’s entrepreneurial, Montréal spirit  

Still in doubt about the startup spirit in Montréal? Let’s take a quick look at Harley Finkelstein’s backgroundto put his words into perspective.  

Born in Montréal in the mid-1980s, Harley Finkelstein grew up in South Florida before returning to his birth city to complete his studies at McGill University, where he launched his first startup. He completed his undergraduate studies at Concordia University before heading West to Ottawa, where he joined Shopify, whose online shopping platform has revolutionized the retail industry. It is used by millions of people across 175 countries. 

Today, Harley Finkelstein runs the company and funds over 30 startups. He remains highly involved in the ecosystem and numerous events, including the classic StartupFest.   

With all this baggage, his words resonate with investors. And having seen others succeed in Montréal, I can only agree: the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Montréal. 

Montréal startups are blooming | Montréal International ( 

Concordia University

Concordia University is a public research university located in Montreal. Founded in 1974 following the merger of Loyola College and Sir George Williams University, 

As of the 2020–21 academic year, there were 51,253 students enrolled in credit courses at Concordia, making the university among the largest in Canada by enrolment

McGill University

McGill University is one of Canada's best-known institutions of higher learning and one of the leading universities in the world. With students coming to McGill from over 150 countries, our student body is the most internationally diverse of any research-intensive university in the country. 

Univesité de montréal

Université de Montréal has 10,000 foreign students, making it Canada’s third most international university, according to the Times Higher Education ranking. 

5,500 Canadian permanent residents also attend UdeM every year. 

Vanier College is a publicly-funded English language CEGEP located in Montreal. Named in honour of General Georges P. Vanier, a Canadian soldier, diplomat and former Governor General of Canada, Vanier College opened its doors on September 8, 1970 welcoming close to 1,400 students in its first cohort. 

Dawson College is a large, long-established educational institution. Dawson students, faculty and staff embody a broad spectrum of languages and ethnic origins reflective of the multicultural character of Montreal itself. This diversity greatly enriches all members of the College community by providing a welcoming and stimulating environment in which to learn and work, and where students are prepared to assume their role as productive and responsible citizens of the world. 

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Robert Savignac

Stigmabase Developer

Robert Savignac is a Montréal native

He considers himself a North American citizen

He rejects any nationalist and sovereigntist rethorics 

and their obsession rooted in xenophobia and in the past

For him ... The world does not need more borders