2016 National Startup Canada Award winners celebrated in Toronto

November 29, 2016 | Toronto, ON | Startup Canada

Startup Canada (www.startupcan.ca), the national rallying community for Canadian entrepreneurs, today named sixteen outstanding entrepreneurs, businesses and support organizations as winners of the third annual National Startup Canada Awards (www.startupaward.ca). The winners were announced at a ceremony in Toronto attended by leading Canadian investors, innovators and anchor company executives.

“Congratulations to the 2016 Startup Canada Awards winners, each of whom have been recognized by their peers as strong role models for Canadians of all ages and entrepreneurs across all sectors for championing a culture of entrepreneurship,” said Brenda Halloran, Chair of the Startup Canada Board of Directors. “Each recipient is driving impact in Canada and globally, and represent the greatness and diversity of Canada’s entrepreneur community.”

After hundreds of nominations poured in from across the country this Summer, over 50 regional winners were celebrated at special ceremonies in Fredericton, NB; Montreal, QC; Waterloo, ON; Vancouver, BC and Edmonton, AB before facing a National Adjudication Committee comprised of some of Canada’s leading entrepreneurship and industry experts.

The 2016 National Startup Canada Award winners are:

Category 1 – Advancing The Environment and Culture for Entrepreneurship in Canada

Category 2 – Entrepreneur-led Businesses Demonstrating Excellence

  • Surface Medical Inc. | Startup Canada Global Entrepreneurship Award, Sponsored by UPS Canada
  • iBIONICS | Startup Canada Innovation Award, Sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks  
  • Aki Energy Inc. | Startup Canada Social Enterprise Award, Sponsored by Centre for Social Innovation  
  • iTel Networks Inc. | Startup Canada High-Growth Entrepreneurship, Sponsored by MNP LLP

Category 3 – Exemplifying the Spirit of Canadian Entrepreneurship

  • Dax Dasilva, Founder & CEO, Lightspeed | Startup Canada Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Sponsored by Scotiabank 
  • Nadia Hamilton, Founder & CEO, Magnusmode | Startup Canada Woman Entrepreneur Award, Sponsored by Business Development Bank of Canada
  • Heather Abbey, Founder & President, ShopIndig.ca | Startup Canada Indigenous Entrepreneur Award
  • Maayan Ziv, Founder & CEO, AccessNow | Startup Canada Resilient Entrepreneur Award, Sponsored by Opportunities NB  
  • Melina Terra Salomon, Founder & CEO, Gomma | Startup Canada Newcomer Entrepreneur Award, Sponsored by Freshdesk
  • Swarochish Goswami, Co-Founder & CEO, RafikiMedia | Startup Canada Young Entrepreneur Award
  • Eli Fathi, CEO, MindBridge Ai | Startup Canada Senior Entrepreneur Award, Sponsored by East Valley Ventures

Category 4 – Outstanding Impact and Enduring Legacy in Canadian Entrepreneurship

  • Randy Yatscoff, Executive Vice-President, TEC Edmonton | Adam Chowaniec Lifetime Achievement Award, Sponsored by Wolf Blass

These winners join an esteemed network of award alumni including the Right Honourable Paul Martin, founder of the Capital for Aboriginal Prosperity and Entrepreneurship (CAPE) Fund, Iain Klugman, CEO of Communitech, and Moncton-based RtTech Software, among others.

The Startup Canada Awards Grand Finale is the hallmark event and the largest celebration of the Canadian entrepreneurship community – recognizing the individuals, communities, and institutions that have demonstrated innovation, excellence, outstanding achievement, and impact in advancing Canadian entrepreneurship.

For more information, and to schedule interviews, please contact:

Kathryn Forrest

Communications & Marketing Manager, Startup Canada



About the Startup Canada Awards

The Startup Canada Awards celebrate and distinguish outstanding achievement in advancing Canadian entrepreneurship.

The objectives of the awards are to:

  • Celebrate those working to advance entrepreneurship in Canada;
  • Increase awareness of the importance of strengthening Canada’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and culture; and,
  • Incentivize efforts and elevate the ambitions of the Canadian entrepreneurial community.

The national adjudication committee includes Gerry Pond, Co-Founder of East Valley Ventures, Marissa McTasney, Founder of Moxie Trades, David Alston, Chief Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Government of New Brunswick, Michael Legary, Director of Innovation Alley, Dr. James Bowen, Co-Founder and President of Experiential Simulations and Howard Rocket of Tridont Dental.

The Startup Canada Awards are proudly supported by our presenting partners UPS Canada and Wolf Blass, as well as our awards partners Intuit Canada, MNP LLP, Scotiabank, Business Development Bank of Canada, East Valley Ventures, Freshdesk, Centre for Social Innovation and Opportunities New Brunswick. The Startup Canada Awards are also supported by FluidReview by Survey Monkey. For more information, visit www.startupaward.ca.

The 2016 regional winners can be found here. Photos from the 2014 and 2015 Startup Canada Awards can be found on the Startup Canada Flickr Page. For more information, visit www.startupaward.ca.

About Startup Canada

Startup Canada is the national rallying community for Canada’s 2.3 million entrepreneurs. Through flagship programs, digital platforms, and cross sector partnerships between entrepreneurs, private sector, and government, Startup Canada offers training, resources, and a peer network to give every entrepreneur equal opportunity for success. As members of Startup Canada, entrepreneurs are championed by the community and are given a national voice to media, industry and government. For more information, visit www.startupcan.ca.