Innov’agtech Program: Meet 10 new faces active in the transition of agriculture

The Innov’agtech program is in full swing, with 10 entrepreneurs pursuing the course of the 2023-2024 cohort since November 22, 2023. Between training sessions, practical workshops and networking meetings, the participating companies are exchanging, familiarizing themselves, refining and creating strategies and contacts that will enable them to accelerate the development, financing and commercialization of their technology. Each participant presents unique and varied technologies and projects, injecting fresh energy into this bold initiative, powered by Zone Agtech, in partnership with Axceta

New faces in the ecosystem, these innovators are preparing to shape the future of agriculture. Their objective? Acquire the tools they need to accelerate product development and deploy best practices in innovation planning, financing and commercialization. They aspire to collaborate in the emergence of an era of sustainability, food autonomy and environmental resilience. Discover the emerging solutions and entrepreneurs of this dynamic cohort, who are propelling agriculture towards new horizons.

The faces of agricultural innovation

François Ménard 

François Ménard heads up PULR Technologies, an innovative company dedicated to developing and marketing a new platform for achieving significant energy savings in the greenhouse sector. Using wireless, battery-free sensors, this technology is patent-pending in several countries. Through its participation in the Innov’Agtech program, François aims to acquire the tools and support required to successfully introduce its technology to the greenhouse production sector, and increase its visibility both here and internationally. To find out more, visit PULR Direct

Mickaël Massonnet 

Mickaël has designed an innovative prototype for the residential cultivation of indoor mushrooms, a first in the Quebec industry. As a pioneer, he hopes to commercialize this unique product, enabling everyone to grow their own mushrooms at home. Through his participation in the Innov’Agtech program, he aims to acquire key knowledge to support the development of his project and build a solid network to guide its growth.

Marie-Noël Breton 

The Monark Cooperative stands out for the strength of its networks. Its members, spread across Quebec, are dedicated to milkweed fiber production, sharing resources, knowledge and expertise to best develop this booming crop. Their collaborative approach is a major strength, actively contributing to the research, technological development and promotion of this ecological fiber with its many potential uses, such as plant silk, liquid absorbent, thermal insulation and soundproofing. Involved in the industrial processing of fibers and planning significant expansion, the Monark Cooperative is taking part in the Innov’Agtech program to strengthen its tools and stimulate its development. Having evaluated and gone through numerous programs, the company is confident that the Innov’Agtech program will provide them with the tools and support they need to achieve their goals. To find out more, visit: Coopérative Monark : À propos | LinkedIn

Christophe Asselin-Laroche 

Owner of M.C. Contrôle Nordique, Christophe is dedicated to the development of an artificial intelligence solution for the complete automation of horticultural greenhouses, including control of the fertigation environment. Distinguishing feature: His company’s mission is to offer accessible solutions to small and medium-sized greenhouses, which are rarely served by current technology developers. By participating in the Innov’Agtech program, the promoter aims to refine his management and strategic planning skills and develop a better understanding of the horticultural sector. The program will enable him to sharpen its strategic reflexes and develop a broader business network to support the development and growth of their company. To find out more, visit MCC Nordique, la solution pour l’automatisation de votre serre

Dominic Baril 

Mechanical engineer by profession, Dominic Baril has developed a technology for automating field scouting and inspection tasks at Tessellate Robotics, a spin-off from Université Laval’s mobile robotics laboratory. With expertise recognized worldwide, including awards in prestigious competitions, the team behind Tessellate Robotics aims to use and commercialize this technology to automate agricultural inspections. Despite their successes, they recognize that there are gaps in agronomic expertise and a network of contacts in Quebec’s agricultural sector. That’s why they’re counting on the Innov’Agtech program. They see the Zone Agtech as the ideal partner to support, guide and connect them to the agricultural sector, in order to optimize their business model and promote the deployment of their innovative technologies. To find out more, visit: Tessellate Robotics

Peter Pfister 

CEO of AutoFarmWorks, Peter Pfister leads the Lightfoot AAV project, dedicated to the design of multifunctional autonomous agricultural vehicles. This innovation guarantees minimal soil compaction and high load-bearing capacity, enabling growers to carry out extended operations autonomously. The patented three-component modular system favors an open-source approach and is easily adaptable to various cropping systems, offering a cost-effective and labor-saving solution for the farmer. Peter Pfister integrated the Innov’Agtech Program to optimize the product market-fit of his solution and facilitate its financing and market introduction phase. He sees the Innov’agtech Program as a tool that will help the company meet the challenges of pre-commercialization, attract investment and put in place appropriate practices and strategies to reduce potential risks. To find out more, visit AutoFarmWorks – Delivering autonomous agricultural technology.

