Meet Canada’s future economic stars

Meet Canada’s future economic stars

Eight new companies have been added to the MaRS Momentum portfolio, which covers a wide range of sectors, from medical technology to clean-energy storage. The one thing they have in common? They’re ramping up to reach $100 million in revenue.

This article was originally published in July 2020. Find the latest news on the Momentum portfolio here

The stat speaks for itself: between April and July of 2020, telemedicine venture Dialogue has created 400 new jobs. With virtual care replacing a trip to the doctor’s office for many patients, the Montreal-based company scaled up quickly, recruiting scores of physicians, nurses, therapists, developers and salespeople to meet the demand. The company has seen its revenues grow exponentially and has tripled in size since March.

The circumstances of Dialogue’s astonishing expansion, in such a short time frame, are unique to the pandemic, but its potential to scale is not. Canada has dozens of established tech ventures like Dialogue that are experiencing rapid growth. These companies, which already have innovative products in the market and strong revenue streams, will play an outsized role in Canada’s future economic performance by creating jobs and supplying the technologies and science that will enable large corporations and industries to thrive post-pandemic economy.

But the journey from late-stage startup to mature company is a difficult one and one that is not frequently travelled by Canadian companies. Fast-growing ventures face a number of challenges as they expand to new markets. To help these future drivers of Canadian prosperity make this transition, MaRS has created Momentum. This new program will support Canadian ventures with the aim of accelerating each toward $100 million in revenues within 5 years.

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MaRS Momentum: Canada's next $100M* Companies (*revenue)

Antibe Therapeutics Inc.: biotechnology, therapeutics Axine Water Technologies: environmental, industrial product Axonify: cloud, data analytics Bioconnect: AI&ML, cloud, hardware, integrated circuits Blue J Legal Inc: AI&ML, cloud, data analytics Borrowell Inc.: AI&ML, cloud, hardware, integrated circuits CarbonCure Technologies: advanced manufacturing, chemical, environmental, process Conavi Medical Inc.: 3d imaging, advanced manufacturing, hardware Curate Mobile Ltd.: AI&ML, cloud Deep Genomics: AI&ML, bioinformatics, biotechnology, genetics, therapeutics Dialogue: AI&ML, cloud ecobee: cloud, data analytics, edge computing, hardware, IoT Ecopia Tech: AI&ML, cloud, data analytics Fiix: cloud, data analytics Flexiti: cloud, data analyitics, mobile app Flybits, Inc.: AI&ML, cloud Geneseeq Technology Inc.: biotech, genome sequencing GreenMantra Recycling Technologies Ltd: chemical, environmental, industrial Highland Therapeutics Inc.: biotechnology, therapeutics humi: cloud, payment Hydrostor: industrial product InteraXon: advanced manufacturing, AI&ML, hardware, integrated circuits, thought controlled computing KOHO: cloud, data analyitics, mobile app League, Inc.: cloud, data analyitics, mobile app LED Roadway Lighting Ltd: cloud, hardware, IoT Lowest Rates Inc: cloud, data analyitics, mobile app Magnovate Technologies Inc: industrial product, transportation Mavencare: cloud, data analytics Metro Compactor Service: data analytics, industrial service, IoT MindBridge AI: AI&ML, cloud, data analytics Nanoleaf: advanced manufacturing, hardware, IoT NRStor Inc.: financial, industrial, product Nulogy Corp: cloud, data analytics Opus One Solutions Energy Corporation: cloud, data analytics Payment Source: cloud, mobile app Pipetel Technologies Inc.: advanced manufacturing, data analytics, robotics Precision Nutrition Inc: cloud, nutrition, training Prodigy: cloud, data analytics, gaming Ranovus Inc.: advanced manufacturing, integrated circuits, physics (laser) cloud, data analyitics, mobile app Ritual: cloud, data analyitics, mobile app Security Compass: cloud, cybersecurity Sensibill Inc: cloud, data analyitics, mobile app StatFlo Inc: cloud, data analytics StormFisher Environmental Ltd: environmental, industrial, operational process AI&ML, cloud, data analytics Think Research: AI&ML, cloud, data analytics Top Hat: cloud, mobile app Tulip Retail: cloud, data analyitics, mobile app Vive Crop Protection: chemical Wattpad: cloud, mobile app AI&ML, cloud, data analytics You.i TV: cloud, development tools, mobile app
biotech business risk, decision support education energy and telecom finance future of daily life healthcare resource sustainability sales, marketing, customer service smart cities, infrastructure wellness workforce, human resources

AI and machine learning biotech cloud and mobile computing hardware: robotics, products, integrated circuits industrial, advanced manufacturing IoT science: chemical, medical, physics, environmental

53 companies


*Based on data collected July 2020.

If these companies maintain a 20 percent annual growth rate for the next five years, they will add some 9,000 new high-paying jobs. Krista Jones, Momentum’s founding executive, stresses that she is not creating a narwhal list or supporting companies that go for growth at any cost, however. “The companies we have selected are being built on Canadian values. They are growing in sustainable, profitable ways, solving urgent issues and creating the kind of good jobs Canada needs,” she said. In fact, Momentum companies are working toward solutions for all 17 of the sustainable development goals outlined by the United Nations.

The Momentum companies operate in a range of sectors that have a major impact on the world. Hydrostor, GreenMantra and CarbonCure are helping make environmental sustainability a reality. Borrowell is advancing financial inclusion and BioConnect is helping companies keep their buildings and data secure. Meanwhile, Magnovate is bringing our vast country together with new high-speed transit systems, and pharmaceutical firm Highland Therapeutics is developing technology that improves the performance of existing medications.  The companies in the Momentum portfolio boast rich intellectual property in many areas in tech and science — from high-definition vector mapping to educational software to energy-grid optimization.

Despite having vibrant startup clusters that have turned cities like Toronto and Waterloo into magnets for talent, Canada only has a handful of tech companies that have achieved significant size internationally. Firms like Shopify, which recently became Canada’s most valuable company, are rare exceptions to a pattern that sees many promising ventures being acquired by larger companies — in 70 percent of cases American ones — before they scale. As a result, few Canadian executives have experience guiding a company from tens of millions in revenues to hundreds of millions.

Momentum is designed to help change that. The program, which is funded by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, works closely with senior executives from each company and provides strategic support around issues like attracting talent, raising capital and expanding to global markets. The goal is to help these executives turn their high-potential companies into high-growth powerhouses that will build jobs and intellectual property in Canada, while exporting Canadian innovations around the world.

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MaRS Momentum: Canada's next $100M* Companies (*revenue)

*Based on data collected July 2020.
Canada excels in highly specialized areas, such as advanced manufacturing, robotics, blockchain and artificial intelligence. These were coming to the fore before COVID-19 but the pandemic is almost certain to accelerate the shift toward automation that these technologies enable. “The focus is on these ‘deep tech’ sectors and that plays to our strengths,” said Jones. “Now, conditions are right for Canadian companies to take the next step and scale rapidly.”

This last quarter, eight new companies joined Momentum: BrainBox Ai, Effenco, GHGSat, Horizn, Li-Cycle, Maple, Precision Biomonitoring and StackAdapt. Here are 65 future stars of the Canadian economy. If their names aren’t yet familiar, they soon will be.

Antibe Therapeutics | Axine Water Technologies | Axonify | BioConnect | Blue J Legal | Borrowell | BrainBox AI | CarbonCure | Conavi Medical | Curate Mobile | Deep Genomics | Dialogue | ecobee | Ecopia.AI | Effenco | Fiix | Flexiti | Flybits | Geneseeq | GHGSat | GreenMantra Technologies | Highland Therapeutics Inc. | Horizn | Humi | Hydrostor | Influitive | InteraXon | KOHO | League | LED Roadway Lighting Ltd. | Li-Cycle | | Magnovate | Maple | Mavencare | Metro Compactor Service | MindBridge | Nanoleaf | Newtopia | NRStor | Nulogy Corp | Opus One | Payment Source | Pipetel | Precision Biomonitoring | Precision Nutrition | Prodigy | Ranovus | Ratehub Inc. | Ritual | Security Compass | Sensibill | StackAdapt | Statflo | Stormfisher Ltd. | Stradigi AI | Synaptive Medical | Think Research | Top Hat | Tulip Retail | Vive Crop Protection | Wattpad | WellnessLiving | Wysdom.AI | You.i TV

Dr. John L Wallace

Dr. John L Wallace


Antibe Therapeutics

Founder: Dr. John L. Wallace
CEO: Dan Legault
Year founded: 2009
Capital raised: $85 million
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Antibe Therapeutics is developing a new generation of safer, non-addictive medicines for pain and inflammation.

