AI startup My Intelligent Machines raises $2.6 million seed round


Montreal-based My Intelligent Machines (MIMS), which is developing a platform to help life sciences companies maximize their R&D and production activities, has closed a $2.6 million seed round.

“MIMS will contribute to life sciences companies that are ready to welcome the artificial intelligence era.”

The round saw participation from Anges Québec, Anges Québec Capital, Consortium MedTeq, Desjardins Capital, Real Ventures, and StandUp Ventures. With this funding, MIMS intends to develop solutions that allow life scientists to stratify human, animal, and plant populations through artificial intelligence and big data, without needing expertise in data science or bioinformatics.

“MIMS sets itself apart from other AI startups, because of our ability to leverage what we call ‘fat data’ using AI, which is very difficult to do,” said Sarah Jenna, co-founder and CEO of MIMS. “These data [sets] are of great strategic value for companies in the biopharmaceutical [and] agricultural technology sectors.”

MIMS was founded in 2016 by Jenna, chief scientist Abdoulaye Baniré Diallo, and CTO Mickael Camus. Jenna and Baniré Diallo both run genomics and bio-info labs at The University of Quebec in Montreal. MIMS has built a SaaS platform for the life sciences industry that uses artificial intelligence to review data uploaded by scientists, running algorithms that bring out trends and insights. The startup’s mission is to make big data and AI more accessible to biologists, and fast-track their research.

The SaaS platform analyzes “omics data”, which refers to fields of study in biology like genomics, proteomics, and glycomics. Using artificial intelligence, MIMS’ platform generates predictive models for processing data, for companies in the biopharmaceutical and Agtech sectors.

Michelle McBane, managing director at StandUp Ventures, told BetaKit that MIMS’ solution cuts the data processing timeline for life sciences companies from four weeks down to hours, eliminating the need for outsourcing. She added that allowing professionals with no expertise in bioinformatics or data sciences, to get work done in a timely manner helps to solve a longstanding problem in the life sciences industry.

“I think it’s a really unique opportunity,” McBane said. “They’re addressing a really big unmet need in the development of new compounds in the research, and it’s a big, growing market. Any solution that makes discovery faster and research faster in this area is going to get some attention. Sarah is going to be a shining star and I’m pretty excited to see where she goes with this.”

“The particularity of MIMS lies in its innovation in artificial intelligence within the health sector,” added Jean-Marc Rousseau, angel investor at Anges Québec. “We are convinced that the forward-thinking nature of this company is the key to their success. MIMS will contribute to life sciences companies that are ready to welcome the artificial intelligence era. We are witnessing a significant change.”

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MIMS participated in the 2017 cohort of the Montreal-based FounderFuel accelerator and has previously raised undisclosed pre-seed investments from Desjardins Capital and Aligo Innovation.

“It is still too rare in Quebec to see university professors, with the specialized expertise of their field, go from academia to entrepreneurship,” said Sylvain Carle, partner at Real Ventures and mentor at FounderFuel. “It was a great pleasure to see the shock of ideas and the challenge to deliver, the theoretical expertise and the practical implementation, the evolution of the leadership under the guidance of Sarah Jenna and her co-founders.”

MIMS is currently partnering on two flagship projects to demonstrate its solution in the field of health and Agtech. The first is a triple-negative breast cancer clinical trial, in collaboration with the Jewish General Hospital, which aims to identify groups of patients most receptive to chemotherapy treatment.

The second is a collaboration with a dairy consortium, also involving research laboratories as well as the Valacta Center of Expertise in Milk Production, to stratify cow populations in order to develop more efficient recommendation systems for farmers, enabling them to increase their profitability.

Image courtesy MIMS via Facebook

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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