L to R: Alice Reimer, Board Member, Calgary Economic Development and Lead at Creative Destruction Lab Rockies; Jenn Delconte, Manager, Startup Calgary; Yvonne van de berg, Co-founder at Ingu Solutions; Kari Gordon, Director Ecosystems Development & Trade, Calgary Economic Development; John van Pol, Co-founder of Ingu Solutions, Court Ellingson, Vice President, Research & Strategy, Calgary Economic Development.
Startup Canada, Canada’s entrepreneurship organization, named 16 outstanding entrepreneurs, businesses and support organizations from across Canada at the fourth-annual national Startup Canada Awards.
The national winners were announced at a ceremony in Ottawa, attended by leading Canadian investors, innovators, government and executives. “Each one of these outstanding recipients has an immense impact on Canada’s entrepreneurship and innovation sector, and are building an inclusive, innovative, and competitive economy for the future,” said Victoria Lennox, Co-Founder and CEO of Startup Canada.
Yvonne van den Berg and John van Pol received the Startup Canada Newcomer Entrepreneur Award, sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada, as recognition for their exemplary activities and community leadership.
Yvonne and John immigrated from the Netherlands to Kitchener-Waterloo in 2015 to launch their company, Ingu Solutions. Ingu’s Pipers technology uses miniaturized inline sensors to locate leaks, geometric defects and deposits that can impact pipeline performance and integrity.
In 2017, Yvonne and John decided to move their company from Kitchener-Waterloo to Calgary to be closer to oil and gas operators and potential investors.
“The move to Calgary has been crucial for us. With the support of Creative Destruction Lab Rockies, we closed a $1M financing round at the end of 2017. We are now working with customers like Crescent Point Energy to run 19 operational lines. This is a huge indicator of the innovation that is happening in an industry that was previously very traditional,” said John van Pol, Co-founder of Ingu Solutions. “The amount of incoming work has forced us to grow the company at a rapid pace, which is largely due to the overwhelming support we have received from the Calgary community.”
To better support innovation-driven entrepreneurs, Startup Calgary joined Calgary Economic Development in 2017. This year, Startup Calgary’s Executive Director, Kari Gordon, received the Startup Canada Community Leader of the Year Award (West), sponsored by Rogers.
“The support of the City of Calgary, Calgary Economic Development and Calgary Innovation Coalition has created a collaborative network which is helping us take leaps forward, improving our ability to support entrepreneurs at all stages,” said Kari Gordon, Executive Director at Startup Calgary. “This is just the beginning and we look forward to continuing to build a robust ecosystem that will help us continue to support the growth of our local companies.”
Rallying alongside the community are long-time champions of Calgary’s entrepreneurial culture. W. Brett Wilson. The Chairman of the Prairie Merchant Corporation, Wilson received the Startup Canada Adam Chowaniec Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Rogers, recognizing his long-term impact and enduring legacy in advancing an environment and culture for entrepreneurial growth and success in Canada.