Differentiating factor: Founder Dr. John Wallace is a leading expert in the gastrointestinal damage caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — the main class of drugs used to treat pain and inflammation. Wallace and the team of researchers at Antibe have found that linking hydrogen sulphide–releasing molecules to NSAIDs can create effective pain relief without the side effects.

Latest milestone: In June 2020, Antibe released promising top-line results from a large human clinical trial. It also raised $28 million that will help finance the next stage in development and commercialization of the drug pipeline.

 Jonathan Rhone

Jonathan Rhone

Axine Water Technologies

Founder: Colleen Legzdins
CEO: Jonathan Rhone
Year founded: 2010
Capital raised: $19.43 million
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: This Vancouver-based company provides pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturers a quick and cost-effective way of removing harmful solvents, antibiotics and other organics from industrial wastewater.

Differentiating factor: Axine offers customers a double incentive: leading green engineering and an innovative business model. Under multi-year service agreements, its turnkey wastewater treatments systems help companies save on operational costs while also improving safety and reducing environmental damage.

Recent developments: In October, Axine signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar service agreement to treat manufacturing wastewater for a pharmaceutical company based in Europe. This fall, Axine has also secured more than $9 million in equity and non-dilutive funding to drive growth.

 Carol Leaman

Carol Leaman


Founder: Carol Leaman and Christine Tutssel
CEO: Carol Leaman
Year founded: 2011
Capital raised: $22 million
Number of employees: 150-249

In a nutshell: Axonify offers fun, fast and personalized corporate training for frontline workers that gets measurable results.

Differentiating factor: In its customized online training sessions, Axonify uses cognitive principles, highly engaging game mechanics and an adaptive algorithm to help businesses equip their frontline workers with the knowledge and insights they need in the modern workplace.

Notable developments: Axonify recently signed partnerships with SAP, Kronos, Zebra, MSXi and other business solutions companies to expand their offerings globally. It’s also currently working with two hospitals to create a training module for healthcare settings.

 Rob Douglas

Rob Douglas


Founder and CEO: Rob Douglas
Year founded: 2010
Capital raised: $9.7 million
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Using biometric authentication, BioConnect provides seamless security for companies, protecting data, buildings, employees or a transaction approval. “We want to bring trust to the enterprise, ensuring every access event, both physical and digital, provides identity assurance,” says Rob Douglas.

Differentiating factor: BioConnect provides a high level of security across physical, IOT and digital applications that is unmatched in the market today, and has been adopted by many Fortune 500 companies.

Recent milestones: During the pandemic, BioConnect accelerated its rollout of touchless security that uses facial and vocal recognition. To help in the global deployment of BioConnect’s Trust Platform, the Federal Development Corporation and Business Development Corporation have recently invested $5.9 million.

 Benjamin Alarie, Brett Janssen, Anthony Niblett and Albert Yoon

Albert Yoon, Brett Janssen, Benjamin Alarie and Anthony Niblett

Blue J Legal

Founders: Albert Yoon, Anthony Niblett, Benjamin Alarie and Brett Janssen
CEO: Benjamin Alarie
Year founded: 2015
Capital raised: $10 million (U.S.)
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Blue J helps make legal services more transparent and accessible by using artificial intelligence to predict court outcomes in cases involving tax and employment law.

Differentiating factor: Blue J’s software has a 90 percent accuracy rate and is four times faster than traditional legal research methods.

Greatest achievements: Shortlisted for Hugh Lawford Award from the Canadian Association of Law Libraries for excellence in Legal Publishing. Its software is currently used by the federal justice department to predict case outcomes and is being integrated into the tax law curriculum at the University of California Irvine.

 Eva Wong and Andrew Graham

Eva Wong and Andrew Graham


Founders: Andrew Graham and Eva Wong
CEO: Andrew Graham
Year founded: 2014
Capital raised: $36.7 million
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: By providing credit information, product suggestions and digital tools to help users make informed decisions about money, Borrowell aims to put Canadians on a sound financial footing. “Particularly in these times, we know that personal finance is stressful for many people and we work hard to reduce that stress,” says CEO Andrew Graham.

Differentiating factor: The company recently launched Boost, an in-app tool that helps users keep on top of payments by analyzing their cash flow and predicting if a shortfall will occur when a bill is due. If needed, it offers a $75 interest-free advance.

Latest milestone: Borrowell has acquired Refresh Financial, a Canadian leader in helping underserved Canadians gain long-term access to affordable forms of credit.


Sam Ramadori

Sam Ramadori

Brainbox AI

Founders: Jean-Simon Venne and Sean Neely
President: Sam Ramadori
Year founded: 2017
Capital raised: Undisclosed
Number of employees: 75-149

In a nutshell: BrainBox AI uses cloud-based, deep-learning algorithms to improve the heating, ventilation and air conditioning infrastructure in buildings. The startup’s tech can reduce a client’s total energy spend by 25 percent, and its carbon footprint by up to 40 percent.

Differentiating factor: It’s estimated that about 39 percent of the globe’s energy-related carbon dioxide emissions come from buildings. Powered by a team of tech veterans, the company stands to revolutionize commercial real estate, a space that has lagged behind other industries when it comes to cleantech.

Latest milestone: During the pandemic, BrainBox AI signed a deal with AMP Capital to deploy its tech in more than 40 buildings across Australia and New Zealand. It also expanded to the United Kingdom and Ireland, representing millions of new square feet under management. Plus, Time named BrainBox AI’s product one of the best inventions of 2020.


Robert Niven


Founder and CEO: Robert Niven
Year founded: 2007
Capital raised: Undisclosed
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: CarbonCure’s technology introduces recycled carbon dioxide into fresh concrete mixtures, trapping the greenhouse gas in everything from highway surfaces to the walls of apartment buildings. So far, it has removed 73,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from the atmosphere, equivalent to the carbon absorbed by 95,000 acres of forest in a year.

Differentiating factor: By mineralizing carbon dioxide inside concrete, CarbonCure’s technology actually increases the material’s strength, making it an attractive option for builders. The amount of concrete produced with CarbonCure’s system is doubling year on year.

Latest milestone: Was named the 2020 North American Cleantech Company of the Year by Cleantech Group.


Brian Courtney and Aman Thind

Conavi Medical 

Founders: Brian Courtney and Aman Thind
CEO: Brian Courtney
Year founded: 2007
Capital raised: $50 million (U.S.)
Number of employees: 75-149

In a nutshell: Conavi develops, manufactures and sells image guidance technologies that enable minimally invasive heart procedures. This imagery technology allows physicians to view plaque in coronary arteries, choose the right stents and techniques to treat blockages and confirm that a good result was achieved before completing the procedure.

Differentiating factor: Conavi’s technologies provide improved visualization at a lower cost relative to competing systems.

Recent developments: A 120-patient clinical study involving Conavi’s Novasight Hybrid intravascular imaging system will soon embark at four prominent hospitals in Beijing, which will support regulatory approval of the system in China.


Marc Porcelli

Curate Mobile

Founder and CEO: Marc Porcelli
Year founded: 2015
Capital raised: Undisclosed
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Curate helps advertisers navigate the complex world of mobile marketing, offering a fully automated platform that helps companies find and engage with consumers.

Differentiating factor: Its proprietary technology uses machine learning and hyper-granular insights based on location and customer personas to help brands reach the right audience.

Latest win: Curate was a digital and creative partner of Havas NY, a leading advertising agency, on its “What’s Your Wild Rabbit?” campaign for Hennessy whiskey, which won a Drum Marketing Award.

Brendan Frey

Deep Genomics

Founders: Andrew Delong, Brendan Frey and Hui Yuan Xiong
CEO: Brendan Frey
Year founded: 2015
Capital raised: $58 million
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Deep Genomics has built an artificial intelligence platform that accelerates drug development for rare genetic disorders.

