Web3 technologies have the potential to transform the way we interact with the Internet. Many institutions are looking at investing early into this billion dollar industry.
However, as with any technology, the adoption curve of web3 can be difficult to understand and predict.
Montreal is already a significant hub for tech startups and the web3 scene is growing stronger as we speak. We have grown a considerable reputation on the international level, but can we keep this going? What would Montreal need to cement itself as the web3 capital of Canada?
To reach web3 adoption efficiently, our city needs to foster an environment that is conducive to web3 innovation. For starters, Montreal’s web3 scene needs 3 key pillars to create the foundations to a leader’s reputation: cultivated talent, institutional support, and active community.
Through these 3 factors, Montreal can position itself to become a leader in this space and be known in the Canadian scene as the place to be for web3.
Key Pillar 1: Cultivated talent
Naturally, technology adoption is facilitated by the people leading it. Talent is an undeniable factor helping technology mature and Montreal should keep fostering a welcoming environment to allow its workforce to reach its full potential.
Students, knowledge workers and entrepreneurs from Montreal must be appealed to web3 in order to bridge the gap between the skilled workers and the web3 ventures. Many components will influence the appeal web3 has towards Montrealers: meaningful projects, a clear understanding of the technology’s potential, an attractive compensation, work benefits, education, and so on.
A KuCoin study exploring professional involvement in Web declared that 59% of the surveyed Web3 professionals are under the age of 30. The young demographic of Web3 is a crucial component to understand as they are the main labour market of the web3 industry.
For talent to migrate to web3, academics and education play an important role in shaping the future’s workforce. Cegeps and universities are great gateways to teach the younger generation about web3’s technology. With targeted programs, majors, minors and certificates, schools can provide formal education on blockchain and decentralised applications. Montreal has a vibrant student life reputation that can be leveraged to create the next wave of Web3 Professionals.
Additionally, Montreal’s skilled workers must be enticed into moving towards web3. Salaries, benefits and flexibility of work life should be advertised by recruiters and in job applications. An article by CNBC highlights the exodus of Big Tech executives, flowing into Web3. The opportunity presented to the Tech community is apparent; the web3 industry is a prime destination for Montrealers.
Besides compensation and formal education, a key driver for workforce attraction is meaningfulness within projects. Montreal must foster a buzzing web3 startup environment that showcases different businesses with compelling visions.
When asked about her opinion on the state of web3 in Montreal, Alizah Whitney Johnson, marketing and campaign development consultant for web3 projects, described it as follows:
“After coming back from huge blockchain conferences in the US such as Consensus, Miami NFT and Eth Denver, I was eager to collaborate and connect with the web3 community in Montreal” she said.
But when I came back, I realised there are not that many blockchain companies in Montreal. We need social impact projects, such as shelterhumanity.com (an NFT project based on offering shelters), a project I’m part of. How can we bridge the gap between developers and non-technical web3 workers to create meaningful projects?”
While there is a clear momentum within the tech startup ecosystem of Montreal, there is a lot that can be done to cultivate and harvest meaningful talent into the web3 space. Academics, work appeal and impact projects are a few of the components Montreal must double down on to move forward as the capital of web3 in Canada.
Key Pillar 2: Institutional support
To bring web3 to the masses, the technology must be accessible and showcase actual use cases. To bring forward disruptive technologies that will change people’s lives, on a day-to-day basis all the way to worldwide changes, the industry requires resources.
The web3 ecosystem needs the support of resourceful institutions to drive changes. For instance, local government support is crucial for web3 technology adoption. A prime example of local government support is the upbringing of Central Texas, which grew to become an important web3 point in the United States.
Austin is a city that explicitly demonstrates interest in initiating the march towards web3 technology adoption. An article on Cointelegraph highlights the municipal efforts of Austin to accept cryptocurrencies as payment for municipal taxes and fees, but also “conduct a “fact-finding study” on how the city could adopt Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency-related policies.”
Hear it from Nick James, Founder of Web3Texas himself! “Austin is the hot spot for web3. A lot of companies are progressive and proactive about web3 adoption; Dallas, where I’m from, has an increase in interest as well. While it is still early on, Austin is a point of proliferation for the technology. Consensus (a large web3 conference) was hosted there and the mayor is supportive of web3 technologies as well.”
