Issuu on Google+

Saluting Ontario’s gravity-defying entrepreneurs 2014

Special supplement published by OT Communications.

© 2014 Ernst & Young LLP. All Rights Reserved. “Entrepreneur Of The Year” is a registered trademark of EYGN Limited.


Entrepreneurs defy gravity — inspiring awe as they lift their businesses off the ground. At EY Canada, our own growth story started 150 years ago in the same way as this year’s impressive Entrepreneur Of The Year finalists: with one entrepreneur committed to defying the odds. In 1864 — before Canada was even a country — Thomas Clarkson founded the trustee and receivership business which has today evolved into EY. His entrepreneurial spirit laid the foundation for a firm deeply committed to the success of entrepreneurs that still resonates across our organization today. EY is recognized as the top professional services brand among the entrepreneurial community and we were recently named the Professional Services Organization of the Year by Startup Canada. But what really makes us proud is the opportunity, every year, to celebrate the stories and achievements of the entrepreneurs in our Entrepreneur Of The Year Program. For the award finalists in these pages, their ambition, innovation and leadership have taken their businesses to new heights. Their success is contributing to a better working world for their communities and Ontario. For many, their vision has taken flight across Canada and beyond borders — building Canada’s presence around the world. What will the next 150 years bring? New generations of entrepreneurs will continue to defy the odds and what we think is possible. And we’ll be right there by their side. Join us at the Ontario awards gala 29 October 2014 in Toronto. For tickets or more information, contact julie.olden@ca.ey.com. Colleen McMorrow National and Ontario Director, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year


Table of Contents Meet the 2014 Ontario EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Judges – page 4 Meet the EY leadership contacts in Ontario – page 9 Special Citation - Social Entrepreneur Tim Jones – Artscape – page 5

Real Estate Greg Romundt – Centurion Apartment REIT – page 6 | Michael Cooper - Dream Unlimited Corp. - page 8 Jason Castellan - Skyline Group of Companies - page 10

Services Lou Serafini Jr. – Fengate Capital Management Limited – page 12 Dr. Liz Scott – Organizational Solutions Inc. – page 14 Edward Kholodenko – Questrade Financial Group Inc. – page 16 Kimberley-Anne Langen – Spirit of Math Schools Inc. – page 18 Eugene Winer, Justin Van Camp and Alex Handa – S-Trip! – page 20

Energy and Cleantech Paul Bagatavicius, Dean Rookes and Winston Shim – Corrosion Service Company Limited – page 22 Emmie Leung - Emterra Group – page 24 Justin Woodward, Martin Ritchie and Christian Wray – JCM Capital – page 26

Young Entrepreneur Anatoliy Melnichuk, Michele Romanow and Ryan Marien – Buytopia.ca – page 28 Arjun Kumar - Kela Medical Inc. – page 29 | Billy Hennessey – Qwatro Royalpak – page 30 Michael Litt and Devon Galloway – Vidyard – page 31

Manufacturing Pyarali Nanji – Belle-Pak Packaging Inc. – page 32 | Linda Hasenfratz – Linamar Corporation – page 34 Peter Snucins – Polycorp Ltd. – page 36

Media and Technology James Aitken – The Exchange Lab – page 37 | Peter Stavropoulos – FlexITy Solutions Inc. – page 38 Leerom Segal – Klick Health – page 40 | James Swayze – Symbility Solutions Inc. – page 41 Paul Genier – Veritaaq – page 42

Food and Hospitality Todd Parsons and Joel Flatt – Give & Go Prepared Foods Corp. – page 44 Sujay Shah – Kii Naturals / Shashi Foods – page 45 | Peter Neal and Chris Neal - Neal Brothers Foods - page 46 Mark McEwan - The McEwan Group - page 48

Emerging Entrepreneur Jonathan Webster - EnvAerospace, Inc. - page 50 | Joe Jackman - Jackman Reinvents - page 52 Neil Sweeney - JUICE Mobile - page 54 | Jay Klein - PÜR Gum - page 55

Health Sciences Anthony Giovinazzo - Cynapsus Therapeutics Inc. - page 56 | Tom Reeves - Interface Biologics - page 58 Dr. Arun Menawat - NOVADAQ Technologies - page 59 Published by O.T. Communications | www.otcommunications.com | Canadian publications mail sales product agreement No. 41126516

Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to circulation dept. - 1025 101 6th Ave. SW, Calgary, AB T2P 3P4 | info@businessincalgary.com

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014

3


To judge high-flying talent, you need lots of it. It takes talent to know talent. We couldn’t celebrate Ontario’s brightest entrepreneurs without the powerful insights of our judges. We’re truly grateful.

John Albright

Romeo Leemrijse

Mitch Green

Stacey Mowbray

Jon Hantho

Jim Orlando

Co-Founder and Managing Partner Relay Ventures

Managing Director Clairvest Group Inc.

President and Chief Executive Officer Maxxam Analytics

Vice President Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

Managing Director OMERS Ventures

Ontario 2012 EOY Winner (Services) 2012 National Citation honouree (Leadership)

Tim Jackson

Senior Advisor, Capital Solutions MaRS Centre of Impact Investing

Tracie Tighe

Executive Producer Canadian Broadcasting Corporation


Special Citation - Social Entrepreneur

Tim Jones Artscape Toronto Artscape boosts creativity and transforms communities. Tim Jones leads a dynamic, not-for-profit urban development organization, Artscape, that clusters creative people together in real estate projects that not only serve the arts and cultural community, but advance various public policy objectives, private development interests, community and neighbourhood aspirations and philanthropic missions. Since 1986, Artscape has been recognized as an international leader in creative placemaking – a practice that leverages the power of art, culture and creativity to catalyze change, growth and transformation in communities. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? Early in work life I realized it would be difficult for me to work in existing structures. Are entrepreneurs born or made? Made – most people are inherently driven and creative but those qualities need to be nurtured and supported. Not everybody gets the support to succeed. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Have a vision, something that is new and inspired. It is also important to have tenacity because entrepreneurs are relentless problem solvers. How important have good employees been to your success? Essential – if you want to grow something, just your time and energy can’t do it alone. Successful entrepreneurs engage other people and lift them to make it happen. What sets Canadian entrepreneurs apart on the world stage? Canadians have a special talent about collaboration. Maybe it’s our diversity but we get along with each other better than most people. What was your first job? At 16, I was an usher in a movie theatre. What is your passion other than entrepreneurship? Urbanity and city building. Being involved in what people and sectors can do together to build a better community. What is your dream vacation? Going on a trip to China and Vietnam. How many hours do you work a day on average? Approximately 9-10 hours. I define success by leaving the world in a better state than when I started and improving the relationship between arts and urban development. To be successful, entrepreneurs should follow their passion, and be incredibly determined and tenacious to make it happen.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014

5


Real Estate

Greg Romundt

Centurion Apartment REIT North York Gregory Romundt’s entrepreneurial spirit has grown Centurion Apartment REIT into a successful, private real estate investment trust focused on acquiring and managing apartment properties in Canada. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? When I left the investment banking industry. I had built numerous businesses for various firms around the world that were very successful, but in the end they didn’t belong to me. I wanted something of my own. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? The ability to analyze risks and opportunities, the willingness to take risks and manage the stress in doing so, the ability to persevere no matter what, and probably, most importantly, sales skills. How important have good employees been to your success? Employees have been critical to our success. Hiring key team members has allowed us to grow very quickly. Entrepreneurs need to be able to delegate to execute on the vision so the entrepreneur can focus on strategic thinking, business development and raising capital. How can Canada support a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem? In growing my business, I learned that it wasn’t the lack of a good idea that can make or break the business. Access to capital is critical and raising capital for new ventures is extremely difficult and expensive in Canada. Fortunately, it seems regulators are listening and bringing out a new crowdfunding exemption. What is your passion other than entrepreneurship? My family. How do you define success? Loving what you do and looking forward to going to work in the morning. What is your best advice for entrepreneurs? First, look inside yourself and honestly self-assess if you have the personality characteristics and are ready for the sacrifices necessary to survive and thrive as an entrepreneur. I love what I do but the entrepreneur path isn’t for everyone, because reality is nowhere close to the fantasies people have about it. Over the course of my life, the drivers have sometimes changed but the constant is my desire to conquer personal challenges. To set goals and achieve them is a process that I’ve found to be very enjoyable. I love intellectual challenges and having to think about and negotiate solutions to problems.

6

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


EY - Centurion Ad4.pdf 1 25/08/2014 5:16:18 PM

It is a great honour to be a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award. I recognize that I do not celebrate this achievement alone. C

M

Y

CM

I wanted to take this opportunity to send out a genuine “Thank You� to all of the investors, tenants, students, board members, partners, vendors, team members, friends and family of Centurion. Without your continued support, we wouldn’t be here providing solutions that have positive impacts in people`s lives.

