Jean-Francois Gagné

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Element AI

In October 2016, Jean-François co-founded Element AI with Yoshua Bengio, one of the three fathers of Deep Learning. Born out of an AI research lab connected to the world’s top academic institutions, Element AI develops transformative AI business applications for large corporations. With a global ecosystem that spans North America, Europe, and Asia, Element AI has unparalleled access to two of the scarcest talent pools: world-class entrepreneurs and artificial intelligence experts. As testament to this valuable access, Element AI raised $102M, the largest Series A for any AI startup to date, just seven months after launching.

In Element AI’s first year of existence, Jean-François traveled more than half a million miles to work with the largest companies that are not yet engaged in ‘big tech’ to prepare them for the AI revolution. He has unique views on how this new technology will develop and spread through different levels of our economy.

Jean-François is an outspoken advocate of AI for Good and is actively involved in guiding AI’s impact on business, people, and society. He acts as an advisor to the Canadian and European governments on the safe development of AI and his company is the only Canadian member of the prestigious Partnership on AI. While speaking at least twice a week to audiences about AI, Jean-François also remains engaged on the local level as a member of the Calcul Québec Board, which supports the province’s high-performance computing research infrastructure, and is an avid supporter of the Montreal startup scene.