Canada’s Chief Information Officer Receives 2018 Startup Canada’s Policy Prize

Ottawa, ON – November 19th, 2018 | On November 13th, Startup Canada, the national rallying community and voice for Canadian entrepreneurs, hosted the Canadian Innovation Leaders Summit in Ottawa.

The Innovation Leaders Summit presented by Startup Canada, Mastercard and in partnership with Intuit Quickbooks, brought together executives and government leaders who are driving innovation policy, regulatory reform, program modernization and systems-level impact in orchestrating Canada’s innovation ecosystem. The Leaders came together to develop the 2019 Canadian Innovation Ecosystem Action Plan as a collective, national effort to accelerate the growth, inclusivity, and global leadership of Canada as a destination for entrepreneurship, innovation and investment.

Earlier this Fall, Startup Canada announced the recipients of the 2018 Grande Finale Awards in Ottawa on October 18th at Startup Canada Day on the Hill,  to recognize and celebrate those driving exceptional impact across Canada’s entrepreneurship community. Startup Canada’s Policy Prize is awarded at the national level and recognizes government officials who have demonstrably advanced Canadian entrepreneurship through their leadership. Last year, this Prize was awarded to Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Honourable Navdeep Bains.

This year the prize was presented by Kate Karn, Manager of Government Relations at Mastercard in Canada, and was awarded to Canada’s Chief Information Officer, Alex Benay. Startup Canada recognized Alex Benay for his commitment to innovating Canada’s Government to become one that connects digitally with the people it serves and his effort to keep up with the fast paced and ever-changing digital economy.

“The Canadian innovation ecosystem is at a turning point and requires strong leadership to create a future that is not only conducive to innovative growth, but propels it,” said Victoria Lennox, CEO of Startup Canada, “Alex Benay is a shining example of the leadership we need to propel Canada forward in the areas of service to citizens, digital transformation, open data, and procurement modernization. Although we have much further to go, by recognizing those driving change, we hope to see more public sector leaders rise to the opportunity to drive innovation within and beyond the public sector.”

“The public service is working hard on improving Canadian policies, regulations, frameworks, and services to earn the trust of Canadian businesses and citizens,” said Alex Benay, CIO of Canada. “Thank you to Startup Canada for this Award, innovation within government is critical to our competitiveness and to support our early stage businesses to thrive.”

“For Canada to thrive as a competitive, entrepreneurial nation, we must continuously support the forward-thinkers driving innovation in our country,” said Jennifer Sloan, Vice President of Public Policy for Mastercard in Canada.“That’s why Mastercard is proud to be a national partner of Startup Canada and to participate in the Canadian Innovation Leaders Summit. We celebrate those advancing entrepreneurship and congratulate Alex Benay on his 2018 Policy Award.”

For more information and to schedule interviews, please contact:

Maddie Stiles
Media Relations, Startup Canada

About the Startup Canada Awards

The annual Startup Canada Awards are the hallmark event that celebrate and recognize those driving impact and demonstrating excellence in Canada’s entrepreneurship and innovation community. The objectives of the Startup Canada 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 and innovation community.

For more information, visit

About Startup Canada

Startup Canada is the national rallying community and voice for Canada’s 2.3 million entrepreneurs. Since launching in 2012, Startup Canada has grown to represent more than 200,000 entrepreneurs and 50 grassroots communities from coast to coast to coast. Through digital programs and flagship events, Startup Canada is the network promoting, inspiring, educating, connecting and giving a voice to Canada’s entrepreneurs; supporting them to start, operate and scale businesses that build a better Canada for the world today and for future generations. For more information, visit