Fight against food waste, help fish farmers, financial education, drones serving international aid. For four young Quebec companies, techno used primarily to improve the world, with causes that matter to them. Foray into the world of young humanitarian endeavors.
Humanitarian from the air
Drones, iPod or iPhone, a black box and an application to coordinate everything. All these devices form the “ecosystem Humanit3D” which recreates an independent communication network without cellular data, but based only on WiFi transmission capabilities of small Apple devices.
Essentially, the iPod or iPhone are coupled to the black box manufactured by Humanitas Solutions, which makes them capable of communicating at a distance of one kilometer. The black box also controls the drone, which can be sent to a distance of twenty kilometers for mapping missions, to find missing persons, assessing the condition of roads and buildings. All information collected is then centralized.
Describing himself as a doctor with humor, geek and entrepreneur, Abdo Shabah founded the company after going Solutions Humanitas help Haiti recover from the earthquake of 2010. It was there that he used 3D modeling for care management and seen how humanitarian work was hampered by the collapse of communications networks. “We immediately saw that there was a need for information management, mapping, monitoring of populations on the move, he said in his office of the Jean-Talon Street in Montreal. These are functions for which the satellite is not suitable. “The solution: establish an ad hoc network to an almost ridiculous price – less than $ 10,000 – incorporating mobility drones, ability iPod and iPhone, and inventing an interface for communication.
The day of the interview, Mr. Shabah returning from a humanitarian assistance of drones, which took place in the UAE late last week. Although Humanit3D did not win the first prize, the designer claims to have demonstrated the value of technology. “In controlled environment at 32 ° C or – 32 ° C, our demo runs at 100%, he says. By six months, our goal is to stabilize the solution and shrink the housing. “Humanitas Solutions is currently looking for investors and is negotiating to be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of its technology in two major events in 2016, the Montreal Marathon and the Grand Prix of Formula One.
Food waste Counter
Eatizz ( www.eatizz .com ) is a website, also available in app for iOS and Android, which allows small merchants to offer discounts on meals prepared unsold. From mid-February, it is expected that about fifteen restaurateurs, bakers and cafes owners of Plateau on this platform will offer their products for a quick sale.
These are traders who are responsible for updating their section establishing the discount and the list of products offered. Consumers themselves can perform a sort based on their geolocation and the type of commodity. They then have to go to the dealer to take advantage of these discounts last minute.
Each year, nearly a third of the food produced in the world is lost, or 1.3 billion tons that result in the trash, according to a 2011 study by the Food and Agriculture Organization. In Canada, this waste is evaluated annually to $ 27 billion, including $ 2.4 billion related to the restoration.
“There really is a problem, notes William Steven, who has established Eatizz. You have one side businesses that find themselves with unsold products, and consumers who could buy them if they knew where to find information. ”
These consumers can become “active agents of sustainable development by limiting food waste,” the presentation document Eatizz. The cause, says Steven adhere sincerely. ” It is important. Eatizz, it’s been a favorite. Food waste is a serious problem in almost all developed countries. ”
Freshly graduated from HEC Montreal, William Steven, 23, worked for eight months full time on the concept of Eatizz. There has invested some $ 30,000, including giving the program the application to subcontractors in the Maghreb.
“In Montreal, it is very difficult to find developers,” says the young entrepreneur, which is the first adventure.
Eatizz wants a service “last minute specials”, “very fast, responsive and recreation.” He hopes to halve food waste at merchants who enroll in Eatizz. Its short-term objectives: to have more than 5,000 users and 150 shops by May 2016
To the rescue of fish farming
A counter of larval fish, shrimp and small marine organisms, the XperCount 2, which optimizes production in fish farming. The size of a large bucket, topped with a cover that contains a touch screen and sensors, the XpertCount 2 provides a relatively accurate account of organisms, their average size and biomass density. The measures taken are then downloaded, WiFi, on the portal of the company XpertSea.
“We offer producers on the planet friendly management tool that will allow them to optimize their operations and increase their efficiency,” says the video presentation.
Without accurate data on both the number of animals on the amount of feed in water, fish farming has major losses, sometimes around 50% of production. Since 2012, XpertSea sold nearly one hundred prototypes of the device in twenty countries, including shrimp culture in Vietnam, which can greatly reduce these losses.
By the end of February, its the series production, the XpertCount 2, will be launched on the market at a cost of about US $ 5,000. “We want to focus on Asia and aquaculture shrimp: it is a food production industry that is growing at an incredible pace, says the CEO of XpertSea Valerie Robitaille. Our mission is to help them. Raise a beef, it is not sustainable. Fish farming, yes. “Without accurate count, it is difficult to assess the necessary food. “This is crucial. If it is insufficient, organizations will not grow well. ”
The XpertCount 2 further ensures buyers that has delivered them the promised number of larvae. Finally, it reduces the need for antibiotics, source of controversy since they affect marine environments where fish farming is practiced.
With 16 full-time employees, the small Quebec company is preparing to up the pace. After four years of almost artisanal production, customers are scrambling to its doors for its device, which we purposely chose to offer at an affordable price. Virtually all of XpertCount market “is intended for export to developing countries.”
“If you put it too expensive, our clients can not optimize their production if they need multiple devices,” said Ms. Robitaille. The humanitarian component of its business, the young CEO believes in it, “this is really important, and many of our employees also held there, it really is with your heart that you embarked in there.”
The finances of the game
A video game, Tooniie Land, whose goal is to teach personal finance concepts. The player embarks on a treasure hunt in which it is to acquire a boat, manage the budget to ensure that it can maintain a crew and take on repairs. The game, due out in early fall 2016 and will be offered in some classes, aims to educate young people about personal finance challenges.
A first version is for the last round elementary students; for a second, more complex, will be proposed later. The game was designed by a small company of Quebec, Simiixi, led by a student in geomatics at the University of Sherbrooke, Windor Dorméus and two associates, Andréa Richardi and Alain Mugisha.
“I’m 31, I did all my studies in Quebec and the issue of personal finances has never been addressed,” says Windor Dorméus. Inspired by entrepreneurs immigrant parents from Haiti, he launched a year ago in this draft educational game with a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo. He missed by far the goal of $ 90,000 by collecting only $ 1,261, but ensures not want to give up.
“The game was introduced in Belgium, France, Tunisia and India, and the idea was very well received. In Toronto, people bathe in financial reporting. In Manitoba, it is taught in kindergarten. I want to do my part for youth in Quebec learn also to manage their finances. ”
Simiixi is a small embryonic business – that settled in Mr. Dorméus parents, in the borough of Charlesbourg, Quebec – whose playing Tooniie Land is the main project. In parallel, coordinates a snow removal service and car cleaning for shops. The game’s release, scheduled for October 2016, will be initially reserved for schools. Mr. Dorméus welcomes the support of entrepreneurship de Beauce School and the Federation of private institutions, which includes 190 institutions and have shown interest in Tooniie Land