MY

CY

CMY

K

I look forward to continuing to deliver real estate investment opportunities and to providing safe communities for students and families. Sincerely, Greg Romundt

(888) 737-REIT centurionreit.com


Real Estate

Michael Cooper

Dream Unlimited Corp. Toronto With innovative strategy and determination, Michael J. Cooper continues to lead the Dream Unlimited team to grow and become one of Canada’s leading real estate companies, with 1,000 employees, $14.6 billion of assets, and over 56 million square feet of office, industrial and retail space. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? I didn’t know what an entrepreneur was, but when I was 11, I had a paper route and shovelled snow for neighbours. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? I think empathy is the most important because success depends on others believing in your vision. I also think that the ability to make decisions based on the information that’s available (versus perfect, complete information) and the ability to deal with messiness both all necessary. How important have good employees been to your success? You need everyone to be successful. Employees are vital on how things become real, and they’re also who I spend my time with and like. How can Canada support a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem? I think entrepreneurs are supposed to do things the hard way and overcome adversity. The government doesn’t need to help us, but they could build a stronger ecosystem by not making it harder through regulations that make innovation difficult and costly. What was your first job? In 1973, I worked at a shoe importer for $1.25/hour. I checked every box to make sure the imported shoes from China contained two shoes in the same style and that each box had a left and right shoe. What is your passion other than entrepreneurship? My friends and family. Where do you want to be in the next 10 years? In the same chair, surrounded by the same people, only in 10 years, they’ll be the ones leading. Who has been your greatest inspiration? Everyone who does things that I can’t do, especially when they achieve success through relentlessness and creativity. Success is when a plan comes together and we are all excited about it. Success should also be profitable. Do what you want and how you want, all the time. It’s so important to keep finding ways to do things that are creative, (obvious in retrospect) where all of the tensions from competing stakeholders are met and exceeded with an elegant idea.

8

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


Meet the EY leadership contacts in Ontario

Colleen McMorrow

National and Ontario Director, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Canadian Leader, Strategic Growth Markets 416 943 2718 | colleen.m.mcmorrow@ca.ey.com

Julie Olden

National and Ontario Co-ordinator, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 416 943 2062 | julie.olden@ca.ey.com

Managing Partners Eric Rawlinson

Managing Partner, Greater Toronto Area, Market Leader — Advisory 416 943 3129 | eric.f.rawlinson@ca.ey.com

Andre de Haan

Managing Partner — Financial Services 416 943 3705 | andre.dehaan@ca.ey.com

Kevin Casey

Charles-Antoine St-Jean

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Leader — Waterloo Region 519 571 3311 | kevin.j.casey@ca.ey.com

Managing Partner, Government and Public Sector (GPS) 613 598 4302 | charles-antoine.st-jean@ca.ey.com

Warren Granger

Elizabeth Maccabe

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Leader — London 519 646 5534 | warren.granger@ca.ey.com

Managing Partner — London 519 646 2503 | elizabeth.maccabe@ca.ey.com

Dave Walsh

Greg McCauley

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Leader — Ottawa 613 598 4331 | dave.g.walsh@ca.ey.com

Managing Partner — Waterloo Region 519 571 3319 | greg.j.mccauley@ca.ey.com

Carrie Marchitto

Gary Zed

Canadian Program Sponsor, EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women 416 943 3374 | carrie.l.marchitto@ca.ey.com

Managing Partner, Ottawa 613 598 4301 | gary.zed@ca.ey.com _______________________________________________

Joe Telebar

Private Mid-Market Co-Leaders

Canadian Leader, Private Equity and Venture Capital 416 943 3527 | joe.m.telebar@ca.ey.com

Bill Demers

Canadian Leader, IPO 416 943 3055 | bill.l.demers@ca.ey.com

Essential links: Strategic Growth Markets – www.ey.com/SGM Entrepreneur Of The Year – www.ey.com/ca/EOY Private Mid-Markets – www.ey.com/ca/PMM

David Fabian

416 932 6250 | david.fabian@ca.ey.com

David Steinberg

416 932 6206 | david.a.steinberg@ca.ey.com


Real Estate

Jason Castellan

Skyline Group of Companies Guelph

The Skyline Group of Companies is comprised of several entities, involved in real estate investment, development, asset management and property management interests. The company’s three co-founders, Jason and Martin Castellan and Roy Jason Ashdown, along with their CFO Wayne Byrd, continue to lead The Skyline Group’s growth and success as one of Canada’s fastest-growing real estate companies. Are entrepreneurs born or made? We are all born with the potential to be an entrepreneur. I feel fortunate that I stumbled upon the platform that allowed me to develop my entrepreneurial abilities. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Luck, to find an outlet you’re passionate about. Be oblivious to risk, and the fear of failure. Believe and visualize the positive outcome until it turns into the success that you envisioned. How important have good employees been to your success? They are critical to success. I have the utmost respect and appreciation for good people who believe in you, stand beside you and help slug it out until it works. What is your passion other than entrepreneurship? Farming – I live in rural Ontario and love being home on my farm. There is something therapeutic about fixing fences, cutting wood, riding on the tractor or taking care of animals. It keeps what is truly important, in perspective. Staying real keeps me real. What motivates you? I am highly motivated by making a difference as an employer and a community leader, and by being able to offer reliable investments for the everyday investor. To do something that I am passionate about and the chance to have a positive impact and make a difference is what drives me every day. Go with your gut. If you have something that you think and more importantly feel can be successful, you must try it. Listen to your instincts and run – and I mean run like hell – with that idea and create experiences that will validate your vision.

10

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


Services

Lou Serafini Jr.

Fengate Capital Management North York Lou Serafini Jr. dynamically leads the Fengate Capital Management team to growth and success, as a respected investment management firm, specializing in investments in the infrastructure and real estate sector. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? When I was a teenager and earning my own money, I watched my father running his own business. I realized that I had the same characteristics and ambition as he did. The ability to build relationships and understand how different people become motivated comes natural to me. Are entrepreneurs born or made? You are born with the ability to be an entrepreneur, but entrepreneurs are self-made – taking risks, investing in yourself and having the courage to lead others to follow your dreams. How important have good employees been to your success? Great employees have been the most important factor in the Fengate success. A company must have the right culture. Our team complements each other, trusts each other, is selfless every day and embraces growth. What motivates you? I am motivated by effort. I embrace the process of developing a plan, executing a strategy and the feeling I get when we achieve success. How do you define success? I define success by results, not money. At work, it’s about gaining the respect and earning trust. Personally, it’s about living a balanced life. It’s about setting personal goals. It’s about being a good father, a good mentor and giving back to the community. It’s about having fun and living life. Who has been your greatest inspiration? My father has been my greatest inspiration. At a very young age, he came to a new country with nothing. He didn’t speak the language. He instilled in me the importance of education, the necessity to work hard and the commitment to never compromise your integrity. I am inspired by his passion. I love him for everything he has done and taught me! Entrepreneurs must always dream big! And don’t let obstacles get in the way. Measure your successes by milestones. Set realistic goals or else you will never achieve them. Work smarter versus more. Be kind to yourself and do not let others drag you down. Recognize what you don’t know and eliminate energy suckers from your life. Embrace change and keep an open mind to new opportunities.

12

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


Delivering long-term value Fengate is a trusted advisor for long-term, customized investments in the real estate, infrastructure and private equity sectors. Our team comprises the brightest and most dedicated professionals in the industry, exemplifying trust in each other and selflessness in putting the needs of our clients first. It is thanks to them that I have the honour of being selected as a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award. Since our founding in 1974, Fengate has grown to become one of the leading investors in Canada and has been able to expand our global reach, targeting high quality investments across North America and into select international markets. I am extremely proud to see the company that my father founded achieve such tremendous success and am excited for the future.

With sincere thanks to my team, our partners and clients!

Lou Serafini Jr. President and CEO

Trusted partner. Experienced investor. Fengatecapital.com


Services

Dr. Liz Scott

Organizational Solutions Inc. (OSI) Burlington With dedication, commitment and a lot of expertise, Dr. Liz Scott and her team of disability management and Workers’ Compensation claims management specialists have been helping employers, finance and HR professionals manage the increasing cost and human impact of illness, injury, disability, absenteeism and mental health problems in their workplaces. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur – even when I worked at corporations I viewed myself as an entrepreneur. Are entrepreneurs born or made? I believe entrepreneurs are made. With the right determination and drive, you can be a successful entrepreneur. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Acceptance of risk, determination and innovative thinking. How important have good employees been to your success? Very important – we hire only the best, most experienced people in their fields and give them the training and ongoing education they need to provide a superior service to our clients. What sets Canadian entrepreneurs apart on the world stage? A smaller population means we have to be focused and have a very high degree of ethics. Also the diversity of Canadians and unique cultures in our provinces gives us an incredible advantage in knowledge, skills and connection to the world stage. What would winning EY Entrepreneur Of The Year mean to you? It would provide recognition of the work that I have been doing and the work my team has accomplished. What book are you reading now? Creating Competitive Advantage by Jaynie Smith. How many hours do you work a day on average? Approximately 18 hours. What motivates you? Success, staff development and growth. Also, knowing that our clients are seeing incredible results from our programs is a huge motivation. In the next 10 years, I want OSI to be bigger! We will continue to grow OSI at a rapid pace. We have all the standard operating procedures in place to make this a reality. We know what we do works and the more companies hear about the cost saving and increased productivity that results from having OSI as their service provider, the bigger we will get, providing a solid cost-effective strategy and service to our clients.

14

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


Five reasons entrepreneurs matter most By Colleen McMorrow

We say it time and time again: entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the Canadian economy. These business leaders operate companies of all shapes and sizes, across a wide spectrum of industries. Their amazing diversity is just one of the reasons we’re proud to celebrate their stories and achievements year after year. In many ways, entrepreneurs matter most — to the communities where they set up their businesses, to the people they employ and to the Canadian economy overall. Through their ability to dream and commitment to win, entrepreneurs:

1. 2.

