Canadian banks rally round Montreal AI lab

Canadian banks rally round Montreal AI lab

BMO Financial group is to inject $2 million into a new AI lab in Montreal that will aim to help startups make the transition from science projects to high-growth companies.

The bank is working with Creative Destruction Lab on a new programme in Montreal that will usher 28 artificial intelligence startups through a six-month accelerator programme.

"The CDL-Montreal programme represents a stimulant challenge, not only for our startup companies but also for all the partners involved in this innovative project," says Fil Papich, co-head BMO Capital Markets, Quebec. "HEC Montréal's commitment to building bridges between BMO and the top emerging technology companies provides us with a valuable perspective on providing products and services that enable technology entrepreneurs to accomplish their business ventures."

The 28 firms selected for the cohort were whittled down from a list of 200 seed-stage applicants, the majority of already have a patent or are in the process of obtaining one. The six-month interneship will offer business and technology mentoring, equity opportunities, and business development partnerships.

Andrew Irvine, head, Canadian Business Banking & BMO Partners, BMO Bank of Montreal. "The talented entrepreneurs that we get the chance to work with through this programme have so much to offer to our industry. We look forward to collaborating with them and helping to provide opportunities that will enhance the financial technology landscape and ultimately provide a better customer experience."

Montreal is fast becoming a hotbed for AI and data science startups. BMO's involvement in the CDL lab comes hot on the heels of an announcement by Broealis AI, an RBC Institute for Research, to open a new academic and research lab in the city early next year. RBC is also joining BMO in supporting the Creative Destruction Lab initiative.

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