As events around the world deal with the fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak, Montreal’s Startupfest, Canada’s largest gathering dedicated to the growth of startups, will scale down this summer’s three-day event.
Originally scheduled to take place from July 15 to 17 at Parc Jean-Drapeau, the festival will not run its usual “large scale” event.
Every summer, the festival brings together more than 7,000 startups, investors, authors, small businesses, and industry leaders to the island.
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“Our primary concern is the safety of our global community, our speakers, and our team,” reads the Startupfest website. “With that in mind, we’re watching the science and making fact-based decisions about how best to act under rapidly changing conditions.”
Having already cancelled upcoming regional events in San Francisco and London, the startup festival is “taking a hard look” at what July might look like, both globally and locally.
“Most scientists agree that the epidemic will bring sweeping changes to everyday life, and we need to be prepared,” continued the news release.
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“We want you to know that Startupfest, in some form, will happen this year. It may be virtual, or regional.” Event organizers say that while it might be simpler to postpone the festival, they feel they have an “obligation to help startups and founders survive the coming economic downturn.”
Startupfest says it has access to vital content and they want to get that in front of early-stage companies. According to its website, the event has found creative ways to deliver great content, engineer unexpected introductions, and connected founders to resources they need to grow businesses.
“Our response to this crisis will be no different,” concluded the news release. “We’ll support startups and their executives with resources that help them survive the coming economic downturn while following the latest science on health and safety.”
The festival concluded, “Expect to see us — live or virtually — in a community near you in the coming months.”