Every year, an average of 130,000 new Canadian small businesses are established. But despite this entrepreneurial drive, only 35% survive their first five years. While startups are critical to Canada’s innovation and overall business competitiveness, they face extreme pressure to maintain tight cash flow and survive streamlined operations.
It can be tough, but entrepreneurs aren’t alone. Startup Canada is a network of entrepreneurs that act as a voice for early-stage businesses across the country. Recognized for their grassroots approach to networking and cluster development, the organization has supported more than 80,000 Canadian entrepreneurs to date.
One of the organization’s initiatives, the Startup Canada Awards, celebrates the accomplishments of Canadian entrepreneurs who’ve excelled both at developing their business, while also promoting Canada’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This year’s Startup Canada Awards gala featured 16 of Canada’s best and brightest entrepreneurs.
16 Entrepreneurs Recognized During the 2016 Startup Canada Awards
On November 29, 2016, Startup Canada hosted their third-annual Startup Canada Awards in Toronto, Ontario. Recipients (noted below) were recognized for their exceptional leadership and contribution to the Canadian startup scene.
Those recognized during Startup Canada’s ceremony included:
Outstanding Impact and Enduring Legacy in Canadian Entrepreneurship
- Adam Chowaniec Lifetime Achievement Award: Randy Yatscoff, Executive Vice President of TEC Edmonton, Edmonton, AB
Advancing The Environment and Culture for Entrepreneurship in Canada
- Entrepreneur Promotion Award: Meredith J. Powell, Co-Founder of The Next Big Thing, Vancouver, BC
- Entrepreneur Support Award: North Forge Technology Exchange, Winnipeg, MB
- Startup Policy Prize: Brad Woodside, Former Mayor of Fredericton, Fredericton, NB
- Startup Community of the Year Award: Startup Fredericton, Fredericton, NB
“Each recipient is driving impact in Canada and globally, and represent the greatness and diversity of Canada’s entrepreneur community.”
– Brenda Halloran, Chair of the Startup Canada Board of Directors
Entrepreneur-led Businesses Demonstrating Excellence
- Global Entrepreneurship Award: Surface Medical Inc, Calgary, AB
- Innovation Award: iBIONICS, Gatineau, QC
- Social Enterprise Award: Aki Energy, Winnipeg, MB
- High-Growth Entrepreneurship Award: iTel Networks, Kamloops, BC
Exemplifying the Spirit of Canadian Entrepreneurship
- Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Dax Dasilva, Founder and CEO of Lightspeed, Montreal, QC
- Woman Entrepreneur Award: Nadia Hamilton, Founder and CEO of Magnusmode, Waterloo, ON
- Senior Entrepreneur Award: Eli Fathi, CEO of MindBridge Ai, Ottawa, ON
- Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Swarochish Goswami, Co-Founder and CEO of RafikiMedia, Calgary, AB
- Indigenous Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Heather Abbey, Founder and President of ShopIndig.ca, Saskatoon, SK
- Resilient Entrepreneur Award: Maayan Ziv, Founder and CEO of Access Now, Toronto, ON
- Newcomer Entrepreneur Award: Melina Terra Salomon, Founder and CEO of Gomma, Picton, ON
Funding Resources for Startup Growth and Development
Most Canadian government grants and loans are positioned to support small and mid-sized businesses, leaving startups ineligible for most funding programs. Because of this, more than 80% of entrepreneurs use personal financing to sustain their new business.
This doesn’t have to be the case though. By accessing select startup funding resources, small business owners can receive the financial and mentorship support required to continue growing.
One of these resources is Mentor Works’ Startup Funding Checklist. As a startup, your top focus when it comes to government funding should be addressing these programs’ key eligibility factors. We’ve developed a guide to these criteria so you can keep checking them off until you become funding-ready.