Announcing The Next Big Idea Contest Winners

The Results are in! Seven well-deserving companies have been selected as the winners of The Next Big Idea Contest, a nationwide tech competition for Lithuanian businesses, hosted by Pace Global Advantage (PGA) and DMZ from Ryerson University.

The seven Lithuanian entrepreneurs that have been selected to come to Canada for a week of training and networking are: Vytenis Pakėnas (isLucid), Adomas Klimantas (Uvireso), Urte Steikuniene (Feetsee), Simonas Stankus (Inbalance), Monika Paule (CasZyme), Donat Ponamariov (Viezo), and Arnas Karužas with Dovydas Matuliauskas (Ligence).

Winning Companies

A lengthy process of deliberation revealed several outstanding contestants who all show great potential for technological advancement. We would like to congratulate our winning applicants of contest. Here is a glimpse into the winning companies.

A Lithuanian company specializing in machine learning through transcription. IsLucid transcribes verbal communication in meetings and uses machine learning to automatically add tasks to employees’ schedules, saving time and eliminating the need to write minutes after a meeting, and just allowing people to focus on the meeting rather than on taking notes. IsLucid’s software is compatible with several popular project management platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Jira, proposing actionable items as it listens in on your video calls, and with the user’s approval, storing these in the meeting minutes, as well as updating your calendar. Another benefit of transcribing meetings is that they can be translated in real time, and the company also takes great care to respect its users’ privacy. isLucid helps save time on follow-up communications, work assignments, and descriptions. isLucid is a productivity hack that automates trivial chores so you can focus on the big stuff.

A Vilnius-based Lithuanian firm that employs UV light to disinfect indoor settings automatically removing 99.97 percent of all bacteria/pathogens. Simply place their UV light in a room, and bacteria, fungus, mould, and other harmful risks will be destroyed. They also have a ‘disinfection robot,’ which functions like a UV lamp installed atop a Roomba and disinfects a greater area. The entire disinfection procedure only takes 10 minutes and delivers 90% safety, resulting in a 50% reduction in airborne infections among workers. UV light also functions as a deodorant and refresher by destroying bacteria, thus it may be used in restrooms. Sterilizing conveyor belts and disinfecting medical environments are two further applications amongst many more.

A Lithuanian business in the healthcare sector that specializes in diabetes patient foot monitoring. It has AI capabilities and is simple to use. The product contains a trademarked stand and thermal device that monitor and measure changes and the status of the patient’s feet, as well as a mobile phone and tablet/laptop software that collects data for patient self-monitoring and contact/relays message to the physician and care team via alerts. With 95% accuracy, advanced algorithmic technology identifies important changes on the sole of the foot, notifying patients and clinicians.

The numbers speak for themselves; It is believed that Feetsee prevents 81% of diabetic foot ulcers and 70% of the problems that come with them. Emergency visits are expected to be reduced by 52%, with savings attributable to early treatment anticipated at 23% and prevention at 77%. Feetsee’s FDA registration was a milestone for the company as there are no other diabetic foot AI monitors like it on the market.

An innovative Lithuanian business in the field of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Inbalance designs, builds, and runs sophisticated electric vehicle charging stations. Their approach focuses on energy efficiency and helps fulfil the increased demand for electric vehicle charging without requiring any changes to the current power grid infrastructure. The Inbalance future-proof EV charging concept is based on the idea of being ready for widespread EV adoption and easy scaling, guaranteeing a quick and sustainable growth of a community-based public charging network. With a growing market of electric cars, and Prime Minister Trudeaus proposal of instituting a mandate that at least 20 per cent of new cars offered for sale by 2026 have zero emissions, there is a huge market for Inbalance.

