MTL NewTech hopes Demo Nights will help entrepreneurs and researchers work together

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The second 2017 edition of MTL NewTech’s Demo Night was held at District 3 Innovation Centre last week. While about a hundred people were expected for the event, nearly double that number stood listening to the presentations of the five startups selected for the occasion.

“Some people have entrepreneurship in their DNA, but bad ideas; sometimes there are researchers who don’t have the entrepreneurial fibre.”

“We are teaming up with the National Bank Entrepreneurship Institute, Ivado, and the Poly-UdeM Entrepreneurship Center to do something different,” said Ilias Benjelloun, creative director for MTL NewTech. “Some people have entrepreneurship in their DNA but have bad ideas, and sometimes there are researchers who do not have the entrepreneurial fibre; they want to stay in the lab. Even if they are offered wine, they do not come!”

It was this realization that gave them the idea of supplementing their next events with three researchers who can popularize their work. In this sense, its next edition will explore the world of artificial intelligence.

Jevin Maltais, vice president of product development and co-founder, and Edouard Tse, marketing, introduced Aerial, a startup that uses the waves emitted by WiFi signals to detect motion. “By moving through the waves emitted by WiFi, signals are altered and then interpreted [with the help of artificial intelligence],” explains Jevin Maltais. They thus hope to propose an alternative home or office security system.

Catherine Constantinides, director of marketing, and Jay Filiatrault, customer service and operations, introduced Keatext, which proposes to analyze customer service for companies with the help of artificial intelligence. “The idea here is that there is 80 percent feedback from customers in the market that is unstructured,” says Catherine Constantinides. “For a company to be successful, it must be able to decipher this information.”

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Callspot wants to facilitate the linking of entrepreneurs with specialized professionals. “Imagine building a community where people can share their knowledge,” said Mourad Hmimou, founder of Callspot. To do this, you can put your own business network to use by proposing call availabilities to professionals of any kind — paid or free, at the discretion of the user — or by seeking specialists through the application.

Adam Adelman, CEO of Mighty Cast, presented the new version of their wearable band: The Nex Band. “The problems we see with portable technology right now … is that we see the retention rate at two or three months, and that it tends to have a unique function,” says Adelman. “We wanted to find this killer app.”

After several searches, from the beta test, to the focus groups, they came to the conclusion that this killer app did not exist, since everyone has their own — changing — idea of ​​what it should be. “[The Nex Band] has the same functions as other wearables, but we have these five mods that we can program as we like,” Adelman continued. “It disrupts the portable technology industry!” They announced a partnership with Niantic Labs to make their mark in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

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Clémentine de Pradel presented Lex Start, of which she is the CEO and associate, which proposes “the implantation and use of technology in the legal field,” she explained. “My partner, Gilles [de Saint-Exupéry] realized that entrepreneurs came to talk to him only when they had problems, but never when they started their business,” which gave them the idea of ​​proposing fixed costs and even discounts on predetermined prices for new entrepreneurs.

Finally, the folks from Pitonneux, in partnership with Percolab, announced the conclusion of their 12-week program. “Tonight is a very special evening, because it is also the graduation of [the cohort] of our friends Les Pitonneux, a learning group [of coders], a talent incubator!” revealed Ilias Benjelloun of MTL New Tech. The graduates then had a few minutes to speak about the results of their hard work.

Gabrielle Drouin

Gabrielle Drouin

Gabrielle Drouin has completed a master’s degree in Literature specializing in Quebec’s contemporary dramaturgy at University of Montreal. She worked as a journalist in Toronto, covering the news of its Franco-Ontarian community, and has been reporting on the Montreal startup tech ecosystem since 2016. She is currently the Community & Portfolio Manager at Panache Ventures.