It is evident that local governments hold great power when it comes to web3 technology adoption. In addition, other institutional players can jump into the adoption train. Grants and accelerators are active investment forms the web3 space can greatly benefit from as well.
Opportunities for investments and grants, for example, are perfect competition environments for startups. When companies compete for investments, they bring in innovation. Giving the right incentives not only allows startups to come up with the most innovative ideas, it also attracts new talent into the industry.
Accelerators, on the other hand, help drive those innovations to success. Mentorship and counselling from successful accelerators, which we have here in Montreal, are key drivers of innovation. While web3 comes in with disruptive technologies, established accelerator programs can bring in the expertise needed to grow the adoption rate of said technologies.
It goes without saying. The support of Montreal’s big players is necessary to push our beloved city as a leader in web3 innovation.
Key Pillar 3: Active community
Foundationally, talent and institutions are great catalysts for disruption, but it gets all tied together with one important component: an active community. In fact, web3 adoption is essentially meaningless if it isn’t for its community.
Something to be thankful for here in Montreal is the gradual increase in community meetups, events and workshops. Whoever web3 has charmed here in our city, it has charmed them well. We can feel the vibrant energy driven by enthusiasm and passion from web3 community members.
David Siddock, a business development executive at PARSIQ and IQ Protocol, shared his experience: “ 0xSociety hosts many gatherings at New City Gas and the place gets PACKED. I've seen investment bankers, lawyers, and degens all bumping shoulders. That's when I knew that Montreal was getting its crypto wave.
That was just this summer.”
People are getting together, the community is energetic, Montreal is definitely holding its end of the bargain as a great place to be in.
The goal now is to scale this passion. How can web3 stay welcoming and attractive while developing a sustainable community? It very much comes down to inclusivity, activity and publicity.
Let’s face it, web3 and tech in general has not been the most inclusive industry. If you attend any web3 event, you won't find a lot of visible minorities; this is a truth we need to change. Driving inclusion forward through impact projects and active representation are important elements to grow a healthy community.
Promoting diversity use cases for web3 technologies and creating open, welcoming events geared towards people of colour (PoC), women and LGBTQ+ members are positive indicators of inclusivity being done right.
Accessibility of web3, along with inclusion, can be achieved through a high level of activity. The more initiatives are being created around web3 in Montreal, the more access points community members have to engage with the web3 crowd.
High level and quality of activity can be enabled by fostering an open community that allows subgroups to come to life. Developer meetups, casual get-togethers, niche meetings about specific topics and blockchains are all different topics that can create a sense of belonging to newcomers, seasoned individuals and experts.
To segue into our last point, activity level is meaningless without proper publicity. To gain traction, proper marketing must target web3 aficionados, individuals interested in web3 and people who do not even know what web3 is.
This can be achieved by engaging with web2 individuals, companies and platforms. In conjunction with web3 technologies, web2 is a great platform to advertise the new Internet revolution as that is where most of the attention is.
Many web3 conferences and events are hosted by and for web3 companies, but let’s not forget that what will create the best adoption opportunities are onboarding and including web2 into our initiatives.
Integrating new members into the community, continuously, is what will set Montreal apart as a leader in the web3 space.
What Montreal ultimately needs to become a web3 hub
Montreal’s relevance in tech is globally recognized. For web3? Not yet. We are however at an interesting paradigm shift that our city can leverage to further instill its expertise in disruptive technologies.
In order to do so, Montreal must be able to attract, encourage and retain top talent to feed web3 startups and initiatives. This will provide the necessary ecosystem for the industry to grow alongside Montreal’s reputation in the space.
Web3 initiatives will also require the same resources traditional tech startups had access to in order to expand appropriately. Grants, accelerator programs and governmental support are key vectors that will help mainstream adoption in the Canadian city of Montreal.
Community will ultimately unite all the points necessary for Montreal to succeed as an attractive city to web3. By being a point of reference for accessibility, diversity and inclusion, web3 events in Montreal will continue to incubate a vibrant, active community of web3 builders.
So far, Montreal has shown promising signs of web3 growth. With different communities slowly but surely helping the integration of new community members, we are very hopeful that Montreal can be the web3 capital of Canada.
If you also believe so and would like to contribute in any way, come get involved with Web3Montreal! Send us an email at email@example.com.
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Thank you for reading and until then, take care!