Volta has recognized six organizations and individuals for their contributions to the Atlantic Canadian startup community with its second annual Ecosystem Impact Awards.
The Halifax-based innovation hub last year launched the awards to recognize the contribution a range of individuals and organizations make to the region’s innovation ecosystem. The awards presentation Wednesday was held virtually due to social distancing rules.
There were more than 30 nominations, and the recipients were selected by a panel of judges, comprising regional business leaders.
“This has been a challenging year for businesses of all sizes, so we are pleased to come together to celebrate the collaborative efforts that all organizations are taking to enhance the startup community,” said Volta CEO Martha Casey in a statement. “These organizations continue to put Atlantic Canada on the map, and prove that we are a destination for innovation, prosperity and continued development.”
The following is the list of winners:
The Disruptor Award, which recognizes a business in Atlantic Canada that has experienced significant entrepreneurial success over the past year.
Winner: Appili Therapeutics Inc.
The Halifax-based company is working on bringing a portfolio of anti-infectious drugs to the market. On Monday, it announced its shares would begin trading on the main board of the Toronto Stock Exchange this week.
The Catalyst Award, which recognizes an organization that has helped create cohesion and growth in the ecosystem.
The winner: Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre.
Founded almost two decades ago, the SMU Entrepreneurship Centre helps students learn about entrepreneurship and start their own businesses. It has a strong emphasis on the development of social enterprises.
The other nominees were the Ocean Startup Project and Entrevestor.
The Community Leader Award, which recognizes a company or organization that has directly impacted the growth and development of the entrepreneurial landscape in Atlantic Canada.
Winner: Black Business Initiative.
The BBI is committed to growing a Black presence in a range of business sectors, including technology, manufacturing, tourism and the cultural sector. It is dedicated to the startup community, and gives back through the donation of time, mentorship and serving as a resource in a peer to peer environment.
The Positive Impact Awards, which are awarded to an individual or organization that has implemented solutions for social, cultural and/or environmental issues.
Winner of the Award for Individuals: Jim Hanlon, Former CEO at the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship.
Hanlon was the driving force behind Dartmouth-based COVE, serving as its first Chief Executive and making it a hub of ocean technology in the region. He was also instrumental in the establishment of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster in Atlantic Canada.
The winner of the Award for Organizations: Peer Ledger
The Halifax company uses blockchain to help its clients monitor their supply chain to ensure ethical business practices. Its MIMOSI tool is used to track gold shipments as a means of battling conflict metals, or precious metals that are mined to finance wars, often using slave labour.
The other nominee was eOceans.
The Corporate Supporter Award, which recognizes a corporate partner who has been a gracious supporter of the tech startup community in Atlantic Canada.
The Partnership, which promotes economic development in Greater Halifax, established the Halifax Innovation District to enhance the community of innovators stretching from the city’s two main university campuses to COVE in Dartmouth. It boosts the development of the technology sector by donating resources, mentorship, and training.