MEET THE 2021 COHORT
Every year, NEXT Canada recruits some of the country’s highest potential entrepreneurs from coast to coast. Over the course of eight months, we give these founders all the tools they need to create game-changing, homegrown ventures with global potential. Thanks to our blend of real-world education, globally recognized faculty, and mentorship from top Canadian CEOs, our entrepreneurs go from ideation to launch and beyond within just eight months.
For the second year in a row, our program is being delivered in a fully virtual environment. While we miss having the energy of the entrepreneurs in our co-working space, this new format has allowed us to bring in even more incredible guest speakers, mentors, and leaders into our (virtual) classroom. We can’t wait to see what our 2021 cohorts will accomplish.
Read on to discover our 2021 cohorts or jump to meet our ventures
Our 2021 entrepreneurs are tackling global problems in industries including:
Consumer Packaged Goods
Discover the journey our founders are embarking upon as part of the 2021 cohort
MEET THE 2021 VENTURES
Founder: Michael Jobity
2unify is the technology company behind the award-winning robotic guitar tuning stand, built on the principles of automation and computer vision for musicians worldwide. On a mission to bring the future to the present day, 2unify also offers portable robotic arm kits to schools and STEM institutions, to build hands-on learning and coding competencies in a time of remote work.
A Friendlier Company
Founder: Kayli Dale
A Friendlier Company is creating a tech-driven reuse system to eliminate single-use food packaging waste. Their turnkey system makes reusable packaging accessible and affordable for food service businesses and their customers. A Friendlier Company’s unique QR code and centralized system allows them to conveniently incentivize consumers to reuse, as well as to collect invaluable data and insights on their process.
Acrylic Design & Technology
Acrylic is an art-tech startup empowering visual artists to sell at scale and make art accessible for all. We’re designing a way to transform physical works of art into digital fingerprints that can be manufactured by robots with real paint on canvas.
Founder: Kwasi Nkansah
You deserve a place to keep track of your favourite cultural recipes and learn about how others in your community are making your cultural dishes. Aduane is a platform that aims to do just that and uses AI to give you insights on how to make your dishes.
Founder: Lily Akagbosu
BackPocket is committed to providing support to emerging music artists globally. We know that talent is not enough and the average musician faces many barriers due to a lack of knowledge, connections, and finances. We seek to leverage network effects to empower musicians with access to relevant information, curated tools & discounted resources through a digital portal.
Circulr provides seamless back-end logistics and washing infrastructures for companies in the circular economy. Specifically, Circulr handles the collection, washing and redistribution of used reusable packaging for brands so that it can be reused. Our system is targeted towards CPG companies and grocers.
Pally is a B2B SaaS tool that helps eCommerce stores get their products into retail locations all over the world. Users can apply to retailers and manage their retail relationships all within one dashboard. With no upfront fees, Pally is up to 90% cheaper and 6x faster than other market solutions.
Whether you’re looking for products to spruce up your space or decorating from the ground up, Homeboard is a delightful, rich, and convenient way to discover the next home decor products for your space. A beautifully designed mobile app, a homegrown recommendation system, and a simple swipe left/right interaction we enable anyone at any knowledge level to create a personalized shopping list/mood board for any type of space and budget. Simply put its Pinterest meeting Tinder for home decor products.
Founder: Cameron Rowe
Hover provides small, autonomous drones to help support First Responders during operations, increasing accountability, data collection capabilities, and improving resource allocation. Using Microsoft Protected B Azure Cloud Servers, we can store and analyze the video collected to not only teach the drones how to be more useful through computer vision and ML models, but also to better train police by analyzing encounters captured with the drones.
Founder: Idy Udoeyop
KinectMD aims to be a platform for sports medicine professionals to discuss, network, educate, and provide mentorship to aspiring healthcare professionals via live drop-in virtual events. Professionals can connect, collaborate and gain certified, self-learning Continuous Professional Development (CPD) credits with medical professionals and allied health professionals in the different fields of healthcare and in affiliated medical specialties.