Differentiating factor: For 25 years, Brendan Frey has been a pioneer in artificial intelligence. And since founding Deep Genomics in 2015, Frey and his team of researchers have been harnessing the power and speed of AI and deep learning to identify novel therapeutic targets and design therapies far faster and more effectively than conventional drug discovery approaches. The company, which raised $40 million in Series B funding earlier this year, has become a global leader in the application of AI and genomics in precision medicine.

Latest milestones: Deep Genomics recently won the Life Sciences of Ontario Company of the Year Award. And over the past year, its staff has grown from 35 employees to nearly 50.


Alexis Smirnov, Cherif Habib and Anna Chif


Founders: Alexis Smirnov, Anna Chif and Cherif Habib
CEO: Cherif Habib
Year founded: 2016
Capital raised: $100 million
Number of employees: 250+

In a nutshell: Dialogue helps companies improve the health and well-being of their workers with a virtual care platform that is provided as part of an employee benefits package.

Differentiating factor: Dialogue is the only virtual care provider, focused exclusively on the business-to-business market, which offers one-stop-shop access to primary care, mental health and employee assistance program services.

Greatest achievement: At the start of the pandemic, demand for Dialogue’s technology soared, as companies sought new ways to support their employees’ health. “We never thought this level of scale-up would be possible,” says Anna Chif, chief strategy and product officer. “Dialogue has seen truly exponential growth, scaling 10 times in four weeks. We had to add hundreds of new team members, which more than tripled the size of the team.”


Stuart Lombard


Founders: John Metselaar, Mark Malchiondo and Stuart Lombard
CEO: Stuart Lombard
Year founded: 2007
Capital raised: $155 million (U.S.)
Number of employees: 250+

In a nutshell: Ecobee’s aim is for homes to take care of their occupants, not the other way around. The company creates connected systems, such as intelligent thermostats, cameras, sensors and home monitoring platforms that provide comfort, security and energy efficiency.

Differentiating factor: The company created the world’s first smart thermostat in 2007 and has continued to be one of the leaders in this fast-growing market. Last year, ecobee introduced eco+, a free software upgrade that delivers new intelligent features that enable its devices to better adapt to household routines and make users’ homes even more energy efficient.

Greatest achievement: Ecobee has saved its North America customers more than 10.4 TWh of energy, the equivalent of taking 1.5-million cars off the road for a year.


Shuo Tan, Yuanming Shu and Jon Lipinski


Founders: Jon Lipinski, Yuanming Shu and Shuo Tan
CEO: Yuanming Shu
Year founded: 2013
Capital raised: Bootstrapped — Ecopia.AI has grown its business with little or no outside investment.
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Ecopia.AI uses next-generation artificial intelligence and machine learning along with satellite or aerial imagery to create high-definition vector maps. These maps are able to identify building footprints, roads, sidewalks, green space, waterways and even physical coordinates, such as the address of a building.

Differentiating factor: These maps help businesses, governments, NGOs, as well as telecommunication and insurance companies make better data-driven decisions much faster and at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods of land surveying.

Recent developments: Ecopia’s Partnership Program has expanded to accommodate several new imagery partners, including European Space Imaging and Compagnia Generale Ripreseaeree SpA. Recently, Ecopia has been recognized on the CIX Top 10 Growth Award, Maclean’s Growth 500 Award and The Globe and Mail’s Canada’s Top Growing Companies Award.

Up next: In partnership with Sustainable Development Canada, Ecopia.AI will be creating the first comprehensive digital map of Sub-Saharan Africa. The company will soon be announcing project partners and the availability of the Sub-Saharan Africa map data.


Dany Fouquet, Benoit Lacroix and David Arsenault

Dany Fouquet, Benoit Lacroix and David Arsenault


Founders: Dany Fouquet, Benoit Lacroix and David Arsenault
President: David Arsenault
Year founded: 2006
Capital raised: Undisclosed
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Effenco has developed a way to make heavy-duty vehicles (the transportation sector’s least efficient segment) more planet-friendly. The company’s electric hybrid technology saves fuel by maximizing the time a vehicle’s engine is turned off while immobile.

Differentiating factor: Effenco was founded by three engineers — their innovations are proprietary, with hundreds of units already sold in 10 countries.

Latest milestone: A member of 2021’s Global Cleantech 100, Effenco recently partnered with Derichebourg Environnement to electrify 157 vehicles in Montreal and Paris. And the company is set to release a new powertrain that will allow users to operate trucks at the same cost of diesel-fuelled counterparts.


James Novak


Founders: Corbin Church, Daryl Sedgman, Marc Castel and Stephane Castel
CEO: James Novak
Year founded: 2008
Capital raised: $57.5 million
Number of employees: 150-249

In a nutshell: Fiix helps industrial firms reduce downtime and increase productivity with software that helps them track equipment servicing needs and plan maintenance efficiently.

Differentiating factors: Its software uses artificial intelligence and data science to provide insights that help users go beyond regular planning and modernize their maintenance processes. Fiix also meets B Corp standards for social and environmental performance, is a certified Great Place to Work and offsets all its carbon emissions.

Recent milestone: Doubling its customer base in the past three years to reach 3,000 clients in 90 countries and become the fastest-growing software company of its kind. “Fiix has always been committed to building a business that puts purpose and positive impact as key measures of success alongside growth,” says James Nowak. “We are growing because of our commitment to our people, our customers and our community, not in spite of it, and that makes Fiix an exceptional company to lead.”



Peter Kalen


Founder and CEO: Peter Kalen
Capital raised: $500 million
Number of employees: 75-149
Year founded: 2013

In a nutshell: Through its tech-enabled solution, Flexiti offers financing options on private-label credit cards at 5,000 locations and ecommerce sites across Canada, including Wayfair, Birks and Peoples Jewellers. Within minutes, customers can receive credit approval on any device, in-store or online, to purchase big-ticket items with no-interest payments. As more sales move online, these kinds of flexible financing solutions are becoming essential for retailers.

Differentiating factor: Flexiti’s technology platform is easily integrated into retailers’ existing e-commerce platforms, allowing retailers to offer the same financing solutions digitally and in stores — a first in Canada.

Latest milestones: Flexiti ranked third in Canadian Business 2020 Growth List of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies, and sixth in The Globe and Mail’s Top Growing Companies.

Recent developments: Sleep Country and Staples have signed on with Flexiti, with program launches in the second half of 2020.


Hossein Rahnama


Founder and CEO: Hossein Rahnama
Year founded: 2011
Capital raised: $50 million (U.S.)
Number of employees: 74-149

In a nutshell: Flybits helps banks personalize their online customer communications. Its technology easily embeds in their websites and mobile apps and integrates insights from multiple sources of data. The company also provides content creation and targeting tools that enable marketing teams to deliver special offers tailored to each user’s circumstances.

Differentiating factor: Flybits’ technology takes into account everything from a customer’s purchasing habits to their location and even the weather to provide promotional messages when they will be most relevant. “Humans are designed to make decisions using a multitude of inputs and sources of information, context is what leads two people who are encountering the same situation to come away with different personal experiences,” says Hossein Rahnma, CEO.

Latest milestones: Over the past year, Flybits experienced a nearly 70-percent increase in growth and made Deloitte’s Fast 50 list of rapidly scaling Canadian tech companies.


Dr. Yang Shao and Dr. Xue Wu


Founder: Dr. Yang Shao
CEOs: Dr. Yang Shao (Geneseeq China) and Dr. Xue Wu (Geneseeq Canada)
Year founded: 2008
Capital raised: $257 million
Number of employees: 250 +

In a nutshell: Geneseeq uses next-generation sequencing for genetic testing to provide a personalized approach to cancer treatment.

Differentiating factor: A global leader in the application of next-generation genetic sequencing, Geneseeq is able to test hundreds of genes at once to quickly match cancer patients to the right therapy. It can build a mutation profile for more than 400 genes in five business days, rather than the traditional approach of testing one gene at a time, which can take weeks or months. They have products for all cancer types and their tests also work for non-invasive liquid biopsy samples.