Drive economic growth. In good times and bad, Canada’s entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy. They see opportunity in adversity and forge ahead to drive growth in all economic conditions. Are true job creators. Job creation remains in the good hands of entrepreneurs. EY’s annual Global job creation survey reveals 76% of entrepreneurs plan to increase the size of their workforce in the year ahead by an average of 19%. What’s more, this year’s Entrepreneur Of The Year finalists in Ontario represent close to 8,000 jobs in Canada. And across the country that number grows to 37,000.

3. 4. 5.

Broaden Canada’s presence on the world stage. Our entrepreneurs are putting Canada on the map: 74% of our 2013 finalists report having an international presence and 39% are prepared to expand into international markets in the next 12-25 months. Innovate at every turn. Innovation is about understanding evolving industry and customer needs and improving on what already exists. Entrepreneurs know this better than anyone, and demonstrate their ability to adapt to new market conditions time and time again. They are powerful agents of change. Strengthen communities. Giving back to the communities where we live and work is an important way we can all build a better working world. Entrepreneurs take this corporate responsibility to new heights. They recognize that real success means creating social value.

The list could go on. There’s no end to the value that entrepreneurs bring to the table. That’s why it’s important we work together to create an entrepreneurial environment that supports them on their path to success. After all, they’re the engine driving this country forward. To learn how we support entrepreneurs, visit us at ey.com/ca/entrepreneurs. 15


Services

Edward Kholodenko

Questrade Financial Group Inc. North York Since starting operations in 1999, Edward Kholodenko had a defined and clear focus: to help Canadians achieve financial independence by providing the uncompromised best investment products, the latest and most effective trading technology and client service excellence. Questrade Financial is a remarkable Canadian success story, earning the prestigious Investor Economics rank as fastest-growing and fourth largest online brokerage. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? Even when I was in high school, I wanted to go into business. I eventually started my own company right after graduating from university. Are entrepreneurs born or made? A combination of both – you learn a lot on the way and you have to have grit. The risks the entrepreneur takes are invariably big. How important have good employees been to your success? The right people in the right place at the right time is paramount. The world is a really big place. We do business in a truly global market and you can no longer (if you ever could) execute on your own. Good and reliable employees are the most important factors for an entrepreneur and a successful business. How can Canada support a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem? Provide incentives and supportive tax legislation that’s not punitive for investment. What is your passion other than entrepreneurship? Family and helping in the community. If you weren’t in your current leadership position, what would you be doing? Some kind of volunteer or charity work; perhaps running a school. What is your dream vacation? Somewhere quiet and warm. How many hours do you work a day on average? Between 9-10 hours. What motivates you? I love innovation and doing whatever it takes to find effective solutions to problems. And giving back to the community. Successful entrepreneurs must have a vision and an unwavering belief. Find something you have a passion for and don’t get discouraged by the naysayers, the people who tell you it won’t work. Don’t rely too much on research. Hesitation gets noticed by others.

16

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


17


Services

Kimberley-Anne Langen Spirit of Math Schools Inc. North York “It’s so much more than tutoring,” says Kimberley-Anne Langen, about her Spirit of Math Schools – Canada’s largest “after-school school,” exclusively for high-performing students in Grades 1 to 11. The unique education concept is respected as an all-encompassing mathematics program that has produced many top Canadian math students for more than 25 years. Are entrepreneurs born or made? Both – like a seed from a rare plant, entrepreneurs have the DNA to start. What that seed overcomes to be successful is what makes the entrepreneur strong and exciting. An entrepreneur is born, and their strength and uniqueness is made. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Grit and stick-to-it persistence combined with an unquenchable drive; the courage to take risks and do what is needed; and a 360-degree ability to see the bigger picture but get down and learn the nitty-gritty when needed. How important have good employees been to your success? Good employees are foundational to success. The larger the company gets, the more decisions employees make, and the more they represent the vision and the brand. Employees are the lifeblood of the business. What sets Canadian entrepreneurs apart on the world stage? Canadians are known as team players and hard workers. Canadian entrepreneurs are tenacious in their creativity and in setting standards. Their love for excellence combined with a quiet bravado drives them to ensure that their ideas come alive, creating some of the most brilliant and forward-thinking entrepreneurs in this world. What is your passion other than entrepreneurship? My passion is releasing the genius in others – showing others what they can do with their own genius to empower others. What is your best advice for entrepreneurs? Have lots of people around you who have the courage to be honest with their advice especially when it is about you. Success is achieving the goals that you have created. A successful person is one who has realized who they are and are living life with excellence in all areas, including spiritual, physical, financial, emotional and relationships.

18

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


Building Future Leaders • Releasing the Genius® • Changing the World

e confdence and releas r i p s e th n, in o eg i t ra en e p ius o o in c e e t o

pr o

c ry ve

m

Taking students from the top of the class to the top of the nation

To

d.® hil

T

he world changes because of the innovative, courageous and hard work of a team of many people committed to working together. This very honourable EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Finalist recognition has been achieved because of the brilliance of the Spirit of Math team: those who helped to develop the program, all our teachers, administrators, business owners, advisors, education partners, parents, and of course, our students. Thank you!

Releasing the Genius® 1-866-SMS-MATH (767-6284) • www.spiritofmath.com


Services

Eugene Winer, Justin Van Camp and Alex Handa S-Trip! Toronto Alex Handa, Eugene Winer and Justin Van Camp are the three innovative partners who created S-Trip! – providing life-changing travel experiences for youth and students to facilitate global understanding, cultural enrichment and personal development. Are entrepreneurs born or made? Handa: I think you need both to succeed. You need to be eternally optimistic even in the face of crisis. Without a positive outlook you won’t make it to the end of the storm. Winer: Made – I believe that we are shaped by our upbringing. It contributes to who we are as a person and an entrepreneur. Van Camp: Both – I think you are born with the desire but have to have the right conditions to succeed. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Handa: A balance of creativity and hard work. Winer: Tenacity, tolerance for risk and being hard working. Van Camp: Vision, creativity and resilience. How important have good employees been to your success? Winer: Employees make or break a company. Our team has been an integral part of our success. Van Camp: The most important – you need people with other strengths to complement yours and support you. What is your passion other than entrepreneurship? Winer: Soccer, especially the World Cup. Building a winning soccer strategy is very similar to business. Van Camp: Surfing, skateboarding and travelling. What is your dream vacation? Handa: Travel the world for a year with no itinerary and no bags. Just the shirt on my back and a passport. Winer: Travel the world with my wife and kids by camper van; an education through travel. Entrepreneurs should get their business idea generating profits as quickly as possible. Business partners must be friends and confidants with complementing skills. And focus – it’s easy for entrepreneurs to get sidetracked, but it’s hard to be the best at many different things. Find your core or your niche, and invest in it until you become the best.

20

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


Better doesn’t happen by chance. For 150 years, we’ve been helping Canadian entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Congratulations to the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year finalists! ey.com/ca/entrepreneurs

© 2014 Ernst & Young LLP. All Rights Reserved.


Energy and Cleantech

Paul Bagatavicius, Dean Rookes and Winston Shim Corrosion Service Company Limited Markham Corrosion Service has been a leader in the science of corrosion prevention since it was founded in 1950. Winston Shim, Paul Bagatavicius and Dean Rookes lead a team of talented technicians, technologists and engineers, whose seamless collaboration has cultivated Canada’s first corrosion engineering services group into the world leader that it is today. Winston Shim: When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? From a very early age. I grew up in a family where having your own business is valued. Both my paternal grandfather and my father were entrepreneurs. Are entrepreneurs born or made? Both – the basic instinct and burning desire to be a successful entrepreneur cannot be taught. Those are intrinsic characteristics. After that, hard work, positioning, perseverance and resilience are all required and may be nurtured. How important have good employees been to your success? Extremely important – without good employees, we would never be where we are. Present and past employees make a big difference. We are a product of decades of contributions from both present and former management and employees. What would winning EY Entrepreneur Of The Year mean to you? Having our success recognized by our peers would mean a lot. It’s a great honour just to be recognized as a finalist. What was your first job? During high school, I had a part-time job as a busboy in a fast-food restaurant in the mall. What is your dream vacation? A dream vacation to me is not an exotic destination. It’s spending time together with my family at a nice holiday location. How many hours do you work a day on average? About nine hours per day “in” the office. But emails and communicating with staff always happens during off-hours and weekends. What are your plans for growth in the next 10 years? Over the last few decades, our company has been successful in working with various industries that required our services. Today, it is the oil and gas industry and it has a strong outlook. For entrepreneurs and anyone hoping for success in business, there is no substitute for hard work. But above and beyond hard work, there must be a strategic path and an ultimate goal behind the hard work. Foresight – the ability to look and see beyond the present situation – is also very helpful.

