Gary F. Keenan, the Co-Founder and Chairman of F6 Networks of Fredericton, was named Entrepreneur of the Year at the Atlantic Region Startup Canada Awards on Tuesday.

Keenan, who last year was named the EY Entrepreneur of the Year in Atlantic Canada, captured the Startup Canada Award at a presentation event in Fredericton, where nine people or groups were recognized.

Created out of K-Line Construction, F6 Networks is the largest privately owned open access fibre network in Canada.

Startup Canada, whose mission is to promote and nurture startups and entrepreneurship across the country, holds regional awards across the nation in several categories. The regional winners in most of these categories then compete in the national finals.

“We are honoured to recognize vibrant entrepreneurs and disruptors across Canada,” said Startup Canada Chief Executive Director Anastasia Valentine in a statement. "Each recipient is highly contributing to build our nation’s economy and to strengthen the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem.”

The other 2019 Atlantic Canadian Region Winners are:

  • Larry Shaw, the CEO of Ignite Fredericton, received the Entrepreneur Promotion Award;
  • The Joint Economic Development Initiative of Fredericton received the Entrepreneur Support Award;
  • ThermalWood Canada of Bathurst, NB, received the Global Entrepreneurship Award;
  • Sona Nanotech of Dartmouth received the Innovation Award;
  • SucSeed of St. John’s received the Social Enterprise Award;
  • HeyOrca of St. John’s received the High-Growth Entrepreneurship Award;
  • Natasha Dhayagude, the CEO of Fredericton-based Chinova Bioworks, won the Woman Entrepreneur Award;
  • And Noah Donovan of Quispamsis, NB, received the Young Entrepreneur Award for his company Port City Candy.

“The Joint Economic Development Initiative is delighted to be the Atlantic Region Winner for Entrepreneur Support,” said JEDI President Alex Dedam, whose group supports entrepreneurship in First Nations communities. “JEDI has been working in the field of Economic Development in New Brunswick for almost 25 years and we are happy to be recognized for our efforts in supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs and community economic development." 

Startup Canada has already held regional ceremonies in Whitehorse, Vancouver, Edmonton, Mississauga and Montreal. The finale event will take place in Toronto in October.