Silicon Island?

On the weekend, Roberto Rocha of The Gazette wrote about the changing tech landscape in Montreal (Silicon Island?) and how a new buzz has the venture capital crowd taking notice. Rocha sites George Favvas and his Web Start-up SmartHippo.com as an example of the new wave.

“Even in the past year and a half, there’s been a dramatic change,” said Favvas, a Montreal-based Web entrepreneur whose site, SmartHippo.com, is gaining traction in the U.S. The site lets people easily compare mortgage rates between different lenders. “People were a lot more (isolated). They didn’t talk to employees of competing companies,” he said. “Entrepreneurs are seeing what others are doing, and that emboldens them.”

Montreal is witnessing an Internet renaissance and Montreal Tech Watch has been documenting it for the past year. New Web companies are sprouting up and VCs and Angel investors are starting to pay attention, sowing the seeds of a new economic sector in the city. And the activity isn’t being driven by government subsidies or tax incentives, but rather by a desire to create something new and to meet like-minded people who view the Internet as the great new business frontier.