Press release

24 Nov. 2021 Toronto, CA

Visionary biotech player Carl Hansen of AbCellera named Canada’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021

The program recognizes 10 national winners for leadership, innovation and value creation

Press contact
Victoria McQueen

EY Canada Team Lead, Public Relations

Leading the development and distribution of external communications across Canada. Can be found by the lake in the summer and on the slopes in the winter.

Related topics Entrepreneur EY Private

The program recognizes 10 national winners for leadership, innovation and value creation

Carl Hansen, CEO of AbCellera — a British Columbia-based biotechnology firm best known for its leading role in developing an antibody treatment for COVID-19 — is Canada’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021. Selected by an independent panel of judges, Hansen is this year’s national program winner for his commitment to delivering purpose-driven leadership, innovation and long-term value for stakeholders. 

“Carl is modernizing the world of medicine — during a time when we need it most — with a new business model and technologies to lead and capture the antibody-based therapeutic market,” says Paula Smith, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Canada Program Director. “A visionary, collaborator and empathetic leader, Hansen is finding opportunities to do things differently, utilizing a proprietary technology platform to disrupt the industry to drive greater efficiencies and support the health and wellness of citizens along the way.”

In a high-stakes industry where innovation can often get curbed due to costly development and lengthy approval processes, AbCellera is pushing the boundaries of antibody discovery to help its partners tackle some of the world’s most urgent medical challenges. Hansen responded to the global pandemic with speed and agility, bringing his unique full-stacked, AI- powered antibody discovery solution to the market and saving countless lives in the process. AbCellera’s success recently led the company to secure the largest initial public offering by a Canadian biotech firm, helping to shine a spotlight on Canada’s growing and increasingly competitive tech and innovation scene.

“AbCellera was founded nine years ago on the belief that we could fundamentally change drug development for the better,” shares Hansen. “Today, our team includes more than 350 people who are focused on building an anchor company that will make our communities stronger, bring treatments to patients faster and leave a legacy of innovation. It’s a great honour to be recognized among this tremendous group, and we're excited to see what the future holds.”

Hansen shared the virtual stage with the following nine entrepreneurs who were recognized as EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 National Award Winners for their unstoppable achievements that demonstrate bold vision, transformative leadership and sustainable success. Up next, Hansen will represent Canada on the globe stage to compete with other national winners for the title of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ in June 2022.

Geoffrey T. Martin

CCL Industries Inc. (TSX: CCL.B)

Judi Hess

Copperleaf (TSX: CPLF)

Louis Têtu

Coveo Solutions (TSX: CVO)

Rizwan Somji

Cymax Group Technologies Inc.

Clay Purdy 

Fluid Energy Group Ltd.

Michael Serbinis


Madeleine Paquin

Logistec Corporation (TSX: LGT)

Bert Mucci

Mucci Farms

John Williams

Nutra Holdings Inc.

“Whether in energy, health care, manufacturing or software, this year’s national winners exude what makes Canadians so unique — they’re putting humans at the centre to build products and services that deliver greater quality, safety and sustainability for their stakeholders,” adds Smith. “These entrepreneurs are the force that will help us think differently, act boldly and help build Canada back better. We’re thrilled to have their expertise and leadership in the global EY entrepreneur network.”

The EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ North America Class of 2021 was also recognized, including seven Canadian entrepreneurs. The program identifies ambitious women business owners of thriving organizations and provides them with the network access, advisors and resources needed to help scale their companies and achieve their full potential. The Entrepreneurial Winning Women program, coupled with EY Entrepreneur Of The Year and Entrepreneurs Access Network, are part of the firm’s 27-year-long commitment to supporting entrepreneurship for all in Canada at every stage of growth journey.

Rasha Katabi

Brim Financial

Jill Van Gyn


Emilie Cushman

Kira Talent

Sandrine Tremblay

KROME Services Inc.

Angel Kho and Eleanor Lee

Loulou Lollipop

Jenny Stephens

Total Trenchless

About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year®

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for unstoppable entrepreneurs. These visionary leaders deliver innovation, growth and prosperity that transform our world. The program engages entrepreneurs with insights and experiences that foster growth. It connects them with their peers to strengthen entrepreneurship around the world. EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the first and only truly global awards program of its kind. It celebrates entrepreneurs through regional and national awards programs in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries. Winners go on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year title.

The 2021 independent judging panel included: Arlene Dickinson, CEO, Venturepark; Wes Hall, Executive Chairman and Founder, Kingsdale Advisors, and Founder, The BlackNorth Initiative; Chris Huskilson, Chair, XOCEAN Ltd.; Germain Lamonde, Founder and Executive Chairman, EXFO Inc.; Denis Larocque, President and CEO, Major Drilling Group International Inc.; Kim Mason, Senior Vice President and Head, Private Banking Canada, RBC Wealth Management; Linda McCurdy, President and CEO, K-Bro Linen Systems Inc.; and Ali Pejman, Managing Partner, Fort Capital Partners.

This year's program national sponsor is TSX Inc. and The Globe and Mail.

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