Key2Access Achieves Outstanding Success at Montreal Startupfest

Key2Access is one of the McGill Dobson community’s fastest growing startups for a number of reasons, with one of them being Sophie and Sarah Aladas, co-founders of the young company, having an incredible eye for opportunity.

Since the birth of this startup out of the McGill Lean LaunchPad program, Sophie and Sarah have been making huge waves in the startup community with their go-getter attitude and incredible pitching skills.

Their most recent success was at the 2016 edition of Montreal Startupfest, where they won the grand prize of $30,000 worth of services in the 30 Second Pitch contest, hosted by Videotron and MAtv Montreal.

Key2Access was started with the goal of making communities more inclusive by improving pedestrian mobility. The company uses innovations in wireless technology to offer a simple and cost effective solution for making pedestrian crosswalks more accessible.

They currently have a 2-part, patented system for both pedestrians and municipalities. For the end user, they have both a mobile application as well as a hand-held remote which are used to communicate with the receiver that can be installed at any pedestrian crosswalk by a municipality.

Key2Access handheld remote for users
Receiver for installation by municipalities

The project initially began in 2014 but began gaining traction after participating in the McGill Lean LaunchPad Program hosted by the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship.

The 10-week program offered by the McGill Dobson Centre which covered the foundations of building a startup from its earliest stages, prepared Sophie and Sarah to apply for the InnoCité MTL Accelerator. Key2Access was 1 out of 5 teams selected into the Montreal smart city accelerator program chosen from a pool of over 100 applications.

In a recent interview with Sophie, CEO of Key2Access, she credited the McGill Lean LaunchPad program for guiding her and her co-founder Sarah through all the steps they needed to help their company take off.

Sophie Aladas pitching at Montreal Demo Day
Sophie Aladas, CEO of Key2Access, pitching at Montreal Demo Day on June 9, 2016, photo courtesy of: Eva Blue | Ville de Montréal.

In the past 6 months alone, the company has made huge strides towards achieving their vision. Earlier this summer, Key2Access pitched their company at Montreal Demo Day, creating exposure for the issue of increasing accessibility within our communities, and demonstrating how ideal their system truly is.

With the same powerful pitch condensed down to 30 seconds, they won the grand prize of $30,000 worth of services in the 30 Second Pitch contest at Startupfest Montreal last week.

On the horizon for Key2Access is expanding and installing their systems in more cities and municipalities across Canada. So far, they have had two of their Key2Access systems installed in Ottawa and will soon be working on a third installation.

Through the InnoCité MTL accelerator program, they will be launching a Key2Access Pilot Project with the City of Montreal in the fall.

Ultimately, this incredible duo aims to make their Key2Access system the unilateral solution for accessibility for pedestrian crossings. As proud members of the Montreal and McGill entrepreneurship community, they hope to bring to light issues surrounding accessibility or lack thereof, collaborating with local cities and municipalities to bring positive change and limit barriers for all members of society.

Check out Key2Access on Facebook and Twitter!

Sanjana Desai

Sanjana Desai is a third year Bachelor of Commerce Student in the Desautels Faculty of Management. Sanjana was previously the Dobson Relations Coordinator (Summer 2016), responsible for all communications between startups, judges, and McGill Alumni.