BMO Financial Group injects $2m into Montreal AI lab
BMO Financial Group is putting $2 million into Creative Destruction Lab Montreal (CDL-Montreal) to fund artificial intelligence (AI) and data science projects.
CDL-Montreal will target seed-stage start-ups by providing business and technology mentoring, equity opportunities and business development partnerships.
On 15 December, the first cohort of 28 businesses, made up entirely of AI start-ups, will enter the programme. More than 200 new businesses have submitted their applications; half of them are based abroad (e.g. the US, Spain, UK). The “vast majority” already have a patent or are in the process of obtaining one.
This year’s programme runs until June 2018. During this time the start-ups will receive objectives-based coaching led by entrepreneurs, representatives of investment funds and scientists – with the “goal of maximising equity-value creation”.
CDL-Montreal was founded in 2012 in Toronto by Ajay Agrawal in collaboration with the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. It expanded first to Vancouver, Calgary, Halifax, New York, and now to Montreal in collaboration with HEC Montreal (a university business school).
It seems Montreal has become very popular, as yesterday (21 November) we reported on Borealis AI, a Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Institute for Research – which will open an AI lab in the city. At that time, RBC revealed it is also a partner of CDL-Montreal.