Founder: Morgan Lehtinen
Micellotech’s mission is to make industrial wastewater contamination in our water systems a problem of the past. Using our patented green SmartFilter technology, we are here to revolutionize the way we treat oily wastewater by creating custom solutions for a clean water future starting in the manufacturing industry.
SkillsX is creating smarter and scalable learning tools for growing companies in the tech sector that help train their workforce and accelerate internal development. We identify and track core skills in your workforce and connect your employees to content, mentors, and developmental experiences personalized to their needs while staying focused on what matters most to your business.
UpToSpeed is a marketplace for universal technical support and education tailored for older adults. At UpTOSpeed, we work to address the digital divide by providing instant video and written tutorials, timely technical support, and appointment-based educational lessons that help seniors become tech-savvy.
Founder: Shreyansh Anand
WaiveTheWait Inc. is a company dedicated to bettering the waiting experience for patients while also optimizing clients’ operations using our Virtual Waiting Room. They are currently doing this by sending personalized patient dashboards that allow simple two-way communication between the receptionists and the patients along with smart reminders that let the patients know when to leave based on their commute and wait time.
Founder: Liam Hough
yasa is looking to bring yoga sessions at home into the future through virtual instructors. We are doing this by creating a platform with low-cost on-demand content while giving real-time feedback on poses and providing recommendations on future sessions based on progress.
Next AI – Toronto
Founder: David Kenneth Hayes
AVO aims to make its autonomous vehicle (AV) platform, Stratos, the world’s first fully connected and autonomous construction site platform. Stratos provides unrivaled site efficiency and safety data for construction sites today providing our customers competitive advantages from the bidding phase to the completion of a project.
Founders: Subodh Kumar
Ditty is a marketplace app that enables Do-It-Yourselfers to do their projects with confidence by taking help from skilled handypersons over an in-app video call. Over time, their AI component will gradually learn to answer some of the DIY’ers questions. Looking ahead, Ditty will also showcase and recommend inspirational DIY ideas and provide help to execute them.
Fairly AI keeps your AI responsible and regulated. They extend model risk management to AI by incorporating governance, risk and control protocols for ethical risks with a focus on Fairness, Accountability, Transparency and Explainability. (F.A.T.E.)
Leav provides autonomous checkout solutions for retailers of all sizes. Completely eliminate lineups by letting your customers scan, pay, and leave simply by using their smartphones – and rest assured that everything is going smoothly thanks to our integrated security features!
Machine Learning Estimation
Founders: David Yang, Mike Lawton
ML Estimation automates the construction takeoff using machine learning. A monthly subscription allows customers to submit their tender drawings (blueprint) online and our platform generates/displays the bill of materials with the corresponding components highlighted on the drawings. While this frees up time and improves the accuracy of the quotes, it also enables better communication between customers when they share the bill of materials between themselves.
Founder: David Hojah
Parrots Inc. has built “Polly” which is an inclusive platform using AI and ML to give a smart voice and telecare to people with neurological disorders. Our solutions empower them with real-time communication, control their environments, and provide telecare services to improve patient-centered care and maximize independence.
Phyla is the first one-stop shop for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). With Phyla, patients can track their health using the Phyla app and gain access to comprehensive care; whether that be tests shipped directly to their door, personalized evidence-based supplements, or consultations with experts in digestive, mental, or nutritional health.
River Erosion AI
Founder: Cody Paul Lockhart Kupferschmidt
Rivers are a beautiful part of our landscape that can quickly turn hazardous when flooding occurs. River Erosion AI uses artificial-intelligence driven models to rapidly quantify erosion risk for specific locations.
Founders: Lalit Gautam, Rahul Gundala, Vipul Pandey
Sensegrass is a soil intelligence platform for fertilizer and nutrients management in food production using a patented AI Agronomist analytic platform to provide a personalized AI recommendation for better growth.
