The ten winning companies of CED Fast Forward Challenge


Ten startups have received a combined $500,000 from the Canada Economic Development (CED) for Québec Regions’ Fast Forward Challenge, an initiative aimed at helping young entrepreneurs fund their business projects.

“A new generation of innovative entrepreneurs is building a very bright future for us.”

The challenge aims to strengthen the province’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by offering funding to Quebec-based startups. Each winning company received a $50,000 grant, after 72 companies from across Quebec participated in the competition. Out of those, 20 finalist projects were presented to an expert panel in May, after the challenge launched in January.

“Through the Government of Canada’s support, these young talents will be able to turn their entrepreneurial dream into reality,” said David Lametti, member of parliament for LaSalle–Émard–Verdun, minister of justice, and the Attorney General of Canada. “I’m really keen to see the results in the field from the projects carried out by the winners of the CED Fast Forward Challenge. A new generation of innovative entrepreneurs is building a very bright future for us.”

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The competition falls under the Federal Strategy on Innovation and Growth for the Quebec Regions, intended to foster the development of new companies by investing in technologies and talent. The Fast Forward Challenge is aimed to help increase the number of young people who are expected to soon be leading Quebec’s tech industry. The following winners are listed in alphabetical order.

CANN Forecast Logiciel

CANN Forecast aims to use artificial intelligence to help protect the most valuable resource on Earth: water. Its team offers tools to help clients reduce water waste and better understand their impact on the environment.

Cigogne Technologies

Cigogne has developed a solution to help keep vaccines and drugs between 2° and 8° Celsius during transportation. The startup is looking to help medications retain their effectiveness when being transported to remote or hard-to-reach areas.


Femtum has developed fibre laser technology solutions that it says could eventually replace scalpels in operating rooms. Through its proprietary technologies, it is hoping to make the mid-infrared spectral region more accessible than ever.

Hoola One Technologies

Hoola One has developed a vacuum cleaner that collects plastic particles from beaches, which can accumulate and concentrate up food chains, posing a major threat to wildlife. The team is made up of mechanical engineering students from the Université de Sherbrooke.

Laboratoire Innodal

Innodal is developing natural antimicrobial agents, with its first application in the field of food bioconservation. The startup offer preservatives to replace traditional chemical preservatives such as salts, nitrites and sulfites, protecting foods against pathogens.

Puzzle Medical Devices

Puzzle Medical Devices has created a long-term heart pump. By combining advances in heart surgery and interventional cardiology, Puzzle is trying to make hemodynamic support safer and more accessible, and reduce the global economic burden of heart failure.


Pyrocycle developed a non-polluting and cost-effective technology for recycling electronic waste. The startup says this method not only prevents environmental pollution, but develops a circular economy and recovers precious resources that could improve the environment.

SB Technologies

SB Technologies develops diamond-based quantum magnetometers for commercial and research applications. By developing a high field stability sensor for autonomous vehicle integration, its goal is to revolutionize magnetic anomaly detection.

Solutions Keenoa

Keenoa was created to maximize the impact of dietitians on the health of the population through technology. The startup creates tools to revolutionize the practice of dietitians, including a tool that recognizes food items from pictures taken on a mobile phone.


Wastack has developed a platform for automating landfill automation. It can perform multiple tasks, such as keeping birds at bay and monitoring for early fire detection, aiming to increase safety at landfills while reducing costs and environmental impact.

Image courtesy Femtum

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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