Five emerging entrepreneurs recognized for their innovations

Five emerging researchers turned entrepreneurs are recognized at the sixth annual Mitacs Entrepreneurship Awards for their breakthrough innovations that help advance Canada’s economy and, ultimately, improve the lives of Canadians. Even the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic haven’t stopped these innovators from advancing their groundbreaking technologies.

Presented by Mitacs, a national organization dedicated to innovation that fosters growth by finding research-based solutions to solve business challenges in partnership with post-secondary institutions, these awards celebrate start-ups founded by remarkable alumni. Mitacs interns, researchers and postdoctoral fellows, who have become leaders in their respective fields as independent entrepreneurs. 

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I am delighted to congratulate the winners of this year’s Mitacs Entrepreneurship Awards,” said the Honorable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade. “The energy, creativity and spirit of Canadian entrepreneurs are a true source of inspiration and are essential to spur innovation and economic growth across the country. Mitacs’ commitment to supporting young people by giving them the opportunity to gain experience in innovation and entrepreneurship is making a real difference, especially in these difficult times. Our government is proud to join with you in supporting some of Canada’s best and brightest entrepreneurs. ” 

According to Mitacs CEO and Scientific Director John Hepburn, “Supporting innovation is essential to help Canada recover from the impact of the global pandemic, and Mitacs is extremely proud of the remarkable accomplishments of our network of talented entrepreneurs. . We are delighted that our continued investment in talent, research and development results in more and more Mitacs interns succeeding in turning their groundbreaking research into dynamic start-ups, helping to stimulate the Canadian economy, as well. than to position our country on the world stage of innovation. ” 

Here are the five recipients of the 2021 Mitacs Entrepreneurship Award: 

Global Impact Entrepreneurship  : Jason Deglint, 32, Mitacs Postdoctoral Fellow in Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Co-Founder and CEO of Waterloo-based Blue Lion Labs. Mr. Deglint is recognized for his work in helping fish farms keep their operations free from harmful algal blooms. Its revolutionary smart monitoring platform uses machine learning software and a customized digital microscope to automatically identify harmful algae in the water.

Notable Entrepreneurship  : Hossein Kamali, 32, Mitacs Postdoctoral Fellow in Mechatronic Systems Engineering at Simon Fraser University, and Co-Founder and CTO of Vancouver-based Autonopia. Mr. Kamali’s company has invented a one-of-a-kind robot that mimics the behavior of human window cleaners, including sneaking into nooks and crannies of all types of building facades. This innovative robot, whose patent is pending, combines artificial intelligence, robotics, mechatronics and motion control technology with the aim of bringing the window cleaning sector of skyscrapers into the market. 21st century, while ensuring the safety of people.

Entrepreneurship Catalyst for Change  : Negin Ashouri, 28, Mitacs intern and master’s student in the Computer Science department at Concordia University, co-founder and interim CEO of FemTherapeutics, a Montreal-based company. With the support of Montreal incubator Centech, Ms. Ashouri is shaking up the healthcare sector with her revolutionary medical device designed to improve the quality of life of women. Her company is the first to develop a custom, biodegradable and disposable intravaginal prosthesis for women with pelvic organ prolapse (POP), using the same 3D printing process used for custom orthodontics.

Ecological entrepreneurship  : Ulrich Legrand, 30, former Mitacs postdoctoral researcher in the chemical engineering department of McGill University, and co-founder and technical director of Montreal-based Electro Carbon. Mr. Legrand is recognized for his company’s revolutionary system, which converts captured CO2 gas into commercial grade formic acid, a high value chemical used as a preservative in animal feed as well as in the leather tanning industries and rubber. This innovative technology helps reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, while bringing to market an industrial-scale system capable of reusing carbon after removing it from the atmosphere.

Green Entrepreneurship  : Marciel Gaier, 29, former Mitacs intern and PhD in advanced materials science from Dalhousie University, co-founder and CTO of Halifax-based Graphite Innovation and Technologies. Gaier is transforming the global shipping industry with the launch of an innovative paint, which is the first patented technology to use graphite nanoparticles – called graphene – to achieve a durable, high performance marine coating. This innovative coating system provides a non-toxic, low volatile organic compound (VOC) alternative that reduces the amount of greenhouse gases emitted per shipping route.