OUR MISSION IS TO RESTORE FRESHWATER HEALTH IN NORTH AMERICA.
We make this happen by engaging talented young innovators, activating their technologies, and supporting them as they turn their solutions into results.
Want to get involved? Join AquaAction.
AquaAction is a registered charity in Canada.
Next Gen Solutions
Since 2015, AquaAction’s flagship program has been the AquaHacking Challenge, a catalyst for freshwater innovation led by young Canadians.
Through AquaHacking, we’re helping talented young Canadians take on real-life freshwater issues, offer concrete solutions, and tap into an extensive network of experts and mentors.
Meet the AquaHacking Alumni members who are leading the way towards healthier water through their start-ups and initiatives.
AquaAction has helped young innovators have positive impacts for 110+ rivers, lakes, and watersheds across Canada and the United States.
Through AquaHacking, young innovators have tackled 25+ water issues.
Since the first AquaHacking Challenge, we have engaged hundreds of young innovators, and our teams have formed 28 startups – several of which are actively growing and expanding.
Since 2015, AquaHacking finalist teams have collected a total of $4,000,000 in investment and seed funding.
“It’s unbelievable how far we’ve come, what we have accomplished. Through the AquaHacking experience I was challenged personally and professionally, and I had to push myself. I am very grateful for that.”
CEO, Blue Lion Labs AquaHacking 2017 winner
We believe in the power of new technology and of the next generation of young innovators to bring a solution-focused mindset to solving some of the most pressing water issues we face in North America.
Co-chair, De Gaspe Beaubien Foundation, Nan‑bowles (Nan‑b) de Gaspé Beaubien is a businesswoman and a pioneer in the advancement of family enterprise. As Founder and Chair of the de Gaspé Beaubien Family Foundation, she devotes her time to philanthropic endeavours that continue to break new ground supporting enterprising women and enterprising families, public health and environmental causes. An internationally renowned expert on the topic of family enterprise, Nan‑b is a regular speaker at global conferences and top universities worldwide.
François de Gaspé Beaubien obtained a BA with honours from Haverford College before earning an MBA with distinction at Harvard Business School in 1989. Because of his strong academic performance, he was recruited by the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity, one of the oldest and most prestigious academic honour societies in the United States. After concluding his studies, François rose up the publishing ranks from publisher of New England Monthly magazine to eventually become President of Telemedia Publishing, Canada’s largest consumer magazine company at the time with titles ranging from TV Guide to Elle magazine. He and his team turned the organization from losses to the most profitable publishing group in Canada and he then sold that division in 2000. He and his brother oversaw the expansion of their radio division as co-CEOs to become Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, Telemedia, which they then sold in 2002. In 2003, François acquired Zoom Media, an indoor advertising company. Since he became CEO, the company has experienced tremendous growth (and focus), digitally entertaining and educating over 35 million fitness members every month across all of Canada, the USA, and the United Kingdom. He is the sole owner of Zoom. The businessman is also the co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Hivestack, a company that allows advertisers to target custom audiences digitally, based on physical world behaviors (combining the engagement of mobile devices with digital billboards). François recently sold Ayuda Media Systems, a software company utilized across 22 countries for its billboard management systems of which he was the Executive Chairman of the board. He is very involved in the industry and serves as Chairman of the board of the Digital Place Based Advertising Association (DPAA), a global initiative based out of NYC seeking to foster the growth of Digital Out Of Home (DOOH) media by bringing together market participants (media owners and tech suppliers) and educating marketers.
Simon is currently a Senior Partner at Cycle Capital and Lead of BleuImpact, a water impact investment fund. Simon is an executive leader with 30 years experience in strategy, innovation, finance, and operations. He spent more than 20 years at GE, including roles with GE Capital, GE Corporate (M&A and Ventures) and GE Renewable Energy, where he built a multi-billion-dollar franchise in Canada and Northeast USA.
Simon holds an engineering degree from Polytechnique Montreal and an MBA in finance from McGill University, where he is a member of the McGill Global Leadership Council. In 2009, he was named young international leader of Quebec by the Arista organisation. Simon served on several boards of directors including GE Canada, C2 Montreal, the Canadian Wind Energy Association, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montréal, etc. He actively supports his community through his lasting engagement with United Way (Centraide).
“We have underinvested in the water sector. The recent climate crisis forces us to spark innovation. Water has no substitute – with AquaAction, we propel sustainable technological solutions to ensure freshwater’s future and raise awareness about the water crisis.”
