In a competitive and interconnected world, innovation is fundamentally important to all Canadians and can have a transformative, positive impact. While some entrepreneurs use innovation as a way to become the next AirBnB of their industry, others see innovation as a tool for driving change. David Brown is one such entrepreneur.

David Brown founded Mycodev Group in 2013, introducing chitosan to the pharmaceutical industry. Chitosan is a natural product extracted from fungus and mushrooms that is helping researchers develop cancer therapeutics, gene delivery devices, antimicrobials and other pharmaceuticals. Since founding Mycodev Group, David has also gone on to co-found Chinova Bioworks, using chitosan to produce a natural, clean label preservative offering broad-spectrum protection.

“Innovating means not being complacent with small and large issues facing society,” David shared. “There’s no doubt in my mind that innovation is a form of activism. I see the issues of polluting chemical processes, disease causing food ingredients, and I can use innovation to effect change in a positive direction.”

David’s innovative work both solves a vital need in pharmaceutics and offers food, beverage and cosmetic companies a natural alternative. That is why we at Futurpreneur were proud to nominate him for the Governor General’s Innovation Award, and even more thrilled to receive the news he won.

The Governor General’s Innovation Awards look to inspire Canadian youth to be entrepreneurial innovators in order to foster an active culture of innovation that has a meaningful impact on our lives, which is exactly how entrepreneurship plays a role for David.

“I always wanted to have the power to do the work I wanted to do, which was to be able to work on compelling fixes to societal issues using biotechnology,” said David. “Entrepreneurship enables innovation for the common person like me. Biotechnology is a capital-intensive industry – you need a lab, equipment, reagents. So unless you’re lucky enough to have a community open lab or be a part of a university you really need to become an entrepreneur in order to follow your passion.”

Winning the award has reaffirmed to David that hard work and dedication is meaningful. There have been many 12+ hour days in his entrepreneurial experience, and there were many where David had doubts they would be worth it. Now that he can see tangible evidence of the change his product brings, the work involved has become easier.

“Today’s youth are in for a rough ride,” mentions David. “They need to secure their own future however it best suits their goals in life. I strongly encourage everyone to look at innovation and entrepreneurship as a way to have both a fulfilling life and to spark change in society and the world.”

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