22

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


C

orrosion Service Company Limited (CSCL) endeavours to advance the small but vital industry that serves to protect the environment, natural resources and public safety through the preservation of the reinforced concrete and metal infrastructure on which we all rely. Since our very modest beginnings in 1950, as Canada’s first corrosion engineering firm, we have grown to become a respected industry leader in the science of corrosion prevention. Specializing in electrochemical mitigation, we offer techniques known as cathodic protection, anodic protection (Anotection®) and Potential Adjustment ProtectionTM (PAPTM) for a multitude of structures to a diverse customer base around the globe. We are extremely proud of and indebted to all of the talented technical and support staff that have built, sustained and grown this company over the last 64 years. Their relentless dedication through lean and difficult times is the source of our enduring strength. Their passionate pursuit of engineering and integrity innovations, design excellence and exceptional customer service are the basis of our success. Their individual and collective “Lust for Rust” and attention to detail is truly the backbone of our business. Employee owned since the beginning, we are truly proud to have been selected as one of the 2014 finalists for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award. We would like to thank and to recognize all of our colleagues and co-workers, present and past, for their contributions toward this great honour.

www.corrosionservice.com


Energy and Cleantech

Emmie Leung Emterra Group Burlington

This is the 38th year that the dynamic and focused Emmie Leung heads-up Emterra Group – an innovative company providing its municipal and industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) customers with fully-integrated solutions for waste collection and resource recovery programs, including the processing of printed paper and packaging, used and scrap tires and stale-dated and unsalable consumable liquid products, and the marketing of recycled commodities. A key Emterra priority is supporting the communities where the company does business and where their staff lives. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? When I could not find a job. Some simple thinking prompted me to create a business so I had a job. Are entrepreneurs born or made? Both – you need to have the right personality traits, optimism, creativity, persistence and business skills. And don’t give up! How important have good employees been to your success? Very important – without them there is no success. They have my back and share my values. How can Canada support a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem? The government needs to do more as a business incubator, to nurture the young entrepreneurs, provide training and local support. In addition, banks need to be more supportive with financing. What was your first job? I worked in a cafeteria as a bus girl. What is your passion other than entrepreneurship? Doing something to make a positive impact. My business mirrors my personal belief: do something right. What is your dream vacation? Going to see all Seven Wonders of the World. I have been to the Great Wall and Yellowstone. How many hours do you work a day on average? I work 12 hours, 7 days a week. But when I get home, I’m home! Entrepreneurs must be very stubborn and never give up. Use your innovation to solve problems. Embrace adversity, it is a tool to enhance your wisdom; Confucius said, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.” This makes you strong and successful.

24

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


GDISERVICES.CA

WE HANDLE YOUR COMFORT GDI provides innovative cleaning techniques, best in class capabilities and unrivalled experience for a clean, healthy and welcoming environment. Every day.

Congratulations! To all EY Entrepreneur Of The Year finalists and award recipients.

Cleaning Services Disaster Recovery Technical Services Energy Management Event Support Services


Energy and Cleantech

Justin Woodward, Martin Ritchie and Christian Wray JCM Capital Toronto Martin Ritchie, Christian Wray and Justin Woodward are members of the senior leadership team who leads JCM Capital to growth and success as a global clean energy developer, primarily focused on utility-scale solar generation projects in emerging solar markets. Martin Ritchie: What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? A certain fearlessness of failing and a need for constant change. Also, a strong desire to be the master of one’s own destiny and to build a lasting legacy. The successful entrepreneur is constantly analyzing most products and with a critical eye, determining how they could be made better. It is an obsession. Are entrepreneurs born or made? A bit of both. Typically they have to be shown that entrepreneurship is even a career option, but there must be a certain desire for change in the entrepreneur’s DNA. How important have good employees been to your success? A strong team of A players is the most critical success factor for any lasting business. What would winning EY Entrepreneur Of The Year mean to you? It would be validation and recognition of all the hard work and effort put in over the past five years. What was your first job? A bellman at the Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta. What is your dream vacation? A sailing trip – island hopping around the British Virgin Islands with a group of close friends and family. How many hours do you work a day on average? Now 9-10 hour days are probably the norm. In the early days, it was literally 24/7 including weekends. What motivates you? Building clean energy power projects and fostering economic growth in emerging markets. What is your best advice for entrepreneurs? Surround yourself with strong advisers and people who’ve been through the battlefield a few times. In the next 10 years, our plans include a follow-up larger development fund to continue the development of utility-scale solar projects in emerging markets including sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. We will also seek to own a portion of these projects over their life and build assets under management (AUM) to $1 billion over the next five years. 26

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


for

sale

Cessna Citation Ultra starting

at

$1,450,000

PartnershiP oPPortunities also available

Skip the lines! Whether you’re travelling for business in Fort McMurray, or vacation in Palm Springs, fly direct in your own private jet. Call us to learn more.

403.291.9027 HopkinsonAssociates.com


Young Entrepreneur

Anatoliy Melnichuk, Michele Romanow and Ryan Marien Buytopia.ca Toronto Anatoliy Melnichuk, Michele Romanow and Ryan Marien launched Buytopia in 2010. Their innovative leadership has grown to become one of Canada’s leading “daily deal” companies. Buytopia negotiates significant discounts for its massive pool of users on popular local businesses and products — like restaurants, spas, services, consumer products, special events and hotels — at a fraction of the face value. Ryan: When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? When I was a kid, 3-4. Are entrepreneurs born or made? Born. My parents encouraged me to work, earn money and pay for things. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Smart risk taking and no fear. Dedication and hard work. And not being afraid to go for the big prize. How important have good employees been to your success? They have been instrumental in Buytopia’s success. We could not have grown from three to 50 people without good employees. How can Canada support a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem? Canadian investors must be willing to take more risks when it comes to financing and encouraging young entrepreneurs. Universities can better embrace entrepreneurism. Maybe it’s a generational attitude. Looking back, what is one thing that you would do differently, professionally speaking? Choice of education. What was your first job? Landscaping, snow removal when I was in high school. What is your passion other than entrepreneurship? Skiing. Food and wine. Family and friends. How many hours do you work a day on average? 13-14 hrs. How do you define success? Happy employees. A sustainable company. Making and seeing positive change in the company and life in-general. Don’t be afraid to take the plunge. Try to surround yourself with great mentors and hire good people faster. Go after every possible partnership right away. Don’t wait until you have all the perfect solutions. Get everybody on board with your dreams. 28

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


Young Entrepreneur

Arjun Kumar

Kela Medical Inc. Whitby

Arjun Kumar is supercharged, works long hours and enthusiastically leads the Kela Medical health care and technology team to harness the power of innovation and technology to pioneer leading edge solutions, and demonstrate the value of a fully accessible personal health record to individuals, physicians and practitioners in the health-care industry. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? I realized I wanted to be an entrepreneur when I was already one. I was on the path to a medical career and I developed technology to make my job easier. I soon quit my job and was running a company. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Hard work – entrepreneurs must put in blood, sweat and tears into their business. How important have good employees been to your success? Good employees are critical to success, but there must be a great team dynamic and the employees grow as the company grows. What would winning EY Entrepreneur Of The Year mean to you? Winning the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year would be vindication for going from struggling to find a job and a direction, to growing a company that is successful. What did you want to be when you were a kid? I always wanted to be a doctor. How many hours do you work a day on average? On a busy week, I work 65-70 hours. Being an entrepreneur is a sevenday-a-week job. There’s always work to be done, and if you don’t do it your competitors will. How do you define success? Success is being able to afford to do what you want, when you want and ultimately only answering to yourself. Being able to do that under the age of 30 is success. What is your best advice for entrepreneurs? Entrepreneurs must have a good mentor; don’t overcomplicate your solution and don’t force an idea. A mentor can provide advice from their experience to give you a second opinion on major decisions and help you avoid common pitfalls. People tend to overcomplicate solutions. If you can’t explain your solution to a 12 year old in less than 5 minutes, it may be too complicated.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014

29


Young Entrepreneur

Billy Hennessey Qwatro RoyalPak Etobicoke

In 1997, RoyalPak was started as an 8,000-square-foot, empty building. Today, Billy Hennessey leads the Qwatro RoyalPak team, manufacturing innovative, environmentally friendly cleaning products for the hospitality, food plant, health-care, retail, janitorial and automotive markets in a 20,000-square-foot plant that includes a stateof-the-art lab. Hennessey has acquired two separate chemical manufacturers in two years RoyalPak and Qwatro and consolidated operations. The consolidated company has 600-plus chemical formulas and supplies customers all over North America including Toronto icons CN Tower, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Centre Island and Trump Tower. Are entrepreneurs born or made? Entrepreneurs are made. It’s a mindset. It’s a whole lot easier to be in that mindset if you start on your own right out of high school or university. Learning to put food on the table for yourself is a big step. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? All successful entrepreneurs are bright and hard working. Only some have the risk tolerance to make it big. How important have good employees been to your success? Good employees are key. Motivating them and giving them autonomy is a gamechanger. How can Canada support a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem? Entrepreneurs must hang together or surely we will hang separately. We need to support each other. I’d like to see Canada as a whole more accepting of failure. I’d like to see more government funding for a broader range of success stories, not just startups. Looking back, what is one thing that you would do differently, professionally speaking? My only regrets are wishing I had taken bigger risks. What motivates you? Power and ambition. How do you define success? The bigger the better! My industry is very mature. In the next 10 years, we intend to grow through acquisition. Five years from now, I would like to diversify and get into another industry, once we’ve reached $100 million in sales in the chemical space. I want to begin to build an empire that is one of Canada’s largest private employers, focusing on three or four different industries and raising boatloads of money for charity.