CasZyme is a Lithuanian startup created in 2017 with the goal of developing new creative applications and providing high-quality research in the field of CRISPR-based Molecular Tools. CRISPR is a group of DNA sequences present in prokaryotic species’ genomes. CasZyme adds significant value to researchers and businesses by discovering and assessing novel CRISPR-Cas (‘CRISPR-associated protein’) gene editing tools. CasZyme started a multiyear relationship with DuPont Pioneer in its first year to find and characterize new CRISPR-Cas nucleases. CasZyme is also working on GMO plants alongside agricultural giant Corteva. CasZyme collaborated with Novel England Biolabs, the industry leader in the discovery and manufacture of enzymes for molecular applications, in 2019 because its focus is on generating new CRISPR-cas9 proteins and altering existing defined Cas9 proteins. The goal of this partnership is to investigate the many CRISPR-Cas9 systems, characterize novel CRISPR-Cas nucleases, and commercialize them.

Viezo is a Lithuanian company with a fundamental technology called vibration energy harvesting, which turns vibrations into useable electricity for powering IoT devices. For greater efficiency and safety, the company integrates it with their own low-power sensors to monitor the bogies of freight and passenger wagons. Viezo is seeking for methods to grow into a vast North American market and assist local trains in being far more dependable and efficient.

This Lithuanian company generates heart ultrasound pictures using deep learning technology. Their goal is to employ machine learning algorithms to determine functional and structural aspects of a person’s heart using more accurate ultrasound pictures. As a result, the focus is on improving measurement accuracy and reducing human error in detection and diagnosis.


The DMZ is a renowned startup incubator situated in Toronto, Canada, with internationally accessible programmes, providing the tools needed to establish, launch, and scale highly influential enterprises to the next generation of leading tech entrepreneurs.

Ranked top tech incubator in the world, DMZ equips startups with everything they need to develop and prosper as global businesses, including access to funders, target consumers, industry-leading experts, and community events.

DMZ has local operations in 10 countries, DMZ founders are based in 40 countries, and DMZ has helped support over 1,000 startups worldwide.

Pace Global Advantage

Pace Global Advantage (PGA) serves multinational corporations seeking to access the North American market. PGA provides comprehensive services to help companies invest in their future. The Pace Global Advantage is a custom-tailored and full-service experience that makes it as easy as possible for you to live and grow alongside your business, from investment and financial counselling to lifestyle and migration services.

What's Next?

Founders will engage in workshops, programme-led sessions and one-on-one meetings with tenured industry experts. During the one-week programme, our winners will gain knowledge of Canada’s tech environment, funding options, legal landscape, and HR practices. They’ll meet with our Entrepreneurs in Residence on many occasions to get advice on how to build the company in North America.

Rewatch: Canadian Start-Up Visa Webinar For Business People In India

How can entrepreneurs from India use the Canadian Start-Up Visa Program to grow their business and achieve permanent residency in Canada? Watch as our panel of business immigration experts explore the intricacies of the program. We are joined by Vartika Manasvi, a highly successful Indian entrepreneur and angel investor who has first-hand knowledge of utilizing the Start-Up Visa Program. 

Hosted by

Stefania Szabo

Director of International Relations, Pace Global Advantage

Stefánia is a former Hungarian diplomat, with skills in all areas of bilateral and multilateral relationship management, diplomacy, international trade and HR honed over 25 years of progressive experience. She leverages proven expertise in relationship management, outreach and negotiation between European and Canadian government networks to promote economic and trade values as well as representing government, business and community interests. She is a lawyer by profession, holds a Master’s degree in European Law, who is passionate about cross-cultural relations, human rights, architecture and action for sustainable development.

Vartika Manasvi

Vartika is a unique blend of a serial internet entrepreneur, operator, nomad, and a thought leader. MBA by education, marketer by profession, and an ecosystem connector by passion. She has built 7 products, and exited 2 tech startups in the last decade. She currently works with tech founders closely via PGA’s network and has involvement with the DMZ, Communitech, OnDeck and Seedstars. She is a solo GP working on her thesis on the Sovereign Internet and Identity for a more equitable future, and is an angel investor active across India, Canada, and the U.S.

