TORONTO – Startup Canada unveiled the winners of the 2014 Startup Canada Awards today during a ceremony and reception atop the CN Tower.
The Startup Canada Awards can be likened to the Oscars for the Canadian entrepreneurship community. According to Dr. Sorin Cohn, the Chair of the Adjudication Committee, “These Awards celebrate the people and organizations dedicated to building a strong ecosystem in support of high-impact and high-growth businesses in Canada.”
In its inaugural year, the Awards had more than 260 applications and nominations from across Canada.
Regional winners were selected and celebrated at grassroots events throughout the month of May in Vancouver, Calgary, London, Montreal and Halifax. These events featured fireside discussions and Wolf Blass Wine Lounge receptions. The names of the regional winners were forwarded to the National Adjudication Committee, and more than 3,500 Canadians had their say through online public voting to decide the national winners.
Gerry Pond, a visionary entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist from Fredericton, was awarded the Wolf Blass Lifetime Achievement Award for his commitment to uniting and strengthening the entrepreneurship community in Atlantic Canada – a region re-inventing itself as a startup hub.
“We need to come together as an entrepreneurial region if we want to create the next generation of high-growth companies,” Pond said during his interview at the fireside discussion at the regional awards in Halifax.
Other individuals celebrated this evening include:
As part of the Awards, entrepreneurs also had the chance to recognize organizations and groups that are making a difference for Canadian entrepreneurs, including incubators, accelerators, non-profit, government and private organizations.
“Entrepreneurs don’t rest until they reach their goals, and neither should we,” said Helen Braiter, Director of the Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP), which was recognized as Government Program of the Year this evening. “We need to keep innovating as ‘intrapreneurs’ within our organizations to build the Canada our entrepreneurs need and deserve.”
BCIP is a national program that helps the government become the first customer of innovative products and services from startup companies.
Other organizations recognized for their entrepreneurial impact included Microsoft Canada, EY Canada, Wavefront, TEC Edmonton, the MaRS Discovery District, Startup Calgary, the International Startup Festival in Montreal and the University of New Brunswick.
“These Awards have given entrepreneurs across Canada the chance to say thank you to those who are creating the conditions for their success,” said Victoria Lennox, co-founder and CEO of Startup Canada. “We are recognizing and celebrating what we want to see more of in Canada so that we can become the best country in the world in which to start and grow a business."
Please find below the results of the 2014 Startup Canada Awards.
Wolfblass Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner: Gerry Pond
Runner-Up: Gary Will
Honourable Mention: Allan Scott
Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Winner: Linda Manziaris
Runner Up: Boris Martin
Honourable Mention: William Zhou
Media Person of the Year
Winner: Rick Spence
Runner-Up: Rob Lewis
Honourable Mention: Peter Moreira
Educator of the Year
Winner: Dr. Mary Kilfoil
Runner-Ups: Ajay Agrawal & Howard Armitage
Honourable Mentions: Michael Avedesian and Brent Mainprize
Mentor of the Year
Winner: Sean Wise
Runner-Up: LP Maurice
Honourable Mentions: Randy Yatscoff, Cathy Kuzel & Robert Zed
Ecosystem Builder of the Year
Winner: Chris Johnson
Runner-Ups: Dan Gunn & Phil Telio
Honourable Mention: Joel Adams & Bob Pelley
Investor of the Year
Winner: Randy Thompson
Non-Profit Organization of the Year
Winner: MaRS Discovery District
Runner-Up: Launch Academy
Honourable Mentions: La Fondation Montreal, Northern Alberta Business Incubator and Ladies Learning Code
Entrepreneurial Effect Awards
Winner: International Startup Festival
Honourable Mentions: Entrepreneur 101 at the MaRS Discovery District, Clarity.fm and HumberLaunch
Startup Community of the Year
Winner: Startup Calgary
Runner-Ups: Startup Fredericton & Startup Winnipeg
Honourable Mentions: Startup Prince George, Startup Waterloo Region & Quebec Startup
Post-Secondary Institution of the Year
Winner: University of New Brunswick
Runner-Up: Ryerson University
Honourable Mention: University of Waterloo
Government Organization of the Year
Winner: Build in Canada Innovation Program
Runner-Up: BC Innovation Council
Honourable Mention: Women's Enterprise Initiative
Anchor Company of the Year
Honourable Mention: Hootsuite
Incubator of the Year
Winner: TEC Edmonton
Runner-Up: Alberta Women Entrepreneurs
Accelerator of the Year
Professional Services Organization of the Year
Winner: EY Canada
Runner-Up: McInnes Cooper
Honourable Mention: Boast Capital