Naysan Saran




about me

2007 : The Book

I didn’t know it back then, but this book changed my life. Somehow David Berlinski’s prose managed to convince my 16 year old self that mathematics was the greatest thing ever discovered. A couple of months later, it was time to choose what program I would study in college, and then my mom said :

“Why not get a degree in computer science first ? You’ll land a decent job upon graduating, and you’ll still have all the time to study math afterwards”

2012 : The Nerd

I earned my Computer Engineering degree 2012, and did land a very decent job afterwards indeed. For a year and a half, I lived and breathed Linux, Vim, and open source. Ok, I still do.

Then I got the chance to work as a scientific programmer at Environment Canada. It’s amazing how much science is at work behind your daily weather forecast : numerical analysis, differential equations, fluid dynamics, statistics … and the reason we all complain that it’s not working is actually another branch of mathematics : chaos theory.

2014 : Back To School (part time)

It was too much for me : math was everywhere and I still didn’t have a proper degree in it. So on September 2014, I started a part time major in Mathematics, finally. Balancing 2 courses per semester and a full time job was a challenge, but, hey, I was finally studying what I wanted.

A year and a half later was the first time I heard about Machine Learning. Out of curiosity, I picked a pen and a paper and decided to work through a web page that explained the back propagation algorithm. And guess what, I realized I could not only understand all the equations, but code them as well. At that moment I knew it was what I was going to do.

2016 : The Competition

Summer 2016, my teammates and I decided to use machine learning algorithms to predict water quality. The results were great, and our team, “Info Baignade”, won 1rst place at the AquaHacking competition in November of the same year.

2017 : The Startup

Fast forward in 2017, team “Info Baignade” has become the startup “CANN Forecast”. We use artificial intelligence to help municipalities in their water management challenges.











Fun Facts

I won a poetry contest at 16

I make my own soda

Crossed the US border with a comb in my hair


Co-Founder & CEO – CANN Forecast
Feb 2017 – Present

We help prevent water-related crises by leveraging Artificial Intelligence and existing environmental data.

InteliSwim: InteliSwim is an innovative predictive model that leverages machine learning to reliably predict the concentration of Escherichia coli in urban water bodies.
InteliPipes:Our AI-based algorithm can be trained with the water distribution network data of most municipalities to help them identify at-risk pipes before they break.



September 2013 – April 2018

Scientific Programmer

Canadian Meteorological Center

Designed, developed and deployed modular software architectures for the post-processing of numerical weather forecasts (Geoff Howell Citation for Innovation, 2015).

Created a user-friendly training material for the main technology transfer tool used by the department. After providing the training several times to our team, the course material has now become part of the basic training for new hires.

Participated in the design, testing and development of PROGNOS, an ongoing initiative to renew the operational statistical post-processing infrastructure of the Canadian Meteorological Center.

PROGNOS integrates machine learning algorithms such as Random Forests and Kalman Filters.

Project poster

May 2012 – September 2013

Free Software Consultant

Savoir-faire Linux

Coded, tested and deployed various modules to extend Drupal to meet the clients needs.

Developed, tested and deployed custom Odoo (Open Source ERP) modules using Python.

Took part in the preparation of a quality insurance plan in the response to a call for tenders valued at $1.5M. The tender was won by Savoir-Faire Linux.

Previous work experiences

Check out my Linkedin page.



2014 – 2018

Major, Mathematics (part time)

McGill University

2007 – 2012

Bachelor’s degree, Computer Engineering

École Polytechnique de Montréal


Winner – 2019 Canada Ventures

March 2020

SheEO Ventures are majority women-led and represent a new mindset, model or solution for a better world

Winner – WWF’s Generation Water Tech Challenge

WWF Canada
January 2020

Accelerator by the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI)’s Climate Ventures

Winner – CED Fast Forward Challenge

Canada Economic Development
August 2019

The CED Fast Forward Challenge specifically aims to strengthen the regions’ assets by building on boldness and ingenuity.

Excellence Grant for the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

The J. Armand Bombardier Foundation
May 2019

The Grants were designed to promote the role of women in different sectors of economic and community development, & to recognize the excellence of projects led by women.

Montréal inc. Grant

The Fondation Montréal inc.
December 2018

The Fondation Montréal inc. gives $ 268, 000 to young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 35 years old, ans is proud to welcome 19 news and innovatives compagnies of Montréal.

Entreprendre ICI Honorific Grant

Entreprendre ICI
September 2018

To stimulate entrepreneurship in Québec, the Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation is collaborating with Entreprendre ICI to offer grants to ethnocultural diversity entrepreneurs.


C2 Montreal
April 2018

The contest recognizes and rewards Québec-based up-and-comers who contribute to the advancement of business by demonstrating remarkable creativity and innovation.

Prix Inspirationnelle : Young woman in computer science

Generation W – YWCA’s young women’s committee
October 2017

This award honors young women for their leadership and commitment to their respective professional communities.

