BlackBox, Age of Minds join Centech’s AI accelerator program


Montreal-based accelerator AI@CENTECH has selected the five startups to be participating in its first cohort, two of which are Canadian.

“Centech’s vision to unite the best entrepreneurs within its innovation ecosystem is a reality with [our] Thales’ partnership.”

BlackBox and Age of Minds, two Montreal-based AI startups, have been selected to participate in the accelerator program. The new program will run for six months in partnership with French multinational aerospace company Thales, which will provide the participating startups access to its knowledge of the aerospace, transport, defence, and security industries.

‟Thales works to develop human-centred artificial intelligence systems which will meet tomorrow’s critical challenges, helping us to make the best decisions at decisive moments,” said Siegfried Usal, Thales North America’s vice president of digital innovation and general manager of Thales digital solutions. “These startups demonstrate promising capabilities that will help shape future decisive moments in the aerospace, space, ground transportation, defence, and security sectors.”

Blackbox is an application programming interface and software development kit that enables users to summarize and search the actual content of video and audio files. The company claims to instantly generate summary keywords of every discussion and scans through video and audio files to find information.

Age of Minds’ focus is training AI to collaborate with humans, providing a digital location in which intelligent automations and people interact. The startup’s goal is to build a training platform for artificial intelligence agents using entertainment to engage large quantities of users in rich, two-way interactions.

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“Centech’s vision to unite the best technological entrepreneurs within its innovation ecosystem is a reality with [our] Thales’ partnership,” said Richard Chénier, CEO of Centech. “Thales will act as a real accelerator of growth in synergy with major universities, entrepreneurs, and industry.”

This year, Centech opened 10 new innovation spaces in Montreal and received $625,000 in funding from the Quebec government to go towards helping scale the region’s startups. Centech assists tech startups with high growth potential to scale their company through mentoring, access to laboratories and workspaces, and equipment.

The other startups selected for the program include Delfox and, both from France, in addition to ICM Hub, based in the United States. Thales said through AI@CENTECH, each startup will receive guidance from business and artificial intelligence industry experts and coaches, who will provide advisory services related to fundraising, product enhancement, design, visibility, proof of concept, and market access.

Image courtesy Centech

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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