Barrie Laver is Managing Director, Head Venture Capital & Private Equity with Royal Bank of Canada and leads RBC Capital Partners, the bank’s VC & PE arm. Mr. Laver’s background is primarily in the venture capital industry both with RBC as well as having founded his own independent venture fund that focused on early stage technology investments. Mr. Laver has also served as CEO with companies in the technology, hospitality and manufacturing sectors and has experience on numerous private, public and not-for-profit boards.
Mr. Laver is a member of CPA Canada and the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Pierre-Marc Sarrazin is Vice-President, Corporate Finance, Development & Treasurer
Ovivo, a global provider of water and wastewater treatment equipment headquartered in Montreal. He joined Ovivo in 2011 and he currently leads the mergers and acquisitions strategy, financing, treasury operations and investor relations.
Pierre-Marc cumulates close to twenty years of corporate finance and development experience for several multinational public companies, where he also actively participated in a number of strategic transactions, such as acquisitions, divestments, financing and restructuring.
Pierre-Marc holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and a Master of Science in International Business from HEC Montreal. He also holds the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst.
“I am involved with AquaAction because of its core mission, which contributes to two of my great passions: entrepreneurship and environmental protection. It is very rewarding to make a lasting difference through the creation and acceleration of innovative start-ups developing solutions to water-related problems.”
Allen Lalonde is an experienced innovation leader and retired technology executive. As the former IBM Canada Senior Innovation Executive and Director of IBM Canada’s Research & Development Centre, Allen directed IBM’s investments and collaboration in strategic innovation initiatives across Canada. Allen and his team focused on driving social and economic growth in Canada through IBM’s leadership, participation and support of collaborative innovation initiatives and models. . In this role, Allen collaborated with Municipal, Federal and Provincial governments, academic institutions and researchers, and industry associations and partners to establish, progress and execute such initiatives. Since retiring from IBM, Allen continues to contribute by consulting on a variety of public and private sector innovation initiatives across Canada and also acts as the Chief Innovation Officer for Trycycle Data Systems (Ottawa) which delivers next-generation, data-driven, digital, and compassionate engagement platforms that address priority health challenges in mental health, public health and especially with indigenous and remote community support.
“AquaAction is notably different from other environmental initiatives. It addresses the priority challenges facing water through technology innovation and broad engagement, leading to new solutions that grow businesses, create new jobs, and leave a legacy of youth empowerment.”
Matthew Price-Gallagher is President & CEO, Watercluster Scientific Inc. Watercluster Scientific Inc. is a Montreal-based privately held corporation focusing on innovative quantum science-based technology solutions using nanotechnology. For the past seventeen years, Mr. Price-Gallagher has guided the Company through its commercial and R&D initiatives with leading researchers and engineers around the world. Current research partners include Brojde Center for Innovation in Engineering and Computer Science and the School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, both at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as NanoSpun Technologies, a spin-off of the Technion.
Blaine Favel is Founder of First Peoples Pipeline, CEO of Kanata Earth, and President of Battle River Bison, a not for profit focused on bringing the bison back. Mr. Favel served as the University of Saskatchewan’s chancellor from 2013 to 2016. Mr. Favel is member of Poundmaker Cree Nation and an influential Plains Cree leader who has made significant contributions to scholarship, education, public service and the Canadian public good.
In addition to a Bachelor of Education, Mr. Favel has a law degree from Queen’s University and an MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business. He was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan in 2012.
During his term as Chancellor, Mr. Favel played a key role in guiding the university’s planning and actions in Indigenous education and engagement. In the fall of 2015, alongside President Stoicheff, Mr. Favel co-hosted the first Building Reconciliation National Forum, where Aboriginal and university leaders gathered to discuss how universities across Canada can respond to the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Mr. Favel worked to ensure that this first forum was the beginning of what has now become an annual gathering hosted by Canadian universities.
Daniel has extensive experience in digital strategy, business architecture, and complex technology implementation projects. He is a trusted advisor to executives and managers looking to reinvent their business or create more value from their current operations. He works across the entire strategy to execution domains.
Daniel has broad industry experience and has spent a significant part of his recent career in agribusiness and agri-food both in Canada, US and New Zealand. More recently he has led digital strategy and digital transformation engagements for a global consumer food organization and large ag-retailing co-operative. He has experience in agribusiness operations, with technologies such as farm management information systems, precision farming technologies, eCommerce and agronomy applications. He is also experienced in helping agribusiness and agri-food enterprises in areas such as digital strategy, business architecture, data integration, innovation and cognitive applications, cloud infrastructure, and data governance
Water is essential to life on earth. It sustains us, it connects us, it nourishes us all. AquaAction is here to help everyone find meaningful ways to protect freshwater for future generations.
FRANÇOIS DE GASPÉ BEAUBIEN