30

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


Young Entrepreneur

Michael Litt and Devon Galloway Vidyard Kitchener

High-tech innovation is the key for Michael Litt, Devon Galloway and their team at Vidyard – a Kitchener-based company, creating software to host and analyze video performance to maximize marketing strategy and reliably measure its impact on revenue. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? Neither of us chose entrepreneur as a suitable career coming out of school. Establishing business practice around technology development is a refined skill we both share from our university education as systems design engineers. Are entrepreneurs born or made? We believe it’s a combination of both nature and nurture. How important have good employees been to your success? Good employees don’t last long around Vidyard – we hire great employees. These great team members are absolutely vital to our success. How can Canada support a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem? Canada’s Angel/VC ecosystem could use some bolstering. There is a severe mismatch between the supply and demand for early-stage risk capital. What did you want to be when you were a kid? Litt: An engineer or a teacher. Galloway: An accountant or a teacher. What is your passion other than entrepreneurship? Litt: Mechanical engineering as it relates to performance automobiles, video production/editing and board sports. Galloway: Water sports and cooking, but I am also an armchair athlete. What is your dream vacation? Litt: Skiing in the Alps or surfing in Fiji. Galloway: Scuba-diving in the Galapagos Islands. Where do you want to be in the next 10 years? Litt: We’re building Vidyard to be a category king. What motivates you? Litt: People, employees, customers and innovation. Galloway: Building a team just as passionate about the success of the company as we are. How do you define success? Litt: Going to bed every night being slightly better than I was when I woke up that morning. Entrepreneurs come in various shapes, sizes, mentalities, skill sets and levels of experience. Great entrepreneurs are generally great leaders, not great coaches. Being resourceful and inspirational is key to being a successful entrepreneur.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014

31


Manufacturing

Pyarali Nanji

Belle-Pak Packaging Inc. Markham

By his own admission, Pyarali Nanji credits financial savvy, quality service and exceptional staff for the 23-year Belle-Pak success story that has evolved the company into being an industry leader with over 200 employees and a 312,000-square-foot facility, manufacturing one of the most diverse lines of polyethylene and print products in Canada. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? When I was 18, after my graduation, I went to work in a small store. Are entrepreneurs born or made? It can happen either way. Often it is part of someone’s mental makeup. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Leadership, financial understanding, and an ability and willingness to study and learn, especially why some fail. How important have good employees been to your success? Good employees are the keys to success. It is not the entrepreneurs who run the show. It is the employees. Without a good team, you’re nowhere. How can Canada support a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem? We need more entrepreneurs. A positive way to achieve that is to offer young entrepreneurs more and more incentives. What would winning EY Entrepreneur Of The Year mean to you? It would be a huge asset. In our business if we could say “we have won,” it is good motivation for the staff and credit for the company. What book are you reading now? The Canadian Establishment by Peter C. Newman. How many hours do you work a day on average? My staff and management are a very strong team, so I am in the office about 30 hours a week. If someone is hoping to be a successful entrepreneur, available cash is very important. So is effectively mentoring and motivating the right staff. Always prioritize quality of service, and for growth, you must diversify and consider acquisition.

32

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


Bridge and conquer. Entrepreneurs build the world, one great idea at a time. Let’s explore how we can help you bring your biggest ideas to life. ey.com/ca

Š 2014 Ernst & Young LLP. All Rights Reserved.


Manufacturing

Linda Hasenfratz Linamar Corporation Guelph

Linda Hasenfratz heads the Linamar Corporation team – a diversified global manufacturing company of highly engineered products, world renowned for its precision machining expertise. Are entrepreneurs born or made? A combination of both but mostly born – entrepreneurs have a gut instinct about driving for growth, opportunity, success and risk taking. It is a fire that burns in some but not all. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? A risk taker, a driven and good decision-maker, a persuasive and persistent motivator, and an opportunist. How important have good employees been to your success? Essential – an entrepreneur is only as good as the team around them. My team is what gets the job done and creates our success. How can Canada support a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem? Create an environment in which entrepreneurs can thrive – meet other like-minded people, share ideas, build businesses together, encourage creativity and take ideas and turn them into something tangible through some coaching. Where do you want to be in the next 10 years? I hope to continue in my current position for the next 10 years. I set a goal of $10 billion in sales for us when I became COO in 1997 and it is a milestone I feel I can achieve in 10 years. Who has been your greatest inspiration? Mostly my father, Frank Hasenfratz, who came to this country with nothing and built a multibillion-dollar company through his drive, determination and skill. Also our President and COO Jim Jarrell – a fantastic communicator and motivator, and a goal-oriented great leader who I have had the privilege of working with for almost 25 years. Lastly, my husband Ed Newton, who started a business based around building and development using interesting technology focused on environmentally beneficial building. If you have a great skill or a great idea, take a chance and try to build something on that. You miss 100 per cent of the chances you don’t take. Find a support network, compile a great team and build something you can be proud of. You will never regret taking that chance.

34

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


Image by Jay Reddy

Linda Hasenfratz | Chief Executive Officer, Linamar Corporation Linamar has built a global business on the premise of innovation and efficiency in the tough markets of automotive, commercial vehicle and access products. What makes Linamar successful is an incredible team of entrepreneurs working together as One Team One Linamar towards common goals. Our entrepreneurial spirit is without doubt the driving pulse of our success – get the order, execute perfectly, find the next opportunity, grow the company as we each grow personally. I am proud to be part of the Linamar team and honoured to be recognized as a finalist in the Ontario Region for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award. I am one of thousands of entrepreneurs at Linamar and feel that we together have achieved this recognition.


Manufacturing

Peter Snucins Polycorp Ltd. Toronto

Peter Snucins has created and managed a number of both publicly listed and privately held companies in the technology, resource, media and manufacturing sectors. He is currently the CEO, sole owner and founder of Polycorp Ltd. – a privately owned Canadian company that specializes in the design and manufacture of engineered elastomeric parts (primarily rubber). They provide their customers with cost-effective solutions to their corrosion, abrasion, impact, noise and vibration challenges within the mining, protective linings and transportation industries. Are entrepreneurs born or made? I believe entrepreneurs are born, with their traits enhanced and refined by access to examples and relevant mentors. I experienced, and have seen many examples, of very early-stage entrepreneurship that haven’t been yet developed or advanced. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? A relentless focus, a predisposition to risk taking and an ability to overcome adversity and setbacks; the ability to access, attract and retain key people to offset personal weaknesses and skill sets; delegating without abdicating; and a constant paranoia regarding competitive threats. How important have good employees been to your success? It would have been impossible to achieve success without the people who have the knowledge and ability to execute strategies and offset weaknesses. There is a tendency for entrepreneurs wanting to do everything. What sets Canadian entrepreneurs apart on the world stage? The world perceives Canadian entrepreneurs as generally more easy to deal with than Americans – as conciliators, striving for win-win solutions. Canadians are viewed to be more measured, steady, logical and less insular in their thinking. What is your dream vacation? Heli-skiing in the Canadian Rockies, windsurfing in Cabarete or mountain biking in Moab. How many hours do you work a day on average? Approximately eight hours in the office, but I am online always. In addition, I do extensive reading – approximately three hours a day. It takes twice as long as your worst estimate; it’s never as bad as it seems, nor as good as it appears. Do your homework. It’s always all about the people. Keep a steady hand on the tiller. Negotiate thoroughly and hard but at the very end – lighten up and leave something on the table for the other side. They will be your partners for a long time and you want them entering into the relationship in a positive frame of mind.

36

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


Media and Technology

James Aitken

The Exchange Lab Toronto

In just seven years, James Aitken, co-founder and CEO of The Exchange Lab, has innovatively guided a daring startup into the largest programmatic digital media marketplace in the world. The Exchange Lab delivers campaigns across digital display, video, social media and mobile channels to more than 300 clients across 30 markets worldwide. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? From a young age I started to come up with business ideas all the time, like delivering pizza by boat on Lake Muskoka. Are entrepreneurs born or made? I would say born because successful entrepreneurs tend to be self-motivated, determined and thrive on the adrenalin. Many entrepreneurs have been fired from previous jobs often because they don’t fit the corporate mould and their instinct is to question the business model. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Drive, a determination to succeed and a solid work ethic. How important have good employees been to your success? They are the most important part. If they aren’t successful, you’re not successful. I always invite employees to take equity in the business, so they share in the company. It is their company as well. How can Canada support a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem? Entrepreneurs really need no-strings attached funding support. Most are young, hungry and have the drive to work the long hours needed to make an idea a reality. If the banks created a funding program that didn’t require a financial guarantor, it would stimulate more entrepreneurship. What did you want to be when you were a kid? I wanted to be the lead singer in a rock ’n’ roll band. What is your passion other than entrepreneurship? I’m really passionate about Canadian history. How do you define success? Success means my staff doing really well from working with this company – whether it is their equity share or feeling empowered to make different decisions. A lot of people aspire to be entrepreneurs because they see the glamour and glory. What they don’t see is all the work that happens behind the scenes. As an entrepreneur, you never really turn off. You’re always on. Make sure you have the drive to make the company succeed but also make sure to keep balance in your life. It’s important to allocate time for the people you care about.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014

