Telus Corporation
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Telus Corporation

September 17, 2015 08:00 ET

AquaMobile makes a splash and wins $100,000 award from TELUS in the Small Business Challenge

Ontario-based at-home swim lesson provider wins this year's Small Business Challenge with plans to accelerate expansion across North America

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 17, 2015) - TELUS and The Globe and Mail today announced the winner of the fifth installment of the Small Business Challenge - the annual contest that celebrates Canadian entrepreneurs and helps one deserving small business overcome its biggest challenge with a $100,000 award from TELUS. After reviewing more than 3,300 entries and listening to passionate pitches from the five semi-finalists, the judges have selected AquaMobile Swim School as this year's grand prize winner.

Based in Toronto, AquaMobile connects local accredited swim instructors with clients through an innovative web platform; instructors then travel directly to clients' home pools for private swimming and lifeguarding lessons. The company was founded in 2003 by entrepreneur Diana Goodwin, who was frustrated by the lack of attention she was able to give students in the large, community-centre swim classes that she taught. Today, with more than 750 instructors and operations in Ontario and 15 U.S. states, AquaMobile has the largest footprint of any at-home swim lesson provider in North America and continues to experience rapid growth.

"The entries we received this year were once again exceptional and reflected the tremendous passion and commitment of Canada's small-business community," said Suzanne Trusdale, vice-president of TELUS Small Business Solutions. "While all of this year's semi-finalists impressed the judges, AquaMobile stood out with its clear and compelling vision for profitable expansion. The company is poised for growth and has an incredible opportunity to quickly become the clear market leader for at-home swim lessons."

AquaMobile intends to use the $100,000 to fuel its expansion into new markets and meet the demand in areas where it does not yet offer services. The organization plans to increase its marketing activities and to hire a recruiter to grow its roster of swim instructors in new cities.

"I'm elated that we actually won! Our team put in a lot of hard work for this contest and it's been an incredibly rewarding experience," said AquaMobile's president and founder, Diana Goodwin. "The Small Business Challenge really forced us to focus on our business and develop a clear plan for growth. I think it's fantastic that TELUS and The Globe and Mail impact small businesses across Canada in such a profound way."

Conducted in partnership with The Globe and Mail, the Small Business Challenge is an annual opportunity for Canada's brightest entrepreneurs to showcase their unique business ideas and share their biggest challenges. Between March and May of this year, more than 3,300 small businesses from across Canada submitted entries and earlier this summer, the five semi-finalists pitched their plans for how they would use the $100,000 to a panel of small business experts in Toronto.

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the contest, this year TELUS added more than $50,000 in new prizes, including $10,000 for the winner to donate to a local charity of their choice. Additionally, all semi-finalists received $10,000 plus a TELUS technology pack valued at $2,000. This year's other semi-finalists included BakerStone International (Toronto), MyBabbo (Toronto), PathCore (Toronto) and WTFast (Kelowna, British Columbia).

In addition to today's announcement, on October 14 TELUS will announce the three "Most Promising Start-Ups," that will each receive $5,000 worth of mentoring and marketing services from Agency 59. Ten regional awards and fifty honourable mentions will also be announced in The Globe and Mail throughout Small Business Month in October.

About TELUS

TELUS (TSX:T) (NYSE:TU) is Canada's fastest-growing national telecommunications company, with $12.3 billion of annual revenue and 13.9 million customer connections, including 8.4 million wireless subscribers, 3.1 million wireline network access lines, 1.5 million high-speed Internet subscribers and 954,000 TELUS TV customers. TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video, and is Canada's largest healthcare IT provider.

In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed more than $396 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered and more than 6 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Created in 2005 by President and CEO Darren Entwistle, TELUS' 11 Canadian community boards and 4 International boards have led the Company's support of grassroots charities and will have contributed more than $54 million in support of over 4,800 local charitable projects by the end of 2015, enriching the lives of more than 2.1 million children and youth. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.

For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.

About The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail, through its newspaper, magazine, online and mobile platforms, is Canada's foremost news media company. Each day, The Globe leads the national discussion by engaging Canadians in its award-winning coverage and analysis of news, politics, business and lifestyle. The Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper, founded in 1844, Report on Business, Canada's most influential business magazine, and globeandmail.com, the newspaper's online and mobile media hub, reach a combined 6.6 million readers every month. The Globe has received numerous journalism awards, including the international 2011 prize for General Excellence in Journalism from the Online News Associations, nine Michener Awards for Public Service Journalism, and more National Newspaper Awards than any other newspaper in Canada.

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