BXVentures: The studio who wants To Back Climate Tech “Trapped” In Universities

October 2023

BXVentures is a forward-thinking venture studio dedicated to the development of clean technology solutions in Canada. The studio follows a strategy deeply connected to local innovation while simultaneously upholding a global marketing outlook. BXVentures has created various branches within innovation hubs across the globe in regions such as Europe, Canada, and the United States. Starting in 2022, BXVentures expanded its presence to Montreal, aiming to foster local innovation while catalyzing the global commercialization and environmental impact of CleanTech solutions.

Their innovation process is distinctly ‘tech-led,’ with BXVentures actively seeking out technological opportunities directly from university and public research laboratories. These technologies undergo a rigorous evaluation process, complete with technical experts’ involvement, intellectual property validation, and the formulation of a viable business plan. Once a technology is validated and integrated into the BXVenture portfolio, they provide approximately two years of comprehensive support to startups. The studio offers strategic, operational, and financial guidance, remaining closely involved in the day-to-day operations throughout the startup incubation.

In terms of financial backing, BXVentures actively participates in pre-seed and seed funding rounds for their startups. While the specifics of capital distribution are outlined in individual agreements, BXVentures strives to foster equity-sharing within its portfolio startups, promoting complete alignment of interests and the attraction of top talent.

Interview with Marc Guilbert, Co-Founder of BXVentures Canada


Marc Guilbert holds a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Cambridge in England and has established himself as an experienced professional in the industrial and SME sectors. His expertise also extends to financial markets and finance. Marc has created a venture studio model tailored to serve Montreal’s and Canada’s CleanTech innovation ecosystem. Before BXVentures, Marc served as the Chief Financial Officer at Kelvin Zero, a DeepTech startup specializing in cyber defense infrastructure. Prior to that, Marc spent over 11 years as a trader in financial markets and held the position of Head of FX Derivatives at Lloyds Bank.


1. What sets you apart from other players (VCs, studios, accelerators, etc.)?

BXVentures fills a void in the Canadian innovation ecosystem. We are the first venture studio in Canada dedicated to CleanTech technology development. BXVentures occupies a unique position compared to traditional investment vehicles, such as venture capital fund managers, and innovation intermediaries like incubators and accelerators. Specifically, incubators and accelerators offer entrepreneurial support primarily through mentoring, while venture capital firms offer support mainly through capital injection. None of these entities engage directly in the day-to-day operations and risk management of a startup.



2. Why did you decide to create a venture studio?

The venture studio model is one of a kind and ideally suited to address the challenges associated with early-stage innovation and the need for effective, fast risk management, including technological risks. This model brings together financial capital, entrepreneurial experience, and hands-on management of the companies it creates.


3. Why do you think this model is currently popular?

It’s not surprising that this model is gaining traction, particularly in verticals like DeepTech and CleanTech because these types of innovations require active and dynamic risk management inherent to solutions originating from “hard” sciences. Moreover, the rapid growth methods employed, such as those used in SaaS models, are simply not suitable for the operational models of such solutions.


4. Can you tell us about your partnerships with Centech and McGill?

At BXVentures, we’ve forged several key partnerships, including those with Centech and McGill. These, along with the development of relationships with other academic entities, are integral to our strategy for discovering new technologies. Since CleanTech technologies primarily originate in university laboratories, these strategic partnerships serve as nurseries for new startups and enable us to discover entrepreneurs and technical and expert resources. For BXVentures, these partnerships and our pivotal role in the ecosystem continue to fuel our pipeline of technologies for assessment and co-development.


5. What challenges have you faced or are currently facing (costs, founder flow, etc.)?

BXVentures’ most significant challenge lies in coordinating multiple stakeholders. Our main stakeholders include universities and their academic framework, entrepreneurs, other intermediaries (incubators and accelerators), industries, users of technological solutions, and, naturally, investors (both from startups and the venture studio itself). Managing alignment among all these parties is a complex endeavor that requires genuine expertise and ongoing coordination within the ecosystem. Although BXVentures is still a newcomer to Montreal, we have an excellent reputation with these diverse stakeholders and are excited to continue working even more closely with CleanTech innovation players.


6. What are the next steps for your organization?

Having already invested in our first startup and with a goal to develop 10 startups within the next three years, BXVentures Canada is actively expanding its portfolio. Furthermore, we continue to enrich our investor base to accelerate the growth of our startups. Feel free to contact me to learn more about our achievements and ambitions.


To learn more about BXVentures, visit bxventures.com