Artificial intelligence: six Montréal-based companies to scale up and expand into new markets


December 5, 2018 – Montréal, QuebecCanada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)

Increasingly, artificial intelligence (AI) will provide unprecedented economic and social benefits to Canadians. Artificial intelligence technologies will create new sources of economic growth that can make our economies more competitive, inclusive and sustainable, create jobs and shape a better future for all our citizens. That is why the Government of Canada is supporting six highly innovative businesses from Greater Montréal.

The funding was awarded through the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program and CED's Quebec Economic Development Program.

Repayable contribution of $5 million out of a total investment of $89.5 million

Founded in 2016 by Ph.D. students in artificial intelligence (AI) and pioneers in deep learning, Element AI specializes in AI and metadata processing. Using algorithms and metadata, the company designs process optimization software to increase the business performance of its clients.

The purpose of the project is to increase the competitiveness of, expand and improve the innovation capabilities of this innovative start-up company at the forefront of technology. CED’s assistance will be used for purchasing advanced computer equipment and implementing marketing activities that include opening sales offices in Europe and Asia and participating in trade shows.

The project will create 900 jobs.

Repayable contribution of $1,000,000 out of a total investment of $25,000,000

Founded in 2015, Imagia is an Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare company, with activities in medical devices and interventional procedures, imaging and diagnostics, personal health and disease management. Imagia developed EVIDENS, an AI-first platform for clinician driven end-to-end discoveries of predictive, diagnostic and prescriptive analytics.

Imagia’s mission is to leverage advances in artificial intelligence to accelerate the advent of accessible personalized healthcare, with an initial focus on clinical solutions for personalized oncology. Imagia is a Montreal, Québec-based company and has grown to a team of more than 50 AI and healthcare industry experts, including MDs, with expertise in both AI research and development, and clinical patient management.

CED’s support will accelerate the installation of Imagia’s EVIDENS discovery platform in selected hospitals with specialized AI talent.

The project will create 39 jobs.

Repayable contribution of $123,080 out of a total investment of $466,000

Keatext is an artificial intelligence-based text analysis platform that, in seconds, synthesizes a large number of comments from multiple channels (open-ended survey questions, online evaluations, social media postings, etc.) in order to provide usable information in a single detailed dashboard.

The company was founded in 2010 by Narjès Boufaden, a pioneer in natural language processing and comprehension. Supported by a team of researchers, she is achieving her vision of developing applied artificial intelligence, with the aim of helping companies maintain harmonious relationships with their clients.

The project, which has created two jobs, aims to implement a marketing strategy for Keatext in the markets of northeastern and western U.S. CED’s assistance enabled the company to do prospecting in the markets in question, participate in trade shows, develop promotional tools, produce a technology showcase and update its website and applications.

Repayable contribution of $75,000 out of a total investment of $490,000

Established in 2014, ARA Robotics is an innovative start-up company that has developed a flight control and operations system for drones used for 2D and 3D aerial inspection and mapping. Its solution, the SKYMATE™ flight controller, incorporates state-of-the-art algorithms and an integrated, customized operating system.

The project, which will create four jobs, will support the implementation of a marketing strategy for the SKYMATE™ in Canada and the United States. CED will fund such things as the hiring of a sales representative, participation in trade shows and prospecting tours, and the development and production of promotional content.

Repayable contribution of$ 50,000 out of a total investment of $197,295

Established in 2017, C2R0 is a start-up company that has developed a platform and a set of solutions that help increase the cognitive capabilities of commercial robots. C2RO’s solutions use real-time remotely managed (cloud robotics) artificial intelligence and big data management applications. It is the only platform in the world capable of ensuring real-time collaboration among multiple autonomous robots located in different places.

The purpose of the project is to implement a marketing strategy for this new technology solution in the Chinese market. CED’s assistance will enable C2R0 to participate in prospecting activities, including trade shows, develop promotional tools and enhance its website.

The project will create 28 jobs.

Repayable contribution of $50,000 out of a total investment of $160,000

Founded in 2015, Roof Ai specializes in designing and marketing robotic chat solutions (chatbot) and predictive analytics using artificial intelligence for the real estate brokerage industry.

The software, which makes it possible to personalize the shopping experience of potential buyers and do real-time property searches that meet their criteria, also automates the agents’ day-to-day tasks and generates performance reports to help them better present their properties, adjust prices or more accurately target potential buyers. The software is already being used by major US real estate brokerage firms.

The project, which will create four jobs, is intended to support the implementation of Roof Ai’s strategy for marketing its solutions in the United States. CED’s financial contribution will go mainly towards running an advertising campaign, developing and producing promotional content, participating in trade shows and prospecting tours.


  • Number of projects: 6
  • Number of jobs created: 977
  • CED's contributions: $6,298,080
  • Total investments generated by these projects: $115,813,295

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