Last week, the Holt Accelerator team had a busy couple of days celebrating Fintech Week held right here in Montreal, including Finance Montreal’s 6th annual 2-day Fintech Forum event.

Celebrating open innovation in financial services, the event was attended by fintech enthusiasts from all over North America and further afield, bringing together top financial institutions, up and coming disruptors in this space as well as investors and leading industry experts. And what a turn out!

The Holt team was present along with our 13 cohort teams to meet more of this growing community, make some great connections and even find some potential innovators for next year’s program.

Take a look at what we got up to during this exciting week!

Monday, Day 1:


We started the week 9am Monday morning at Holt HQ for a unique workshop focused on collaboration. Managing Partner, Jan Arp, lead the pitch for partnership session, which included each team pitching to each other for support, followed by group speed dating — a chance to re-meet and get to know some of the teams better that had flown in especially for Fintech Forum Week. Collaboration was the name of the game to kick off the exciting week ahead.

Sean Merat, CEO OWL, Austin Hubbell, CEO Consilium Crypto

FinFusion Cocktail

After a great day at the office, we all headed to Hotel Monville to grab a well deserved cocktail and to meet the local fintech ecosystem. We were proud to sponsor such a great event that saw over 100 people in attendance!

Tuesday, Day 2:

The day began bright and early down at the Palais de congres de Montreal for the start of what promised to be an action packed day. It may be 8am, but here are some of our team ready to roll at the Holt booth after a much needed coffee! Left to right: David Fry , Christina Camacho – Ivy lender, Austin Hubbell – Consilium Crypto, Sean Merat – Owl, Thomas Schickler – LMX

Startup Pitch Contest:

The highlight of the day was undoubtedly seeing 2 of our accelerator teams, CreditScript and Owl, take part in the startup pitch contest that saw just 10 top teams compete for $230,000 in funding from over 118 applicants!

Both Justin Farr Jones of CreditScript and Sean Merat of Owl brought their A game to the table in an effort to wow the judging panel with their innovative solutions currently making waves in the fintech space.

Justin Farr Jones, CEO, CreditScript

Sean Merat, CEO,

The cherry on top? After a hard fought pitch, Owl were declared one of the overall winners of the Pre-Series A category, receiving $25K in prize money.

This is an amazing achievement for Sean and his team who are continuing to attract top investors and clients despite only having launched their platform 7 month ago. A huge congratulations from the entire Holt team — we couldn’t be more proud!

Whats more, for the last 3 consecutive years, Managing Partner Jan Arp has been directly involved with coaching a winning team to success at Fintech Forum — pitch coaching is just one of the areas in which the Holt Accelerator aids our cohort teams. And it pays off!

Wednesday, Day 3:

The second day of the event had much to live up to after the celebrations the night before. Our startup teams were partaking once again in “speed-dating”, where they took it in turns to meet some of those in attendance in a quick get-to-know-you format.

David Potter, CEO Curu, and Marco Fernandez, CEO QuantumSense, making some connections!

We also arranged several “Braindates” over the course of the 2 days, scheduling 1:1 meetings at the braindates lounge to chat about the accelerator and our teams with individuals from all walks of the finance industry who were in attendance.

Day 2 also featured some insightful panel talks from industry experts including the “New business opportunities in the Canadian payment industry” with speakers Sébastien Messier, Information Security Director, Desjardins Group and Jonathan Uzan, Directeur Cyber Defense, Onepoint, delivering many key takeaways to bring back to the office and fueling our excitement for the growing opportunities in Canadian fintech.

Thursday, Day 4:

Straight back to the office for another action packed day of workshops featuring some leading industry experts, including the Seed & Series A financing workshop by IVP, RBC and Espresso Capital, and the BNP Paribas talk about innovation practices which also involved speed dating sessions with the teams that best fit their current needs.

The day concluded with the Desjardins Cooperathon Finals, an early stage startup event with a focus on fintech. Some of out teams attended to meet more from the community and see the innovation on show.

Friday, Day 5:

To conclude an incredible week, we had our focus firmly on the future during another key interactive cohort workshop and pitch session. Looking 10 years into the future, the ‘vision session’ was an insightful exercise that provoked some deep discussion from the teams.

Thomas Schickler, LMX.

Charles Nouÿrit, CEO SmartPay, and Marco Fernandez, CEO QuantumSense.

What was all this for?  To start the preparations for our upcoming “Fintech Show”, December 6th! This is what we have all been working so hard towards — it’s going to be a show stopping night of demos, live music, pitches and much more, with the theme being “A window into the future.”

Montreal Fintech Week was a resounding success — thanks to all those involved, it was a pleasure to be among so many people who share Holt’s vision for the future of finance and meet so many new faces of the fintech community. To see us all again, grab your tickets now for the “Fintech Show” here, it’s only a month away!