Next AI – Montreal
Adaptive Pulse identifies at-risk and expansion customers for B2B SaaS companies. We help prioritize retention efforts, reduce churn and increase revenues. Using advances in NLP and predictive analytics, we analyze internal and external data sources including structured and unstructured data to provide a unified view of the customer, which segments are the most at-risk, like to expand, and how to successfully convert them.
AgeRate utilizes predictive algorithms with multi-omic datasets to derive meaningful insights into your health and longevity. With a blood test we allow people to monitor their age-rate and discover how they can alter their lifestyle habits to slow or reverse aging.
AXION AI provides a software tool that helps therapists perform their work with more efficiency and with more accuracy. Their software is in one part a telemedicine application that transcribes the contents of a therapy session as it happens. Their software identifies key emotional moments during the session, by leveraging affecting computing power.
Circulus Agtech allows indoor growers to transform and cycle organic waste into usable organic fertilizers, reducing costs and increasing sustainability by supplementing nutrient inputs. Our bio-juice brewing systems valorizes manure and compost to produce liquid organic fertilizer suitable for hydroponics by using high-tech ion monitoring to reach target nutrient levels and ensure optimal bacterial activity. Circulus’ bio-juice recipes are tested and adjusted with plant health and crop yield feedback.
Cortic Technology designs software to help students and technology enthusiasts learn A.I. Our goal is to make AI education simple and fun by promoting hands-on learning. We are working on our open source project, the Cortic AI Toolkit, to give users the ability to easily build AI-powered projects and experiment with a wide variety of algorithms.
Founders: Alex Benjamin, Michael Perreault
Eyful develops a solution based on augmented reality and artificial intelligence to enhance the vision of people affected by age-related macular degeneration, the first incurable cause of low-vision in North America. Ophthalmologists and optometrists already do medical imaging tests (deep eye image and OCT scans) to assess the progression of the disease in the patient’s eye. By using AI (pattern recognition) to do a characterization of the disease’s symptoms and the visual impacts of these symptoms, we can then use an augmented reality headset with our image correction software to compensate for the deformation in the patient’s vision and improve it.
Founders: Anna Maria Di Sciullo, Vincent Di Sciullo
Generative Mind is revolutionizing the Natural Language Processing space by automatizing higher-order cognitive evaluative processing brought about by functional structure (e.g. quantification and degree modification), instead of limiting the processing to lexical structure (e.g. nominal and verbal). We aim to create the next level of natural language understanding deep tech, closing the gap between AI and human intelligence. Our vision is universal; tech will be used to magnify the analysis of unstructured text to inform decision-making, improve chatbot support systems to resolve issues more effectively and go as far as supplementing complex robotic systems to make artificial life feel human.
Hydrolux is offering green hydrogen to end-users who are seeking a carbon-free alternative to fossil fuels without the downsides of batteries. Our business model incorporates decentralized production sites to cover a larger serviceable area at a lower cost. Customers will further enjoy lower prices than previously available thanks to our AI-powered distribution network, allowing for a cheaper, carbon-free solution.
Founders: Farzaneh Golkhoo, Saeed Moradi
IPype is a product to automate and facilitate the process of sewer pipeline defect detection and evaluation. Our product comprises a series of AI-based algorithms and provides customized assessment reports for municipalities and asset managers who intend to have a real-time and accurate condition report of the sewer pipeline network.
Founders: Benoit Gendron, Zara Khani
Latence Technologies offers cloud-based monetization and tracking solution related to Ultra-Low Latency & High Reliability (URLLC) of 5G mobile networks. We collect real-time 5G network status, perform advanced analysis with AI & ML tools, and present key 5G indicators to accurately track customer commitments & service quality (SLAs). The solution, offered to 5G mobile operators, also offers a new approach to monetize 5G connectivity towards B2B customers.