1rst Prize, AquaHacking Challenge 2016

Fondation de Gaspé Beaubien
October 2016

Water experts, hackers, engineers, and creative minds work together as a team to develop functional, marketable innovations to help solve St. Lawrence’s water issues.

Geoff Howell Citation of Excellence for Innovation

Environment and Climate Change Canada
June 2015

This award is granted to staff for innovative, trend-setting initiatives that result in improvements or savings to the government, the department or clients.


Towards Better Governance of Urban Data: Concrete Examples of Success

The old way of managing data is coming to an end because it no longer meets the needs of citizens.

Coast to Coast Cleantech Road Trip

A water-focused hackathon in Montreal 5 years ago was the launch pad for an exciting new business idea.

EAU – Humaniteq

S’intitulant « EAU », ce premier épisode de la série IA & Écologie d’HUMANITEQ porte sur la thématique de l’eau et sa gestion grâce aux technologies d’IA.

The Lean Startup Mentality for Canada’s AI Scale-Ups

Interview with the Co-Founder and CEO of CANN Forecast on the future of Canada’s AI ecosystem, and how to scale these companies.

RBC – CANN Forecast + SheEO: Making a Difference

CANN Forecast CEO & co-founder Naysan Saran is motivated by an opportunity to make a difference. Her company uses AI to help protect public health and preserve one of the world’s most valuable resources.

AquaHacking alum serves as judge in BC AquaHacking

Naysan Saran, co-founder and CEO of CANN Forecast and alum of the 2016 AquaHacking Challenge was part of the judging panel for the BC AquaHacking Challenge Final

Aquahacking: Fuites d’eau, Une réalité coûteuse / Costly Cracks

Naysan Saran, co-founder of CANN Forecast, explains the problem, how CANN is trying to solve it, and what you can do to help.


These founders are entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders of today and tomorrow. Their work moves us forward, and is worthy of celebration.

BlueTech Forum 2020 Speaker

BlueTech bring together large water corporations, small water techs, end-users & government institutions

SheEO 2019 Ventures Announcement

SheEO is a global community of radically generous women supporting women-led Ventures working on the World’s To Do List

Ask AI – Canadian Artificial Intelligence

Naysan Saran explains how her AI startup is applying machinelearning to help conserve and protect water, our most essential resource.

Earth Tech 2020: Announcing the new, impact-driven cohort

We’ll need new and better tech that supports the needs of a growing population while preserving the environment

L’intelligence artificielle au service de l’eau

Les solutions de CANN Forecast permettent aux villes d’assurer une meilleure gestion de l’eau

CIBL – RMF: l’Intelligence Artificielle avec Naysan Saran

CANN Forecast une startup Montréalaise qui développe des solutions IA pour prendre soin de l’une de nos ressources les plus précieuses aujourd’hui

Femmes en affaires: les jeunes pousses, un terreau de plus en plus fertile

Naysan Saran, cofondatrice et directrice générale de CANN Forecast, cherchait un incubateur. Son choix s’est arrêté sur District 3 de l’Université Concordia.

Human Interpretable Machine Learning for decision-making

Aging infrastructure, urbanization trends and climate change are some of the key risks facing water supplies around the world…

Mitacs et CANN Forecast: De l’eau, de l’eau partout!

CANN Forecast offre une solution proactive et prédictive pour un entretien préventif, ce qui permet aux municipalités d’économiser de l’argent.

Winners of the CED Fast Forward Challenge

We are delighted today to announce the names of the 10 innovative start-ups that were proclaimed the winners of the first CED Fast Forward Challenge.

Quand l’IA est au service de l’eau

Leonard soutient Smart World, un tour du monde consacré à l’intelligence artificielle dans la ville.

How Naysan Saran disrupted water quality detection in one hackathon

We share this story as a demonstration of AI being used for good.

Quand l’IA est au service de l’eau

L’eau, enjeu majeur des villes: De la maintenance prédictive…à la gestion intelligente de l’eau.

Montreal start-up uses AI to test water quality

Naysan Saran of CANN Forecast on using artificial intelligence to predict water quality.

Jeunes pousses: l’intelligence artificielle au service de l’eau

L’intelligence artificielle permet à CANN Forecast d’estimer de manière beaucoup plus fiable les ruptures de canalisation et la concentration d’E. coli dans les rivières.


The J. Armand Bombardier Excellence Grants promote the role of women in different sectors of economic and community development, and recognize the excellence of projects led by women.

Un accueil convaincant à Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

Le mandat que poursuit la Chambre de commerce et de l’industrie du Haut-Richelieu est ambitieux. À l’image de la vitalité qui l’anime, elle a réservé un accueil convaincant aux dix participants à la mission Entreprendre en région.


