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Shapeshift 3D: A mask to boost the Quebec economy

Entrepreneur’s corner | Oct 16, 2020

Did you follow the Pitch from Home during last July's Startupfest? The Shapeshift 3D team presented Beyond Fit, a custom-made breathing mask. Find out how this company is contributing to Québec's economic recovery. Interview with Daniel Béland, Director of Operations, Francis Dion, Co-Founder and Revenue Manager and Amélie Poirier-Borduas, Public Relations Officer.

A response to COVID-19

“We saw that nurses had marks on their faces from wearing the N-95 mask. We came up with an idea to help them. Instead of having a choice of small, medium or large size, and hoping the mask wouldn't be too uncomfortable, the workers would have a mask that would fit their face perfectly,” says Francis. Beyond Fit was born. The user or specialist scans the face using a smartphone, tablet or specialized device, and then the Shapeshift 3D software adjusts the mask before sending it for 3D printing.

Contributing to Québec's economic recovery

We want our masks to become protective equipment, just like work boots. We are targeting the healthcare community, the commercial sector and even consultants. They need to be able to visit their clients without contaminating them. We want to give Québec entrepreneurs the opportunity to offer their employees a safe workplace while continuing to do business.

Their comfortable and reusable mask will allow people to resume business activities in complete safety.

Writing a winning pitch

The Shapeshift 3D team members asked themselves 3 important questions before writing the pitch that would lead to winning the $5,000 grant in the Startupfest Pitch from Home competition.

They had already been working for several months to develop their sales arguments. They had also participated in other competitions before Pitch from Home. These experiences helped them to practice and to improve their pitch. “We didn't know who the judges were, so we simply explained our technology and focused on the impact that our product would have on the company. We had one slide about the software and 15 slides about what it was bringing to the consumer and its future potential,” explained Daniel.

We held a number of working sessions with each other and practiced our presentation on our partners and on people unfamiliar with our field, including family and friends. This allowed us to gather a variety of critiques and improve our presentation.

Organizations to support them

The team is surrounded by partners and support organizations that help them on a daily basis. “Valérie Laffineur from PME MTL recently helped us with a [successful] funding application. We would never have been able to create such a comprehensive document without her. Alain Bakayoko, Director of Commercialization and Innovation, Life Sciences and Health Technologies at PME MTL, helps us with our everyday questions and challenges. He provides us with solutions that make a difference. He also helps us to develop our network of contacts in order to facilitate the marketing of our mask. ”

Next Steps for Shapeshift 3D

It's very encouraging to have won this Pitch competition. It confirms the potential of the idea, and that we are on the right track,” says Francis. The team will invest its $5,000 grant awarded by PME MTL into the commercialization of its product. Shapeshift 3D is currently seeking financing to accelerate its growth and penetrate international markets.

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Shapeshift 3D is the winner of the Pitch from Home competition held during Startupfest 2020, in the Early Stage Companies category. It is supported by PME MTL Centre-Est.

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