Help decide the Futurpreneur Canada Award 2018 Winners!

Futurpreneur Canada want to celebrate the stories and successes of young entrepreneurs across the country. The Futurpreneur Canada Awards 2018 will be presented to the entrepreneurs and mentors who have made a positive contribution to Canada’s entrepreneurial community and we need your help in deciding these winners!

This year’s winners will be announced after Global Entrepreneurship Week, November 19, and invited to receive their award at a celebration event in Toronto in early 2019.

Learn more about this year’s nominees and cast your votes below. Voting is open from November 7 to the 18, 2018, 11.59pm (EST).

The Categories:

The 2018 Futurpreneur Entrepreneur of the Year award goes to a young entrepreneur or young entrepreneurs who have made a mark on the entrepreneurial landscape through their exemplary activities and leadership of their company, as well as their engagement in the entrepreneurship community.

Jean-Philippe Bouchard, Distillerie du Fjord

“According to what we were told, it was our great grandfather Joseph who first initiated our family to the happiness of drinking a good gin. During the last years of his life, my father, Joseph’s grandson, went every week to the liquor store to buy him his gin bottle. This green shaded bottle with the red heart, which still lies around today in many families’ liquor cabinets. On a daily basis, I make sure to deliver the best of myself to encourage my team to surpass themselves to meet the challenges and grow our business. It's about sharing positive values like sharing or collaboration”.

Distillerie du Fjord has been involved in the manufacture of spirits since 2016. Being the first micro-distillery of the Saguenay Lac St-Jean, the company has put on the market gin Km12, a gin inspired by the wealth of boreal forest and sold through the SAQ network for just over a year. With now 3 employees, the company produces at a rate of 5000 bottles of gin per month in addition to working on many projects in research and development.

Laurie-Anne Bédard, Gymini

“President of my high school, high-level athlete who has been in charge of internationally renowned aquatic shows, leadership has always been part of my life. I’m now the owner of a sports development center, I have to manage 5 employees, but also 150 little members every week who come to teach and learn new skills”.

Gymini is a training area offering an innovative and versatile structure. The goal is to provide youth with professionally led sessions to improve basic physical elements such as endurance, balance, coordination, speed, flexibility, agility and perception. Space. The acquisition of these skills, at a young age, contributes to develop a better general physical form and offers the possibility to the young people to be polyvalent.

Emma Harris, Healthy Pets

"Leadership is defined by a team who wants to work together, as opposed to has to work together. That type of leadership is fostered through opportunities for ownership (ie owning the outcomes - good or bad - of your work), bringing a positive attitude to work every day and creating opportunities for collaboration and team building”.

Healthy Pets, Canada's first application of video telemedicine for veterinary care that connects local veterinarians with pet parents on demand through video chat, so that pet owners can receive the advice, care and triage they need, when they need it, from a quality standard of affordable care day or night. Veterinarians are able to better serve clientele while working from wherever, whenever.

Ella Jotie, Barre Fitness

“As the co-founder and creator of Barre Fitness, I built my business on a strong set of core values and a commitment to providing the best experience for not only our customers, but to all of our team members because to me they are two sides of the same coin. Our proven process of empowering our team, engaging with our clients and embracing our community is reflected in the success and growth of our company over the past 8 years”.

Barre Fitness became Canada's first Barre studio when it opened its doors in Yaletown in 2010. It’s a fun and intense 1-hour workout that combines the best elements of ballet barre, pilates, sports conditioning and stretching, and is guaranteed to trim, tone and transform the entire body. Fast forward nearly 8 years, and Barre Fitness now boasts 5 locations in Metro Vancouver making it the largest and most established dedicated barre company in Canada.

“To be a founder made me realize my potential, the potential of my company and its expansion through international opportunities. Being a female entrepreneur is an opportunity to represent women in business and to be a role model for other young women entrepreneurs. As I am newcomer in Canada and new to the Entrepreneurship Complex in Montreal but I am proud and for a short time I gained the trust of the community”.