Lerna’s vision is a mobile app ecosystem that can leverage granular user data while preserving privacy. To get there, Lerna is building a novel solution (SDK & service) that helps mobile app developers improve their retention rates by categorizing their users based on their churn probability and plan subsequent actions (e.g. push notification). Lerna is combining federated learning and cutting-edge privacy/security to allow for the training of ML models on rich user data, always on-device.
At LifeEngine Technologies, we design innovative simulation tools to train skills, assist decision making and improve medical performance. Our training station allows surgeons to practice on a model that reproduces the dynamism and feeling of a real patient, followed by a performance analysis that targets strengths and weaknesses to better focus training. LifeEngine is committed to use its technological expertise to support health professionals before, during and after treatment for a better quality of care for all.
Metatronic works on software that aims to help engineers develop their ideas of technological products into feasible proof of concepts. The software guides engineers by using a proven methodology that exposes the key functions, properties, and means of their idea and keeps a trace of major changes in the design process. Finally, the software uses AI to generate and optimize feasible proof of concepts.
NeuralDrive is a medical device company with a revolutionary approach on neuro-stimulation therapy for people with spinal cord injury. Our device delivers cortical stimulation during motor training, in synchrony with movement. The brain becomes the center of the recovery process, training neuroplasticity to reverse paralysis and help people walk again.
Notos Technologies is revolutionizing the future of UAVs by integrating cutting-edge AI into the aerospace world to bring to market an AI-based real-time flight management system that has the ability to both extend flight times and optimize in-flight profiles to exceed mission objectives using the power of wind energy alone. Our 3-module AI navigation system has demonstrated the ability to increase UAV flight time by a factor of 10 without the need for any hardware adjustments.
Pharonyx Technologies develops innovative software for the construction industry. Our main product, K-Ops, empowers project managers and multiple stakeholders to collaborate within a cloud platform, with our web and mobile app. K-Ops helps to collect data on a day-to-day basis to smartly track the progress of projects in order to conform with expected quality and deliver on time and within budget.
Prairie Robotics is accelerating the world towards Zero Waste. Starting by solving the critical problem of eliminating residential recycling contamination. This is done by using Computer Vision to identify contaminants at the household level and automated education programs to change behaviour.
RailVision Analytics is using a railroad’s equipment data to help them save fuel, improve safety, and prevent equipment failure. Through Next AI, we are working on improving the lead time for new customers to begin saving fuel. Right now, our lead time is about 2 months – way too long, we need to bring this down to 2 weeks!
Founders: Aleks Modelewska, Janos Toth
RecognAIse Technologies specializes in developing an artificial intelligence-based system for the automation of infrastructure inspections. Specifically, the company offers services for analyzing and evaluating images that are collected in the field for the purpose of identifying defects in infrastructure elements. In addition to identifying the defects, the automated system is also trained to attach expert advice with each identified defect.
Robolution is building a universal retrofit module to transform construction equipment into autonomous robots to unlock new levels of efficiency and drastically reduce human-error injuries in the construction space. With AI-powered LiDAR and computer vision technologies, our solution can upgrade these heavy machines to perform their respective construction tasks autonomously without modifying their existing mechanisms.
The Rubic Technologies
Founders: Masoud Kalantari, Tim Johnson
The Rubic Technologies is a world-class Robotics system developer for Warehouse Automation and supply chain industry. We are currently developing Freedom Pick, which is a state-of-the-art AMR Shuttle system for Goods to Person Delivery in Warehouses and Distribution Centers.
UpKy Solutions is building a data-driven business intelligence platform to empower real estate investors. They’re building the largest database of real estate-related data points and creating a marketplace where investors and real estate professionals can connect.
WALO‘s mission is to ensure the next generation’s financial wellbeing. We built a mobile banking platform that integrates with any bank account and teaches youngsters how to become financially responsible. We leverage gamification techniques, AI-driven advice, and social nudging to deliver an engaging and hands-on learning experience to tweens and teens.
