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It takes a robust tech ecosystem for founders to thrive.

For Real, it starts with the desire to contribute to an ecosystem in a way that can benefit others as much as we benefit ourselves. It’s this collaborative mindset that inspires us to launch initiatives that lay, or build upon, the foundations of rapidly growing tech hubs in Canada, and wherever else we may go.


After launching in 2007 as a geographically-focused seed investor, Real saw firsthand that the earlier we invested, the more portfolio founders benefited from proximity to our team. While we have expanded the stage and location of our investments, that belief in the benefit of proximity hasn't changed and it form the basis of our Orbit investment strategy: launched in 2017, initially in the Province of Quebec, and backed by long-term ecosystem development partners, la Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), le fonds de solidarité FTQ (FSTQ), Desjardins capital de risque and Québec’s government via Investissement Québec, OrbitMTL provides capital and stage-appropriate support to Quebec-based early stage companies.


FounderFuel was launched in 2011 and is Canada’s leading accelerator program. We created FounderFuel because we recognized that bringing entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and industry experts together wouldn't just accelerate our startups, but would also increase the connectivity of tech ecosystems within Montreal, Canada and North America – to everyone's benefit.

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Notman House

Before Notman House became the backbone of tech innovation in Montreal, the city's tech scene was diffuse. Events and activities built incredible energy, but there was no single place where it could be channeled. In 2010 Real co-founded the OSMO Foundation, the founder and owner of Notman House, a 30,000 sq ft campus for entrepreneurs and community builders. Today, Notman House is where the city's tech community comes together, and where we and our city's startups, tech organizations, community organizers and evangelists work and thrive.

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Element AI

With the boom in artificial intelligence, we knew cutting-edge AI would be vital to companies of all sizes, but were concerned that talent could be over-harvested by major corporations. In combination with Yoshua Bengio, Nicolas Chapados and our then EIR, Jean-François Gagné, we devised a more sustainable HR model, which formed the foundation of Element AI. By building a network of applied and fundamental AI researchers, engineers, startups and corporations, Element AI is turning leading AI research into innovative business solutions and at the same time contributing to the development of a larger and more broadly accessible supply of world class AI talent.

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Techstars Toronto

Toronto has rapidly become one of Canada's most vibrant tech ecosystems, but we felt one thing was missing. Given our experience with FounderFuel and history with Techstars, we knew that Toronto/Kitchener-Waterloo founders would greatly benefit from a world-class accelerator program. We’re proud to partner with Techstars for their first Canadian accelerator, and look forward to the innovation and success for the region’s visionary startups.

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Techstars Montreal AI

It’s no secret that Montreal’s artificial intelligence sector is booming. Given the city’s distinct competitive advantage, it was the perfect place to launch an AI-focused accelerator program. That’s why we partnered with Techstars to bring their world-class program to a second Canadian city, this time with a focus on startups that advance the development and application of AI across all industries.

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Front Row Ventures

Given Montreal’s status as the best city in the world for students, it should come as no surprise that high impact, student-led startups are proliferating. In order to propel these young companies and spur startup activity on university campuses, we're supporting Front Row Ventures (FRV), Canada's first student-run VC fund. Real provides investment capital and advisory support to the student VCs and will continue to help FRV as they roll this initiative out to other cities.

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