Saakshi Chandra

Business Analyst, Pace Global Advantage

Before joining Pace Global Advantage (PGA), Saakshi worked in project management and consulting across industries in India and Australia. She has completed her MA in Financial Management from
the University of Melbourne and her BA in Economics from the University of Delhi.

At PGA, Saakshi mainly works on business plans for Canadian citizens moving to or establishing their businesses in the US. She also supports startup clients in Canada through market research, financial projections, and pitch decks. Saakshi enjoys building business strategy for startups, whether it’s to chart their market entry or to support revenue expansion.

Saakshi’s goal is to help global entrepreneurs and founders access the dynamic Canadian technology ecosystem.

Vince Lalonde

Director, Pace Immigration

Vince Lalonde leads the global investor immigration practice at Pace Immigration Associates & Advisors.

Vince advises financial institutions, government bodies and developers on the legality, viability and marketability of their investor immigration projects and programs. He was instrumental in opening up the Chinese market for several successful immigration products, including PEI PNP, Saskatchewan PNP, Singapore Investor, UK Tier 1 Investor, St. Kitts Citizenship, and Dominica Citizenship by investment programs.

Vince advises international investors seeing citizenship or permanent residence abroad on the most suitable investment option. He has helped hundreds of clients successfully immigrate to Canada and elsewhere.

Vince is a Canadian Barrister and Solicitor in Ontario and British Columbia.

What We Build: Helping Canada Lead The AI Race

Canada is recognized as a global Artificial Intelligence (AI) leader, and it reflects in government strategy and in the confidence investors show in its economy. In 2017, Canada became the first country in the world to release a national AI strategy, and in 2021 the federal budget has earmarked up to $443.8 million over 10 years to advance research and innovation in the AI field.

The government has co-sponsored Scale AI, a program aimed at investing in companies across a range of industries that are deploying AI to enhance their supply chain with a collective investment of $232 million. Not surprisingly, AI firms represent basic models of innovation in Canada. According to the University of Toronto in January 2020, the number of active firms with a flagship product or service that implements AI in Canada has doubled in the past five years to over 660. Ontario leads overall in the number of pure-play AI firms with 361 companies, compared with 131 in Quebec and 103 in British Columbia.

The growth in the number of AI companies has coincided with a larger technology boom in Toronto, home to 240,000 technology workers in 2019—a 52% increase in five years—and now ranks ahead of New York City. Canada also leads the world in the number of AI patents. Toronto is the fastest growing VC hub in the world with most investments going to start-ups coming from industries such as IT consulting, fintech, adtech, medical equipment, cannabis, digital healthcare and real estate tech. Other AI centers in Canada include Montreal, Vancouver, Waterloo, Calgary, Quebec and Ottawa.

PGA assists clients, from ideation to revenue stage, in entering the Canadian technology ecosystem and prospering in Canadian markets. This requires a deep understanding of the opportunities and the essence of the Canadian economy. Strong emphasis is put on AI, big data and digitization. Understanding the market for their product in Canada becomes essential for new entrants, and that’s where PGA comes in. PGA has successfully supported several ventures to get accepted into leading Canadian incubators and raise funding from North American angel investor groups. Even at the ideation stage, PGA has successfully modified business plans of clients in traditional sectors like agriculture and construction to give them an element of innovation in AI technologies and gain competitiveness in their respective industries. No matter the industry, our understanding of trending technologies, the Canadian business and regulatory landscapes as well as government’s strategic goals, enables us to provide excellent service to clients from across the world, with a strong track record of success.

Spring Newsletter

This has been a challenging year for everyone, but the pandemic has also galvanized people to imagine how their lives could be better, pushing them to take risks that seemed inconceivable before.
Our immigration consulting arm is strong, as our clients live in another country, so our services are done remotely regardless of the pandemic. We have focused our efforts in particular on the Start-up Visa Program and have many other projects in the works as international travel once again opens up. The COVID-19 pandemic has led PGA to strengthen its ties with Pace Immigration, which last year had its best year ever. PGA/Pace Immigration had a record-breaking year resulting in numerous Letters of Support from business incubators and angel investor groups.
We would like to highlight some of our initiatives throughout this year so far, who we are collaborating with, and who we are as a team.
We would be happy to hear from you if you would like to team up with us!