37


Media and Technology

Peter Stavropoulos FlexITy Solutions Inc. Richmond Hill

With much determination and a drive for innovation and excellence, Peter Stavropoulos has led his team and built FlexITy Solutions into a respected, global, award-winning provider of consulting and managed services, assisting customers in aligning business goals with technology. FlexITy is more than 100 people, collaborating with clients to help them become high-performance organizations and has grown to be one of Canada’s fastest growing technology service providers. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? When I was terminated as an engineer-in-training due to downsizing at an employer. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Desire, drive and inspiration. You must be genuine and real; stern and straight. And listen and learn. Make a choice and stick with it. You must have an intimate knowledge of your offering, a detailed understanding of the legal system (contracts and employments), and a detailed understanding of accounting and the ever-changing tax system. How important have good employees been to your success? Good employees are the keys to achieving success. A smart, motivated and dedicated workforce makes all the difference. The leader is the quarterback and calls the plays but needs the team to execute and succeed. How can Canada support a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem? Lower taxation, allow tax breaks and allow banks and other sources to invest into business versus the restricted model of “once you are successful and have a perfect balance we will now lend and help you fuel growth.” What did you want to be when you were a kid? An engineer. Looking back, what is one thing that you would do differently, professionally speaking? Take accounting, business then engineering. How many hours do you work a day on average? Approximately 14 hours. Where do you want to be in the next 10 years? Same place as today with expanded operations touching new markets. Fear of failing and letting down my family and peers motivates me. I measure success by earning family, peer and customer respect. My advice for entrepreneurs is: prepare for the ride. It’s going to take every ounce of energy, attention and detail to make it work.

38

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


I am honoured to be once again recognized as a finalist in the Ontario region for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™. Thank you to my family, employees, business partners and associates for their support and guidance over the years. Peter Stavropoulos President & Chief Executive Officer FlexITy® Solutions Inc.

F

lexITy is a leading provider of consulting services through which we assist our customers in aligning business goals to technology. With unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions FlexITy collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance organizations. With many associates serving clients across Canada, the company is one of Canada’s fastest growing technology service providers. Our “high performance business” strategies build on our expertise in consulting, technology and managed services. We help clients perform at the highest levels so they can create sustainable value for their customers and shareholders. Using our industry knowledge, service-offering expertise and technology capabilities, we identify new business and technology trends and develop solutions to help clients. We believe that no technological or organizational challenge is too great or too small. We believe that the technology itself is less important than how the technology is implemented. We believe that our greatest assets are our people and we continue to invest in the recruitment and retention of the best available talent. We know that every partnership begins with understanding an organization’s goals - before deciding how technology plays a role in achieving them and we thank everyone who has contributed to FlexITy’s success.

To r o n t o • W i n n i p e g

flexity.com


Media and Technology

Leerom Segal Klick Health Toronto

Leerom Segal started early, very early, acquiring exceptional business and customer service skills. Then he was bit by the bug of technology. Today, the company he co-founded at age 17 – Klick Health – is the world’s largest independent digital health agency, creating solutions that engage and educate about life-saving treatments. Klick services span the digital universe, and include strategy, creative, analytics, instructional design, user experience, relationship marketing, social and mobile. Klick works with the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? At a very young age. My family moved to Canada when I was 8 and I always had an entrepreneurial bent, lawn mowing and snow shovelling at 11. I went door-to-door selling and hired friends to do the work. I started a business that assembled computer parts by age 12 and I was named CTO of a public company at age 16. How important have good employees been to your success? It is the single biggest challenge for any business; success always comes back to good people and a culture where they can thrive. What would winning EY Entrepreneur Of The Year mean to you? It’s always great to receive recognition but EY recognizing entrepreneurship is more important. It’s fantastic that EY celebrates the risk takers. What is your passion other than entrepreneurship? My lifelong journey is to understand the role that technology can play to make the world a better place. What book are you reading now? Shamelessly, I recommend The Decoded Company, The New York Times bestseller I co-wrote. It explains what happens when organizations understand their people as well as they understand their customers. How many hours do you work a day on average? I work 16 hours a day but I don’t see it as work. I love my job and work with some of my best friends. Today’s business world involves accelerated change. Entrepreneurs should be able to create a centre of gravity and inspire a talent-centric workplace. Surround yourself with wicked-smart, experienced people.

40

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


Media and Technology

James Swayze

Symbility Solutions Inc. Toronto

Symbility Solutions® is a specialized global provider of cloud-based, smartphone and tablet-enabled claims technology, especially for the property and health insurance industries. Symbility is a state-of-the-art way to empower insurers to collaborate across the entire claims processing workflow and reduce costs while delivering a market-leading claims experience. Are entrepreneurs born or made? A bit of both – I was raised by an entrepreneur father and grandfather and I always looked up to them. How important have good employees been to your success? They are critical and will provide the vision that will help you raise the capital. Success requires execution. A quality team is the only way to achieve success. How can Canada support a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem? It should start in the schools. Give students a sense of the real world, especially about raising capital. What did you want to be when you were a kid? Successful! What was your first job? I worked as a paper-boy and I worked in a gas station. My first office job was being an actuarial student with an insurance company. What is your passion other than entrepreneurship? Building a business is all-consuming but I play a little hockey and I ski. How many hours do you work a day on average? With emails, flying a lot of the time and the phone never getting shut off: when are you not working? How do you define success? Setting a goal and achieving a plan. Today’s entrepreneurs must have vision and perseverance, and an ability to see an end goal and weather the storms to get you there. Believe in your vision. Build a plan around the vision. Take the time, double it. Calculate the capital you need, and quadruple it.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014

41


Media and Technology

Paul Genier Veritaaq Ottawa

More than 30 years ago, Veritaaq started small, as a boutique IT consulting firm. Today, with success built on expertise and solid relationships, Veritaaq has grown to become a top supplier of IT consulting services to the federal government and a trusted provider of specialized IT consultants to Canada’s largest telecommunications and financial organizations. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? Since I was very young – my father was an entrepreneur and he always encouraged me to work hard and follow through with my ideas. Are entrepreneurs born or made? Both – some people are born but sometimes opportunity just presents itself. How important have good employees been to your success? They are everything. It’s not a solo job. We could not have achieved what we have achieved without great employees. How can Canada support a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem? Canada is doing a good job but we can do better by providing more funding, especially for startups and more support for innovation. Whatever we can do to change people’s attitudes and encourage them to take risks. What did you want to be when you were a kid? When I first watched the movie Wall Street in 1987, I was sure I wanted to be a stockbroker. What was your first job? In the back shop at Pine View Golf Course, cleaning golf clubs. What is your passion other than entrepreneurship? My family. What motivates you? I love to compete – in everything. I have a strong desire to win and a fear of losing. How do you define success? Doing something well, to the best of your abilities. I think entrepreneurs should have unrelenting perseverance and irrational optimism. They should be bold and determined but always listen to others along the way for advice. You can learn a lot from other people’s experiences.

42

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


O t t a w a | To r o n t o | M o n t r e a l | V a n c o u v e r | C a l g a r y | E d m o n t o n

Veritaaq is an IT consulting firm, with more than 30 years of experience placing expert, professional consultants on high-level IT projects with clients across the country. It is an honour to be nominated as a Finalist in EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Award. I would like to sincerely thank everyone who helped make this possible. More than 750 staff, consultants, and business partners played a significant role in building Veritaaq’s success. You trust us to deliver, and we work hard to earn that trust every day. I look forward to the future, and building new relationships, as Veritaaq continues to grow.

www.veritaaq.ca


Food and Hospitality

Todd Parsons and Joel Flatt Give & Go Prepared Foods Corp. Etobicoke

After more than 20 years of success, every day is sweet for Joel Flatt, Todd Parsons and their staff at Give & Go Prepared Foods Corp. Give & Go is a bakery focused on serving retail and food-service customers with fully baked thaw-and-sell solutions that their customers love because of the quality built into every bite. Their passion is to bake and market great products including mini-treats and cupcakes under the popular and trusted two-bite® and Kimberley’s brands as well as customers’ own private label brands. Give & Go is driving growth through investments in innovative product development. Are entrepreneurs born or made? Flatt: Absolutely made! Parsons: Entrepreneurs are people willing to pursue a passion and typically believe in themselves and their idea with such passion they make it a reality. How important have good employees been to your success? Flatt: It’s ridiculous to think any of us can be successful without recognizing the unbelievable efforts of so many individuals who take their work seriously and fight to build the company. Parsons: Top talent is essential for success. People make the difference. There is no substitute for great employees. What was your first job? Flatt: My first job was a Globe and Mail paper-boy in my neighbourhood. How do you define success? Parsons: Success for me is about getting to work at something I love and have fun with every day, and creating a comfortable future for my family. Successful entrepreneurs need vision, communication, tenacity, leadership and the ability to sell. And remember – it’s a marathon not a sprint. Measure twice and cut once, style matters and be brave. Don’t be afraid to change it up.

