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Globe and Mail profiles Humera Malik in feature on upcoming Canadian Business Leaders

Updated: Mar 11, 2019

January 25th - Ivan Semeniuk, Josh O'Kane, Sean Silcoff, John Daly, The Globe and Mail


For Humera Malik, it was a pretty typical week: First, she flew to Davos to pitch her company’s predictive analytics software to industrial giants at the World Economic Forum, where the global elite gather to tackle the world’s problems. Then it was off to San Francisco for back-to-back-to-back meetings with investors, who have put more than $5 million (U.S.) into Malik’s Toronto-based startup, Canvass Analytics.


Malik has a long history of making old things work in new ways, from building early WiFi networks to, more recently, using artificial intelligence to make better decisions on an industrial scale—decisions like how much power your factory is consuming or how you monitor product quality or even when you need to service your equipment. Canvass, which Malik founded in 2016, harnesses machine learning to help metals, auto, agriculture and energy plants adapt to a rapidly innovating world. These industries, she says, tend to be “data-rich but information-poor” and often need a nudge to use data to their advantage.


"It's not a matter of if industry will...It's a matter of when"

For his part, MaRS Discovery District CEO Yung Wu thinks Canvass could have “trilliondollar impacts.” For many manufacturers, “every efficiency you can drive is life or death,” and he sees Malik as a key leader in that transition. As Malik notes, food and energy demands are expected to grow, while many legacy industries’ institutional knowledge is drying up as boomers retire. AI can help the next generation build upon the last. “It’s not a matter of if industry will,” she says. “It’s a matter of when.”


Read the full article here.