June 9, 2021
2020 was an extraordinary, yet unprecedented year. Through the challenges of the year, ventureLAB remained deeply committed to our mission to grow globally competitive tech titans that build to scale — from Canada, for global markets.
We made our mark as Canada’s Hardware Hub through the Hardware Catalyst Initiative — Canada’s only lab and incubator for founders building IP-rich semiconductor or hardware-based products. You can read more about about 2020 highlights and top companies in our Annual Review.
Each year, ventureLAB recognizes innovators within our ecosystem who have delivered excellence and resilience. At this year’s Annual General Meeting, we proudly celebrated ventureLAB’s 10 year anniversary and announced our 2020 award recipients in the following categories:
The Chair of the Board Award is awarded to a prolific founder of a ventureLAB company to recognize and celebrate their achievements and measurable success from the previous year. The recipient embodies ventureLAB’s vision and mission to grow globally competitive tech titans that build-to-scale in Canada, for global markets. They demonstrate a commitment to building a strong culture and team, developing staff, and working broadly across the ecosystem.
We are proud to present this year’s Chair of the Board Award to Mark Morissette, Co-founder and CEO of Foxquilt, a leading insurance technology company focused on empowering small businesses and B2B networks to save on Small Business Insurance. With an Insurance-as-a-Service platform complemented by a unique data and machine learning underwriting infrastructure, Foxquilt makes life easier for business owners.
Mark’s career includes more than 15 years in various leadership roles spanning Underwriting, Operations and Sales & Distribution for some of Canada’s premier Carriers and fintech organizations including Aviva and Real Matters. ventureLAB recognizes and appreciates Mark’s commitment to building a strong culture across the broader ecosystem and looks forward to celebrating more of their successes still to come.
The Company of the Year Award is awarded to a ventureLAB-supported company that is leading the way through their technology or innovation, and/or breaking down barriers to rapidly progress and achieve significant growth. In selecting our nominees and winner, we look for funding received; revenue generated; jobs created; and diversity of gender, ethnicity, age, or other underrepresented groups (for both founder and team).
We are proud to present this year’s Company of the Year Award to Amir Hoss, Founder & CEO of EAIGLE Inc., a company that offers an AI solution for crowd monitoring & occupancy data analytics for public places with high foot traffic. With the rise of COVID-19, EAIGLE introduced a new AI solution that automates the total COVID-19 screening process for employees at points of entry. The solution monitors large crowds non-invasively without any interruption in traffic flow specific for companies with large numbers of employees/visitors.
Amir has worked, developed, and applied technologies in cleantech and proptech spaces. He has advanced technical and business knowledge of Artificial Intelligence and IoT Total Solutions in asset management and facility operations, along with in-depth knowledge of B2B and B2C software solutions. In 2019, Amir received the Canada’s Young Energy Professional of the Year Award by the International Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). ventureLAB continues to be a strong supporter of EAIGLE’s relentless and visionary mindset, and is honoured to recognize them as the Company of the Year.
The Collaborator of the Year Award is awarded to the partner that has had a significant impact on our ecosystem in the past year. The award recipient offers invaluable support to ventureLAB and/or the companies we support to grow and scale. This award was designed to recognize and celebrate a ventureLAB partner that has made a direct impact on ventureLAB, ventureLAB-supported companies, partners or other stakeholders, and on the ecosystem as a whole.
We are proud to present this year’s Collaborator of the Year Award to Denis Jacques, President & CEO of Keysight Technologies Canada Inc., who has been a key collaborator through our Hardware Catalyst Initiative.
Denis Jacques has been a valuable, visionary supporter of the Hardware Catalyst Initiative since August 2019. Since early conversations about what the Hardware Catalyst Initiative could flourish into, Denis portrayed a visionary mindset, continuing to challenge us, and ultimately believing in what ventureLAB had set out to do. Denis not only supported ventureLAB’s vision for the Hardware Catalyst Initiative, but also supported the team through long and short-term equipment loans to augment lab equipment, technical training for program companies, and one-on-one advice.
Denis Jacques graduated from Laval University in Quebec City with a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering. Since then, Denis has excelled in his positions such as Field Engineer to Vice-President of Sales for Eastern Canada at Hewlett-Packard (HP), and Global Account Manager at Agilent. Denis became the President & CEO of Keysight Technologies Canada Inc. in November 2014. Denis has offered invaluable support to ventureLAB and the companies that we support, and we look forward to collaborating with him for years to come.
2020 was a year like no other. In 2021, we are excited to see our founders continue to scale their companies with life-changing solutions that will transform our local and global communities. With a culture of innovation and relentlessness, we’re championing our vibrant community of innovators, industry leaders, partners and founders with a forward-focus on hardware and enterprise software solutions. If you are interested in reading more about ventureLAB’s successes in 2020, click here.
ventureLAB is a leading global founder community for hardware technology and enterprise software companies in Canada. Our organization is led by seasoned entrepreneurs and business leaders with decades of industry experience in building IP-rich start-ups, scale-ups, and global multinationals to help businesses scale. Located at the heart of Ontario’s innovation corridor in York Region, ventureLAB is part of one of the biggest and most diverse tech communities in Canada. Since 2011, ventureLAB has enabled over 2,000 tech ventures to create over 4,000 jobs and raise more than $200 million in investment capital through our initiatives focused on raising capital, talent retention, technology and IP commercialization, and customer acquisition. www.venturelab.ca