Canada Celebrates Entrepreneurship and Innovation in 2020

By Aleksandra (Ola) Mackiewicz
image of woman holding canadian flag looking at mountains

Every Canada Day, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and northward into the Arctic Ocean, Canadians celebrate the beautiful 9.98 million square kilometres we call home.

As we paused to celebrate Canada turning 153 years young, the Venture for Canada team took a moment to reflect on some of the things Canada needs to keep doing more of, as we start to open up our economy over the coming months. 

We’ve chosen four businesses to highlight below, from across the country, who have hired post-secondary students or recent graduates from our VFC Internship or Fellowship Programs.

All of these businesses demonstrate the importance of data to good decision-making. We think this is worth celebrating in honour of Canada Day, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

Riipen

Riipen, with offices in both BC and Ontario, is a cutting-edge edutech company, bringing about change across multiple industries. We’re giving them a shout out because of their focus on work integrated learning opportunities for post-secondary students across the country. They enable employers and students to be matched for virtual integrated learning opportunities, which are then delivered through Riipen’s innovative online platform.

Fresh Routes

Fresh Routes, a non-profit social enterprise, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, identified a need for affordable, healthy food, in nutritionally challenged neighbourhoods and built a business solution to this problem, a Mobile Grocery Store. Fresh Routes is now a VFC Intern employer and gets a shout out from us for building physical accessibility into their mobile stores from the beginning and for their mission to ensure everyone, especially those in need have access to affordable, nutritious food and information to live healthy lives. While they had to suspend their regular mobile markets, when the pandemic first broke out in Canada, they pivoted to delivering emergency food boxes to those in the most need. 

AOMS Technologies

Headquartered in Ontario, and a VFC Fellowship employer, AOMS Technologies is all about using data to make good management decisions. They focus on IoT solutions; building systems of integrated sensors, for example, so that construction businesses have real time visibility on their projects, even in harsh Canadian winters. In typical Canadian tech fashion, this business was founded by three friends, who met doing their post-grad research at the University of Waterloo and now they are paving the way for construction, around the world, to better cope with a variety of workforce challenges, including the changes brought about by COVID-19.

Spring Loaded Technology 

Located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Spring Loaded Technology is working on the leading edge in the medical technology field. They’ve created the world’s first bionic knee brace, reducing pain for those suffering from knee injuries, improving performance for athletes and supporting faster rehabilitation after knee surgery. Spring Loaded continues to hire both students returning to school as well as recent graduates, which is well worth a VFC shout out. In addition, in response to COVID-19 health care needs, they developed the Scotia Face Shield, medical grade protection for Canada’s front-line health workers.    

Celebrating Canadian Business!

Over the past year, Venture for Canada has  had the opportunity of providing inspiring work integrated learning opportunities to both students and graduates at these businesses and hundreds of others across Canada. 

As we take just a moment to reflect on the variety of challenges facing Canada, as we turn 153,  we think it’s important to recognize some of the businesses who demonstrate Canadian commitment to facing down these challenges directly.

Thank you Riipen, Fresh Routes, AOMS Technologies and Spring Loaded Technology for your commitment to leveraging data for good decision-making, and a big shout out to everyone building businesses in Canada today.

It’s never easy, but the confidence shown by so many young businesses, along with their focus on innovation and problem solving, is leading to a better Canada for us all. 

If you’d like to find out how to hire post-secondary students or grads to help build and scale your business, you can find out how to do that through Venture for Canada here.

Happy 153rd Canada!