Ford Fusion Startup Lab: Meet the Hot Montreal Influencers Taking Part in the Competition

By now, you’ve probably already heard about the nationwide competition that has the country’s hottest startups buzzing.

And if you haven’t, take this opportunity to emerge from the rock you’ve been hiding under and get ready for the race of the year.

‘Cause next weekend, on October 10, four teams in Montreal will compete for $10,000 to fund their startup businesses and we’re going to capture all the ups, downs, and LOL moments on camera. Think, The Amazing Race meets Dragons’ Den for Canadian entrepreneurs.


Naturally, the stakes are high and in order to inspire, encourage, and educate the # finalists, have some of Montreal’s hottest influencers coming along for the ride. We’ve handcrafted challenges with each of these influencers, who will guide and score teams as they compete in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Meet the Montreal influencers who’ll be bringing their drive and determination to the race. And make sure to check out all the participating teams (and pick your favourite)

Antoine TAVA
Antoine Tavaglione (TAVA) is a prolific Montreal-based visual artist. His murals, illustrations, and paintings have been exposed and acclaimed on an international level. Not one to shy away from the spotlight, he’s made waves with his controversial mix of pop art, political banter, and high fashion. TAVA takes an omnivorous approach to culture both high and low, interacting with its symbolism and cult figures through his tongue-in-cheek style and signature ‘dripping’ visual effect. Check out his Instagram for some artistic inspiration.

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Na’eem Adam & Abeille Gélinas
Na’eem Adam is a marketing professional who loves the food industry. He’s behind several notable ventures, like Le Burger Week, La Poutine Week, his mobile application Keepza, and is also the co-owner of cafe Maison Sociale and the Marketing Director at Lufa Farms. But most importantly, he’s a new dad!

Abeille is definitely one of Montreal’s sweethearts. A well-known and passionate DJ, she also hosts events, works on TV, and collaborates with LOULOU Magazine. Also, most importantly, she’s a new mom!

abeille and naeem

Daniel Notkin
Daniel Notkin is one of the owners of both Notkins and the seafood import venture The Old Port Fishing Company, which supplies the freshest and most unique oysters to Montreal restaurants. Daniel also founded The Open Pier Foundation and the popular Montreal Oysterfest, two non-profit ventures that donate all proceeds to ocean sustainability and encourage a new way of looking at seafood purchasing and preservation. He is a champion oyster shucker, competing at various events around the world. He has also completed a feature documentary with Tim Rozon entitled “Shuckers” about the history of oyster shuckers and the state of oyster loss and preservation.

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