The Emerging Entrepreneurs Contest celebrates 25 of Quebec’s up-and-coming entrepreneurial talents. They are the next generation of bold and creative risk-takers, driving progress and innovation while contributing to the advancement of business in the province and beyond.
Since its inception in 2011, Claudine Blondin and Stephen Bronfman have championed the convictions of these deserving winners.
This year’s cohort will have the opportunity to attend C2 Online — Montréal 2020 (October 19-30) as well as C2 Montréal’s 2021 edition in the spring. They will also be provided with a series of customized workshops aimed at upgrading their entrepreneurial skills and bringing their startups to the next level.
Without any further ado, here are the 2020 winners and the innovative businesses they are spearheading:
David Hétu, Chief Research Officer
Flare Systems reduces digital risk and fraud with a comprehensive platform that automates your dark, deep and clear web monitoring, providing you with real-time actionable intelligence. It takes companies an average 192 days to detect a data breach caused by human error or malicious actors. By continuously monitoring a company’s digital assets, Flare Systems reduces the time of detection of credential leaks, phishing websites and hacking attacks to mere minutes, helping companies save millions in losses, brand damage, legal fees and fines. Flare Systems monitors the most active platforms where malicious actors converge as well as commercial document sharing platforms.
Ivoire Cabosse Cacao
Lydie Kouadio, Vice President
Ivoire Cabosse Cacao’s mission is to create a more beautiful, compassionate and enduring world by responsibly making delicious and inspiring products for everyone. Established in Montreal, Ivoire Cabosse Cacao Inc. is a maker of high-end ethical chocolates. We import beans from family producers in Tanzania and the Ivory Coast, and use artisanal methods to transform them into vegan chocolate bars. Our Amango Cacao chocolate bars do not contain any food preservatives and only contain the highest quality ingredients.
Stimulation Déjà Vu Inc.
Audrey Bernard, Entrepreneur
Stimulation Deja Vu Inc. develops connected olfactory and sensory experiences that blend cognitive science and creativity to enhance a client’s emotional response to brands. Our sensory explorations of destinations and events align with the way visitors feel about a place’s authenticity. We can transport people to future destinations and beyond, allowing them to relive remarkable and unforgettable moments. Biometrists, marketing experts, creatives, perfumers and chemists come together in our ARID process, which is unique to the market.
Sabrina Labonte, CEO and Co-Founder
MayFly Work is a digital on-demand staffing platform for short-term gigs that offers immediate placement and an instant connection for businesses and workers. Its aim is to diminish the gap between unemployment and high turnover rates in labour-intensive industries. Leveraging our digital platform, we’re bringing businesses and workers closer together, quicker than ever before.
Produits naturels SUUM
Jean-Sébastien Normandeau, Co-Founder and Marketing Manager
Produits naturels SUUM is a line of natural products handmade in the Laurentians, and designed for the body and the environment. Our company is committed to a zero-waste business model and offers eco-friendly alternatives to wasteful commonplace cosmetics. Our products are unique in Quebec and are wrapped in 100% hydrosoluble and biodegradable packaging.
Dino Mehanovic, Co-Founder and CEO
CSAR Energy develops and commercializes electric microreactors for cleaner production of essential molecules such as hydrogen. The microreactor technology has been in development at Sherbrooke University since 2016, and its capacity to produce hydrogen has been multiplied by 1,000 in only three years. In addition to being scalable, the solution’s architecture allows a reduction of CO2 emissions associated with the production of hydrogen, at a cost four times lower than other renewable alternatives. The CSAR reactor’s technology will have a major impact on industries that are incredibly difficult to decarbonize such as transportation, metallurgy and chemical industries.
Luca Cuccia, CEO
Created by a group of patients, physicians and researchers, Phyla combines a gut-health app with at-home microbiome testing to deliver AI-powered personalized care for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients. Our app captures metrics such as symptoms, diet and moods, and combines them with microbiome sequencing to generate a clinically grounded report. We then provide personalized nutrition, lifestyle and predictive insights to help patients avoid flare-ups, improve follow-up care and give them clarity during the months between hospital visits. With Phyla, patients can access the long-term care they deserve in a noninvasive and personalized format.
Mathieu Saint-Denis, Co-Founder
Depix’s software allows fast and photorealistic object insertion into images using physically based rendering and artificial intelligence. Depix can move an object from one image to another, automatically calculating accurate lighting and surface interactions. This means that Depix can generate multiple images at a fraction of the cost, time and effort required by photoshoots, 3D rendering and photo editing. Our patented technology is based on university research at the forefront of computer graphics innovation.
