The Province of New Brunswick, and the university that bears its name, will be well represented in the finals of the 2017 Startup Canada Awards next week.

Startup Canada, which promotes entrepreneurship across the country, will hand out its national awards Oct. 19 at a gala event in Ottawa. Some 17 Atlantic Canadian individuals and organizations – 11 of them from New Brunswick – are national finalists, including the winners of the regional awards in Fredericton last month.

One striking feature of the shortlist is that three of the four finalists for the Newcomer Entrepreneur Award are from Atlantic Canada – a region that has until recently struggled to attract immigrants. They are: The Hadhad Family, founders of Peace by Chocolate of Antigonish, N.S.; Asif Hasan, CEO of SimpTek Technologies of Fredericton; and Michael Shin, owner of GenInk Printer Cartridges of Fredericton.  

Hasan is one of several finalists associated with University of New Brunswick. Hasan and Jordan Kennie of Stash Energy, another finalist, founded their companies while studying at the university. And the finalists include Dead of Computer Science Ali Ghorbani and Dhirendra Shukla, the head of the UNB Technology, Management and Entrepreneurship program.

One New Brunswick company, Remsoft of Fredericton, is nominated in two categories.  

The finalists for the Startup Canada Awards (with Atlantic reps boldfaced) are:


1. Startup Canada Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Scotiabank

○ Anne Whelan, President​ ​and​ ​CEO of ​Seafair​ ​Capital​ ​Inc., of St. John’s, for Atlantic Canada

○ Michael Serbinis for Ontario

○ Christiane Germain for Quebec

○ Lynda Brown-Ganzert for British Columbia

○ Chris Lane for the North

○ Chris Johnson for the Prairies

2. Adam Chowaniec Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Mastercard Canada

*only presented at the national level.

○ The Right Honourable David Johnston

○ Andrew Steeves

Francis McGuire, former President of Major Drilling Group International and President of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, for Atlantic Canada



3. Startup Canada Community of the Year Award

*only presented at the national level.

○ Startup Edmonton

○ Startup Kamloops

○ Startup Sault Ste.Marie

4. Startup Canada Entrepreneur Promotion Award

○ Nevin Buconjic for Ontario

Dhirendra Shukla, Co-Founder of the Energia accelerator, for Atlantic Canada

○ Xavier Henri-Herve for Quebec

○ Manny Padda for British Columbia

○ Carey Houston for the Prairies

5. Startup Canada Entrepreneur Support Award

○ Ignite AC - Algonquin College Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for


Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre, Wolfville, for Atlantic Canada

○ MiQro Innovation Collaborative Centre for Quebec micro

○ Accelerate Okanagan for British Columbia

○ YuKonstruct Makerspace Society for the North.

○ ATB Financial for the Prairies

6. Startup Canada Policy Prize, sponsored by Lockheed Martin

*only presented at the national level.

○ The Honourable Navdeep Bains for Ontario

○ Susan Holt, Chief of Business Partnerships, Province of New Brunswick, for Atlantic Canada

○ David Trawin for British Columbia



7. Startup Canada Senior Entrepreneur Award, sponsored by BDC

○ Cindy Gordon for Ontario

○ Ali Ghorbani, CEO of Eyesover, for Atlantic Canada

○ Albert R. Carbone for Quebec

○ Robert Sharp for the North

○ Vicki Collett for British Columbia

○ Nancy Knowlton and David Martin for the Prairies

8. Startup Canada Young Entrepreneur Award, sponsored by BDC

○ Kelly Lovell for Ontario

○ Jordan Kennie for Atlantic Canada

○ Graham Mann for Quebec

○ Mike Russo for the North

○ Alex Villeneuve for the Prairies

9. Startup Canada Woman Entrepreneur Award, sponsored by BDC

○ Nicole Verkindt for Ontario

○ Christina Dove, Founder of the Newfoundland Chocolate Company of St. John’s, for Atlantic Canada

○ Marie-Philip Simard for Quebec

○ Catherine Dahl for British Columbia

○ Heather Dickson for the North

○ Kim Orlesky for the Prairies

10. Startup Canada Newcomer Entrepreneur Award, sponsored by BDC

*only presented at the national level.

○ The Hadhad Family for Atlantic Canada

○ Asif Hasan for Atlantic

○ Michael Shin for Atlantic

○ Mohamed Khalil for Quebec

11. Startup Canada Resilient Entrepreneur Award, sponsored by BDC

*only presented at the national level.

Shawn Smith, CEO of Don’t dis-my-ability Consultation Services of Fredericton, for Atlantic Canada

○ Cory Zimmer for British Columbia

12. Startup Canada Indigenous Entrepreneur Award, sponsored by BDC

*only presented at the national level.

Trevor Bernard, Fredericton-based CTO of Braveno, for Atlantic Canada

○ Sunshine Tenasco for Quebec

○ Patrice Mousseau for British Columbia

○ Tishna Marlowe for Prairies

○ Joel Pedersen for the Prairies


13. Startup Canada Canadian Icon Award

*only presented at the national level.

Remsoft for Atlantic

○ La Maison Simons for Quebec

14. Startup Canada Global Entrepreneurship Award, sponsored by UPS Canada

○ Wave for Ontario

Remsoft for Atlantic Canada

○ TrackTik for Quebec

○ Hootsuite for British Columbia

○ Farmers Edge for the Prairies

15. Startup Canada High-Growth Entrepreneurship Award, sponsored by MNP LLP

○ for Ontario

B4Checkin of Halifax for Atlantic

○ GSOFT for Quebec

○ BroadbandTV for British Columbia

○ Aimsio for the Prairies

16. Startup Canada Innovation Award, sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks

○ Clearbanc for Ontario

BlueLight Analytics of Halifax for Atlantic

○ Via Science for Quebec

○ Hummingbird Drones for British Columbia

○ Proskida for the North

○ Tevesol, Inc for the Prairies

17. Startup Canada Social Enterprise Award, sponsored by Centre for Social


○ African Bronze Honey Company for Ontario

Bibi Lyn Designs, of Shippagan, N.B., for Atlantic Canada

○ for Quebec

○ Keela for British Columbia

○ Pinnguaq for the North

○ Neechie Gear for the Prairies

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