This week, Techstars Montreal AI 2020 held a Virtual Demo Day to showcase 10 artificial intelligence (AI) startups from around the world chosen to participate in its accelerator program.
The accelerator process began in February and extended into July. This year’s group of startups were selected based on three core themes, including AI being at the core of the product; the product allowing non-experts to use and apply AI; and the product addressing some of the unique challenges faced when running AI systems.
Founders from Canada, France, Portugal, and India, pitched their startups through a virtual platform for the demo day. The startups in the cohort covered areas including data analytics, SaaS, manufacturing, image personalization, security, health, AI education, and the environment.
The Montreal-based Techstars program is three years old and runs in partnership with Real Ventures. Half of this year’s cohort was made up of Canadian startups.
Graduating companies included:
BRIDGR (Montreal): Led by Amira Boutouchent and Mehdi Drissi, BRIDGR uses AI to improve the odds of digital transformation success of industrial companies, by showing them what to do next and who would help. The startup aims to ensure that every company can access tailored guidance in order to make sense out of today’s business practices, secure their investment, and increase their impact. BRIDGR’s founders were both recognized by SME Advanced manufacturing, in 2018, as part of the 30 under 30 that will shape tomorrow’s industrial world.
Whale Seeker (Montreal): Emily Charry Tissier and Bertrand Charry, both biologists, worked on whale monitoring projects and were limited by inefficient tools to detect these mammals in water. They teamed up with Antoine Gagné to develop an AI that detects whales from aerial and satellite imagery.
Neurolytixs (Toronto): CEO Peter George, CFO Adrian Uthay, and chief medical officer Dr. Douglas Fraser are the team behind startup Neurolytixs. Using a combination of AI and blood tests, Neurolytixs hopes to better diagnose concussions on site, is primarily targeting the sports industry, and has secured $1.3 million in seed funding.
Syntax IQ (Toronto): Founded by Paul Wynter, Syntax IQ uses AI to generate SEO optimized product content, and can create product descriptions, Instagram captions, or other content including advertisements on social platforms.
TrojAI (Saint John, NB): Co-founded by James Stewart (CEO) and Stephen Goddard (COO), TrojAI develops solutions to protect artificial intelligence platforms from adversarial attacks on training data and AI models, such as poisoning or embedded Trojan and evasion attacks. The data transformation and model monitoring techniques developed by TrojAI not only aid in the defence against such attacks, but in some cases also provide incremental improvements in model accuracy and performance. TrojAI’s cloud SaaS service also includes a forensically tracked archival repository system to provide customers with a solution for AI security and brand protection.
YData (Lisbon, Portugal): Co-founded by Gonçalo Martins Ribeiro (CEO) and Fabiana Martins Clemente (CTO), YData uses artificial intelligence to discover and unlock new data sources, improve and synthesize new data, experiment, prototype, and create pipelines and models at scale, as well as serve models into production.
Deepflow AI (Talence, France): Founded by Vincent Van Steenbergen (CEO), Martial Papillon (CTO), and Fabien Yann Durand, Deepflow AI is a visual inspection platform that allows industrial manufacturers to automate quality control processes with machine vision.
Veesual AI (Paris, France): From co-founders Maxime Patte (CEO), Damien Meurisse (CTO), and Eric Guillaume (chief science officer), Veesual AI provides image personalization at scale for brands and advertisers, and is powered by Generative AI.
NimbleBox.ai (Kanathur, India): Founded by Anshuman Pandey (CEO), Rohan Pooniwala (CTO), and Naman Maheshwari (COO), NimbleBox.ai allows students and developers to setup AI projects without installation by utilizing a web browser.
Wisear (Paris, France): Founded by Yacine Achiakh (CEO) and Alain Sirois (CTO), Wisear combines artificial intelligence with electrode-enhanced earphones to record brain and facial activity, transforming the signals into actions.
Feature image showcases 2019 cohort. Courtesy Techstars Montreal AI