Little Angel Medical
James Lee, Co-Founder and CEO
Little Angel Medical’s vision is to create a powerful tool that informs concerned parents about when to seek medical attention for their child rather than waiting until their routine checkup. Our first AI-powered triage tool provides parents with a simple way to regularly monitor their baby’s head development using only a mobile device. Through our mobile platform and triage tools, we are providing parents with peace of mind by reassuring them that they are developing normally, and alerting physicians when something out of the ordinary is detected. These early detections will lead to earlier referrals and better outcomes.
Korbit Technologies Inc.
Iulian Vlad Serban, CEO
Korbit is building the future of online learning and enterprise training by helping teams upskill in AI and data science. Our tutors teach employees AI, data science and coding skills through a personalized curriculum, interactive exercises and projects. With over 10,000 students and professionals enrolled, Korbit has demonstrated huge gains in learning outcomes and motivation. Founded by researchers from Quebec’s Artificial Intelligence Institute (Mila) and Cambridge University, Korbit has raised over $3.5 million to develop its cutting-edge technology with leading scientists, including Yoshua Bengio.
Adrien Malka, Co-Founder and President
Healthybud creates research-backed, purposeful and powerful nutrition products to help our dogs thrive. Unfortunately, dogs today are not given the nutritious foods they require. Our products are designed to provide dogs with bioavailable, high-quality and easily digestible ingredients, adding the nutrients they need back into their diet. Healthybud has created a community of over 10,000 caring pet parents, providing them with healthcare tips, access to vets, and nutrition they need to allow their pets to live a healthy life. Healthybud gives back to the pet community by donating to impactful nonprofit shelters and animal rescues.
Mathieu Daigle, Owner
No need to visit a bike shop when you purchase a custom carbon bike! Clients connect with Daigle Cycle online and use screen sharing to choose their colours and personalize their frames. The process is simple, efficient and has been especially useful in the context of the 2020 health crisis. Once a client finalizes their design, Daigle Cycle assembles the bicycle in Canada and delivers it to them. Our assembly process is a unique experience. Our mobile mechanics assemble the bicycle in front of the client and teach them about their new purchase while sharing our company’s passion for cycling.
Justin Lessard-Wajcer, Founder and CEO
Nurau is a B2B platform offering custom, creative and science-based wellness and mental health solutions to businesses. Through our corporate membership programs, we offer tailored solutions for businesses of all sizes. We produce branded podcast series, specialized content for social media, corporate health workshops, high-impact coaching programs for executives, training for employees, and corporate telemedicine packages. It’s all supported by our open platform where help and informative discussions further the individual’s goal of becoming their very best self. Our vision is to become the source of wellness and mental health services and products worldwide.
Maxime Gauvin, Founder
Sponteous is powering an innovative and powerful white-label solution for airlines that converts empty seats into money-making mystery flights. Customers can travel at a discounted rate while airlines maximize their fleet and their profits. Travellers just need to shortlist their favourite destinations, and the final destination is revealed once the payment is completed. Thus, they get a new revenue stream from flexible customers without any cannibalization of their current sales. With our unique platform and our innovative gamified purchase experience, airlines are getting an edge on the competition.
Christopher Wells, President and CEO
Piecemeal is a market network that offers restaurants and their suppliers a free digital operations platform that improves workflow efficiency and communications. We start by automating the ordering process two ways between the restaurants and the supplier. With our quickly growing user base, our marketplace will be the go-to space to find the tools and resources a restaurant needs to simplify operations, whether that be supplies, equipment, services or recruitment.
Paul Masson, Co-Founder and CEO
Based in Montreal, Soonma is introducing clean transportation methods by making them available to all. Our mission is to change the behaviour of city dwellers by offering simple, eco-friendly and innovative alternatives. Our first product is the Soon One, a two-seat electric bike that is available for purchase or can be rented starting at $3.25 per day. With a focus on community sharing and respect for the environment, we are developing a range of products that answer transportation needs. Soonma’s first community mechanical workshop is set to open at the start of 2021 in Montreal.
Marie-Michèle Larivée, Trend Forecaster
Marie-Michèle Larivée is a Trend Forecaster who inspires organizations to foresee and navigate the future. With a mission to help companies avoid filling shelves with unwanted products, she consciously creates products, services and strategies tailored to the needs of tomorrow. She identifies colours, textures, intuition and emotions by tracking social changes and translates them into aesthetic trends. These trends can be seen in longer shock waves and can hint at future communities.
