Meet Canada’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2022 national award winners
Joanna Griffiths is Canada’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2022
Joanna Griffiths has always believed that the most freeing thing we can do is love ourselves. She’s built Knix — and an entirely new apparel category — accordingly.
Motivated to challenge traditional norms around female beauty, pressure and period stigma, Joanna set out to launch a new approach to leakproof underwear. She built Knix by educating the market on the need for products like hers, transforming the entire industry in the process.
The outcome? Innovative products and a community-first approach have made Knix’s one of the fastest-growing, direct-to-consumer brands in North America. Seamlessly integrating advanced, patented fabrics and tech into swim, bra, lounge, maternity, activewear and tween/teen lines: Knix is ending period stigma once and for all.
Don’t miss the inspiring stories from this year’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2022 national celebration
Dr. Thomas Madden | Acuitas Therapeutics Inc
Dr. Thomas Madden, a world-renowned expert in the area of nanotechnology, is determined to improve health for humankind. When a former employer shelved the mRNA technology he was developing, Tom refused to be deterred.
Joining forces with a few colleagues, Tom obtained the rights to the technology they’d been working on and founded Acuitas Therapeutics. Until then, mRNA was difficult to keep stable, limiting its potential. Digging in to develop new delivery systems, Acuitas has since created transformational possibilities for mRNA; ones that are changing global health for the better.
The outcome? Acuitas’ proprietary lipid nanotechnology now plays a pivotal part in the development of COVID-19 vaccines. The company has agreements in place with Pfizer/BioNTech, helping to produce one of the most effective COVID-19 vaccines on the planet. Above all? Acuitas stays true to purpose, refusing to patent the technology. Instead, the tech is available to all partners and customers in the hopes of making an even greater impact.
Anna Sainsbury | GeoComply
Anna Sainsbury wants to make the digital world safer for everyone who interacts there. Her award-winning fraud prevention and cybersecurity solutions are making that possible, day over day.
Before founding tech unicorn GeoComply, Anna was a consultant working to bring the first US lottery online. Everything she learned about the complexities of enforcing regulations in this virtual space motivated her to build a technology solution of her own. Anna founded GeoComply to facilitate the iGaming industry while driving a broader social benefit. She’s delivered on that promise, and then some.
The outcome? GeoComply software solutions are now installed on more than 400 million devices worldwide, analyzing over 10 billion transactions annually. Proven and refined, GeoComply’s solutions incorporate location, device and identity intelligence along with advanced machine learning to detect fraud and flag fraudulent activity for global organizations across industries, and the customers they serve around the world.
John Nicola | Nicola Wealth
John Nicola is all about paying it forward. For decades, he’s built a business that’s not just bigger year over year — but better.
Soon after launching a career in life insurance, John noticed a real gap in the market: a lack of multi-licensed providers cross-selling products. Challenging the status quo, he laid the groundwork for a new operating model and formed what would ultimately become Nicola Wealth. Since opening its doors, the organization has changed the wealth management industry in Canada, expanding into a full-service financial advisory practice that can serve clients at any life stage.
The outcome? Nicola Wealth is now a national private wealth management firm that empowers 400 employees to support 4,000 client families, redefining the way Canadians generate and manage financial wellbeing.
Euan Ramsay, James Taylor | Precision NanoSystems
Euan Ramsay and James Taylor see a real need for flexibility and scalability in the way medicine is administered. And they’re doing something about it.
Drawing on shared passion and common vision, James and Euan founded Precision NanoSystems with a singular goal: take genomic medicine from theoretical concept to accessible reality. They believed the right instruments could improve health outcomes by delivering medicine right into the human genetic sequence.
The outcome? Precision NanoSystems has moved the potential of genomic medicine to the forefront of modern healthcare. The company is a global leader, ushering in the next wave of genetic medicines for infectious diseases, cancer and rare illnesses — and changing patients’ lives.
Hamed Shahbazi | WELL Health Technologies Corp.
Hamed Shabazi believes in the power of putting patients at the heart of care. He founded WELL to make good on that promise for people from coast to coast.
A technology-enabled healthcare company, WELL has built an innovative practitioner enablement platform that digitally connects a patient’s entire lifecycle. This platform — combined with brick-and-mortar medical clinics and telehealth offerings — is enhancing access to timely and quality healthcare, while dramatically improving efficiencies and costs behind the scenes.
The outcome? Now publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange, WELL owns and operates Canada’s largest network of outpatient medical clinics. The company is also a national leader in multi-disciplinary health offerings, and the largest provider of teaching clinics in British Columbia.
Roger Babichuk, Sean Penn, Tim Coldwell | Chandos Construction
Roger Babichuk, Sean Penn and Tim Coldwell want to build better. They’re scaling that goal as leaders of Chandos Construction, North America’s first and largest B Corp Certified commercial builder.
For more than 40 years, Chandos has operated as a force for good. Executives and intrapreneurs, Roger, Sean and Tim now power the company’s future. Together, they draw on two decades of experience at Chandos to spearhead growth, social procurement, community engagement, employee value and a deep commitment to Indigenous reconciliation. The company is now pioneering net new project delivery models that are redefining the industry.
The outcome? Chandos employs social purpose as a market differentiator. From local to national, the business has achieved remarkable growth while diversifying its workforce, strengthening communities and remaining steadfastly, 100% employee owned. That makes Chandos the only contractor in the country with a single class of voting shares, accessible to all.
Kyle Braatz | Fullscript
Kyle Braatz wants to make life better for those around him. A serial entrepreneur, Kyle was seeking new ways to align business with that purpose when a fortuitous conversation about the challenges medical practitioners face changed everything.
Inspired to learn more, Kyle researched integrative medicine for two years before channeling that insight to found Fullscript: a digital platform allowing medical practitioners to support patients through two-way communication. This powerful care delivery approach helps integrative medicine practitioners personalize treatment planning, offer ongoing wellness education and deliver supplements and wellness products all in one purposefully-connected digital space.
The outcome? More than 70,000 healthcare professionals use Fullscript to provide high-quality, integrative medical care for more than 5 million patients. The organization is solving healthcare problems, broadening access and fostering better experiences for practitioners and patients alike.
Isabelle Côté | Coffrages Synergy Formwork
Isabelle Côté seeks to inspire trust. That ambition shapes progress at Coffrages Synergy Formwork.
Entrepreneurial by nature, Isabelle joined Coffrages Synergy at a young age. Two decades later, she now leads the organization as president. At every stage, she’s worked to cultivate trust as the company’s core value and market differentiator.
The outcome? A corporate culture grounded in diversity, equity and inclusion. Novel, environmentally-focused practices and academic partnerships to move innovation forward. With Isabelle at the helm, Coffrages Synergy is improving the entire formwork industry for the better.
Brendan Brothers, Jamie King, Raymond Pretty | Verafin
Brendan Brothers, Jamie King and Raymond Pretty are on a mission to create the world’s most effective network of crime fighters — and they’re making monumental progress.
These three engineers initially set out to build a robotics business for mining companies. Through their work, they quickly realized robots and financial transactions shared similar data patterns. As they learned more about fraud, money laundering and the host of crimes these illicit activities fund, the trio wondered if strengthening security for financial institutions could make the world safer overall. With that in mind, they founded Verafin.
The outcome? Their business is now the financial services industry’s leading financial crime management platform. Verafin’s software solutions support 3,000 banks and credit unions across North America. Together, Verafin and their clients are rallying customers in the collaborative fight against financial crimes that support human trafficking, elder abuse, identity theft and more.