Canadian Startups Bring Futuristic Products to NYC TechDay 2024

Canadian Startups Bring Futuristic Products to NYC TechDay 2024

The 10th anniversary of the TechDay Expo in New York saw a notable presence of Canadian startups in attendance.

Hundreds of startups gathered on the floors of the Javits Center in Manhattan for this year’s TechDay Expo. Celebrating its 10th year, TechDay is recognized as the market’s biggest series of events for tech-based startups, having launched in New York City as a one-day expo-style event for startup founders and their teams.

Startups near and far set up booths on the show floor, eager to demo their products and services to investors, job seekers, and the press. And while hearing the title “tech startup” may spring to mind images of Silicon Valley and NYC, there was a less expected player with a significant presence on the field at this year’s expo: Canada. 

Several founders representing the Canadian startup scene made their marks on the New York audience earlier this month. ASME spoke with three hardware-focused Canadian tech companies that are developing the products of tomorrow.

Robbox Tools

Robox smart digital power tools and devices on display at the Javits Center in NYC. Video: Alburakeh

Founded: 2016
Headquarters: Burnaby, British Columbia
Company stage: Series A and above

Robbox Tools integrates smart technology into power tools, enhancing precision, efficiency, and user experience for consumers. The award-winning technology company targets professional carpenters, plumbers, and electricians, among others—even DIY hobbyists are captivated by the cutting-edge tools, according to COO Rodica Matei.

At TechDay 2024, Matei presented the product line of the company’s first-generation AI-ready power tools. The Robbox Sennses™ Pro is a multifunctional tool combining laser measuring, leveling, and a stud finder in a single compact device, Matei said.

Rodica Matei, COO of Robbox, demonstrates the functionality of the Sennses™ Pro. Video: Alburakeh
She demonstrated the device’s dual laser feature, explaining that “the benefit of having both is for higher accuracy over an extended range—up to 260 feet.” The device also features a magnetic latching system, built-in work light, long-lasting rechargeable battery, and an accompanying mobile app.

Also on display was the xDrill, which reimagines the traditional drill by incorporating smart features like laser measuring, digital leveling, and intelligent speed and torque control. While the Sensses™ Pro is available for purchase on the Robbox website, the xDrill has a waiting list.

With its growing product line, Robbox aims to “solve the long-standing problem of inadequate access to data, guidance, and overall efficiency in the mature and technologically lagging tool industry.”

Aim Colours

Tech-powered press-on nails that will enable instant self-expression. Video: Aim Colours
Founded: 2020
Headquarters: Montreal, Quebec
Company stage: Pre-seed

Aim Colours is a Quebec startup based in Montreal developing tech-enabled press-on nails that change color in real time via a mobile app. Currently in pre-seed stage, the upcoming tech-fashion company is planning to “disrupt feminine-coded high-tech hardware” by revolutionizing the nail industry.

“While pursuing my PhD in synthetic chemistry at McGill, I came across color-changing compounds,” said Alejandra Huerta, founder & CEO of Aim Colours. “It struck me that those futuristic movie scenes may be closer to reality than we might think.” Huerta referenced a scene from the 1990 film Total Recall where the receptionist changes her nail color with the tap of a stylus.

Head of operations, Bruno Anaya, explained that the press-on nails would function as miniature Kindle-like screens with microprocessors and copper borders. The startup is testing the color-changing functionality with a mobile app that connects either via Bluetooth or by touching the nail to an external device.

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Anaya shared that alongside durability and ease of use in hardware development, cost is a major consideration the team is addressing to ensure significant savings for nail salon consumers compared to traditional visits for manicure appointments. 

The innovative “ePolish” is just the beginning. Aim Colours’ plan “extends beyond nails to include other fashion accessories”—including glasses and shoes—opening numerous possibilities for exploring self-expression through tech. The futuristic vision also includes a marketplace where creators can showcase unique designs that can be monetized to a global community.

Off The Grid

Off The Grid electricity generation spinning bikes with mobile app. Video: Off The Grid
Founded: 2020
Headquarters: Montreal, Quebec
Company stage: Seed

With the belief that the fitness industry has a part to play in the ecological transition, Off The Grid set out to develop an innovative stationary bike that converts users’ energy into electricity. The startup has already penetrated the market with its message that “with each pedal stroke, you’re not only burning calories but also reducing your ecological footprint.” The bikes have reportedly generated over 285,000 Wh of electricity to date—the equivalent of approximately 40,771 hours of lighting.

CEO Charles Couture-Lebrun shared that the stationary bike is marketed to commercial clients—like hotels, gyms, and companies—particularly those looking to stay true to their sustainability pledges. “By replacing the stationary bike's back wheel with a generator, wasted energy is transformed into electricity used directly in the building's grid, reducing energy consumption in real-time,” he explained. “You just plug it into the wall, and it's ready to go without the need for batteries or modifications.”

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According to Couture-Lebrun, an individual can produce on average around 150Wh during a one-hour workout. The stationary bike itself can generate a maximum of 250Wh of energy.

Off The Grid has also launched an accompanying mobile app that allows users to view their bike performance and participate in challenges for eco-friendly rewards. Mobile devices can easily be plugged into the bike, and training data is transmitted directly to a database.

Sarah Alburakeh is a strategic content editor.

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