Escritoire Coworking Space Inc is unique shared workspace where modern professionals can work productively—right in their local communities. More than anything, we’re focused on the genuine passion our members feel for their neighbors and neighborhoods. So we’re working to foster community (instead of forcing it) by striving to be good neighbors ourselves—to embrace and be embraced by the neighborhoods we serve and to facilitate local connections between our members.

The Growing Strong Award goes to a business that has successfully expanded its operations to new locations outside of their original market, either nationally or internationally.

Luke Hambly, Pressa Bottle

“Pressa Bottle is a unique water bottle that allows real fruit to be squeezed and juiced into your water. Pressa bottle creates a fully flavored and healthy alternative to sugary drinks. After a Tastemade video reached over 5.5 million views, Luke and the Pressa team received a lot of interest to expand their business with a distributor in Switzerland. Pressa Inc currently ranks in the top 25 water bottles on in Switzerland”.

Janna Malo, Fired Up!

“Canvas painting is on trend, but no one currently provides it as a drop-in option, so Jana developed Fired Up! – a drop-in paint-your-own pottery and canvas studio where anyone can be an artist for a day. The service enables customers to choose their time and design, and create at their own pace. We are seeing a totally new demographic in the studio. Since we are so new at this I have no solid numbers yet but will be happy to provide financials if asked”.

“VieLux Design International Inc. specializes in innovative lighting design services (both daylighting and artificial lighting), and also provides technologically advanced and energy efficient lighting products for turn-key lighting projects. With growing technology and unlimited artistic creations, VieLux sets the vision for scalable and sustainable design, helping on improving the lighting environment from generation to generation around the world”.

Armen Bakirtzian, Intellijoint Surgical

“Intellijoint’s flagship product, Intellijoint HIP®, provides surgeons with real-time, intraoperative measurements to ensure accurate size selection, positioning, and alignment of orthopaedic implants during total hip replacements. In just two years of commercialization, Intellijoint HIP has been used to more accurately reconstruct over 6,500 total hip replacements. With the adoption rate of Intellijoint HIP growing rapidly, Intellijoint Surgical knew though that it needed to grow beyond its established markets. In 2017, Intellijoint expanded into the Australian and New Zealand markets with its newly earned CE Mark, and in September 2018 entered the European Union market”.

Jean-Philippe Dauphinais, Rablab

"The original idea was to be established only in the region of Repentigny (Lanaudière) and to work on the local market. Quickly, we realized that the possibility of moving to Montreal to obtain a larger contract would be interesting. After 7 months of activity that's what we did. Then we had mandates with international companies located in Toronto, BC, California, New York, etc. So we understood at this point that our geographical position would be of little importance, it is much more the understanding of the market and the reality of our customers (national or international) that would make the difference ". Rablab is a young web marketing agency specializing in high-performance digital advertising placement. We help large and medium-sized companies generate high quality web advertising while lowering acquisition costs.

The 2018 Disruption Award goes to a business that has demonstrated innovation and industry disruption that benefits their community.

Catherine Tapin, Woodstock & Cie

"Never give in to ease and stay true to its deepest values, it is on this basis that my partner Philippe and I founded Woodstock & Cie. The furniture industry is a very traditional one that needs a sell of changes. What we want to do is create a wind of change in this industry. We want to get consumers to see that it is possible to buy high quality furniture, made in Quebec, at a fair price. How? By cutting the middlemen and buying online, directly from the manufacturer. Not only are consumers offered to buy durable goods (because of solid wood), but the local economy is encouraged, but especially the local purchase. We source wood near the manufacturing site and we limit our market to limit the number of kilometers traveled by our furniture and thus reduce our carbon footprint. We refuse to adhere to the traditional model of the furniture industry and want to inspire consumers to buy better and make their dollars spent more profitable. "

