Press release
La Caisse inaugurates Espace CDPQ
June 16, 2016
Montreal

Today Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is launching Espace CDPQ, a project announced last year for the institution’s 50th anniversary. Inspired by global best practices, Espace CDPQ is an investment and development hub for entrepreneurs.

Espace CDPQ is the only hub in Québec that, rather than bringing businesses together, actually unites partners and collaborators around a shared ambition: accelerate the growth and globalization of Québec SMEs. Its goal is to combine networks, expertise and financial means to benefit Québec companies.

In addition to working with organizations across Québec and internationally, Espace CDPQ brings together at Place Ville Marie:

  • Eight investors representing close to $1.2 billion in capital under management
  • Five organizations dedicated to the development and growth of businesses

Together, the partners of Espace CDPQ represent, to date, a network of more than 1,000 businesses of all sizes and active in all industries, and build bridges to over 100 countries.

“Over the past few years, Montréal has joined the world’s most dynamic startup ecosystems,” said Michael Sabia, President and Chief Executive Officer of la Caisse. “But to go even further and compete with the world’s best – Silicon Valley, New York, Tel-Aviv – we have to strengthen the culture of collaboration between different economic stakeholders, even between competitors. Shared knowledge and pooled networks are key to succeeding in today’s economic world.”

 

A distinctive hub of investment and development

As of today, Espace CDPQ will be welcoming on-site the new Montréal campus of the École d’Entrepreneurship de Beauce (EEB), the new Intrapreneurial Initiative developed by the Business Family Foundation, and investment funds Brightspark Ventures, White Star Capital and OpenText Entreprise Apps Fund (OTEAF).

As of March 2017, other partners will join Espace CDPQ, including the QG100 Network, Univalor, Réseau Capital and investment funds Clearspring Capital Partners, iNovia Capital, Anges Québec and Anges Québec Capital.

Benefiting from the proximity of WeWork, a world leader in co-working, and having created links with external collaborators such as MIT, the Quartier de l’innovation de Montréal, Québec International, the Harvard Innovation Lab and international venture capital funds, Espace CDPQ will be globally connected.

“La Caisse will bring together at Espace CDPQ key stakeholders from the business community and facilitate collaboration. Everything has been designed to foster connections between partners and their networks with the ultimate goal of strengthening SMEs,” said Michèle Boisvert, Executive Vice-President, Business Outreach of la Caisse. “With the creation of Espace CDPQ, la Caisse will serve as an engine of growth for Québec companies ready to compete in global markets.”

The partners will have access to shared work and meeting spaces. Rooms dedicated to virtual collaboration, including a globalization lab, will give Québec businesses the opportunity to test out and validate their international commercialization strategies with global experts.

 

Creation of the Fonds Espace CDPQ and the first investment

La Caisse also presented today the details of the new Fonds Espace CDPQ. The $50-million Fonds Espace CDPQ will dedicate $40 million to the financing of innovative Québec SMEs with global expansion projects. The targeted businesses, whose revenues range from $1 million to 10 million, should be on the verge of achieving profitability. Another $10 million will be allocated between two seed funds – one in Québec City and the other in Montréal – that finance companies emerging from incubators and accelerators from across Québec.

La Caisse announced yesterday an initial $1.3-million investment by the Fonds Espace CDPQ in Felix & Paul Studios, a Québec-based studio dedicated to creation, production and technological developments and specialized in cinematic virtual reality experiences.                             

 “Ultimately, Espace CDPQ will generate new investment opportunities for la Caisse and its partners, while fostering the growth and globalization of Québec companies. These objectives are perfectly aligned with our strategic priorities for Québec and our desire to create projects with impact,” added Christian Dubé, Executive Vice-President, Québec of la Caisse.

 

ABOUT CAISSE DE DÉPÔT ET PLACEMENT DU QUÉBEC

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. As at December 31, 2015, it held $248.0 billion in net assets. As one of Canada's leading institutional fund managers, CDPQ invests globally in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure and real estate. For more information, visit cdpq.com, follow us on Twitter @LaCDPQ or consult our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

 

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For more information:
JEAN-BENOIT HOUDE
Senior Advisor, Media and Public Relations
+1 514 847 5493
jbhoude@cdpq.com