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Montreal Families

Start Up Festival invites kids to become entrepreneurs

For the first time ever, Montreal’s International Startup Festival will include a family day aimed at entertaining and inspiring children and teens by introducing them to the spirit of entrepreneurship.  The festival brings together dreamers, pioneers, analysts and investors for four days in July and gives spectators a glimpse of what’s in store for the worlds of science and technology.

“We’re Canada’s largest startup event; we’ve always had an open house, but this year we wanted to really open science and entrepreneurship up to the whole family,” says Rebecca Croll, the festival’s general manager.  “We want to integrate families into the content and not just pitch to them, so that interactive element is what’s really fun; kids can get in there and play, get messy, and do things they’ve never done before.”

The CBC and Moving Minds Studio will be running a game show called Go Viral, where kids aged 7 to 13 can team up and put their skills to the test by taking part in mini-game challenges that will be videotaped and uploaded on Moving Mind Studio’s YouTube page. The team with the most online views will win prizes. Children and teens can try their hand at coding and building robots with the help of Kids Code Jeunesse and CRC Robotics, which will offer free workshops throughout the day. Mad Science will be on hand as well with interactive science activities that will most likely involve their trademark goo and explosions.

There will also be a collaborative art wall where participants can decorate a tile that will become part of a giant mural in the lounge tent. Furthermore, kids will also get to test out new video games not yet released to the public, and watch other youths pitch their ideas for apps and gadgets during a kids’ entrepreneurship competition judged by Manjit Minhas of the TV program Dragon’s Den.

The activities are geared more towards children between the ages of 10 to 16, but there will also be food trucks, face painting and more for the whole family. The festival runs from July 15 to 18. Family day is July 18 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and is free to attend. Register for the coding, robotics, and game show activities online in advance as space is limited. For more information, visit startupfestival.com.

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