Gabriel Laliberté, Objectif Motivation Gym

"My company opens in private fitness. I offer a customized training service to my clients in the achievement of XYZ objectives and in order to modify life habits considered harmful. I change lives! I want to broaden my horizons in the medium term; have two or three employees, offer home service, offer web programs and develop partnerships with complementary people. It will be able even more to help to change and to modify habits of life. I want to leave a healthy legacy through my community, but especially the south shore of Quebec City. I definitely want to make myself known and shout to everyone: " Lezzzzzgoo !! "

Benjamin Cowie, London Bicycle Café

“London Bicycle Café creates urban transportation solutions for individuals and families by providing an inviting cafe atmosphere with third-wave coffee and the highest quality of service possible. In a market where 90% of urban cyclists are men, London Bicycle Café sells 60% of their bikes to women. London Bicycle Café’s focus on advocating publicly for their customers’ safety and commitment to being more inclusive than the vast majority of retailers in the industry continues to disrupt the status quo. Along the way they have activated dozens of citizen-advocates supporting their campaign for safer streets”.

Benjamin Walters, Feedback Inc

“Since the beginning of time, restaurants have used a one-price-fits-all model with the exception of happy hour and the occasional end of day sale. Feedback is taking the pricing principles of the flight, hotel, taxi, e-commerce, and other industries and applying it to the restaurant industry to reduce food waste and improve profitability. Feedback changes the price of food based on inventory, weather, and demand to drive more consistent and predictable traffic to restaurants. Today Feedback has grown from 25 to 300 restaurant partners in downtown Toronto, have rescued more than 20,000 meals from ending up in landfills, and have grown sales by 3000% in their first year”.

Aja Horsley, Drizzle Honey

"Historically, honey in Canada may be mixed with fake imported honey or taken from farms that do not consider bee health in their hive placement. Drizzle Honey is proud to be completely raw, bee-friendly and 100% Canadian. In order to keep their honey sustainable, Drizzle only supports local farms and beekeepers, using honey from remote hives away from pesticides and those close to diverse floral sources, which makes for more nutrient variety and healthier, happier bees. This year Drizzle was able to hold the first of many events which helped to raise funds for Pollinator Partnerships, a registered not for profit organization in Canada dedicated exclusively to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems. Drizzle was started in order to make an impact on the food industry and help shift it towards health conscious, environmentally responsible products."

The Grit Award goes to a business that has overcome failure, exhibited dedication and perseverance, and found success in spite of those challenges.

Harmanpreet Kaur, Spa Botanica

Spa Botanica is a full service day spa, with an Ayurvedic influence. Spa Botanica specializes in custom made skincare using pure ingredients such as turmeric, multani clay, sandalwood, rose petals, coconut, cucumber and more. Harmanpreet went into business with $0 in her personal and business accounts, relying on food banks to feed herself and her children, and overcame plenty of struggles and sacrifices to launch and grow Spa Botanica to the business that it is today.

Jaqueline Krokis, Jack Pine Dental Hygiene

"Balance has always been a challenge in life and this has forced me to be mindful resulting in positives all aspects of life. Additionally, having social anxiety is a mountain to overcome when you are a new business owner and need to put yourself out there to make the business viable”.

Jack Pine Dental Hygiene is an independent dental hygiene clinic located in Slave Lake, Alberta, that provides satellite dental hygiene services to Swan Hills where Jaqueline works out of the local hospital.

"After getting my business all set-up and having clients roll-in, we decided to lease-to-own a commercial space in a lower end area of Windsor. We spent countless hours and such renovating the exterior the building to bring it up to par with the image of my business all while helping revamp the Ford City area. We spent money out of our own pockets and worked our hearts out to create a beautiful "home space" for my business. We later found out just before we started on the inside that my landlord had other plans and also was not going to follow through with his portion of the lease. We were advised by our lawyer to hold back rent cheques. He delayed my business by over 4 months. It's one of the hardest things I've done as a new business owner because not only would it have been the perfect landing spot for my business, we would have help revitalize the community”.

