The 2020 Growth Awards winners


Every year, Canadian company highlighted Canada’s business leaders through the Growth List – a ranking of companies on five-year revenue growth and startups on two-year revenue growth. Formerly known as the Growth 500, the winners of the Growth List and Start-Up List are featured in a special issue of Canadian company published with the December issue of Maclean’s magazine.

“Despite the turmoil, the companies on the 2020 Growth List have demonstrated resilience, wit and, most importantly, empathy and strong leadership,” says Susan Grimbly, Editor-in-Chief of the Growth List. “As we celebrate more than 30 years of Canada’s Fastest Growing Business Program, it is heartening to see that the heart of Canada’s entrepreneurial community beats hard, even in difficult times.

The categorized categories include, Business Pivot; Employer of the year; Excellence in diversity; Female Entrepreneur of the Year; Global affairs; Philanthropy service; and technology pioneer.

“The award-winning entrepreneurs are buoyant, incredibly imaginative and creative; and really passionate, ”sys Grimbly. “They demonstrate these attributes, their significant growth in 2019, their resilience in 2020, and their magnificent leadership through 2021. As such, they stand like goliaths above the crowd.”

Here are this year’s winners:


Fastest Growing Company Award
Spring Marlin

Benjamin Bakst, CEO and Co-Founder / Elliott Kazarnovsky, CFO and Co-Founder

This Toronto-based development and investment company quickly established itself as a fixture in a competitive industry. Sales revenue increased 57,144% from 2014 to 2019. Successful development, according to Benjamin Bakst, CEO and co-founder, isn’t just about building buildings. It’s about understanding the market; and how the different sectors (residential, commercial, rental) inform each other. A strategic investment in rental properties across North America adds to the luster of the business. “We have a specialty,” Bakst notes. “It’s real estate with added value.”


Fastest Growing Start-Up Award
Steel River Group

Trent Fequet, Founder and CEO

After working in the mining and construction industries in northwestern Canada, founder and CEO Trent Fequet began to develop a business plan for a company that could work for mining giants. energy, but also provide work for indigenous peoples. He launched Steel River Group in 2017. Calgary-based Steel River Group has established remarkable partnerships with construction giants and First Nations groups, leading to extraordinary growth. This year, the start-up winner has posted revenue growth of 8,662% over two years since 2017.


Business Pivot Award
CoPilot AI

Henry Bee CEO, co-founder / Jesse Chen, CTO, co-founder

This award honors an entrepreneur whose original ideas may be good, but may not flourish; having to sniff for the path to success. Vancouver-based CoPilot started out as a FinTech, but realized that its clients – financial advisors – needed revenue-generating leads. They experimented with several formats until they developed the CoPilot prospecting dashboard (CPD). In February 2018, CoPilot AI increased from $ 5,000 in monthly revenue to $ 30,000. Even then they struggled with problems of growing too fast. A testament to courage.


Employer of the Year Award
Ahava digital group

Dr Janét Aizenstros, President and Chief Executive Officer

“Ethical” lives in the DNA of Ahava’s digital marketing company, from offering ethically verified consumer data to commissioning a female-led consultancy “helping to change the perspective from Fortune, B companies and media companies to develop relationships with women consumers in an intuitive way. path. ”Dr. Aizenstros supports and promotes his 300 employees through BIPOC initiatives and a full range of benefits: from employee share plans and bonuses linked to individual performance to a formal career planning program and additional subsidies for parental leave / childcare.


Excellence in diversity award
KW signs

Amad Abdullah, President / Mueen Abdullah, Director / Nomar Abdullah, Director

The Excellence in Diversity award recognizes a company whose diversity initiatives create an inclusive employee culture. KW Signs, a leading manufacturer of metal sign frames that supports more than 350 distributors across Canada and the United States, has 26 BIPOC employees who speak 13 languages ​​among them, and believes that it is this diversity that enables the company to quickly hire great talent. KW manages mentoring initiatives in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, helping them connect with a strong pool of job seekers; and encourages diversified hiring.


Female Entrepreneurship of the Year Award
Cooked on

Judith Fetzer, CEO

Judith Fetzer of Cook it, a Montreal-based meal preparation service, has built a thriving business through her insight and agility. The original pay-per-view model from 2014 switched to a subscription model in 2016 (tripling sales). With the exponential increase in demand during the quarantine economy, the workforce itself has become the challenge. With around 200 employees in early March, Cook it hired an external recruiting committee, which hired more than 300 new “remote candidates”. As sales revenues skyrocketed, Fetzer had to rethink the corporate culture on the fly, introducing new initiatives, to help employees thrive.


Global Business Award
STEMCELL Technologies

Allen Eaves, CEO

STEMCELL Technologies develops specialized cell culture media, cell isolation systems and ancillary products for research in dozens of fields. It delivers 2,500 products directly to 22 countries; and through a global network of distribution centers in 90 other countries. Vancouver-based STEMCELL has a clearly thought-out strategy of global expansion; and he has the scope to prove it. By 2030, global sales are expected to reach $ 1 billion, with approximately 5,000 employees.


Philanthropic Service Award
D-Squared construction

Domenic Madonna, CEO and Owner / Charles Deponte, Owner

This company has a history of deep involvement in its community. In the spring, D-Squared Construction pledged $ 25,000 in aid, asking people in need to file a short story in their DM describing their challenges. Amounts ranging from $ 1,000 to $ 2,500 were distributed. Using the hashtag #SPREADTHELOVE, they encouraged other businesses to get started as well. In addition, in its targeted “Pave the Way” program, D-Squared helps young people directly in Ottawa (in partnership with Centraide). Now in its third year, Pave the Way has expanded with a program called Critical Hours, which supports at-risk youth in 10 of Ottawa’s most at-risk neighborhoods.


Technology Pioneer Award
Ecopia.AI

Jon Lipinski, Co-Founder and Chairman / Yuanming Shu, Co-Founder and CEO / Shuo Tan, Co-Founder and CTO

Dr Yuanming Shu asked: How can AI train a computer to interpret geospatial imagery like a human? He developed the core mapping technology, which “uses data from satellites, mobile phones, drones and aerial imagery sensors to paint an information-rich picture of our world,” Ecopia.AI founded in 2013 with Shuo Tan and Jon Lipinski. The goal: to create the first complete map of our world, in real time. This exceptional achievement has profound implications for the developing world, where NGOs and humanitarian organizations operate without precise information on their geography.


Thanks again to our amazing Sponsors for making Growth 2020 Summit possible: CEO: Presenting Sponsor, Salesforce, Category Sponsor, BDC, Award Sponsor, Johnnie Walker Blue Label and Gift Sponsor, Herbaland.



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