Up next: Geneseeq brought in $85 million in revenue in 2020, and grew its staff to more than 900 employees. It also expanded its product line into early cancer detection and launched a screening program with approximately 100,000 participants in partnership with local government and health institutes in China. Geneseeq Toronto is currently in the progress of building a genetic testing lab in Ontario aiming to be fully functional in early 2022.



Stéphane Germain


Founder: Stéphane Germain
CEOs: Stéphane Germain
Year founded: 2011
Capital raised: U.S.$55 million
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Based in Montreal, GHGSat uses a fleet of satellites and aircraft to monitor and analyze industrial GHG emissions from outer space. This is essential data for clients, allowing them to cut costs, improve safety and meet environmental targets.

Differentiating factor: Because the startup’s tech can be deployed anywhere and has a full view of the planet, the company is effectively in a category of one, setting the international standard for emissions monitoring.

Latest milestone: 2020 was a great year for GHGSat — the company launched its second satellite, secured U.S.$30 million in a Series B funding round and expanded its staff by 30 percent. Plus, it debuted a free tool for methane emissions monitoring and has more satellites and aircraft now under construction.


Jodie Morgan

GreenMantra Technologies

CEO: Jodie Morgan
Year founded: 2010
Capital raised: $105 million
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: GreenManta is using second-generation chemical recycling to redesign hard-to-recycle plastics into synthetic waxes, polymer additives and other chemicals that can be used in a broad array of industrial applications.

Differentiating factor: GreenMantra’s highly efficient process has minimal energy requirements and the waste plastic that is used in the process is often derived from single-use plastic packaging. Each year, the company diverts tens of thousands of pounds of plastic waste from the world’s waterways and landfills.

Latest milestones: In a recent collaboration, NOVA Chemicals used materials created from GreenMantra’s advanced recycling process to enhance asphalt for paving their plant expansion site. This additive greatly reduces plastic waste — one kilometre of asphalt road paved with it diverts 2.7-million single-use plastic bags from landfill. This year, GreenMantra is launching projects to enhance performance of materials in another large infrastructure application: plastic drainage.



David Lickrish

Highland Therapeutics Inc.

Founder and CEO: David Lickrish
Year founded: 2008
Capital raised: $345.15 million
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Highland Therapeutics is a pharmaceutical company that improves the effectiveness of existing medications using a proprietary drug delivery technology. Most notably, the company developed a delayed and extended release medication for ADHD that helps control symptoms upon awakening and throughout the day with one daily dose.

Differentiating factor: Many parents of children with ADHD would have to wake up before 6 a.m. to administer their kids’ medication in time for it to take effect before school. Highland’s new formulation is designed to be administered in the evening, making it easier for kids and families to cope.

Latest milestones: Since launching JORNAY PM (methylphenidate HCl extended-release capsules) in mid-2019, more than 30,000 patients in the U.S. have benefited from treatment, and prescriptions have increased 45 percent during the fourth quarter of 2020.



Janice Diner


Founder: Janice Diner
CEO: Janice Diner
Year founded: 2012
Capital raised: Undisclosed
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Canada has a powerhouse finance sector but it lags behind such countries as the United Kingdom and Sweden when it comes to fintech. Horizn’s platform gets financial institutions’ employees and customers to adopt digital services, including self-serve banking, contact centre interactions and user profiles.

Differentiating factor: Unlike other fintechs that merely enhance financial services, Horizn’s mission is to educate users beyond the basics; that means creating greater financial literacy with a full understanding of an institution’s offerings and, of course, money saved.

Latest milestones: When not speaking at international finance conferences, Janice Diner and her team are helping clients win awards. For instance, RBC won the Celent Model Bank of 2020 for its “personalized customer engagement affecting enterprise-wide culture change, resulting in nearly 100 percent employee digital fluency and customer-focused outcomes.”


Simon Bourgeois, Matt Loszak, Drew Millington and Kevin Kliman


Founders: Kevin Kliman, Drew Millington, Matt Loszak and Simon Bourgeois
Co-CEOs: Kevin Kliman and Simon Bourgeois
Year founded: 2016
Capital raised: $15 million
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Humi offers a software platform that allows Canadian companies to easily manage human resources, payroll and benefits. Focused on small and medium-sized businesses, Humi handles such tasks as payroll, recruitment, employee onboarding, vacation tracking and benefits management in a single cloud-based platform.

Differentiating factor: Unlike its competitors, which create all-purpose systems for use in multiple countries, Humi is hyper-focused on Canada and its platform reflects the nuances of our employment market. It is used by more than 4,000 Canadian companies.

Latest milestone: In June, Humi closed a $15-million Series A financing led by Tribe Capital, an early investor in Slack.


Curtis VanWalleghem and Cameron Lewis


Founders: Cameron Lewis and Curtis VanWalleghem
CEO: Curtis VanWalleghem
Year founded: 2010
Capital raised: $105 million
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Hydrostor has developed a method that solves a long-standing problem in cleantech: storing renewable energy from solar and wind cheaply and efficiently. During off-peak times, it uses excess electricity to pump compressed air into vast pressurized caverns. When the demand for electricity increases, the pressurized air is released, driving a turbine that generates electricity with zero carbon emissions. Its large-scale A-CAES (advanced compressed air energy storage) facilities can store days-worth of energy in a cost-effective manner.

Differentiating factor: With the can-do spirit of last-century’s industrial pioneers, Hydrostor’s long-term energy-storage solution has the potential to transform the energy sector.

Up next: After raising $49 million in growth financing, Hydrostor is developing utility-scale projects across North America and other markets.


Dan McCall


Founder: Mark Organ
CEO: Dan McCall
Year founded: 2010
Capital raised: U.S.$48 million
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Using points, badges, gamification and rewards, Influitive’s SaaS platform encourages customer engagement to help companies build customer marketing communities.

Differentiating factor: In the digital age, consumers don’t rely upon marketing messages for their buying decisions. They are using the internet, peers and third-party review sites to find out more about a brand. This means that a company’s most enthusiastic customers play an increasingly critical role for businesses — these superfans create the referrals, references and reviews that are vital for a company’s growth. Influitive’s platform allows companies to engage and empower these brand advocates.

Recent developments: In the summer, Influitive launched its Virtual EventHub, a turnkey managed service for digital events.


Derek Luke


Founders: Ariel Garten, Chris Aimone and Trevor Coleman
CEO: Derek Luke
Year founded: 2009
Capital raised: $29.82 million
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: InteraXon makes devices that help people learn how to meditate and sleep better. Using EEG technology, its headband and mobile app tracks brain activity along with heat rates, breathing patterns and body movements to offer real-time feedback.

Differentiating factor: Its mobile app translates your brain activity into nature sounds. If you have a busy mind, the sounds of a thunderstorm will prompt you to focus. As the mind relaxes, you will hear the storm recede. Plus, the app features a rich library of more than 300 guided meditations from leading mindfulness experts.

Recent developments: In January 2020, InteraXon launched the Muse S device, which helps guide users to sleep. And the podcast that co-founder Ariel Garten hosts has just surpassed 4 million downloads.


Daniel Eberhard


Founders: Daniel Eberhard, Jonathan Bixby, Joshua Bixby and Mike Benna
CEO: Daniel Eberhard
Year founded: 2014
Capital raised: $60.82 million
Number of employees: 75-149

In a nutshell: KOHO is bringing banking into the digital world with a spending account, prepaid Visa and fully integrated app that enables users to track spending and automate saving from their phones.

Differentiating factor: “The average Canadian pays between $159 and $220 a year in bank fees. KOHO was created to help solve this inequality in banking,” says Daniel Eberhard, CEO. KOHO doesn’t charge account fees (although there is a premium service), which has enabled it to grow its customer base rapidly to more than 215,000 people and become Canada’s leading challenger to the big banks.

Latest developments: KOHO’s early payday program, which offers users early access to a portion of their pay cheque at no charge, has been extremely popular among account holders during the pandemic. And the company is on track to launch a high-interest savings account as well as a credit building feature this spring.



Michael Serbinis


Founder and CEO: Michael Serbinis
Year founded: 2014
Capital raised: $117.75 million
Number of employees: 250+

In a nutshell: League makes it easier for employees to find, understand and access health and wellness. Its cloud-based benefits platform also gives employers more visibility into the health of their workforce that informs risk management strategies and productivity forecasting.