Andalusia Speech Therapy
Founder: Ibtissam Mustaq
Andalusia Speech Therapy provides effective and accessible speech therapy services to children and adults with communication disorders (i.e. articulation, stuttering, stroke rehab, dyslexia, public speaking, autism, and more). We provide in-person therapy at our 4 Ontario clinics and online therapy to anywhere in the world.
Founder: Miguel Linera Alperi
Arextech creates digital collaborative workspaces that allow buyers and sellers to streamline real estate management and transaction processes. Our vision is to become the global platform for transacting real estate by accelerating the transition to a fully digital industry.
Founder: Alex Krivoi
Future Fertility is the only company worldwide to develop a cloud-based AI software that can calculate the quality of a human egg (oocyte) based on a 2D image. The current status in the area of Artificial Reproductive Technology is that sperm assessment is a standard – and Future Fertility intents to make egg assessment a standard as well. There is an urgent need to personalize diagnostics and treatment which is only possible having transparency about the egg quality. Future Fertility offers IVF clinics to download comprehensive reports about the egg quality of their patients if they uploaded pictures of their patients oocytes.
Founder: Sari Abdo
hungerhub is a meal delivery solution for offices and the workplace. Providing both the technology to place orders as well as the logistics to manage deliveries, hungerhub connects offices and allows their employees to place orders individually and from their favourite local restaurants to provide customized, individually packaged and sealed meals delivered to their desks.
Founder: Armin Faraji
Node is a private platform that lets brands turn their inventory into photos and videos. The Node mobile app is a gifting marketplace that rewards influencers and photographers with complimentary products in exchange for creating social media posts. Over 100+ brands are currently using Node for content creation. The team is backed by alumni from Shopify, Shutterstock, Bain & Capital and Udemy, among others.
Nyoka Design Labs
Founder: Paige Whitehead
Nyoka Design Labs develops better, biodegradable, non-toxic, clean-tech alternatives to common materials used every day, starting with one of the most toxic single-use items in the world – the glow stick. We plan on building towards a circular economy model, are en route to becoming a B-Corp, and have some incredible research and manufacturing partners that make everything possible!
Founder: Holden Beggs
Scope is revolutionizing how you capture photos with their novel lens technology. Scope Photonics is an internationally award-winning start-up founded by five nanotechnology engineers. Their lens product has a multi-billion dollar market potential that spans several industries and is solving a problem that’s hobbled camera technology for centuries. Scope has secured LOIs, are filing patents, and are moving quickly towards betas this summer and revenue later this year.
Founder: Eric Enno Tamm
ThisFish Inc. is a global leader in seafood traceability software and artificial intelligence that enables seafood processors to digitize all their workflows in real-time on the factory using tablets and IoT devices. Our mission is to drive profitability and sustainability in seafood supply chains through better data: digital, real-time, accurate.
Founder: Harrison Olajos
UP360 is modernizing the way we educate and train the workforce of tomorrow. We create hands-on virtual reality-based learning experiences that are fun, memorable & inspirational. From the design & development of simulations to the distribution and support of the hardware to power them, UP360 is a leader in immersive learning technologies and the starting point for any organization that wants to use virtual reality for learning.
Founder: Shawn Hewat
Wavy hosts online experiences for team events, client entertainment, and conferences. They work with experts to curate experiences across food & drink, wellness, arts, games, and entertainment and have a platform that makes attending online events easy and exciting. Wavy’s mission is to help teams build a remote company culture that’s just as good (or better) than an in-person one.
Founder: Pavla Bobosikova
WFHomie is the employee engagement and culture-building platform for remote teams. We are building the end-to-end platform for all things employee engagement including employee lifetime appreciation (from onboarding, work anniversaries, rewards and recognition to farewell), employee growth (learning and development), health and wellness, and fun social experiences.