Katrina Albert, Co-Founder and President
Lux is a space robotics company that specializes in the design, manufacturing and operation of atmospheric satellites for Earth observation (EO). Through its data sets from satellites, Lux builds decision-making tools to help civil and defense organizations understand and optimize their operation on the ground. Across multiple industries, large public and private organizations currently lack access to critical insights regarding their operations due to poor resolution and frequency of EO data available on the market. Lux’s unique proprietary data consists of live high-resolution aerial imaging and supports multiple high-value, untapped applications, ranging from bushfire monitoring to national security.
CONTXTFUL Technologies Inc.
Guillaume Bouchard, CEO
CONTXTFUL is the Montreal tech startup behind Receptivity, a product that helps those in the adtech world make impactful decisions. By using AI-powered, non-private data from motion sensors, we can tell in real-time how receptive a user is to an ad on their mobile device. We are excited about what the future holds and will continue to use our expertise in measuring and analyzing sensor data to develop products that create harmony between businesses, people and technology.
Andrew McMahon, President and CEO
Founded in 2018, Growbuds is an ecommerce company providing top-of-the-line cannabis growing equipment to everyone from the average home grower to publicly traded cannabis producers across the USA and Canada. With the cannabis black market still representing about 60% of the overall market in legalized states and provinces, we believe that the solution is a single word: culture. Based on this philosophy, Growbuds aims to become “the way to cannabis” by connecting small growers directly with end-consumers on a global scale, and providing useful content and resources along the way.
Mira Silvers, General Manager & Co-Founder
VICE VERSA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the accessibility and development of soundscapes, music, immersive audio-visual art and innovative pedagogical programming. Less than 12% of Canadian artists and less than 1% of Quebec artists are from marginalized backgrounds. VICE VERSA empowers artists and creative entrepreneurs by giving them access to cultural networks, spaces and education, and uplifts Black, Indigenous, coloured (BIPOC) and LBTQ+ voices through artist talks, workshops, mentorship sessions, strategic industry roundtables, discussion panels and educational content.
Catherine Mallette, Co-Founder and Business Developer
Expert Shipping is a one-stop location, virtual or physical, for all shipping needs. We are driven by the belief that we can bring unique value to individuals and businesses. Through our platform, we are democratizing the shipping market by grouping all shipping options and best possible rates. We’re developing an algorithm that will allow better anticipation of client needs, making the shipping process more intuitive, while simultaneously gathering valuable B2B data. Via its multiple points of sale, Expert Shipping also ensures a local presence with real, valuable customer service and sought-after in-house expertise.
Scott Pereira, Co-Founder & CEO
Companies are constantly trying to source consumers’ opinions. Unfortunately, their process is oftentimes broken. Customers are often sent long forms or requests to give feedback by email. Additionally, companies lose valuable time to analyze and interpret the data they collect. Votie has developed a solution that captures opinions in a matter of seconds and makes it super easy for businesses to get clean, real-time results directly to their mobile devices. Nowadays, it’s more important than ever to listen, understand and react to customer and employee feedback.
Gaultier Vendioux, Founder
Tage helps vegan food manufacturers grow their sales and build an amazing brand image. We believe in the future of a more sustainable food system without the large-scale carbon footprint left behind by intensive factory farming. To help solve this problem, we help plant-based producers grow and thrive. Many innovators launch their plant-based products lacking the resources they need to commercialize them. That’s where we come in: our team supports these entrepreneurs, from creating their first packaging to launching their products in 50-plus locations. We have one simple rule: the taste has to be unique!
Emmanuelle Tavernier, Founder and CEO
Oxia Initiative designs methodologies and tools for measuring carbon impact, in synergy with investors, investees and governments. Our mission is to empower decision-makers towards reducing their environmental impact. For private equity investors, the measuring of their portfolio’s carbon emissions is often skewed by manual errors and a lack of real data. The process becomes long, costly and vulnerable to uncontrolled carbon risk. Our CARBOSCOPE platform enables carbon accounting according to international standards dedicated to private funds and the niche of impact investing funds. By allowing the tracking of carbon vulnerability levels, and opportunities in investment analysis, Oxia is driving the financial industry’s transition to a greener economy.
The Emerging Entrepreneurs Contest is a program of:
Are you a young entrepreneur?
Join us at C2 Online — Montréal 2020 (October 19-30). Explore burning issues and learn about resilience from creative business leaders from Quebec and beyond. Be sure to take advantage of specially discounted passes for startups.
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