Differentiating factor: Accessibility — League’s system helps users navigate the often complicated network of  healthcare providers, employer-sponsored programs and insurers. “We want to empower people with their health every day,” says CEO Michael Serbinis.

Recent developments: League responded quickly to the pandemic, establishing an HR Resource Center to help companies build effective virus strategies for their workforces. And League is working with Loblaw to create a new technology-driven delivery model to make it easier for Canadians to access, navigate and purchase healthcare services.


Charles Cartmill

LED Roadway Lighting Ltd.

Founder and CEO: Charles Cartmill
Year founded: 2007
Capital raised: $28.55 million
Number of employees: 75-149

In a nutshell: LED Roadway is turning the humble streetlight into a data-gathering hotspot. Its powerful suite of technologies allows cities to install sensors into existing street lights to monitor traffic patterns and environmental noise.

Differentiating factor: The Halifax-based company already supplies energy-efficient LED street lighting systems in more than 60 countries, making its sensor technology a low-cost and easily adoptable solution for municipalities looking to develop their smart-city capabilities.

Recent development: The leadership at LED Roadway regularly appears at  industry leading events to help advance smart city technology. For instance, the company recently attended an event hosted by the London Office of Technology and Innovation in the U.K. that worked to establish a common procurement framework.


Tim Johnston and Ajay Kochhar

Tim Johnston and Ajay Kochhar


Founders: Ajay Kochhar, Tim Johnston
CEO: Ajay Kochhar
Year founded: 2016
Number of employees: 75-149

In a nutshell: While old lithium-ion batteries contain valuable materials, they’ve traditionally been treated as a waste. Li-Cycle has developed a way to capture those precious resources, with a recycling method that extracts close to 95 percent of the cathode and anode materials for reuse.

Differentiating factor: Used in everything from smartphones to electric vehicles, lithium batteries are seeing exponential growth, and Li-Cycle’s method creates a secondary supply of critical battery material to sustainably meet that demand. By using a wet-chemistry approach that does not require any heat, the company is able to recover up to 95 percent of materials, including lithium, without creating any wastewater or toxic emissions.

Latest Milestones: North America’s largest lithium-ion battery recycling company, Li-Cycle has a recycling centre in Kingston, Ont., and recently opened a second one in Rochester, N.Y., which has doubled its processing capacity to 10,000 tonnes of spent batteries each year. This January, Li-Cycle won the 2021 BIG Innovation Award by the Business Intelligence Group, and it was also named to the prestigious Global Cleantech 100 list for the second consecutive year.


Justin Thouin

Founder and CEO: Justin Thouin
Year founded: 2012
Capital raised: Bootstrapped — grew its business with little or no outside investment.
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: saves Canadians time and money by providing online tools that allow them to easily compare rates on financial products, such as insurance, mortgages, loans and credit cards.

Differentiating factor: is an awards magnet. In the past year, it was named on the Deloitte Fast 50, recognized by the Globe and Mail as one of Canada’s Top Growing Companies, and it won Best Service Provider from Insurance Business Magazine and the High-Growth Entrepreneurship Award from Startup Canada.

Greatest achievement: Since being founded in 2012, the company has saved Canadians more than $1 billion in interest and fees.


Dan Corns


Founder and CEO: Dan Corns
Year founded: 2012
Capital raised: $2 million
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Magnovate has developed a cheaper, faster and greener alternative to conventional mass transit. Using maglev technology, powerful electromagnets on the tracks allow trains to glide above them.

Differentiating factor: The Edmonton-based company offers a silent, frictionless and highly energy efficient powertrain that doesn’t run on carbon fuels. Plus, its proprietary instant passive switching technology allows vehicles without any disembarking passengers to bypass stations without stopping — vastly improving route flexibility and efficiency.

Up next: Magnovate’s pilot project at the Toronto Zoo — the first commercial maglev system in North America — is slated for completion in 2022. The company is also in talks to build a 50-km commuter project in Texas, as well as a rail line in Saudi Arabia.


Dr. Brett Belchetz, Stuart Starr, Roxana Zaman


Founders: Dr. Brett Belchetz, Roxana Zaman, Stuart Starr
CEO: Dr. Brett Belchetz
Year founded: 2015
Capital raised: $96 million
Number of employees: 75-149

In a nutshell: Maple is a virtual healthcare company headquartered in Toronto. For a fee, users can log on 24/7 and be evaluated by a Canadian doctor or specialist via video, phone call or text message. It also provides custom software solutions for hospitals, clinics, insurers and employers.

Differentiating factor: Dr. Brett Belchetz started Maple after a decade of working in an E.R. where patients would wait hours for things that didn’t require hands-on treatment. The startup’s portfolio of providers also includes dermatologists, psychiatrists and oncology navigation experts.

Latest milestone: In September, Shoppers Drug Mart supercharged the virtual healthcare movement by pouring $75 million into Maple.


Dr. Adam Blackman


Founders: Dr. Adam Blackman and Nukul Bhasin
CEO: Dr. Adam Blackman
Year founded: 2014
Capital raised: Undisclosed
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: “All people should have the right to age at home,” says CEO Dr. Adam Blackman. After experiencing difficulty find quality care for his grandmother, he and Nukul Bhasin founded Mavencare, a technology company dedicated to supporting seniors and their families to promote aging in place. Its proprietary technology platform optimizes caregiver vetting and hiring, matches clients with the most well-suited caregivers and analyzes real-time mobile data collected in the client’s home to identify potential areas of risk.

Differentiating factor: Mavencare’s end-to-end platform delivers better patient outcomes, lower health care costs and greater patient satisfaction, helping families avoid unnecessary institutionalization.

Latest development: Selected as a preferred partner for Boston Senior Home Care, the fastest growing personal care agency in NYC.



Danny Mauti

Metro Compactor Service

CEO: Danny Mauti
Year founded: 1978
Capital raised: Bootstrapped — Metro Compactor Service has grown its business with little or no outside investment.
Number of employees: 75-149

In a nutshell: Metro makes efficient waste-processing equipment. It has developed smart compactor units that are packed with sensors to monitor their performance and alert the company’s engineers if an issue is detected.

Differentiating factor: The company was founded in 1978 to provide servicing for compactors in high-rise buildings. Metro is now building on its brand as it pivots toward connected devices and smart technologies. “My motivation has been to transform our mom and pop operation into a North American leader,” says Mauti. “Changing the way waste equipment is maintained will allow us to build better jobs for our team and lower the carbon footprint caused by poorly run waste equipment.”

Greatest achievement: The firm is in the final stages of an agreement with one of the largest waste equipment manufacturers in North America to embed Metro’s IoT technology in every piece of equipment it produces. This could increase the number of machines connected to Metro’s platform by 50 percent in the first year.


Eli Fathi


Founders: Eli Fathi, Solon Angel
CEO: Eli Fathi
Year founded: 2015
Capital raised: $28 million
Number of employees: 75-149

In a nutshell: A pioneer in AI-powered risk analysis, MindBridge’s AI-auditing platform finds risk of unintentional error and fraud in 100 percent of user financial data. The company’s ultimate goal is to improve the global financial system, one organization at a time.

Differentiating factor: MindBridge offers effective and efficient audits to its clients, while also helping them create long-term growth. By empowering firms to use artificial intelligence day-to-day, MindBridge future-proofs their clients for the evolution of their industry, and of financials at large.

Greatest achievement: The company was recently listed by the World Economic Forum as an innovative “Technology Pioneer” company for its significant impact on business and society.


Tom Rodinger, Gimmy Chu and Christian Yan


Founders: Christian Yan, Gimmy Chu and Tom Rodinger
CEO: Gimmy Chu
Year founded: 2012
Capital raised: $7 million
Number of employees: 75-149

In a nutshell: Nanoleaf transforms everyday spaces into works of art with modular, colour-changing LED lighting tiles that can be customized into countless shapes. Its lights can be controlled by voice, through an app or by touch and some also react to music. Gimmy Chu, Nanoleaf’s CEO, says the company’s goal is to create “the most innovative lighting products that help to improve people’s lives.”

Differentiating factor: Nanoleaf’s lighting systems have amassed an ardent following for their ability to blend energy-saving technology with stylish design. Its latest line of hexagon-shaped lighting panels sold out within two weeks.

