Mike McGinty: State-of-The-art AI-powered Solutions to Efficiently Detect Threats and Identify Opportunities, Increasing the Accuracy and Timeliness of Object Recognition

We develop state-of-the-art AI-powered solutions to efficiently detect threats and identify opportunities, increasing the accuracy and timeliness of object recognition.

Tell us about yourself?

I was an Apache Helicopter pilot in the military for an entire career before going into business.

As a result, I’ve been involved in defence my whole life and believe passionately in its social value. As we’ve seen it demonstrated in brutal reality recently, the world is still a dangerous place.

Our values and interests are not universally respected. Protecting ourselves, our friends, allies, and those values means we must have cutting-edge technology to stay ahead of our potential adversaries and to prevent and deter future aggression.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Scale earlier. Grow quicker. Commercialize and cross the chasm faster.

What problem does your business solve?

We provide greater certainty and the ability to identify threats and opportunities faster to avoid tragic errors and enable rapid action in the most challenging circumstances imaginable.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

I spent many years conducting human data fusion under pressure to make critical decisions.

I joined TerraSense to help them pivot their technology further into the defence space and enable those who followed me in uniform to benefit from the support and insight I didn’t have.

What is your magic sauce?

Our secret sauce is our staff. They’re scrappy, agile, creative, and a great group of people.

They were able to take a concept and develop it into a product that continues to fulfill challenges set out by the Department of National Defence’s Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program.

The team’s continuous push for further innovation has led to our latest news: we’ve launched an offshoot company,, to focus on non-military applications of our AI technology.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

We intend to field our product to multiple Canadian Armed Forces and allied defence programs, primarily by continuing to understand and fulfill end-user needs.

At the same time, we are swiftly building strong relationships with multinational companies who will act as the prime contractors for these programs.

TerraSense is becoming the system of choice for Automatic Object Recognition in defence.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

A friend of mine referred to the stages of a startup as ‘Pizza, Personalities, Performance.’

It was hard for us as an organization to make the change from being a small startup (‘Pizza’ stage if you will) where everyone knows what is happening to evolving the organization to have more structure needed at a large scale.

We wanted to take that leap forward without constraining the creativity or adversely impacting our culture.

Although it was difficult, this has made the team stronger and more resilient. We’re on the right track, and I’m proud of the team’s tenacity in this transition.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

As an Adjunct Professor teaching leadership and ethics for a top-tier university, I often have discussions on technology and its impact on society.

I believe that companies absolutely have an obligation to develop technology that can further our social goals and protect people. Here at TerraSense, we look to be leaders in that respect and are always looking for the right talent to help us deliver innovation that matters and has an impact.

We’re reachable at or for inquiries about our open positions or to connect with us on projects.

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