Passionate and unemployed cyclist, Loïc Sanschagrin-Thouin used his free time to combine work and leisure.
LS Tech+, the company he founded in 2018, is truly the result of a period of idleness. “I couldn’t find a job in engineering,” says this Polytechnique Montréal graduate. I had jobs, I worked at Tim Hortons. And then he had had enough. He revisited a school assignment on how to measure power and decided to go into business.
“For a cyclist, it’s the only measurement that really matters,” he explains. It’s not speed or cadence. It’s power, and it’s measured in watts. »
LS Tech+ has developed Wattza, a power sensor that is installed on the bike to inform the person pedaling in real time of the effort provided. The company is targeting cyclists who have ambition, but don’t necessarily want to beat Hugo Houle in the Tour de France.
Power sensors have been around for 30 years, explains the founder. Bikes that are very expensive are equipped with it. But if you want to buy one, it’s way too expensive.
Loïc Sanschagrin-Thouin, founder of LS Tech+
The sensor developed by LS Tech+ has the advantage of being installed on any bike without changing the pedals and without modifying anything else. It is easy to install and transfers from one bike to another. It can work with the apps most used by cyclists, like Strava, on a watch or on a phone.
What really sets it apart is its price. The Wattza will soon hit the market with a $350-$450 tag, compared to $1000+ for products already available.
It is a tool that becomes accessible for all cyclists, rather than for the few, says Loïc Sanschagrin-Thouin. “A lot of cyclists think they don’t need it, but when you’ve never tried it, you don’t know. A power meter, he says, allows you to improve and motivate yourself to pedal.
The marketing stage of the Wattza has now arrived for LS Tech+, whose activities were financed by the founder’s teaching and substitute teaching income at the beginning, then by obtaining grants.
The company is based in the business incubator on the Université de Sherbrooke campus in Longueuil. She just wrapped up a crowdfunding campaign that earned her just over her goal of $25,000. The funds will be used to start production of the sensor, of which 31 have already been sold. The objective is to deliver them this summer, specifies the founder, who is currently the only full-time employee of LS Tech+ and who can count on three part-time resources.
LS Tech+ wants to incur legal fees to ensure its Wattza is covered by intellectual protection and looks to the future with optimism. There are 4.5 million cyclists in Quebec, recalls its founder.