Innovation update: Meet the new MaRS startups fuelling Canada’s digital transformation

Innovation update: Meet the new MaRS startups fuelling Canada’s digital transformation

Businesses go through digital transformation for a variety of reasons, from improving operational efficiency or connectivity among employees to reducing environmental impact or errors in decision-making. Digital transformation projects are complex, requiring significant time and investment. The latest tech companies to join the MaRS portfolio are building solutions that help firms adopt leading-edge technologies in simplified, user-friendly ways.

“Once viewed more as a commodity by businesses, digital transformation is now an undeniable differentiator,” says Rene Azeez, director of Growth Services engagement at MaRS. “Canada’s tech community has a fortunate vantage point of digital transformation through the lens of these incredibly innovative tech companies.”

Here’s a look at Canadian startups that are pioneering new technology solutions.


Ukko Agro helps farmers optimize crop yields

What it does: Farmers draw upon weather, soil and crop data to inform how they use fertilizer, pesticides and seed protectants. Ukko Agro’s digital platform connects those data sources and offers predictive analytics to help farmers grow their crops more sustainably by applying the right amount of crop inputs, in the right place and at the most optimal time.

The impact it’s having: “The Ukko Agro team has been developing some significant innovations that will give farmers new insights on how to better protect their crops from disease and other pests,” says MaRS advisor Joe Dales. “It’s been impressive to watch how the team gets their boots dirty working directly with their target farmer customers across Canada and the USA.” makes virtual meetings really productive

What it does: Toronto-based Sonero transcribes online meetings and generates summaries of key takeaways. The product catalogues all meeting notes back into one place, allowing users to easily search through their conversation history and track action items.

The impact it’s having: Sonero’s A.I.-powered technology removes the administrative burden of note taking during meetings, allowing employees to have more engaged discussions and easily share meeting summaries with other team members.


BioTwin creates personalized digital twins

What it does: Quebec City-based BioTwin provides healthcare professionals with critical data and insights on a patients’ health. Powered by a vast set of health data, their platform uses A.I. to create personalized-health digital twins. The technology can then detect, predict and ultimately prevent changes in health conditions across four determining factors: genetics, environment, nutrition and lifestyle.

The impact it’s having: BioTwin’s technology offers healthcare professionals with more data to inform their decision-making and reduce diagnostic errors. The result is that patients can receive diagnoses more quickly, ultimately preventing chronic conditions.


Korbit teaches data science for everyone

What it does: Korbit teaches data science with the help of a personalized tutor. The interactive platform uses A.I. to adapt in real time to each learners’ needs, including definitions, explanations, illustrations and mind maps. The Montreal company also offers solutions for both individuals and teams.

The impact it’s having: By tailoring each learners’ journey through its personalized tutors, Korbit improves learning outcomes and motivation. “With Korbit, there’s no need to search through the internet to master data science,” says Martin Bufi, an A.I. technical advisor at MaRS. “Korbit’s A.I. tutor finds the right path for each individual learner — applied content, interactive programming exercises, personalized curriculum and more — helping them learn critical concepts more quickly.”


Symboticware makes heavy machinery light on the environment

What it does: For industrial operators that use heavy machinery (in sectors like mining, construction, forestry and agriculture), operational inefficiencies account for a substantial part of annual costs and CO2 emissions. Symboticware’s operating system tracks the health and productivity of heavy machinery and offers customers with real-time reporting.

The impact it’s having: The advanced insights that Symboticware offers allows customers to reduce their operating costs, enhance safety and reduce production of carbon dioxide.


U-Rite simplifies the underwriting process

What it does: Toronto’s U-Rite builds software solutions that transform how the commercial-real-estate sector acquires, develops and manages properties. The company’s cloud-based tool makes it easier for firms to conduct the complex underwriting and valuation modeling that informs major business decisions.

The impact it’s having: U-Rite helps firms save time by streamlining the process of the common, yet complex, analyses required within commercial real estate.


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