October marks Small and Medium-sized Business Awareness Month, a time to celebrate the SMB community and recognize the importance of this sector to Canada’s innovation economy. As a partner-led company, Microsoft is proud to work with an incredible network of Canadian SMBs and startups who are powering digital transformation in businesses across Canada.
To celebrate our SMB and startup partner community, Microsoft has released the first Great Canadian Innovators Yearbook. It’s a compendium of fascinating Canadian startups using modern Microsoft technologies and services, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things, holographic devices, and more!
Some of the amazing innovations include how Canvass AI has used AI to take an auto parts manufacturer’s manual spot-inspection process for quality control, into a fully automated system that checks each and every part they produce in real time, without interruption. For other clients, using advanced data analytics powered by Microsoft, they have brought new precision to manufacturing and production processes, netting millions of dollars in saved costs and reduced emissions.
Similarly, Quartic.ai is a Canadian AI and Industrial IoT startup on a mission to make manufacturing more productive and flexible through digital transformation, using an innovative application of IoT, AI, industrial domain knowledge, and technical expertise.
In health care, Cloud DX has not only brought Star Trek to life by inventing real life “tricorder”-like devices for the remote monitoring of patients’ blood pressure, weight, pulse, oxygen, and temperature, they’re using our HoloLens technology to enable nurses to quickly “see” the vital signs and other critical diagnostic data of multiple patients in real time.
Born in the Microsoft Cloud in 2016, My Intelligent Machines (MIMs) is a Canadian software startup on the most impressive mission imaginable: speeding up the fight against breast cancer, heart disease, and leukemia using AI and bioinformatics. By analyzing an individual’s genetic code, health care providers can identify at-risk people and treat them before they get sick. It has proven to be a costly, time-consuming process – until now. Using AI, MIMs has made it possible to run those personal genomic analyses for half the cost and in a fraction of the time.
From looking inside human bodies, AI and augmented reality are coming together to help cities (including Toronto and 40 other sites) better see underground infrastructure for servicing, upgrading or replacement. The vGis platform uses holograms and augmented reality to display infrastructure—like pipes, lines, cables, and other assets—in-field and in real time. Teams gain the ability to peer through the ground and assess hidden infrastructure, gain situational awareness, and increase productivity. Teams only dig exactly where they need to, which is smarter and safer.
Making better use of the staggering amounts of data is the focus of a couple of other startups featured in the Yearbook. Beeye (pronounced BI, as in Business Intelligence), lets managers more effectively deploy teams to projects with unprecedented visibility, increasing organizational performance and improving planning.
Meanwhile, Cinchy is saving organizations months of time and millions of dollars by curing the problem of data fragmentation and duplication by boldly rethinking the role of data in application development. By offering data-as-a-network, Cinchy radically changes the game—saving technology teams months of work and corporations hundreds of millions of dollars. Instead of creating new databases for each application—systems, programs, apps, utilities, and widgets, all share a single, secure data network.
Keeping people safe by using AI and advanced analytics is Media Sonar’s mission, giving law enforcement agencies, safety and security professionals powerful tools to help them improve public safety, provide humanitarian support and proactively assist individuals. Purpose-built for modern safety and security, Media Sonar’s cloud-based platform allows professionals to collect and analyze online deep web data to help identify threats, highlight patterns and flag suspicious activities when they occur.
Igloo Software is a SaaS company helping to redefine the modern digital workplace by leveraging the cloud to empower organizations across North America to design and develop inspiring digital destinations for a more productive and engaged workforce. Ingeniously, Igloo integrates all the tools and apps employees already know and use (such as Office 365) in one place. Users can access a collection of out-of-the-box digital workplace solutions. They pair these solutions with complete digital workplace plan and innovative playbooks to improve communication, collaboration, knowledge sharing, culture, and engagement.
The Great Canadian Innovators Yearbook 2018 is incredibly inspirational, documenting how great ideas and savvy entrepreneurs are teaming up with Microsoft Canada to bring world-leading innovations to life through the power of AI, augmented reality and cloud-based computing and analysis.
Celebrating Canadian SMBs and startups isn’t simply a moment in time for Microsoft – we are inspired by their hard work and dedication all year round. To champion this important ecosystem, Microsoft is excited to partner with startups through Microsoft for Startups, a new program that delivers access to technology, go-to-market and community benefits that helps these companies grow their customer and revenue base.
Through the program we are committing $500 million over the next two years to offer joint sales engagements with startups, along with access to our technology, and new community spaces that promote collaboration across local and global ecosystems. Startups are an indisputable innovation engine, and Microsoft is partnering with founders and investors to help propel their growth. To learn more, visit Microsoft for Startups.