In receiving the Adam Chowaniec Lifetime Achievement award from Startup Canada on Wednesday night, Andrea Feunekes noted that building Remsoft into a global leader in natural resources land management hasn’t always been easy.
Feunekes received the award, presented by Wolf Blass, at the regional awards for Atlantic Canada, which recognized nine entrepreneurs or groups from the region.
As Co-Founder and CEO, Feunekes has built Remsoft over 23 years into a leader in collecting and analyzing data on forests and woodlots. It now has customers in 21 countries and is being used to manage almost three-quarters of a billion acres of land.
But she stressed that it’s been challenging. She and her husband, CTO Ugo Feunekes started the company after they had tried a few other startups with little to show for it. They had two children and $175 in the bank.
“The failures are an awesome part of growing a business,” she said. “Everyone one of them teaches you something.”
The other major winner of the evening was David Alston, CIO of Fredericton-based Introhive, as Entrepreneur of the Year.
Startup Canada Founder and CEO Victoria Lennox announced that the awards ceremony next year will be held in Fredericton – a fitting location given that New Brunswick claimed the lion’s share of the awards this year.
I was honoured to be named as a co-winner with Alston of the Award for Enterprise Promotion, presented by TruShield Insurance.
The other winners of the regional awards were:
Startup Canada Award for Entrepreneurship Support, presented by BDC: Ignite Fredericton.
Startup Canada Senior Entrepreneur of the Year Award, presented by Gerry Pond: John Hamblin, founder of Startup Halifax.
Startup Canada Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, presented by MNP LLP: Alex Gillis, founder of Bitness, Halifax.
Startup Canada Award for International Trade: Honibe, Charlottetown.
Startup Canada Award for Innovation, presented by Intuit Canada: RtTech Software Inc, Moncton.
Startup Canada Award for Sustainable Development, presented by TELUS: Wear Your Label, Fredericton.