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Dragon’s Den Recap: A Stepping Stone for Freshwater Innovation

By AquaAction
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Dragon’s Den Recap: A Stepping Stone for Freshwater Innovation

 

The water crisis is a complex issue that is significantly affecting our planet, manifesting itself as a triple crisis impacting our climate, our economy and our public health. This multi-dimensional crisis requires an integrated approach, where innovative technologies play a crucial role in paving the way towards a more sustainable future. It’s against this backdrop that green and blue companies are gathering at the Salon des Technologies Environnementales.

One week after the Salon des Technologies Environnementales du Québec, it’s time to look back at this landmark event, which highlighted innovation and creativity in the freshwater sector. Organized by Réseau Environnement and AquaAction, the show featured an exciting pitch competition moderated by Mr. Luc Sirois, Quebec’s Chief Innovator.

“The water crisis is affecting our climate, our economy and our health. Innovators deploying social innovations or using cutting-edge digital technologies such as artificial intelligence to protect and better manage our water resources are essential to a more sustainable future.”

-Luc Sirois, Quebec’s Chief Innovator

Inspired by the TV show of the same name, the “Dragon’s Den” pitch competition highlighted five companies from the 2nd cohort of the AquaEntrepreneur program, intending to identify the most promising initiatives and support them on their path to success.

The “Dragon’s Den” competition

 

The “Dragon’s Den” competition was the highlight of the STEQ. After some passionate and inspiring presentations, it is now time to congratulate the two big winners: BioAlert and RegenEau!

Featured Companies

 

Faced with the challenges of the water crisis, innovative technologies offer a ray of hope. The innovative companies highlighted in this competition offer effective, proven and marketable solutions, which have won over the hearts of our dragons:

💧 RegenEAU presented a revolutionary solution for reducing hot water energy costs by recovering heat from domestic wastewater.

💧 BioAlert Solutions offers a technological innovation for proactive, automated and autonomous identification of dangerous pathogens such as Legionella.

💧 CleanNature revolutionizes the management and optimization of winter road salt distribution, thanks to an innovative AI platform.

💧 O’Clair unveiled its online platform for transmitting real-time information on septic systems for autonomous residences.

💧 Pergamon presented its IoT platform that collects and transmits real-time water data to the user to address complex water monitoring challenges.

The Dragons

 

Six Dragons had the tough task of deciding between the companies presented. These seasoned experts drew on their experience to decide between the innovations presented.

 

💧Martin Beaudry, Dragon Master, Vice Chairman of the Board, Réseau Environnement

After specializing in environmental and water treatment studies, Mr. Beaudry completed his training with an EMBA. He first worked in municipal water filtration plants and for private companies (Véolia, SNC-Lavalin) before going into the world of entrepreneurship. Mr. Beaudry has participated in and been a director of several companies, some of which required investments of tens of millions of dollars for seawater desalination plants in North Africa and South and North America. He has been involved in the development and growth of various companies specializing in water engineering and underwater robotic inspection. Mr. Beaudry has been a coach with AquaAction since 2022 and was Chairman of the Board of Réseau Environnement from 2021-2023.

💧 Lauren McGuire, VP Banking, RBCx

Lauren McGuire is one of RBCx Banking’s Vice Presidents in their national Cleantech practice based in Montreal. She has provided capital and investment strategies to over 350+ CEOs and CFOs and is passionate about supporting innovation in Canada’s climate technology ecosystem.

💧 Nicolas Turgeon ing. M.Sc. EMBA, Director, Sustainable Productivity, Investissement Québec

Nicolas Turgeon has over 25 years’ experience as a technical expert in the field of sustainable innovation (Air, Climate Change and Energy) and as manager of teams of professionals in industrial environmental performance and technological know-how at Investissement Québec. An engineer with a master’s degree in civil engineering (environmental option) and an MBA in executive management, Nicolas is actively involved in the green economy sector. He served as Chairman of the Board of Réseau Environnement in 2020-2021.

💧 Simon Olivier, Senior Partner, Cycle Capital

Simon Olivier is a Senior Partner at Cycle Capital and manages the Cycle H2O fund, a venture capital fund dedicated to innovative technologies in the water sector to accelerate company growth and create a positive impact on the environment. Simon is an internationally experienced executive in innovation, strategy, operations and financial services. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies, and mid-sized businesses in the energy, finance, water and food sectors. Simon spent more than 20 years at GE, first with GE Capital in financial services, then leading the GE Renewable Energy business in Canada and the Northeastern U.S. for nearly 10 years, building a multi-billion dollar franchise.

💧 Patrick Gagné, CEO, Cycle Momentum

Passionate about innovation, Patrick Gagné has always strived to create social and environmental impact through technology. Over the past 25 years, Patrick has contributed to the creation and development of a wide variety of technology companies with a focus on growth and innovation. Since 2018, Patrick has contributed to the development of Montreal’s startup ecosystem as entrepreneur-in-residence at the OSMO Foundation (Maison Notman) and as co-founder and co-CEO of Startup Montreal. In September 2020, he accepted the position of CEO of Cycle Momentum, a cleantech startup gas pedal backed by Cycle Capital.

💧 Céline Palhol, Director, Private Equity and Impact Investing, Fonds de solidarité FTQ

With 25 years of experience behind her, Céline joined the Solidarity Fund FTQ in 2022. As Director of Private Equity and Impact Investing, her role includes evaluating investment opportunities in the energy, environment and technology sectors, and deploying capital in impact-oriented Québec companies.

Acknowledgements

This event represented an exceptional opportunity to see first-hand how cutting-edge technologies are being applied to solve the water crisis. By bringing together forward-thinking thinkers, creators and entrepreneurs, the Dragon’s Den serves as a platform for sharing ideas, innovations and solutions that can help shape a future where water, such a vital resource, is managed more sustainably and equitably. Thank you to all attendees who care about the future of our planet for coming to discover and support the efforts of innovators who are paving the way to a greener, more sustainable future.

We’d also like to extend our warmest thanks to all the companies who took part in the “Dragon’s Den” competition and manned the trade show booths. Many thanks also to the dragons for their essential expertise in this competition, and to Réseau Environnement for organizing this event in collaboration with AquaAction.

We look forward to seeing how these innovations will continue to shape the freshwater landscape in Quebec and beyond.

For more photos and videos of the event, follow us on LinkedIn @AquaAction