44

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


Food and Hospitality

Sujay Shah

Kii Natural/Shashi Foods Concord

While he was growing up, Sujay Shah credits a lifetime of exposure to his father’s tireless efforts to become one of Canada’s largest importers of rice, grains and ethnic foods. He developed a passion for unearthing the finest ingredients from around the globe. Shah’s involvement with martial arts profoundly influenced his personal and professional commitment toward achieving physical and spiritual well-being, inspiring Kii Naturals and Shashi Foods. Are entrepreneurs born or made? I definitely believe that entrepreneurs are born, but it’s the unique experiences that shape them to be who they are. How important have good employees been to your success? They are the lifeblood of my organization. Without them I would not have been able to achieve the success I have had today. What sets Canadian entrepreneurs apart on the world stage? Innovation – as Canadian entrepreneurs you cannot rely on the Canadian market alone, due to its size. Entrepreneurs must consistently look for opportunities in new markets to grow businesses, such as the US, Europe and Asia. In order to be successful in such markets, you must have innovation in the products or services you are selling. What did you want to be when you were a kid? A hip-hop artist or a rapper. What is your passion other than entrepreneurship? Martial arts and cooking. If you weren’t in your current leadership position, what would you be doing? A rap mogul running a hip-hop empire. What motivates you? A good challenge – doing the undoable. Who has been your greatest inspiration? My father. A good entrepreneur must have the ability to manage, inspire and grow people. They must also have the ability to adapt to change and the ability to persevere. And do not listen to others ... only the smart ones.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014

45


Food and Hospitality

Peter Neal and Chris Neal Neal Brothers Foods Concord

The brothers agree: “We started Neal Brothers Foods in 1988 to offer food products that were better, using a combination of more natural ingredients, good value and sexier packaging to give consumers more choice.” What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Peter: Tenacity, patience, good communications skills, positivity, goal-oriented, resourceful and hard working. Chris: A hard-working multi-tasker and self-confident to get through the highs and the lows. How important have good employees been to your success? Peter: Critical – I believe in always hiring. When we meet people, we are always hiring or interviewing. Chris: Incredibly important – being surrounded by good people is the key to success. How can Canada support a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem? Peter: Entrepreneurship was never taught in school when I was growing up but students need to know that entrepreneurship is an option. Our banks and governments could work together to create easier access and better engagement for young entrepreneurs. How many hours do you work a day on average? Peter: Work sounds negative. Most of my work is so enjoyable. Between answering emails and a heavy load of social media, it’s usually 10-plushours a day and about 10 hours spread out over most weekends. Chris: About 60-70 hours a week but it never leaves you. It’s all-consuming. What motivates you? Peter: In the beginning I had been driven mainly by the desire for money – to provide for my family. Now success is about maintaining a happy and sustainable business that grows with integrity and a balance of work, family and giving back to the community. Chris: As much as we dreamed, we never thought it would get this far. To see how far we have come and looking forward, wondering where we can take it. What are your plans for growth in the next 10 years? Peter: New technology to ensure we are the best we can be as distributors, more marketing personnel and investment to build our community of Neal Brothers consumers to ensure that Canadian retail is saturated and then US and UK expansion and increasing Asian opportunities. Stay focused on your idea but be willing to change it if you hit a wall. Make sure you have enough time, money and patience to ensure the success of the idea – then triple all of that. Don’t listen to the handful of negative naysayers – they are everywhere!

46

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


Food and Hospitality

Mark McEwan

The McEwan Group Toronto

Mark McEwan, one of Canada’s most dynamic and best-known chefs, has parlayed talent, creativity, high-energy and tireless hard work into a diverse food conglomerate. From executive chef and bestselling cookbook author to a personalized cookware line, a gourmet grocery store, a Food Network TV personality and a mega-successful restaurateur, McEwan is a unique, Canadian entrepreneur success story. Are entrepreneurs born or made? Born and honed – you learn as you go. By the time I had a young executive chef job, I wanted to be on my own and exceed expectations. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Find a product that you know – I chose to be a chef. Also important are good observation skills and financial skills. Always strive to make things better, smarter and sharper. How important have good employees been to your success? They are huge – they are the underpinning of a business. I have always been a big trainer. It’s important to duplicate yourself, without being insecure. What sets Canadian entrepreneurs apart on the world stage? We’re finally getting noticed. Canada has only been noticed in the past 10 years or so. The US used to dominate. Canada has started to shine. A lot of sharp, forward-thinking people have made it happen. We are now recognized on an international level. What was your first job? When I was 13, I worked on farms, picking tobacco. Harvesting tobacco was a challenge – and a blast! What is your passion other than entrepreneurship? I’m a big gardener, which is very satisfying. I am also a road biker and I love the arts. What is your dream vacation? A cycling tour through France. How many hours do you work a day on average? Structurally, about 50 hours a week. Then at home on the computer and making deals on the phone. I really don’t punch a clock. But I’ll get two good hours of work in before 9 a.m. We will double in size in 36 months. I project a growth rate of 30%. We will be opening a new retail store in April 2015. There are two more retail spaces planned and with the great team in place, we will broaden our base.

48

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


I am honoured to be amongst this group of creative and driven individuals as a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year, Ontario Region. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff of The McEwan Group for their passion, dedication and attention to detail, without them, this would not be possible. I would also like to acknowledge our clients and suppliers for growing with me over the years and my family for their constant support

Mark McEwan

mcewangroup.ca


Emerging Entrepreneur

Jonathan Webster EnvAerospace, Inc. Brampton

Jonathan Webster champions EnvAerospace™ – a high-tech firm that engineers nanocoating solutions to enhance performance in aero and aeroderivative gas turbine engines. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? My original profession regressed, necessitating pursuit of a different career, which quite unexpectedly evolved into that of an entrepreneur. Are entrepreneurs born or made? Whether born or made, an entrepreneurial spirit depends highly on initiative, capability, opportunity and circumstances. More telling is the degree to which an entrepreneur is a selfstarter and self-made. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Hire smart people, listen to them, respect them and reward them appropriately. How can Canada support a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem? There are numerous ways that Canada can support a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem. One method would be to allow pre-revenue firms to defer remitting corporate payroll source deductions until commercialization, which would serve to increase a firm’s reinvestment ratio, defer taxation on previously taxed investment, and permit the hiring and retention of talented staff. What did you want to be when you were a kid? An airline pilot. What was your first job? My first paying job was delivering the Globe and Mail. What book are you reading now? Among the many, The Bubble Economy by Robert Ayres (MIT Press) and Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham. To be successful, entrepreneurs must achieve results that benefit and satisfy all stakeholders, repeatedly. And be true to yourself and to your convictions, strive for excellence, remain persevering and manage risk better than anyone.

50

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


With the right team behind you, the right path becomes clear. We help private companies of all stripes and sizes on their path to growth. Let’s explore how we can help you.

Š 2014 Ernst & Young LLP. All Rights Reserved.

ey.com/ca/pmm


Emerging Entrepreneur

Joe Jackman

Jackman Reinvents Toronto

Joe Jackman and his team help companies and brands reinvent themselves. The former EVP of marketing at Loblaw built a name for himself as someone who can discover and rapidly realize untapped enterprise value for companies in a timeline unmatched by others. Some 80 people work alongside Jackman assisting a client base that includes companies whose retail sales total more than $150 billion annually. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? The whole idea of having my own business and building something unique was with me at a very young age. I had my first business card at 15, for a furniture making company I created using my dad’s woodworking shop. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? First I would distinguish between visionaries, those who can see possibilities, and entrepreneurs, those who can see possibilities and realize them. The top skills required by an entrepreneur are the ability to take risk while mitigating it, and the ability to invest time, energy and money where it counts the most. Relentless tenacity also helps. How important have good employees been to your success? The metaphor that captures the importance of good employees goes like this: a strong entrepreneur can muscle their way off the ground. Outstanding employees will lift everyone to the stars. What would winning EY Entrepreneur Of The Year mean to you? The prestigious EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award would be an acknowledgment of achievement on a number of levels. It would symbolize that we – me and my talented and hard-working team – were able to take a simple yet profoundly different idea of how to reinvent companies faster and turn it into a unique and successful business model. We all want to change the world for the better in some meaningful way – this would be a noteworthy and valued prize on the journey. Find the right balance. Balance facts and feelings. Balance getting it right with getting on with it. It’s not a moon shot – you can be off by a few degrees. Balance perseverance with practicality. Sometimes the only way to move forward is to retreat and retool. Stay outcome focused. And remember, no one cares about the score in any particular inning – it’s winning the game that counts.

52

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


It’s an honour to be a finalist. On behalf of all my entrepreneurial colleagues—the bold and pioneering reinventionists at Jackman — thank you. 345 Adelaide Street W., Suite 100 Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V 1R5 416 504 3444 jackmanreinvents.com


Emerging Entrepreneur

Neil Sweeney JUICE Mobile Toronto

Neil Sweeney admits that the world of small devices can feel pretty big. JUICE Mobile creates solutions across all connected devices. From ideation to activation, JUICE Mobile provides its clients with strategic advice in all things mobile – marketing, creative, product development, ad platforms, analytics, activation, technology and innovation. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? I was a young guy, working for a broadcaster and I wanted to be the CEO. I said, “Is this it?” I was 22 and walked away from a good career and a $100,000 bonus. Are entrepreneurs born or made? Born, absolutely! You have to be just the right amount of crazy. Deal with the pressure and the multitasking. It’s organic. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Resilience, vision and persistence. A lot of people will not understand what you’re trying to do. Be relentless and flexible because what you start with and end with is never the same idea. You have to be comfortable being uncomfortable. How important have good employees been to your success? You can’t scale a business without good employees – really smart, progressive and capable people. Entrepreneurs sometimes have a tough time stepping back. How can Canada support a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem? Canada is doing a good job with R&D tax credits. We’re in a technology-centred world and the country has made it efficient for companies to hire more developers and build proprietary technology that gets Canadian companies noticed. However, there is room to improve. Canada supports the growth of businesses, but does little to defend them from larger competition. What is your dream vacation? An African safari. How many hours do you work a day on average? A minimum of 10-12. What motivates you? Winning! Period. Who has been your greatest inspiration? My father, by far. A 10-year growth plan is impossible in this business. When it comes to technology, 10 years is almost infinity. The company was not created to be only domestic, but headquartered in Canada. We have grown 100 per cent every year since our inception. Based on our expertise in the mobile space, the objective is to be the next great, global mobile company.