Al Pace


Nick Simone


PGA works closely with the client through the entire SUVP process, from helping developing the business concept to product launch, all while qualifying and admitting the business into a designated organization which will support the client and the team’s residency in Canada. Our services include:

1.     Starting a new business in Canada – We offer bespoke business services to companies of all stages – from early-stage start-ups requiring design services and MVP development, to revenue making companies looking to establish their Canadian arm.
2.     Market Studies – Our team will put together industry reports and market studies, covering all aspects from market trends to industry regulations, to help the team make the right business decisions.
3.     Business Facilitation – We help the client identify business opportunities, understand the Canadian business landscape and connect them with the right industry partners, vendors and investors through our strong connections in the Canadian business and technology ecosystem.
4.     As part of our integrated business consulting & development services, we also offer incorporation, webpage design, patent/trademark applications and marketing services.
We also offer business facilitation and research services to more traditional (non-tech) international companies, outside the Start-up Visa Program:
1.      Once international travel resumes, we continue organizing personalized business exploratory visits, to help the client understand the Canadian business environment and connect with key players in their industries, including distributors, vendors, investors and other stakeholders.
2.      Customized research: Our team will provide you with key insights on the industry, sector-specific current market trends and help you with specific business problems including pricing strategy and validation, operational support, financial projections, etc.
3.      Consulting and networking services: PGA has a strong network which includes investor groups, government officials and business incubators that focus on traditional businesses, that can guide the business with its entry into Canada.
We have insight on where Canadian sectors are going, what new technologies are emerging, where you can create jobs and employ Canadian talent, and what aligns with the long-term strategy of the government – working with us ensures future sustainability of your business.

Focus21 creates amazing products and helps businesses to grow. We build custom software from scratch or remodel existing software to uncomplicate and solve business problems. We have built B2B and B2C solutions, to help companies through the digital transformation process that is crucial to success in the 21st century.

Focus21 partnered with PGA to join on the global mission of helping innovators and creators around the world take their ideas from the drawing board to the reality. Specifically, we offer Start-up Visa clients “Start-up Co-Creation” that helps them secure initial investment and develop MVP. We are honoured to be partners with PGA and help its bold global mission!

After a two-year design and manufacturing history, Continest Technologies Zrt., established in 2019, achieved sales of more than $3.4 million CAD in the second year of its operation, 78 percent of which came from export sales. The dynamic growth after $270,000 CAD in the previous year (half-year) is explained by the fact that the Hungarian container technology company quickly adapted to market needs during the pandemic and reacted quickly to the changed market conditions with its scalable products. 

On returning to Toronto, he became one of the first employees at Pace Global Advantage.

At PGA, he specializes in developing innovative business ideas for the Start-up Visa program. “The skills needed to successfully run a company are very different from the skills needed to create innovative ideas,” he says.

Thanks to his familiarity with the latest research in AI and applied mathematics, he can often propose a viable idea even in a first intake meeting, which is in line with a client’s area of expertise, is backed up by academic research, and can succeed in the Canadian market.
“Many extremely useful tools are out there, but not used in industry because no-one has heard of them.” He believes that consultancies like PGA can improve immigrants’ odds of success in the Canadian market, help create meaningful jobs for Canadians, and increase the vibrancy of Canada’s start-up sector.

Entering The Canadian Food And Beverage Industry

The food and beverage sector in Canada generates more than 112 billion in production value, making it Canada’s second largest manufacturing industry.