Et si on vous disait qu’il était possible de financer sa startup avec presque rien? Et bien c’est comme ça que s’est développé l’entreprise CANN Forecast

Naysan Saran of CANN Forecast talks AquaHacking

What’s it like to go from a regular job to the CEO of a social enterprise in just a few years? Naysan Saran tells us how AquaHacking completely changed her life…

Entrevue avec Naysan Saran, PDG de CANN Forecast

Brillantes, passionnées et courageuses, elles méritent qu’on apprenne à les connaître. C’est ce que propose le nouveau balado 20%, coproduit par Québec Science et l’Acfas.

20% : un balado où des femmes en science et en techno se racontent

Dans une série d’entretiens, des femmes de tous horizons discutent de leur parcours. Elles partagent leurs réussites & leurs échecs, leurs ambitions & leurs doutes, leurs joies & leurs peines.

Les femmes: un réel catalyseur de changement pour le monde du travail

Les histoires inspirantes de quatre femmes issues de différents horizons qui utilisent l’innovation et les nouvelles technologies comme catalyseur de changement.

The Path to Impact in AI & Life Sciences

Solutions must consider market need, and other facets of entrepreneurship: you don’t want to create a useless box, you want to change people’s lives.


Here are three green startups founded by Montréal women who have created avant-garde technologies that not only benefit people, but the planet as well.

District 3: AI in Life Sciences Discovery Program

Learn more about our AI in Life Sciences Discovery Program, with our Life Sciences Manager, Mahzad Sharifahmadian, AI Fellow, Sydney Swaine-Simon and cofounders of CANN Forecast, Naysan Saran and Nicolas Fortin St-Gelais.

United Nations SDG platform first match

After hundreds of interviews and the impressive volunteering effort of leaders in business and academia from all over the world, we were able to identify our first match: CANN Forecast

C2 Emerging Entrepreneurs Contest Winner

The contest recognizes and rewards Québec-based up-and-comers who contribute to the advancement of business by demonstrating remarkable creativity and innovation.

DATAtalks Speaker Series

DATAtalks allows you to meet and mingle with industry professionals and gain insight on industry trends through real life experiences.


The Soirée InspirationnELLE is a gala to honour young women for their leadership, career success, and commitment to their professional communities.

AquaHacking Summit 2017

Leaders from government, First Nations, philanthropically minded businesses were hosted by the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation and the Water Institute at the University of Waterloo to address the many issues facing Lake Erie.

12th Metropolis World Congress – Urban Leaders Conference

From June 19 to 22, 2017, Montreal will host the key decision-makers from the world’s large cities during the 12th Metropolis World Congress.

Femmes, environnement & innovation

Au matin du 22 mars, six panélistes discutaient des enjeux modernes de la cause environnementale, en plus des percées présentant des solutions innovatrices.

Speaker at AMERICANA 2017 edition

AMERICANA, Environmental forum and International trade show, is recognized as one of the leading multi-sector events of its kind in North America.

A year after flushgate, is Montreal ready for urban beaches?

A year after Montreal dumped almost five billion litres of untreated wastewater into the St. Lawrence River, the city is moving ahead with plans for two new urban beaches.


Un an après le scandale du déversement d’égouts dans le fleuve Saint-Laurent à Montréal, bien des problèmes ne sont toujours pas résolus. Le point avec Alexandre Touchette.

Déversement d’eaux usées : les baigneurs sur les plages montréalaises seront-ils avertis à temps?

Il y a un an, le déversement de milliards de litres d’eaux usées par la Ville de Montréal dans le Saint-Laurent a conscientisé les Montréalais aux lacunes de leur système de gestion des eaux usées.


Des étudiants de Polytechnique Montréal, de l’École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) et de l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) ont remporté la finale du défi AquaHacking.


5 jeunes entreprises numériques étaient en compétition pour la « pole » afin de promouvoir des solutions pour assurer une meilleure qualité de l’eau du fleuve Saint-Laurent.


Towards Better Governance of Urban Data: Concrete Examples of Success

The old way of managing data is coming to an end because it no longer meets the needs of citizens.

Python Package: pyGeom2D

Python package to create 2D geometries.

Human Interpretable Machine Learning for decision-making

Conference: Aging infrastructure, urbanization trends and climate change are some of the key risks facing water supplies.


Presentation: Aging infrastructure, urbanization trends and climate change are some of the key risks facing water supplies.

3 tips for aspiring entrepreneurs

Our top 3 tips for aspiring entrepreneurs who wish to apply AI in the life sciences sector

Gestion des eaux urbaines par apprentissage machine

L’adaptation aux changements climatiques et à l’urbanisation est un défi de taille en gestion des eaux urbaines.

PROGNOS Post-Processing Infrastructure

PROGNOS is an initiative to renew the operational statistical postprocessing infrastructure to accommodate evolving meteorological and air quality forecast program requirements.

51st CMOS Congress

Use of artificial neural network for fecal indicator nowcasting in a sewage impacted recreational water source

Environnement Canada: L’analyse de précipitation CaPA: état des lieux

CaPA vise à fusionner différents types d'observation sur la précipitation par interpolation optimale

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