We nurture and develop multidisciplinary startup teams that harness emerging tech to create businesses with global impact. We look for the brightest of minds and we offer the most rigorous training. We bridge the knowledge, skills and resource gap between building a product and building a company.
District 3 came into being when Montreal’s startup ecosystem was in its infancy, from the beginning we did things differently. We focus on advancing an open, collaborative ecosystem that enables entrepreneurs to thrive and succeed. Our programs and services are open to all. We represent a diversity of cultures, backgrounds and ideas – fostering innovation and a global mindset.
We take no equity.
We are the difference between a founder with an idea and a successful team ready to make a global impact.
Co-founder and Executive Director of District 3
Where To Find us
We are based at Concordia University in Montreal, a place for experiential learning where the big questions are being asked and creative thinking is harnessed to address them. It’s a place focused on the future not the past, it’s home to the dreamers, the doers, the tech pioneers and social disruptors of tomorrow. We share Concordia’s DNA and commitment to excellence and a belief that what we create here should have a global reach.
Districts evolve within cities when like-minded people congregate to share skills and form communities.
District 3 Innovation Hub, Montreal
Headquartered in the heart of downtown Montreal, District 3’s co-working space has office space for startups, private meeting rooms, a phone booth, and a design lab for prototyping including 3D printers, laser cutters, and electronic components.
NYC Hub, New York
In the heart of NYC’s financial district, the NYCHub offers a co-working space in partnership with DMZ Ryerson and I-Inc Network. Join our programs to access a network of government and industry experts in the US and abroad.
Bio Hub, Loyola Campus, Montreal
The first of its kind in Canada, the BioHub provides state-of-the-art dry and wet laboratories, a co-working space and exposure to an interdisciplinary network of experts to help you develop successful products based on scientific discoveries and ideas. Located on the first floor of Concordia’s Applied Sciences Hub.
Our Coaches & Mentors
Executive Director, District 3
Guided by his passion for advancing emerging technology, his career is rooted in strategic partnerships and community building. Proud of the incubator that he founded, District 3, and the 1000+ tech startups that have come through our doors in now 10 years. Xavier is committed to growing the bioeconomy in Quebec–which at this very second, is revolutionizing the world. Equivalent to what happened in IT 50 years ago, the same is occurring in biological engineering-“it’s going to change everything”. The next bioeconomy ventures are led by scientific entrepreneurs with deep expertise in their respective domains — fields like AI in biological engineering, healthtech, clean tech, agri-foods — are all key innovation drivers.
Managing Director, District 3
Corinne brings a wealth of experience and a remarkable track record of leadership in the technology and government sectors. As the former Government of Canada’s Chief Information Officer, Corinne was at the forefront of cybersecurity efforts, providing critical guidance during state-sponsored cyber-attacks and incidents like the National Research Council of Canada hack and the Heartbleed vulnerability. Corinne’s journey is marked by key positions in both private and public sectors, including IBM Global Services, KPMG Consulting, Desjardins, VIA Rail, Transat AT, CIBC, and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada. At District 3, Corinne plays a pivotal role in guiding our innovation ecosystem, fostering collaboration, and driving impactful technology initiatives. Her passion for solving complex problems and her commitment to excellence align perfectly with our mission.
Senior Coach, District 3 Healthcare Stream Lead
With a wealth of international experience in taking ideas to market—always at the dynamic intersection of where entrepreneurship and experiential learning meet—Edna Chosack, M.Sc., MBA, is the Healthcare Stream lead and Senior Coach at District 3.
As the co-founder and VP, Strategic Marketing at Simbionix Inc., Edna co-built the company into an international surgical-simulation leader, becoming internationally recognized as one of a few experts who leverage medical-simulation experiential learning into business success stories. 3D Systems acquired the company for $120M USD.
In Montreal, she established and served as Director of CAE’s surgical-simulation business line. She was a member of the advisory committee at McGill University’s Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning. She held her consultancy services for private internationals in the US, Europe & China, as well as for Canadian customers such as the Canadian National Research Council.
District 3 Bio Stream Lead
Following more than a 30-year career in life-science and biotechnology; Maggie Bywater-Ekegärd now has an extensive experience in senior management positions; creating global markets; and implementing complex commercialization projects. Her knowledge of intellectual property portfolio management, quality product development and manufacturing is key to new technology introduction. She is co-founder of Inocucor Technologies now Concentric Agriculture, where she ran and coordinated the industrialization & commercialization process. Since Inocucor she has co-founded Morphocell a regenerative medicine company based in Montreal Canada. She is an adviser to the management team and a member of the Board of Directors.
District 3 High Tech Stream Lead
JD Bégin is a venture capitalist turned entrepreneur and angel investor. As High Tech Stream Lead at District 3, Bégin helps founders find product market-fit, grow their key metrics, and secure financing. Having previously worked as a growth advisor and mentor to firms such as VM6 Software Inc., Techstars and Traction Ventures, Bégin leverages more than 15 years experience to uniquely equip startups with the tools they need to grow into successful enterprises. Bégin holds an MBA from Concordia University, as well as a bachelors of Business Administration in accounting and finance from UQAM.