Latest developments: Nanoleaf’s smart thinking goes beyond interior design. During the pandemic, the company leveraged its international supply chain to source and donate more than two million facemasks to hospitals and frontline workers in Canada and the United States.

Jeff Ruby


Founder and CEO: Jeff Ruby
Year founded: 2008
Capital raised: $50 million
Number of employees: 150 – 249

In a nutshell: Newtopia’s platform helps people adopt healthier habits to reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases. “We’ve all heard about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, but what many have failed to take into account is just how much of a difference a truly individualized health plan can make in someone’s life,” says CEO Jeff Ruby. Through its platform, Newtopia creates personalized prevention programs that combine virtual care, digital tools and connected devices.

Differentiating factor: Newtopia, which works with some of the largest employers and health plans in the United States, is one of the few platforms that take proactive approach to healthcare. Using genetic testing, behavioural science and smart technology, it tailors its services to suit each individual, with recommendations for nutrition, exercise and mental health.

Latest developments: Since Newtopia went public this year on the Toronto Venture Exchange, the share price has doubled and has achieved consistent growth. The company also received a Great Place to Work designation and has appeared on the Best Workplaces in Healthcare list.


Annette Verschuren


Founders: Annette Verschuren (President), David Patterson, Northwater Capital
CEO: Annette Verschuren
Year founded: 2012
Capital raised: >$20 million
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: NRStor develops low-cost, reliable energy storage projects that provide value-add services to customers. Led by Annette Verschuren, NRStor has successfully executed on complicated and innovative energy storage projects including numerous first of a kind projects.

Differentiating factor: Over the years, NRStor has built up strong relationships with governments, utilities, customers and the business community. The company develops projects in which the community can hold an ownership stake, which empowers them to invest in other aspects of the environment, community and social infrastructure.

Latest milestone: In January 2021, the Canada Infrastructure Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the Oneida Energy Storage Project — the largest battery project of its kind in Canada. The project company (Oneida Energy Storage LP) is a joint venture between NRStor Inc. and Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation.


Jason Tham

Nulogy Corp

Founders: Dr. K. Donald Tham, Jason Tham, Jason Yuen, Sean Kirby and Kevin Wong
CEO: Jason Tham
Year founded: 2002
Capital raised: $20 million
Number of employees: 150-249

In a nutshell: As the pandemic has shown, good supply chain management is crucial for every consumer packaged goods company. Nulogy’s cloud-based, AI-powered platform helps these brands strengthen its supplier networks. At packaging and manufacturing facilities around the world, Nulogy’s software replaces spreadsheets and paper forms, giving companies a real-time view of production data within their supply chain networks.

Differentiating factor: Nulogy effectively addresses a real pain point of many consumer good companies, offering visibility into their complex web of outsourced supply chain partners.

Notable developments: Last year, Nulogy joined the federal government’s Scale AI innovation program and was named a Top Software and Technology Provider by Food Logistics, a leading industry publication. Plus, the Nulogy office was recently recognized for its work in supporting the mental wellness of its employees by Great Place to Work Canada.


Joshua Wong

Opus One

Founder: Joshua Wong
CEO: Joshua Wong
Year founded: 2011
Capital raised: Undisclosed
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Opus One Solutions has developed a software solution that helps electric utilities create and operate smarter, cleaner and cost-effective grids.

Differentiating factor: Opus One’s software uses real-time analytics to help utilities better integrate distributed energy resources, like solar, by helping utilities better understand their customers’ behaviours and habits without having to build expensive new energy infrastructure.

Notable developments: In 2020, Opus One Solutions was recognized as a Global Cleantech 100 company for the third year in a row and it was listed by Red Herring as one of North America’s top 100 private technology companies. Plus, Opus One Solutions recently entered the European market where it is working to develop a zero-carbon smart local energy system.


Trevor Cook, George DeMarchi and Robert Hyde

Payment Source

Founders: George DeMarchi and Trevor Cook
Leadership: Trevor Cook (CEO), Robert Hyde (president)
Year founded: 2014
Capital raised: Bootstrapped — Payment Source has grown its business with little or no outside investment.
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: George DeMarchi and Trevor Cook joined forces in 2014, starting Payment Source to make it easier for Canadians to be paid and to make payments. Offering prepaid credit cards as well as custom mobile and web-based solutions for companies, educational institutions and government organizations, the company is working toward giving all Canadians greater access to financial resources.

Differentiating factor: Its breadth of services. The company’s PaySimply program allows Canadians and businesses to pay their bills and taxes using a credit card, PayPal, e-transfer, instalment payments or even cash. It also offers mobile prepaid top-ups, gift cards and reloadable credit cards, digital wallets and online tax payments. Over the past six years, the company has tripled in size.

Up next: Payment Source is working with Canadian Revenue Agency to offer alternative CERB benefit repayment options and recently launched a relationship with the Alberta Tax and Revenue Administration to offer credit card, e-transfer and in person payment capabilities for Alberta corporations.



Paul Laursen


Founder and CEO: Paul Laursen
Year founded: 2010
Capital raised: Bootstrapped — Pipetel has grown its business with little or no outside investment.
Number of employees: 75-149

In a nutshell: Pipetel uses highly-specialized robotics to inspect any pipeline. The company’s self-propelled and tetherless robots are able to move through pipes that were previously inaccessible — anything from six to 36 inches in diameter —  collecting data and key measurements to ensure their safe operation.

Differentiating factor: Pipetel has developed the most technologically-advanced pipeline inspection robot in the world. Its Explorer robot can operate in active pipelines in such challenging locations as cities and sensitive environmental areas, collecting multipoint data in one pass.

Latest development: The company is expanding its inspection services beyond natural gas to liquid facilities, terminals, plants and stations.


Dr. Mario Thomas

Dr. Mario Thomas

Precision Biomonitoring

Founders: Dr. Mario Thomas, Amanda Naaum, Jasmine Sollen, Steve Crookes and Robert Hanner
CEO: Dr. Mario Thomas
Year founded: 2016
Capital raised: Undisclosed
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Precision Biomonitoring offers point-of-need DNA tools for quickly identifying organisms (such as pathogens) in humans, animals, plants, food and the environment.

Differentiating factor: Built by scientists for scientists, the company’s tools, as well as fighting disease, can detect invasive, keystone and at-risk species in aquatic and terrestrial settings.

Up next: Among its stable of inventions, the company has already developed two Health Canada–approved rapid COVID-19 tests.


Marc Zionts and Timothy Jones

Precision Nutrition

Founder: Dr. John Berardi, Phil Caravaggio
Leadership: Tim Jones (CEO), Marc Zionts (Executive Chairman)
Year founded: 2005
Capital raised: Undisclosed
Number of employees: 75-149

In a nutshell: An industry leader in healthy eating and lifestyle coaching, Precision Nutrition provides health and fitness professionals the tools and coaching they need to help their clients adopt new habits. It offers a sustainable, practice-based approach to building strength and eating healthfully.

Differentiating factor: Over the last 15 years, Precision Nutrition has grown into the largest private nutrition coaching company in the world. To date, close to 100,000 coaches in 120 countries have gone through its certification program.

Up next: This July, clients are being accepted into a new certification program, which gives health and fitness professionals everything they need to confidently and successfully coach nutrition.


Rohan Mahimker and Alexander Peters


Founders and CEOs: Alex Peters and Rohan Mahimker
Year founded: 2011
Capital raised: $174.72M
Number of employees: 250+

In a nutshell: Prodigy is solving one of society’s most intractable problems: making math fun for kids. The company’s answer is a game-based platform that engages students with fun puzzles and rewards, so they barely realize they are doing schoolwork. Co-founder Rohan Mahimker says Prodigy’s approach is “shaped by our experiences doing boring math worksheets as kids, while simultaneously being fans of video games. We wanted to blend these two experiences and help all students to love learning math.”

Differentiating factor: Among families with young kids, Prodigy is a household name. It is used each month by 25 percent of all North American students in Grades 1 to 8.

Recent milestones: In January 2021, Prodigy raised a combined $159 million in a Series B round of funding, which will help the company grow — it’s aiming to increase its staff to 800 this year. Plus, Prodigy was recognized last October as one of the 50 Most Transformational Growth Companies in Education Technology.


