BIOS, a Cambridge, U.K.-based neural engineering startup, has raised a US$4.5 million seed-stage financing backed by Canadian early-stage venture capital firm Real Ventures.
Real, AME Cloud Ventures and Ariel Poler, founder of the human augmentation syndicate on AngelList, led the round, according to TechCrunch.
BIOS will also be opening an R&D office in Montréal, Montréal International and Investissement Québec said.
Founded in 2015, BIOS is developing technology to enable artificial intelligence-based healthcare treatments on human organs and nerve systems.
Greater Montréal Attracts Three Top International AI Players
The whole world’s eyes are on Montréal’s tech talent and expertise
MONTRÉAL, Dec. 4, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – In yet another clear sign that the city’s unique AI ecosystem is thriving, Montréal has attracted three AI leaders from the United Kingdom, a major development that stands to create more than 130 highly skilled jobs over the next three years. Montréal International and Investissement Québec are thrilled to announce that QuantumBlack (a McKinsey company), WinningMinds and BIOS (formerly known as CBAS) will all be opening offices in Montréal, drawn by the impressive pool of talent that has made the city a leading hub of artificial intelligence research.
The announcement was made alongside the prestigious NeurIPS conference, in the presence of the associate Minister for Transport and Minister responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal area, Chantal Rouleau, and the Mayor of Montréal and President of the Montréal Metropolitan Community, Valérie Plante.
Montréal owes its attractiveness to a dynamic scientific community coupled with the world’s largest concentration of academic researchers in deep learning. In recent years, the work of acclaimed researchers has developed into leading-edge expertise that is increasingly attracting the world’s very top players in AI.
QuantumBlack: enhancing performance through analytics
Founded in the UK nearly a decade ago, advanced analytics firm QuantumBlack will open a Centre of Excellence at Mila (Québec Artificial Intelligence Institute). With a reputation in the life sciences, aerospace, finance, and natural resources, QuantumBlack brings together data scientists, designers and engineers to deploy cutting-edge techniques and offers a scalable approach that targets multi-year transformations.
“We’re thrilled to be adding to our global community of specialists with Montréal’s outstanding pool of talent. Montréal has quickly become a world-leading centre in AI and deep learning. I look forward to growing our footprint within Canada, collaborating with Mila and continuing to work with companies across the country by helping them move from concepts and pilots to resilient systems built into their operations. We want to help clients improve their performance for the long term.”
– Jeremy Palmer, CEO, QuantumBlack
WinningMinds.ai: analysing team dynamics and demonstrated behaviours at work
WinningMinds.ai has designed an AI conversation analysis platform that analyses demonstrated skills and behaviours in real time and context to help leaders select the best talents and enhance their teams’ effectiveness. Business leaders use the platform to identify a) who is the best talent to hire or promote b) what the teams need to change in order to make good decisions collectively, during meetings.
“What differentiates our applications from the current approaches is that our AI model is designed around the latest scientific theories and technological advancements related to performance at work anchored around three pillars—science, technology and business. We work with leaders and their Human Resources to incorporate the platform into their Talent Development and Team Coaching processes and ensure productivity enhancement.”
– Maria Kolitsida, CEO of WinningMinds.ai.
BIOS: harnessing AI for healthcare
BIOS (formerly known as CBAS), the leading neural engineering startup, is creating the open standard hardware and software interface between the human nervous system and AI. The mission is to enable AI-based healthcare treatments on organs and nerve systems throughout the body.
The team uses neuroscience, machine learning, software engineering, applied biomaterials, and the experience of our biotechnologists and clinicians to solve the complex problems of successfully integrating AI-based treatments into the human body. BIOS has the largest health-focused neural data sets in the world, which it is using to enable cutting-edge research and development into chronic disease treatments by academic and commercial partners. BIOS announced today that it has raised a $4.5M USD seed round which includes investment from Montréal-based Real Ventures.
“We are extremely excited to open a BIOS office in Canada. Montréal has a thriving tech ecosystem and is a significant hub for AI talent. Basing part of our research team here gives us a strategic R&D location in North America and aligns perfectly with our goal to make our datasets, tools and AI methods available to academic and business partners throughout the region.”
– Emil Hewage, Co-Founder and CEO, BIOS
“Industrial interest in artificial intelligence applications is growing, not only from the world’s IT giants but also from SMEs and startups in many sectors. The arrival of QuantumBlack, WinningMinds and BIOS confirm that the foundations have been laid for us, here in Québec, especially in Montréal, to build an artificial intelligence ecosystem that is dynamic, solid, successful and internationally recognized.”
− Chantal Rouleau, Associate Minister for Transport and Minister responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal area.
“Artificial intelligence has the potential to improve people’s quality of life and reimagine the cities of tomorrow. We are pleased to welcome three new companies that will enrich Montréal’s innovation ecosystem and help spur our city’s growth.”
− Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal and President of the Montréal Metropolitan Community
“Greater Montréal has become an AI epicentre: all the leading players want to work here and open laboratories. Our unparalleled attractiveness has enabled Montréal to attract some thirty strategic projects to the city, for investments totalling $500 million. And the best is yet to come!”
− Hubert Bolduc, President and CEO, Montréal International
“We’re extremely proud that Montréal has become a global AI hub. A robust, dynamic sector coupled with the synergy of the academic research community has enabled us to attract new businesses and create hundreds of skilled jobs. We are proud of Investissement Québec’s role in helping these key industry players understand the benefits of choosing Montréal.”
− Pierre Gabriel Côté, President and CEO, Investissement Québec
“Today we’re reaping the fruit of collective efforts to position Montréal’s cutting-edge expertise and domestic talent on the international stage. Québec’s metropolis is enjoying ever-increasing popularity both with investors and with tourists. Montréal is renowned and taking its place among the world’s major urban centres.”
− Yves Lalumière, President and CEO, Tourisme Montréal
ABOUT MONTRÉAL INTERNATIONAL
Established in 1996, Montréal International is a non-profit organization funded by the private sector, the governments of Canada and Québec, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal and the City of Montréal. Its mandate is to attract and retain foreign investment (companies and startups), international organizations, skilled workers and international students to Greater Montréal by providing support services tailored to their needs.
ABOUT INVESTISSEMENT QUÉBEC
Investissement Québec’s mission is to foster the growth of investment in Québec, thereby contributing to economic development and job creation in every region. The Corporation offers businesses a full range of financial solutions, including loans, loan guarantees and equity investments, to support them at all stages of their development. It is also responsible for administering tax measures and prospecting for foreign investment.
Created in 2017 by the Université de Montréal and McGill University, Mila brings together the highest concentration of research and development in deep learning and reinforcement learning. In its new premises at the O Mile-Ex Complex, Mila will create a unique territory of innovation and technology transfer in artificial intelligence that will exploit interactions with industry and spark the emergence of startups, while integrating the social impacts of artificial intelligence in its projects.
For further information: Isabelle Verge, TACT Intelligence-conseil, firstname.lastname@example.org, 514-701-7223