54

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


Emerging Entrepreneur

Jay Klein PÜR Gum Toronto

Jay Klein is upbeat and right to the point that his company “makes great-tasting and healthy chewing gum.” His bright idea was to make simple substitutions by eliminating chemical sweeteners from chewing gum. With his innovation and leadership, and in just four years, PÜR Gum has become the No. 1 selling aspartame-free gum (available in over 15,000 locations worldwide, in over 25 countries) creating a chewing gum that is not only chemical-free but is also vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, nutfree, diabetic friendly and dairy-free. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? It all began for me selling candy out of my backpack in the sixth grade. Even as a kid, I was disciplined enough to not eat the inventory as those were my profits. After graduating university, I knew it was time to trade in the law school books and follow my entrepreneurial aspirations. Are entrepreneurs born or made? Entrepreneurs are definitely born. I believe there’s something inside of us; a sixth sense that challenges us to do things differently and stomach risks in order to achieve greater results. How important have good employees been to your success? Great employees are the fundamental, driving force of our organization. Individuals who are committed and passionate about executing our ideas and strategy are at the heart of our brand. What sets Canadian entrepreneurs apart on the world stage? Canada offers all of the right ingredients including culture, manufacturing and tremendous resources. We can basically get anything done within a 30-minute radius of our Toronto office, and that’s an amazing advantage. What was your first job? Bat boy for the Montreal Expos during spring training. What is your passion other than entrepreneurship? Giving back – my mom instilled in me the joy of putting a smile on the face of a stranger. There’s no better feeling than sharing – whether it’s just a laugh or something tangible. What book are you reading now? The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone. Don’t be driven by financial goals, but be motivated by making a difference. As an entrepreneur, it’s important to take your time to achieve a larger vision. The stronger you build the foundation, the higher you can build your peak.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014

55


Health Sciences

Anthony Giovinazzo

Cynapsus Therapeutics Inc. Toronto Cynapsus is unique. It is a specialty pharmaceutical company that has developed a convenient and easy-to-use sublingual (oral) thin film strip for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Unfortunately, the market is large. Over one million people in the US and an estimated five million people globally suffer from Parkinson’s disease. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? Since I was a very young boy. My father was one and I showed similar tendencies. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Calculated risk taker, team builder, determination and stamina. How important have good employees been to your success? Very important. What sets Canadian entrepreneurs apart on the world stage? They are multicultural, must think globally and have gentler personalities. What would winning EY Entrepreneur Of The Year mean to you? It would be an incredible honour. It would allow me to bring the importance of Parkinson’s symptom management to the world stage. It would help me mentor others. What was your first job? Cutting grass in the summer and snow removal in the winter in my neighbourhood. Who has been your greatest inspiration? My father. Even after being blind at the age of 51, he never gave up and always taught my brother and sisters to “not give up or despair,” to work hard and do your best – even in the face of difficulty.” What is your passion other than entrepreneurship? Corporate governance, classical music and the opera. Where do you want to be in the next 10 years? On the boards of small tech startups with young entrepreneurs and mentoring them. How many hours do you work a day on average? Approximately 16 to 18. What are your plans for growth in the next 10 years? Complete the clinical de-risking of our project over the next two-and-a-half years. Partner the global rights to ensure a global commercialization quickly over the next three to five years. And navigate a value realization transaction for all shareholders. I am motivated by living up to my commitments and the energy in moving the business forward. Success is helping others by what we do. Entrepreneurs must follow their heart and convictions, but doing good due diligence and analysis is important. Stamina and determination are as important as a good idea.

56

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


Restoring Movement with Ease

I am humbled and honoured to be recognized as a finalist in the Ontario region for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award. Cynapsus Therapeutics is a specialty pharmaceutical company developing a convenient and easy to use sublingual thin film strip for the acute rescue of “OFF” motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Over one million people in the U.S. and an estimated 5 million people globally suffer from Parkinson’s disease, numbers which are growing with the aging baby boomer population. It is estimated that between 25 percent and 50 percent of patients experience OFF episodes in which they have impaired movement and speaking capabilities. Cynapsus’ drug candidate, APL-130277, is an easy-to-administer, fast-acting reformulation of apomorphine, currently the only approved drug to rescue patients from OFF episodes. Unfortunately, apomorphine is only currently offered via needle injection. APL-130277, if approved, will be the only non-injectable form of delivery of apomorphine. My team and I are passionate about improving the lives of the millions of Parkinson’s patients around the world. The journey to achieve this goal is ongoing, and I have the deepest gratitude for the Cynapsus team for their willingness to share in my vision and enthusiasm to improve the daily lives of these patients. My success does not come from my efforts alone, and has only been possible due to the efforts of our highly skilled and dedicated employees, directors, clinical advisors and partners. I am sincerely proud to be part of this team.

Anthony Giovinazzo President and CEO Cynapsus Therapeutics Inc.

TSXV: CTH OTCQX: CYNAF

www.cynapsus.ca


Health Sciences

Tom Reeves

Interface Biologics Inc. Toronto

Tom Reeves leads the team of scientists and engineers at Interface Biologics – a privately held early commercial stage company that develops transformative biomedical polymer technology to improve the safety and effectiveness of medical devices. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? I got tired of the political environment of larger companies and the glacial pace of decision-making. I felt like I wasn’t learning anything new. In 2001, I decided I wanted to run a startup. Interface is my third early-stage company. Are entrepreneurs born or made? I think both. Some people have always been entrepreneurs – with an inherent interest in innovation and the risk profile required to be successful. Others have the innate entrepreneurial skill set but perhaps lack the confidence of born entrepreneurs – requiring exposure to new opportunities, experiences and mentors for their entrepreneurial talents to be unleashed. What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Passion, energy, vision, confidence, adaptability and a willingness to take risks. How can Canada support a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem? There needs to be more courses in entrepreneurship at our universities and structured mentorship programs to help young entrepreneurs gain insights from seasoned veterans. What was your first job? A lawn-mowing business with a buddy of mine in high school. What is your passion other than entrepreneurship? Vacations and adventure travel with my family: skiing, hiking, white-water rafting, zip lines and rappelling. Personal fitness: triathlons, biking and distance running. What motivates you? Learning: one of the things I love about my job is that I learn something new every day. Closing: I love the chase involved in developing new business opportunities and the satisfaction of closing the deal. Helping others: it’s incredibly motivating knowing that with the use of our biomedical polymers, medical devices are both safer and more effective which improves the quality of life for many people. Have a well-articulated vision for where you want to go but be willing to adapt the execution plan based on new information ... understanding when to kill a project or shift direction is critical to long-term success. If you’re not enjoying what you are doing, start doing something else!

58

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014


Health Sciences

Dr. Arun Menawat

NOVADAQ Technologies Mississauga

Dr. Arun Menawat leads the NOVADAQ Technologies team with innovation, ingenuity and state-of-the-art technology that is changing the world. NOVADAQ has developed clinically-vital fluorescence imaging solutions to help surgeons enhance the lives of patients while reducing health-care costs. When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? I think that my entrepreneurial persona was always ingrained in me and helped me early on in my corporate career. However, I decided to take entrepreneurship seriously after reaching the age of 40, when I first joined a startup company. Are entrepreneurs born or made? The environment in which people grow up has the most to do with entrepreneurial behaviour. How important have good employees been to your success? Critically important – the majority of my management team have been with me at least eight years. How can Canada support a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem? Celebrate both successes and failures and the willingness to try. Reward risk. What is your passion other than entrepreneurship? I am fascinated by technologies, particularly software. If you weren’t in your current leadership position, what would you be doing? I would love to have a second life as a software development engineer. How many hours do you work a day on average? Usually 14 hours. I often laugh with my team – we are so passionate about what we do, it is really never far from our thoughts. What motivates you? A sense of responsibility – knowing that what we do at NOVADAQ can have such a positive impact on the lives of patients and their families throughout the world. How do you define success? Our success is measured by the value we provide to all of the NOVADAQ stakeholders – employees, hospital and surgeon customers, and patients. Entrepreneurs need card-counting skills, to see how odds can be beaten, as well as endurance and drive to turn a “no” into a “maybe” and a “maybe” into a sure thing. Also required is a never give-up attitude. Surround yourself with the best people.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014

59


TEC is not for everyone. We expect results and we expect you to work hard to get them. We bring together the best business leader minds to get beyond individual capabilities to achieve more. When you join TEC you can leverage our global membership, enjoy confidential group meetings with peers, one-to-one mentoring, and business thought leadership. Increase your potential with TEC.

TEC-Canada.com


EY Entrepreneur of the Year Ontario - October 2014