Guy Charron 

AgriBioNovation CEO Guy Charron has developed a patented technology that facilitates the automated deployment of membranes for three-season tunnel greenhouses. In addition to enabling the use of higher-quality membranes, this automated solution significantly reduces the time needed to install protective netting (against crop pests – insects, weeds, etc.), thus promoting low-input, more sustainable agriculture. By simplifying the deployment and removal of protective nets, this innovation also paves the way for the growth of certain fruit and vegetable crops that have hitherto been produced in very small quantities, such as garlic, which requires intensive manual labor associated with weeding the fields. With 24 years’ experience in university teaching and research, and in project management, Guy Charon is taking advantage of the Innov’Agtech program to adapt his presentation to the agricultural sector, expand his network and optimize the overall presentation of his project. To find out more, visit Protecteurs agricoles révolutionnaires | AgriBioNovation

Stephan Jean-Pierre 

A visionary entrepreneur in the coffee business, Stephan Jean-Pierre’s career path was focused on international development, which led him into vanilla cultivation. With Agridev, this adventure led him to the discovery of a unique, organic and innovative substrate derived from coconut fiber. Fascinated by its potential, he now plans to market this innovative product in Canada and the United States. As a participant in the Innov’agtech program, Stephan wants to validate this idea and benefit from the networking and structure offered. This strategic approach fully commits him to the development of his project, symbolizing innovation and sustainable development in the agricultural sector. To find out more, visit : Agridev S.A. – Home

Gaétan Aguilera 

President and founder of Roz Maïa Génétique, Gaétan Aguilera is an expert in cannabis genetics, dedicated to the development of new cannabinoid- and terpene-rich varieties suitable for cultivation in controlled environments. The company boasts a dynamic catalog offering a constantly improving range of varieties. Roz Maïa Génétique distinguishes itself by delivering mother plants directly to facilities, minimizing inputs and enabling growers to maintain control of their process. The company favors local and international partnerships. Committed to a living soil approach, it implements continuous improvement processes in line with organic standards. Its artisanal know-how includes an innovative approach to phytoprotection, combining fermented plant extracts and essential oils with other biological control methods, offering distinctive, high-quality products. Through his participation in the program, Gaétan aims to establish a project in the Agtech Zone, pursue his research in Quebec and plan the marketing of optimized mother plants to cannabis growers in Canada. He’s looking for support to optimize the exploitation of his resources, validate his business model and expand his network within Quebec’s Agtech community. Beyond meeting people, he’s looking for knowledge, help and potential partners ready to support his project and move it forward in a positive way.

Maxime Leduc 

Founder of Mon Système Fourrager, Maxime Leduc has developed a technology aimed at providing farmers with the very first integrated forage system management platform (from soil to animal). With a background in agricultural studies and experience as an agricultural producer, Maxime is well versed in the issues, challenges and needs of the industry. Armed with a solid network of contacts, he aims to strengthen his ties with the ecosystem of innovative agricultural technologies and develop his reputation in the agricultural sector. By taking part in the Innov’Agtech program, he is looking to acquire tools and surround himself with experts, notably to perfect his marketing strategies and processes. To find out more, visit Accueil – Mon Système Fourrager (msfourrager.com)

Discovering shared motivations

From the profiles of these participants emerge common motivations: a deep passion for agricultural innovation and a desire to offer concrete solutions to facilitate the work and adaptation of agricultural producers to the challenges of today and tomorrow

Over the coming weeks, these ten companies will work together, supported by coaches, experts, resources and exclusive opportunities, to shape the future of agriculture and propel solutions with lasting impact across Quebec and internationally. Their journey through the Innov’agtech program is well underway, paving the way to redefine tomorrow’s agricultural landscape by meeting the challenges of modern agriculture.

If you would like to collaborate on the development of technologies that will support you in your work, please contact us. We wish to each and every one  a successful pathway.

More about the Innov’Agtech program 

The Innov’Agtech Program, an initiative dedicated to the development of innovations that increase food self-sufficiency, reduce environmental impact and adapt to climate change in the agricultural sector, runs for 16 weeks, from November 2023 to April 2024. Aimed at ten entrepreneurs and teams specialized in product development, it offers the opportunity to benefit from the expertise of renowned professors from the École de gestion de l’Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, as well as the enlightened advice of Zone Agtech advisors and experienced managers in the agrifood, agro-industrial and financing fields.

During the course, candidates will be invited to integrate best practices in strategic planning, financing and marketing in the innovative agricultural technologies and solutions sector. In addition, they will have the opportunity to discover the value and financing chain specific to Quebec for the growth of their company. Throughout the program, candidates will be mentored by successful agtech entrepreneurs, financing advisors, fund managers and major players in the Quebec agri-food supply chain.

The Innov’Agtech program offers the opportunity to optimize business models and strategies with the aim of reducing development costs, capitalizing on strengths, creating optimized financial packages, clarifying the company’s market positioning, developing effective strategies, developing a business network and creating relationships conducive to accelerating the project or company.

In addition to these benefits, at the end of the program, candidates will be invited to present their project to a group of buyers and investors. Participants who decide to expand or set up a business in the Zone Agtech at the end of the program could be eligible for grants worth a total of $35,000, of which $20,000 will be awarded for setting up a business in the Zone. The company will also receive a bank of private coaching hours worth nearly $15,000 to further its development.

Find out more about our main partner, Axceta.

Find out more about the Innov’Agtech program.

Find out more about the coaches of the 2023-2024 cohort

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