Douglas Beckett, Hamid Arabzadeh and Saeid Aramideh


Founders: Douglas Beckett, Hamid Arabzadeh, Saeid Aramideh
CEO: Hamid Arabzadeh
Year founded: 2012
Capital raised: U.S.$95 million
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Ranovus has invented a laser technique for creating “light in streams” that has 40 times the capacity of regular fibre-optic cables at a fraction of the carbon footprint. The company has also developed a novel approach to add information on each of these light streams using electronic technologies in a single chip. This innovation sets a new benchmark for power, cost and space efficiency in the data industry.

Differentiating factor: Ranovus’s cutting-edge technology, is the first to bring photonics and electronics together in a miniaturized single chip for use in machine learning, artificial intelligence and 5G applications. And this efficient technology could reduce the amount of energy required for mass data transfers by 80 per cent, cutting costs dramatically.

Notable developments: Machine learning and artificial intelligence are fuelling traffic growth and placing new demands on servers. To meet this demand, Ranovus has recently partnered with two leading machine-learning and artificial-intelligence companies in the U.S. to bring its technology into the data centre market by 2021.


James Laird and Alyssa Furtado

Ratehub Inc.

Founders: Alyssa Furtado and James Laird
CEO: Alyssa Furtado and James Laird
Year founded: 2010
Capital raised: $12 million
Number of employees: 75-149

In a nutshell: The largest independently owned personal finance company in Canada, Ratehub helps Canadians make more informed financial decisions. Each year, across and helps more than 20 million Canadians choose the best mortgage rates, credit cards, insurance quotes, bank accounts and investments.

Differentiating factor: The company has three brands: MoneySense (an online personal finance magazine), (financial product comparison site) and CanWise Financial (mortgage brokerage). So whether it’s learning about how much you need to save for retirement, sussing out various credit card programs or applying for a mortgage, Furtado and Laird’s company can help.

Notable achievements: Since 2014, CanWise Financial has funded almost $8 billion in mortgages. In 2020, Ratehub launched its own CMHC approved lender under CanWise Financial. And this year, Ratehub is working toward launching its own insurance brokerage.


Robert Kim, Ray Reddy and Larry Stinson


Founders: Larry Stinson, Ray Reddy and Robert Kim
CEO: Ray Reddy
Year founded: 2014
Capital raised: (U.S.)$144.4 million
Number of employees: 150-249

In a nutshell: Ritual’s mobile app helps people order and pay for takeout in advance in major cities across North America, the U.K., Hong Kong and Australia.

Differentiating factor: Ritual was designed as a hyper-local service, connecting restaurants with customers with a simple, safe and time-saving tool.

Latest developments: To help restaurants and other food service businesses that have been hard hit by the pandemic, Ritual partnered with the City of Toronto this spring. RitualONE, a commission-free online ordering platform, helps restaurants, bakeries, grocers and butcher shops accept digital orders from their websites and social media accounts for contactless pick-up or delivery. The company is now working on similar partnerships with other cities and organizations.


Rohit Sethi

Security Compass

Founders: Nish Bhalla
CEO: Rohit Sethi
Year founded: 2004
Capital raised: Bootstrapped —Security Compass grew its business with little outside investment
Number of employees: 150-249

In a nutshell: Security Compass offers companies a quick solution to managing software security at scale. Its SD Elements platform automates significant portions of proactive manual processes that accelerates the roll-out of new technology. “We help people build security and compliance into software right from the start,” says Rohit Sethi, CEO. “Today, most people do it after software is built.”

Differentiating factor: Its client list includes more than 20 major banks, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Notable wins: Last year, Security Compass received numerous accolades: Rohit Sethi was named one of the top 25 cybersecurity IT executives, the company won two cybersecurity awards and it was also named one of Canada’s top small- and medium-sized employers.


Jamie Alexander and Corey Gross


Founders: Corey Gross and Jamie Alexander
CEO: Corey Gross
Year founded: 2013
Capital raised: $55.8 million
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Sensibill provides digital banking solutions that helps retail customers, small businesses, gig workers and business travellers track spending and manage cash flow and file expenses, while also unlocking valuable insights for their financial institutions. Sensibill has partnered with more than 80 financial institutions across the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

Differentiating factor: Its advanced AI technology helps financial institutions identify customer habits and needs, which help inform new value-adds to traditional banking services.

Recent recognition: Last year, Sensibill was named one of 50 most innovative workplaces by Elevate Award and was also recognized by Deloitte as a Company to Watch. Most recently, it ranked sixty-fifth out of 400 on The Globe and Mail’s Top Growing Companies in Canada.


Yang Han, Vitaly Pecherskiy, Ildar Shar


Founders: Ildar Shar, Vitaly Pecherskiy, Yang Han
CEO: Ildar Shar
Year founded: 2013
Capital raised: Undisclosed
Number of employees: 150-249

In a nutshell: The group at StackAdapt enlists AI and machine learning to support advertising campaigns. The startup levels the media landscape with no minimum commitments, short ramp time and reporting tools to track bottom-line growth.

Differentiating factor: Advertising is all about empathy. And StackAdapt is loaded with experts that live for training machines in the nuances of human behaviour. The firm also offers an online marketplace through which publishers can list advertising inventory.

Latest milestone: StackAdapt wins a lot of awards. Recently, the team was listed in The Globe and Mail’s Top Growing Companies; Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50; and LinkedIn’s top startups.


Kevin Gervais and Peter Macnee


Founder: Kevin Gervais
CEO: Peter Macnee
Year founded: 2012
Capital raised: $15.4 million
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Statflo makes it easier for companies to communicate with the right customers at the right time to reliably drive sales.

Differentiating factor: It can be difficult for companies to find the right cadence and tone in communicating with customers. But Statflo’s messaging platform has helped some of the biggest companies in North America dramatically improve their sales revenue. Plus, this year, Statflo ranked as one of Canada’s greatest places to work and was recently recognized as one of Canada’s most inclusive workplaces.

Recent developments: Statflo has launched a new one-to-one business text messaging platform for customer-facing teams. Now, large enterprises in any industry can quickly deploy messaging channels to their frontline using our APIs and SDKs, all with little to no code. They’ve also been certified as a Great Place to Work and recognized as one of Canada’s best workplaces for today’s youth by Great Place to Work Institute Canada.


Pearce Fallis, Brandon Moffatt and Christopher Guillon

Stormfisher Ltd.

Founders: Brandon Moffatt, Christopher Guillon and Pearce Fallis
Year founded: 2006
Capital raised: $346.82 million
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Stormfisher transforms garbage into energy and other value-added products, including biogas, fertilizer and engineered feedstock. At its many facilities across North America, it also uses low-carbon power sources to produce green hydrogen and renewable natural gas.

Differentiating factor: Stormfisher doesn’t just develop the technology — it also operates the facilities. This means that they make sure projects provide long-term value to the community and the environment.

Recent developments: The company’s new organics pre-processing facility in Drumbo, Ont. is ramping up production, aiming to take up to 100,000 tonnes per year of municipal source separated organics.


Carolina Bessega, Basil Bouraropoulos, Jaime Camacaro and Curtis Gavura

Stradigi AI

Founders: Basil Bouraropoulos, Curtis Gavura, Jaime Camacaro and Carolina Bessega
CEO: Basil Bouraropoulos
Year founded: 2005
Capital raised: $53 million
Number of employees: 75-149

In a nutshell: Stradigi AI helps companies harness the power of artificial intelligence no matter their size or skill level. Its accessible and intuitive machine learning platform allows users to extract key insights from their data to improve customer experience, grow revenue and gain efficiencies across multiple industries including retail, manufacturing, financial services and logistics.

Differentiating factor: Its easy-to-use platform allows organizations to use machine learning for even day-to-day tasks at a much lower cost and effort.

Recent developments: Stradigi AI was selected in June by European consulting firm to join its exclusive global network of partners. And in July, the company unveiled the new self-service version of its Machine Learning (ML) cloud SaaS platform, Kepler. With this launch, Stradigi AI is continuing to enable users with no previous ML and Deep Learning experience to reap the rewards of business-driving AI.