In December, our team here at Pace Global Advantage (PGA) hosted a webinar to talk about how it can help Food & Beverage (F&B) exporters enter the Canadian market. With our expertise in market studies, industry reports, and extensive network of distributors and retailers in the F&B industry, we will be the perfect business partners for companies looking to explore Canada.

Watch the complete webinar

In 2018, food products constituted 4.5% of total import to Canada, and food and beverage sales exceeded US$96 billion representing a 3% increase compared to US$94 billion in 2017.

It is no surprise that the USA is the nation’s largest trading partner in terms of food imports – 61.12% of all imports to Canada are from the US. Canada’s proximity to the US and depth of regional economic integration are highly influential to its trade profile. The next two biggest trading partners are France (4.2%) and Italy (3.8%).

The quality of Canadian infrastructure outperforms the OECD average and is considered among the highest in the world. The high quality of administration and governance in Canada is in line with American and EU norms and standards which makes Canada an attractive destination for American and European exporters.

For new-to-market and new-to-export firms, Canada offers stable financial markets, a sophisticated logistics network, and a well-developed infrastructure between and within specific national markets, that supports $120 million worth of daily two-way trade in food and agricultural products.

The Canadian economy is inherently import-reliant for many types of primary, intermediate, and finalized goods and services which creates a conducive environment for international trade free of many kinds of trade barriers and restrictive practices.


The Canadian government has ambitious targets for food and agricultural exports by 2025, and Canadian demand for imported ingredients is expected to grow massively in the years to follow. 

Canada’s Innovation Agenda Webinar

Entrepreneurship and the growth of startup businesses are vital to Canada’s economy.

Pace Immigration and PGA hosted a webinar this April, on the Startup Visa Program (SUVP.) The SUVP is an excellent program which supports talented entrepreneurs globally set up their innovative business in Canada and gain permanent residency along the way.

SUVP Overview:

  • How does the Canadian SUVP compare to other business programs?
  • Start-up visa program goals and eligibility
  • Process and procedure
  • Canadian permanent residence and work permit option under SUVP
  • SUVP dos and don’ts
  • Introduction to Canada’s start-up ecosystem

Canada’s immigration policy now focuses on entrepreneurship programs, as part of the government’s innovation and skill plan. The government recognizes that nurturing entrepreneurship and the growth of startups is vital to Canada’s economy and the SUV program supports this agenda in a big way.

What Is Pace Global Advantage?

Pace Global Advantage can help global entrepreneurs build and scale their business in Canada. We offer a wide range of business facilitation services from writing and developing business plans and strategy to designing and building the product. We handhold entrepreneurs and companies to establish their business in the region through research, partnerships, resources, and funding. Check out the webinar or the  ‘Our Services’ section for more information on how we can help make your business a success in Canada! 

Learn more about our services
Watch the Start-up Visa Webinar

ContiMed – The Mobile Infrastructure for Temporary Medical Needs by Continest

PGA is honored to work with Continest for over a year. We were interested in working with this cool Hungarian start-up, as their foldable container is innovative, mobile, safe and economical and their management is highly professional.
Continest is a foldable, green tech container solution that cuts 80% of the logistic burden (transport, storage). It has a 10 year operational track record with projects from North America, Europe and the Middle East. Continest was developed with the aim of being the most-mobile solution on the container market and specifically in the temporary-building infrastructure market. Designed and built to be set up and stored with ease – even by a single person and a forklift – in just a few minutes, there is no limitation to the number of times it may be opened and closed.
Continest, in cooperation with PGA, entered the Pop-Up City contest of the Innovation for Defense Excellence and Security (IDEaS) Program of the Department of National Defence, and is one of the winners of Round 1 of the contest (Round 2 is ongoing). Continest’s goal with the Pop Up City Contest is to provide a solution which can support the DND and the CAF in their leadership role to meet the government-wide GHG reduction goals. Besides reduction of fuel consumption, the other primary gain of the Continest solution is protecting human health and the environment.
Answering to challenges we are facing with the pandemic, Continest established ContiMed initiated in 2020 by Continest team and external health professionals, a new lab solution. Continest developed its foldable containers for medical purposes filling a niche for fast, durable, environmental friendly and efficient mobile medical infrastructure. As a modular mobile medical infrastructure platform, ContiMed is used for various temporary needs in the public and private segments. Already 110 medical containers sold in 11 locations for laboratory use.
Learn more about ContiMed

Register for PGA’s Acceleration Program Webinar

Registration is now open for PGA’s webinar, directed at Lithuanian startups taking part in our Acceleration Program funded by Lithuania’s Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA).