Balsam by District 3, Social Innovation Coach
Julie Hamel (MBA) is a senior business advisor with over 25 years of experience. She began her career as an entrepreneur before becoming a social economy advisor in 2006. She successfully managed many fast-food franchises through the 90s before becoming the general manager of a major private non-profit golf course. Her range of expertise includes among others, marketing, operations, and business development. For the past ten years, her social preoccupation has led her to invest most of her time and energy in the field of social economy, including helping dozens of non-profit organizations. Julie has been involved with Concordia’s District 3 since 2015 as the Social Entrepreneurship Coach.
President, BEEM & Validation Coach
Alexandre Lataille is driven by a true passion for automotive technologies that have always pushed him to innovate. As the CEO and co-founder of BEEM, an auto tech company, he is focusing on reinventing the way we interact within the automotive ecosystem, starting with the customer, the vehicle, the dealership and the manufacturer.
Prior to founding BEEM, Alexandre specialized in data-driven automotive product development, business processes and analytics. He managed projects to the highest industry standards, with a tenacity that saw him rise swiftly in the ranks of Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), a leading recreational products manufacturer. Alexandre started his career as a testing engineer for the Volvo Group, where he realized his passion for a data-driven approach to problem-solving and product development, which he applies to BEEM today.
Coach, District 3
Daniel Stoll has always strived to design and develop products that bring delightful customer experiences, to have products sell themselves. He has a track record of galvanizing innovation and creating go-to-market strategies based on a product-led growth approach, providing value to customers by shortening time to value. His work has been recognized for shortening the sales cycle significantly in complex sales. Daniel holds a Master’s degree in Telecommunications Engineering from the École d’ingénieurs du numérique.
Coach, District 3 – Tech Stream
Louis has a 20+ years track record of helping emerging and growing technology and media companies propel their business to the next level. An experienced operator, Louis can help businesses meet short-term revenue targets while building longer-term growth capabilities. Louis is particularly experienced in sales management, marketing, partnerships, M&A, and general operations.
Louis started his career as a commercial attorney in a leading Canadian law firm, advising high technology and biotechnology companies in areas such as mergers and acquisitions, corporate financing, and partnerships. With this experience and an MBA, Louis made the move to business operations early on and never looked back, rapidly progressing through the ranks of established and growing international tech companies, including Open Text, Bell Canada, Softvoyage, k-eCommerce, and mdf commerce.
Louis holds a master’s in business administration (MBA) from the École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Montreal (1996), a bachelor’s degree in law (Ll.b.) from the University of Montreal (1993), and is a member of the Quebec Bar (1994).
Life Sciences Fellow & Biohub Manager, District 3
Mahzad Sharifahmadian is the Life Sciences Fellow and Biohub Manager at District 3. She empowers life sciences researchers to bring their research to market, and has built a network of research experts for collaboration and co-creation to solve societal and industry challenges.
She holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry & Molecular Medicine from Université de Montréal, with expertise and publications on the design and development of novel drugs for antibiotic-resistant infections. While finishing her Ph.D., she co-founded Rubisco, a biotech company offering point-of-care diagnosis of pathogens (dissolved in 2018).
With over 10 years of combined experience in scientific research and clinical pathology laboratories, Gleice has extensive expertise in “in vitro” antimicrobial combinations against multidrug-resistant bacterias. Her work has contributed to several publications and the development of methodologies in this field.
Chief Scientific Officer
Vincent Martin is an Associate Professor in Microbiology in the Department of Biology at Concordia University and holds the Canada Research Chair in Microbial Genomics and Engineering. He obtained a B.Sc. in Microbiology from McGill University (1989), an M.Sc. in Environmental Biology from the University of Guelph (1993) and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of British Columbia (1999) under the supervision of Dr. Bill Mohn, where he elucidated the metabolic pathway for plant diterpene biodegradation in Pseudomonas. His post-doctoral studies were performed with Dr. Jay Keasling at the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, where he engineered E. coli for over-production of isoprenoids. In 2003, he joined the Physical Biosciences Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The same year, with help from a $43 million grant from the Gates Foundation, he co-founded Amyris Biotechnologies where he currently serves as a scientific advisor.
In 2004, he joined Concordia University as an Assistant Professor, Vincent Martin’s interests are focused on the metabolic engineering of microbes for the degradation of plant biomass and the production of commodity and high value chemicals. He is the project co-leader for a recently funded $13.6 million Genome Canada grant aimed at the commercial production of high-value plant metabolites in microbial fermentation systems. Vincent Martin is also the fermentation theme leader for the AAFC Cellulosic Biofuels and the NSERC Bioconversion Networks. He currently serves on the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Microbiology, Bioengineered Bugs and the Water, Air and Soil Pollution journal.
Tech for Good and Diversity