Marc Buntaine

Synaptive Medical

Founders: Cameron Piron, Gal Sela, Wes Hodges, Dave Gallop
CEO: Marc Buntaine
Year founded: 2012
Capital raised: U.S.$250 million
Number of employees: 149 – 250

In a nutshell: Synaptive finds novel ways to solve surgical, imaging and data challenges to improve the quality of human lives. With its suite of connected surgical devices and sophisticated software, doctors are seeing the brain and body in ways they never have before.

Differentiating factor: Over the past eight years, Synaptive has received more than 450 patents for its cutting-edge medical technology. For instance, its robotic digital microscope, Modus V, can follow a neurosurgeon’s instrument as it moves through the brain, automatically refocusing. And the company has also developed a magnetic resonance imaging machine that is a fraction of the size and cost of conventional machines.

Recent developments: Synaptive’s lighter, smaller MRI machines have received approval from both Health Canada and the FDA, with the first few systems installed in 2020. It’s entered a manufacturing partnership with Linamar to improve production capacity. And during the pandemic, the company was also able to support initiatives with ventilators, MRI drapes and medical gowns.



Sachin Aggarwal

Think Research

Founder: Dr. Chris O’Connor
CEO: Sachin Aggarwal
Year founded: 2006
Market Capital: $150 million
Number of employees: 150-249

In a nutshell: Think Research makes it easier for health professionals to provide the best care possible. Its health platform turns evidence-based research and best practices into actionable insights for clinicians at the point of care, transforming scribbled handwritten notes into digital checklists. During the pandemic, the company translated rapidly developing clinical recommendations for COVID-19 into tools and checklists.

Differentiating factor: Improving patient outcomes shouldn’t be a debate in healthcare, but systemic silos in workflow and data have made it challenging for clinicians. Think Research addresses this issue head on with its platforms that help multiple practitioners collaborate.

Recent developments: Think Research went public on the TSXV in December 2020, valued at nearly $180 million, and recently acquired a network of digital-first health clinics and an elective surgery clinic. Think Research’s solutions are now used in more than 2,800 facilities across North America and supports healthcare providers in the EU, Latin America and the Middle East.


Mike Silagadze

Top Hat

Founders: Mike Silagadze and Mohsen Shahini
CEO: Mike Silagadze
Year founded: 2009
Capital raised: U.S.$105 million
Number of employees: 250+

In a nutshell: Top Hat helps university professors engage their students with an interactive learning platform that can be used for both online and in-person teaching. Its virtual classroom enables educators to deliver lectures by video, set assignments and assessments, and share required reading while students are encouraged to interact through live chat, polls and quizzes. Last year, 2.7-million students enrolled in courses that used Top Hat.

Differentiating factor: Top Hat is the only all-in-one teaching platform that enables active learning — a proven student-centred teaching pedagogy that promotes deep understanding, critical thinking and subject mastery — with interactive content, tools and activities. More than 750 colleges and universities across North America use Top Hat to teach and engage with students in both in-person and online education.

Recent developments: Accelerating the shift away from traditional print textbooks to digital interactive course materials, Top Hat announced in January, 2021 its third acquisition of a traditional higher ed publisher in less than a year. This content will be converted into digital courseware on Top Hat’s platform and infused with interactive elements, enabling educators to bring active learning to life in both virtual and in-person classrooms.



Ali Asaria

Tulip Retail

Founder and CEO: Ali Asaria
Year founded: 2013
Capital raised: $51.2 million
Number of employees: 150-249

In a nutshell: Tulip Retail creates custom mobile platforms for retail stores to improve in-store experiences for shoppers. With Tulip’s apps, store associates can look up products, manage customer information, check out shoppers and communicate with their clients. Leading global retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Mulberry use Tulip to provide tailored one-on-one shopping experiences, increase sales and improve customer service.

Differentiating factor: “Now more than ever, we need to be quick to respond to our customers’ needs,” says CEO Ali Asaria. And there’s high demand for Tulip’s software — its three-year revenue growth rate is a whopping 609 percent.

Recent developments: At the start of the pandemic, Tulip quickly adjusted its business model to help retailers improve the online shopping experience. Over the past three months, it has launched four new products that allow store associates to remotely help customers.


Darren Anderson

Vive Crop Protection

Founders: Cynthia Goh, Darren Anderson, Gwynn Curran-Sills, Jane Goh, Jordan Dinglasan, Richard Loo
CEO: Darren Anderson
Year founded: 2006
Capital raised: $38.9 million
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Vive Crop Protection helps farmers improve their efficiency and profitability while also minimizing the environmental impact. It makes targeted versions of fertilizers, fungicides and insecticides.

Differentiating factor: Vive Crop is the first company to use precision chemistry to deliver what crops need at the exact time they need it. This cutting-edge technology improves yields and increases farmers’ return on investment.

Recent developments: Vive Crop was named Company of the Year by Life Sciences Ontario. As well, the company recently announced partnerships with Marrone Bioinnovations and A&L Laboratories to develop better biological pesticides, which should launch later this year.


Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen


Founders: Allen Lau, Ivan Yuen
CEO: Allen Lau
Year founded: 2006
Capital raised: $117.8 million (U.S.)
Number of employees: 150-249

In a nutshell: The world’s leading digital community storytelling platform, Wattpad connects storytellers with readers. Users can comment on a book as it’s being written and posted, message with the creator, join communities, and follow favourite writers or genres. Wattpad then leverages that data, partnering with film and publishing companies to turn the best stories with built-in audiences into hit movies, TV shows and books.

Differentiating factor: Wattpad has created a supportive community for writers and passionate readers around the world — each month, members spend more than 23 billion minutes engaged in original stories.

Up next: Wattpad currently has close to 90 TV and film projects in development with studios around the world, including film adaptations of the novel, What Happened that Night, which is being adapted for screen by David Arata, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Children of Men.

Len Fridman, Sasha Davids


Founders: Len Fridman, Sasha Davids
CEO: Len Fridman
Year founded: 2013
Capital raised: undisclosed
Number of employees: 150 – 249

In a nutshell: WellnessLiving offers an all-in-one business management solution for fitness studios, gyms, yoga studios and dance studios. The platform helps these businesses with such tasks as appointment scheduling, email marketing, robust reporting, rewards programs, client progress logs, merchant processing and payroll.

Differentiating factor: The two founders started the company to address the frustrations they were having running their own fitness business — their solution is tailor-made for the needs of this industry. And its business management software solution is more user-friendly and affordable than the current dominant option.

Recent developments: During the pandemic WellnessLiving launched a video library feature and its scheduling service is helping gyms enforce social distancing guidelines. Since 2015, the company has experienced 100 percent year-over-year growth.


Karen Chan, Ian Collins and Jeff Brunet


Founders: Ian Collins, Jeff Brunet, Karen Chan
CEO: Ian Collins
Year founded: 2012
Capital raised: $12.5 million
Number of employees: 0-74

In a nutshell: Wysdom helps companies connect with their customers by building conversational AI systems that power chatbots, voice recognition services, search functions and smart speakers. Wysdom’s advanced conversational analytics also enable companies to look for patterns in customer interactions and pinpoint areas for improvement.

Differentiating factor: The company uses the world’s largest library of conversational AI models, data and customer responses to train its AI systems.

Recent developments: Wysdom has developed partnerships with Microsoft, Google and Amazon and has also built integrations with the most popular messaging services, including Microsoft Teams, Apple Business Chat, Facebook and WhatsApp.


Stuart Russell and Jason Flick

You.i TV

Founders: Jason Flick, Stuart Russell
CEO: Jason Flick
Year founded: 2009
Capital raised: $50 million
Number of employees: 250+

In a nutshell: Users expect to stream video content on whatever device they have at hand, whether it’s a phone, laptop, gaming console, TV or tablet. You.i TV’s technology enables development teams to deploy mobile video apps with uniform interfaces and a consistent look and feel across multiple platforms, using a single codebase to run it all.

Differentiating factor: You.i TV is a global player, with customers in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. It is used by major content producers including Direct TV and game streaming platform Twitch.

Latest development: Recently launched a program to get the biggest streaming apps on set-top boxes, which represents over one billion devices.


This article was originally published in July 2020; it was last updated on February 5, 2021.

Company write-ups by Ian Evans, Barry Chong, Kathryn Hayward and Amanda Whalen