The aim of this webinar is to introduce Canada’s startup environment, outlining how Canada is increasingly becoming an innovation hub for North America. Attendees will be greeted by H.E. Darius Skusevicius, the Ambassador of Lithuania in Ottawa, as well as Richard Martin-Nielsen, the Chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Canada in Vilnius.

The programme includes presentations by various colleagues at PGA and Pace Law:

  • an introduction to PGA by our CEO Nick Simone;
  • a brief history of Canada and outline of current affairs;
  • an overview of Canada–Lithuania relations by our founder Al Pace;
  • a survey of Canada’s immigration policy by director Vince Lalonde;
  • an introduction to the Toronto region by our advisor Stéfania Szabó.

Likewise, the webinar will feature introductions by incubators in the Toronto region:

  • Toronto Business Development Centre;
  • The DMZ in Toronto;
  • Spark Centre in Oshawa;
  • Innovation Factory in Hamilton.

Registration is free, and the webinar will take place from 15:30 to 19:00 EEST on June 22, 2020.

Find out more about the programme for our webinar

Invitation to Acceleration Program in Canada

Lithuania’s Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA) is currently offering funding for Lithuanian companies to participate in PGA’s Acceleration Program in Toronto from June 15–26, 2020.

The aim of this initiative is to promote growth of enterprises, development of innovative technologies, expansion into international markets, cooperation with foreign partners, participation in international research, and experimental R&D programs.

Companies will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • innovative and viable products being developed by the company;
  • the company’s experience and opportunities to develop the product;
  • readiness to participate in innovative R&D and need to develop the product internationally.

The main activities in PGA’s Acceleration Program will include:

  • training on Canada’s innovation and start-up ecosystem, business culture, and government funding;
  • consulting on setting up a business in Canada, tax, intellectual property management, and attracting venture capital funding;
  • meetings with potential partners, clients, and investors;
  • participation in business relations, investor and entrepreneur meetings, conferences (e.g. Collision).

The deadline for applications is 11:59pm (EEST) of April 3, 2020.

Doing Business in Vietnam Information Session – February 10, 2020

Vietnam has become a significant market for potential Canadian business in the wake of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. In an effort to educate and support Canadian Companies and Enterprises with the framework of the CPTPP, the Canada-Vietnam Trade Council and the City of Toronto hosted a Doing Business in Vietnam information session with the aim of sharing experiences in doing business in Vietnam. Pace Global Advantage, and our sister company, Pace Immigration has a network of clients in the region, so we were eager to learn about the latest developments.

The event focused on the benefits to the CPTPP one year after its inception, with a variety of speakers sharing their experiences of doing business in Vietnam. This included Director of Canada-Vietnam Trade Council Julie Nguyen, Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong (City of Toronto), Ms. Huong Do (Commercial Counsellor, Trade Office, The Embassy of Vietnam), Ms. Catherine Jollymore & Ms. Sarah Bernier (Global Affairs Canada), and Ms. Cholong Lim (Ontario Ministry of Economic Development) — all sharing their firsthand experience of what to expect in Vietnam, and providing useful information for Canadian businesses. Due to a shortage of homegrown technologies and initiatives, Vietnam is looking globally for aviation technologies, education, environmental / cleantech, agriculture and agri-food products, and information communication technology.

For further information on in-demand industries, and the in-depth breakdown of the information session, read the official article from the Canada-Vietnam Trade Council.