5 Questions with Emily Charry Tissier, Founder of Whale Seeker

Jul 19, 2021

Emily Charry Tissier is a biologist with 20 years of experience working in coastal and arctic ecosystems. Passionate about working with multidisciplinary teams and sustainable growth, she is the cofounder and CEO of Whale Seeker, a Techstars Montréal AI 2020 company.

Emily is a results-driven and highly skilled ecologist/environmental scientist, with a proven track record in executing scientific research projects to the highest standards for quality, health & safety, on time, and in budget. Possesses excellent management and interpersonal skills; able to elicit cooperation from a wide variety of sources in the public and private sectors to successfully execute projects in line with strategic objectives. Also offers a solid grounding in univariate and multivariate statistical competence; proficient in French and English languages. She currently leads a multi-disciplinary team to develop new applications and methods of whale detection using AI, machine learning, aerial and satellite images. She has managed numerous high-profile projects through the full lifecycle; this included requirements gathering, detailed specifications, project planning, resource management, sampling, testing and implementation of findings for a variety of high-profile organizations in the USA and Canada. She has also conducted research in determining the critical habitat and extra sensitive zones for the narwhals of the Canadian Arctic, collaborating with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) as well as WWF-Canada.

01. What's one lesson you would share with your younger self?

Ask for help earlier! You don't have to do it all and do it all ALONE.

02. Share the name of an exceptional person who made a difference in your life, and explain how.

I felt very alone as a woman CEO in the tech space before joining Techstars Montreal AI 2020. Meeting the only other woman, CEO, Amira Boutouchent, was a game-changer for me. She has been extremely generous with her knowledge, resources, and compassion. I'm so thankful to have her as a colleague and friend who has helped extremely especially during COVID. I feel equally thankful to have met Justine Marchand, the Sr. Program Manager at Techstars Montréal AI. She has proven to be an honest, resourceful, educational ally. These two women I plan to keep in my life long-term and feel inspired and grounded with their professional and personal friendship.

03. What advice would you give to other founders who share your situation or background?

Ask for help before you feel helpless! Orient yourself to resources in your area and expertise. Start talking to people sooner rather than later.

04. What drives you?

Curiosity about the natural and tech worlds, our company mission to solve the whale detection problem at a global scale, and working daily with my team members. They are all inspiring. I'm also motivated by my four-year-old daughter. She keeps me balanced and I am deeply motivated to be a good example for her and hopefully solve a huge environmental problem so the world is a little bit better for her generation.

05. What makes you YOU?

I always give time to other Techstars companies asking for help. We have created internal policies that are meant to retain employees and are very human-centric. You can read them yourself here.

We are a Pending B Corp company so we make every decision with not only shareholders and the single bottom line in mind, but also how every decision will impact the environment, society, our employees, and our financials. We have specific ways that we address the UN Sustainable Development Goals posted on our website. We give back to charities in line with our SDG priorities.