Toronto’s Intellijoint Surgical Inc. wins the Shopify Grit Award, presented by Futurpreneur Canada

For immediate release

TORONTO (May 31, 2016) – At today’s Action Entrepreneurship Canadian Summit in Toronto, Futurpreneur Canada and Shopify announced Intellijoint Surgical Inc. as the winner of the Shopify Grit Award. The award celebrates the kind of business success that comes from having “true grit” – creativity, ingenuity and resilience when faced with challenges.

“Futurpreneur has helped launch thousands of businesses and we are honoured to be 1 of 3 recipients of the prestigious 20th Anniversary Awards,” said Armen Bakirtzian, Co-Founder and CEO, Intellijoint Surgical Inc. “Business owners across this country face countless challenges, and we are humbled and extremely proud to represent the hard work and determination it takes to succeed.”

The team at Intellijoint Surgical started out as three graduates from Waterloo University with no medical background or entrepreneurial experience who set out to undertake a major challenge – creating a medical device and putting it on the market. They overcame many obstacles to create a surgical device that is FDA-approved, has a Health Canada medical device license, and has been used successfully over 350 times across North America. In just six years, they’ve gone from one desk at the Accelerator Centre in Waterloo to 10,500 square foot facility and have hired 22 people.

“Starting a business takes dedication, hustle and a desire to succeed. We’re excited to support the next wave of entrepreneurs, especially the incredibly talented team at Intellijoint Surgical,” said Harley Finkelstein, COO of Shopify.

“Starting a business can be challenging for anyone without entrepreneurial experience, but putting a medical device on the market is a huge test of resilience,” said Scott Bowman, Senior Director, Ontario, Futurpreneur Canada. “The team at Intellijoint Surgical have proven that determination and persistence are one of the greatest contributors to entrepreneurial success.”

The Grit Award was one of five awards that Futurpreneur presented today.  Other awards included the Clearwater Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the BDC Mentorship Award, the Youth Business International Beyond Borders Award and the RBC Community Partner Award. These awards are one way the organization is celebrating its 20th anniversary, by recognizing top Futurpreneur-supported entrepreneurs and the people and organizations that support their success.

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About Futurpreneur Canada

Futurpreneur Canada (formerly the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, or CYBF) has been fueling the entrepreneurial passions of Canada’s young enterprise for nearly two decades. We are the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Our internationally recognized mentoring program hand matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 2,800 volunteer mentors. Futurpreneur Canada is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, the Canadian member of Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week. Facebook: Futurpreneur Twitter: @Futurpreneur

For interview opportunities and media inquiries, please contact:

Meghan Paton
Manager, Public Relations and Social Media
Futurpreneur Canada
416-408-2923 x 2207