Montreal Expo Entrepreneurs 2019

by Smaranda Tolosano

My first week at Nexalogy kicked off strong with two days at Expo Entrepreneurs, Montreal’s annual startup convention. In the maze of Place Bonaventure, a ceremonious staircase led me to the exhibitions hall where I discovered, for the first time since moving to Montreal, the city’s large and energetic entrepreneurial community. Large banners hung from the ceiling so that newcomers like me could find their pavilion without getting lost in the frenzy of coffee service areas and virtual reality testing grounds. I headed for the Technologies banner, under which stood an island-like rassemblement of booths for presenters.

After settling there, my colleague Mirela and I set out to discover what people were saying about the Expo on Twitter using our NexaIntelligence tool. We searched for mentions of hashtags and keywords about the event as well as the event’s official Twitter handle @EntrepreneursQC so we could show live results to people visiting our booth. The team behind EE18 and 19 had used our tool to determine entrepreneur’s topics of interest ahead of the expos so we thought it would be interesting to find out what people thought of the event.

So what did NexaIntelligence tell us about EE19?

Well, we found 1091 relevant Twitter posts from 436 publishers overall, and the busiest time online was around 1:40 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23rd, when 58 tweets were posted. The top hashtag was of course the event’s very own #eeqc19, mentioned 613 times, followed by #ee19, mentioned 95 times.

We noticed that #EE19 was simultaneously being used across the Atlantic in regards to the upcoming European Elections! So we had to filter these posts out of our system to get accurate data about the Expo Entrepreneurs event. To this end, I applied a filter removing posts that contained the words “europe” “européen” and “élection”. I spelled some words in french, because when I set my filter with english terms only, none of the irrelevant posts were identified. With the bilingual filter, NexaIntelligence removed the posts that had nothing to do with what was happening in Montreal.

The tool gave me an updated list of the most used hashtags for the expo:

 

As well as top content shared on Twitter: the most shared link was that of ExpoEntrepreneurs.com with 75 shares, followed by Mon Carnet, le podcast by Bruno Guglielminetti on Soundcloud with 24 shares, as the podcaster covered EE19 live. Media coverage of EE19 included an article by L’Express.fr, “Faire de Montréal une référence pour les entrepreneurs,” which was shared 21 times on Twitter during the event.

Next, we took a look at what the lexical map revealed about clusters of words: those indicate which topics of conversation are being discussed within the EE19 larger conversation. The first topic we identified was a conversation surrounding 5G (mentioned 43 times) and crowdfunding (“sociofinancement” was mentioned 23 times). Panels were held about 5G and ENCQOR paid special attention to it, which is likely why it was mentioned so much.

Universities were another main topic of the twitter conversation (mentioned 28 times), in particular the need to bolster relations between entrepreneurs and universities to foster collaboration. University-level research was praised as a factor of innovation for businesses.

Top accounts

As you can see, the top publisher is EE19 with their handle @entrepreneursqc, followed by @vivremontreal, a page dedicated to “the latest news” according to their description; then came Maison des Régions @maisondregions, a self-described inclusive and collaborative place of meeting for elected members of the Quebec government and economic actors. Finally, Géraldine Martin, Head of Entrepreneurial activities for the city of Montreal came in 5th with 18 tweets.

The most mentioned users were the Expo in 588 tweets, followed by the city of Montreal’s official account. In third place came Luc Sirois, CEO of Prompt Innovation, who was mentioned 40 times overall. Géraldine Martin, who was an active publisher during the event, was mentioned 35 times, placing her 3 tweets apart from Valerie Plante @val_plante, Montreal’s Mayor.

NexaIntelligence also gives insights regarding user interactions on Twitter, which is how I found out who published the most about the event and who was mentioned the most. Without leaving the Nexalogy booth, I knew exactly who was on stage and what was being discussed in real time.

But Mirela and I also gained valuable insights about the startup ecosystem without NexaIntelligence’s intervention, by simply talking to people. We found out that startup incubators are flourishing across the Greater Montreal area and neighboring cities, that private investors attended EE19 searching for potential companies to buy, that other booths were offering legal and marketing/PR services to startups and budding entrepreneurs for free, and that even commercial lessors looking to rent office buildings had made the trip. We also had the pleasure of meeting representatives from Quebec city, and a member of the “Silver economy” looking for ways to modernize mobility access for elderly people in Montreal.

None of this would have been possible without the great team working at ExpoEntrepreneurs, all of whom we would like to thank for putting together this wonderful event. We would also like to reiterate our thanks to Charlotte Mossa, our point person at EE, who made sure everything went well for us. (And, special thanks to the person who thought of putting up a sparkling water tap right by our booth!) We look forward to partaking in EE20 and to help bring more insights about the entrepreneur and startup online spheres in Montreal.

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