This past Saturday, Yukonstruct hosted the annual Startup Canada Awards – North Region program. The event took place at NorthLight Innovation – home to Whitehorse’s key entrepreneur support organizations, Yukonstruct Society and Yukon College’s Cold Climate Innovation. Recently outfitted with art by local artists and full of inspiring energy, the venue was the perfect backdrop for the evening’s celebration.
A candid roundtable discussion with award recipients, local and national corporate partners, and key leaders in the North, got the night off to a productive and thought-provoking start. Participants discussed the state of entrepreneurship in the North and how entrepreneurs can best be supported. Key takeaways included:
• Importance of training and support for entrepreneurs (e.g. financial literacy, etc.);
• Importance of developing strong partnerships in order to start and scale businesses;
• Need for government to back existing organizations that already support, entrepreneurs, rather than create new programs.
During the reception, attendees enjoyed the incredible beer and award-winning cocktails served up by Yukon Brewing, and gourmet catering by the Wandering Bison. Guests also had a chance to check out artisan goods produced by some of the creative entrepreneurs working out of Yukonstruct’s Makespace at the Makers’ Market, held in the NorthwesTel Event Space.
The Awards ceremony kicked off after the reception and was hosted by the dynamic Lauren Manekin Beille from Yukon College’s Cold Climate Innovation. A passionate community builder, Lauren set an engaging and charming tone. Government attendees included the Honourable Larry Bagnell, MP for Yukon; Mayor Dan Curtis; and the Honourable Angelique Bernard, Commissioner of Yukon.
The winners of this year’s StartUp Canada awards were:
Ranj Pillai – Startup Canada Entrepreneur Promotion Award
däna Näye Ventures – Startup Canada Entrepreneur Support Award
UasaU Soap – Startup Canada Entrepreneur’s Choice Award
Make I.T. Solutions – Startup Canada Global Entrepreneurship Award
Proof – Startup Canada Innovation Award
Arctic Fresh – Startup Canada Social Enterprise Award
Antoinette’s Restaurant – Startup Canada Women Entrepreneur Award
Charlie Fiddler – Startup Canada Young Entrepreneur Award
Outpost 31 Media – Startup Canada Entrepreneur of the Year Award
The ceremony included plenty of laughs, heartfelt speeches, and a few joyful tears by the amazing winners who continue to impact entrepreneurship in Canada.
Yukonstruct is honoured and humbled to celebrate the creative, hardworking, and inspiring entrepreneurs that make up this lively community.
And a BIG thank you to our local sponsors for making these events possible!
Startup Canada, the national rallying community for Canadian entrepreneurs, recently celebrated outstanding entrepreneurs, businesses and support organizations from all over Canada. The winners were announced at the red carpet Grand Finale in Ottawa, attended by leading Canadian investors, innovators and anchor company executives.
Jaret Slipp and Lauren Manekin-Beille, respectively YuKonstruct Executive Director and (co)space Director, received the national Startup Canada Entrepreneur Support Award on behalf of YuKonstruct and (co)space. This category rewards government organizations, not-for-profits, academic institutions and private for-profit businesses that demonstrate excellence in advancing Canadian entrepreneurship through their leadership, innovation and impact.
This ceremony culminated the Startup Canada Day on the Hill, the largest annual national entrepreneurship event convening more than 1,100 leading entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, industry executives, and government representatives annually to raise the bar for Canada as a globally competitive innovation nation.
Prior to the national awards, YuKonstruct took part in the Startup Canada Northern Region Awards. (co)space partnered with Startup Canada to host the awards in Whitehorse on September 19, 2017. Northern innovators were recognized for their creative enterprises and YuKonstruct was honoured to receive the award for Entrepreneur Support.
“Hosting the Startup Canada North Awards this year has created sparks of new energy and motivation in our community,” said Lauren Manekin Beille, (co)space Director. “Our entrepreneurial ecosystem has come alive in new ways and innovative trailblazers have been coming out of the woodwork. This event has given Startup Whitehorse, (co)space and YuKonstruct a path to show the north just how much support there is up here to help bring to life our community’s startup ideas.”
The other northern regional winners include:
- Chris Lane, Partner, MakeIT & Northmark Ventures | Entrepreneur of the Year, presented by Scotiabank
- Heather Dickson, Founder, Dickson Designs | Woman Entrepreneur Award, presented by Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
- Mike Russo, Founder, Firebean Coffee Roasters | Young Entrepreneur Award, presented by BDC
- Robert Sharp, Founder, Yukon Green House Design | Senior Entrepreneur Award, presented by BDC
- Proskida | Innovation Award, presented by Intuit QuickBooks
- Pinnguaq | Social Enterprise Award, presented by Centre for Social Innovation