Design Supply, and Install of custom cabinetry in any type of setting (commercial or residential). We also partner with local trades and suppliers to give our clients a perfectly designed space while supplementing the local economy.

Allison Chislett, IDesign Ltd.

“We are all in one graphic design and print destination. We offer a wide variety of services ranging from brand development, logo design, to business cards, brochures, vehicle wraps, wall vinyl and more! Over the last 5 years I’ve face a lot of ups and downs. From finding out I was pregnant on my first child two weeks into purchasing the business, to sky rocketing rent and then purchasing a building and dealing with sewage backups and roof leaks! A declining economy mid-way through my five years of business ownership has also been a major challenge”.

Lionel Ducreau, Deux gars dans l'pétrin

"Deux gars dans l’pétrin is a bakery and pastry shop located in downtown Saint-Jerome, Quebec. The biggest challenge was being able to work with poorly maintained equipment. To face the major and major repairs for the survival of the company following the acquisition of the business in 2014. This was followed by multiple repairs. For 3 years, we, my spouse and I, worked 7 days a week to pay rent, taxes and suppliers, with only salary, 725 $ per month to pay for our apartment. In 2017, following a big fatigue, I had a crisis shortly before Christmas. In January we made the decision to close Mondays to have a real day of rest a week. Today the company is doing well. We made a name and a reputation”.

The Mentor Award goes to a mentor who has demonstrated a sincere and empowering commitment to mentoring young entrepreneurs and helping build the small business community. A $1,000 prize in professional development will be awarded to the 5 finalists.

Juliana MacEwen, Precision Digital

Starting a business can feel very lonely at times, unless you have people that you can talk to who understand what you are going through. Juliana MacEwen realizes this and tries to lend a hand whenever she can to people who are taking the leap of faith to start their own business. Juliana is a great mentor because she goes above and beyond her mentoring role, she helps her mentees with many things such as the hiring new employees, she is kind and patient and helps her mentees see where they need to be more specific with certain things or perhaps change direction with certain ideas and know that it's ok to do that. Most importantly, she helped her mentees to become more confident with themselves as women in business. Juliana is very welcoming and confident. She gives off a vibe that makes everyone around her feel empowered.

Katie Robertson, Grapevine Communications

""The biggest impact mentoring has had on my mentees is the confidence to succeed. When someone is starting out on their own, the same set of questions are asked, and it's the same answer. What we don't always have the answer to is ""what makes you special?"" There's no secret formula for overnight success, you have to work hard, do your homework, and keep standing back up every time you're knocked down. I'm honest about the ""nitty gritty"" bits of entrepreneurship and my favourite part about mentoring is that relief I see them feel when they know, they are doing all the right things and that it just takes time”.

Natalie Sokic, Champagne Hair

“I cannot describe in words the feeling you get when you see your guidance taking place in others, things do not always go smoothly when it comes to running your own business and the fact that i am able to guide others during their stressful times and see them come out the other end with success and know that i had a part in it makes me so proud. To be able to share what i have learned along the way from others and to give that back to someone else will always benefit us all in different ways”.

“The biggest impact that I saw with my mentee was the jump to think outside the box. He was capable of it but was so in his business he just needed that nudge to do so. I coached his using my experiences in business. Which always makes me laugh because at first he could not see what our businesses could possibly have in common. Personal satisfaction is the first thing I think of when considering the value of mentoring. I have a passion for seeing small businesses succeed and love to contribute to that success. It has also led me to explore an entirely new direction in my own business with providing more advisory to my clients and not just bookkeeping services”.

Nersa Dorismond, GestionPCO

"My role as a mentor has allowed the entrepreneurs I have mentored to have the courage to continue and especially the audacity to try new things. Many mentees were able to continue with advice, an idea, a boost and persevere in their area. "My role as a mentor allowed the entrepreneurs I mentored to have the courage to continue and especially the audacity to try new things." Many mentees were able to continue with a tip, an idea, a push to continue and persevere in their sector ".

The Futurpreneur Canada 2017 Award Winners