Cutting-edge AI that’s making its way to Canada

Cutting-edge AI that’s making its way to Canada

MaRS partnership with Innovate UK continues with a new cohort of companies that are aiming to crack the North American market.

It’s not uncommon for businesses to slow down operations in the summer. But across the pond, the leaders of some of the U.K.’s most promising startups are packing their bags and coming to Canada. But this is no holiday. With them, they’re bringing virtual surgical simulators, technology that speeds up drug development and smartphone authenticators that don’t need passwords or face scans.

Their visit is part of a partnership between MaRS and Innovate UK, the U.K.’s national innovation agency. This third installment of the program focuses on the topic everyone is talking about right now: artificial intelligence.

“The U.K. is positioning itself as a tech and innovation hub,” says Morgan Lorimer, manager of accelerator programs at MaRS. “There’s tons of investment going into research and innovation with government backing. And they’ve now set their sights on expanding to Canada and the U.S.”

That sentiment is echoed by the participating ventures.

“I think Canada has that appetite for innovation,” says Sarah Coward, co-founder of conversational AI startup In The Room. “Toronto has a positive, forward-thinking attitude when it comes to businesses, and its startup ecosystem is a good fit for us.”

The previous two editions of this program focused on advanced manufacturing and notched up several notable successes. “They quickly gained an understanding of the market and several companies adjusted their business models to adapt to the conditions on the ground. Some companies have landed investments here, others have set up distribution partners,” says Lorimer. “They’ve also had millions of impressions with our PR Accelerator, which has resulted in new business for them in Canada.”

The eight companies in the current cohort will take part in a six-month program that includes access to valuable market intelligence research and sales experts to develop their strategies for entering North America. They will also participate in tailored workshops and seminars, receive connections to industry professionals and mentors, and have access to AI consultants.

Here are the eight U.K. startups about to make a splash in Canada’s AI ecosystem.

The price is right with

Pricing a product is one of the most difficult challenges companies face, especially as inflation rates soar. Too expensive? Demand dwindles. Too cheap? Profits are reduced. harnesses AI and machine learning to find the Goldilocks price customers are willing to pay for a product.  The company provides complex pricing models for businesses that are selling mass amounts of products with dynamic pricing. And is looking to tap into the estimated 200,000 businesses that could stand to benefit from its technology in North America.

DeepMirror is speeding up drug development

Founded at the University of Cambridge in 2019, DeepMirror helps laboratories around the world optimize drugs, develop lab processes, and automate microscopy image analysis. The company’s AI- and machine learning-powered web app, DeepMirror Chem, aims to help biopharma teams to do fewer experiments and discover more effective medicines. The company estimates its product will allow users to complete clinical trials four times faster.

Enzai is helping business adopt AI — safely

Many organizations are embracing artificial intelligence, and Enzai Technologies wants to make sure companies are using this new technology safely. Enzai’s AI firewall is a filter between individual users and large language models  — ensuring sensitive data remains confidential and isn’t exposed to harmful or unethical material.

Simulated medical care with i3 Simulations

i3 Simulations uses extended reality technology (which is similar to virtual reality) to train medical practitioners in a safe, virtual space. The company’s product, i3 Nucleus, uses AI and machine learning to train clinicians in skills like resuscitation and how to handle emergency medical situations.

Conversations so real, you think they’re In The Room

How a business connects with audiences is a crucial step to engaging customers and prospective clients. In The Room uses AI, video media and voice recognition technology to simulate a face-to-face conversation with company executives and representatives, as if one was “in the room” with them. In The Room’s technology can be used for anything from an interactive virtual town hall meeting to an online sommelier that tells you what wine pairs best with the Chilean sea bass you’re having for dinner.

Mignon is chipping away at advancing AI

Mignon Technologies is a semiconductor company that has developed a technology called The Classification CoProcessor. This AI chip is 10,000 times more energy efficient and has 1,000 times lower latency than what’s on the market right now. The prototype was developed at Newcastle University and is undergoing further R&D before a full market launch.

Sekura is taking phone security to the next level

Sekura uses a mobile phone’s sensor data, AI and machine learning to create a “usage signature” of its owner. That means users simply need to hold the phone in their hand to unlock it. “This provides much more robust protection for consumers,” says Sekura CTO Gautam Hazari. “This eliminates the fear of compromising their digital identity and preserving their privacy at the same time.”

Spot Ship helps users navigate the shipping industry

Spot Ship is bringing AI to the global shipping industry. Clients can match cargos with available ships in a matter of seconds, compared to the industry standard of hours and days. With an Innovate U.K. grant, Spot Ship has also developed a CO2 calculator, which helps businesses optimize environmental decision-making. Spot Ship is looking to see where its technology can fit in Canada’s shipping industry.

On average, MaRS-supported ventures generate more revenue and create more jobs than the rest of the economy. We call this the “unfair MaRS advantage” — see how we make it happen.

Illustration: Monica Guan (image source: unsplash)