Telus Corporation

Telus Corporation

June 25, 2015 09:00 ET

Five of Canada's Most Promising Entrepreneurs Selected to Compete for $100,000 Award From TELUS

Semi-finalists selected from more than 3,300 entries received in the fifth installment of the Small Business Challenge

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 25, 2015) - What do at-home swim lessons, a pizza oven, memorial photobooks, cancer detection software and online-gaming optimization have in common? They are all businesses selected as semi-finalists in this year's Small Business Challenge. Now in its fifth year, the Small Business Challenge is the annual contest, conducted in partnership with The Globe and Mail, that showcases Canada's brightest entrepreneurs and helps the winner overcome their biggest challenge with a $100,000 grand prize from TELUS.

Five businesses - four based in Ontario and one in British Columbia - were selected as semi-finalists from more than 3,300 entries received between March and May from small businesses across the country, which is more than three times as many entries as last year's contest.

"Despite the many challenges that small businesses face, the huge number of entries we received this year demonstrates that there's no shortage of Canadian entrepreneurs willing to step up and play a crucial role in creating jobs and supporting our economy," said Suzanne Trusdale, vice-president of Small Business Solutions at TELUS. "This year's semi-finalists all demonstrate a true entrepreneurial spirt and are incredibly passionate about growing their businesses. Whether it's by enabling them to invest in innovative new technology, turbocharge their marketing efforts or rapidly expand their team, I look forward to seeing how $100,000 helps propel the winner to extraordinary new heights."

This year's five semi-finalists are.

AquaMobile Swim School (Toronto). AquaMobile Swim School specializes in sending qualified swim instructors to clients' home pools for private lessons. With more than 750 instructors and operations in Ontario and 15 U.S. states, they have the largest footprint of any at-home swim lesson provider in North America. The company is seeing increasing demand for their services and would use the $100,000 to accelerate their expansion into new markets.

BakerStone International (Toronto). BakerStone designs and creates innovative cooking and baking products. Their flagship product, the BakerStone Pizza Oven Box, has revolutionized outdoor grilling by transforming backyard BBQs into stone ovens capable of baking artisan pizzas in minutes. The product is sold in more than 25 countries and the company would use the $100,000 to fund an aggressive marketing campaign to drive sales in their largest market, the U.S.

MyBabbo (Toronto). MyBabbo is an online service that enables funeral directors to easily create legacy photobooks, video tributes and custom stationary for their clients. The company has experienced exceptional growth over the past three years and would use the $100,000 to enhance their digital presence and expand their product offering to include memorial websites that allow families to share photos and stories of their loved ones.

Pathcore (Toronto). PathCore is focused on helping pathologists find cancer more effectively, efficiently and accurately. The company develops digital pathology software solutions designed to improve how pathologists diagnose the disease. Pathcore recently completed a successful deployment at a leading research hospital in Toronto, and would use the $100,000 to turn their solutions into cloud-based offerings that could be sold to laboratories around the world.

WTFast (West Kelowna, British Columbia). WTFast makes massively multiplayer online (MMO) games run faster through their innovative Gamers Private Network service. Their technology optimizes online connections for MMO gamers while also making them more secure. The company currently serves more than 800 MMO games and has five patents pending, and would use the $100,000 to accelerate research and development activities and more quickly commercialize their offering.

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the contest, TELUS has added more than $50,000 in new prizes this year, including $10,000 for the winner to donate to a local charity of their choice. Regardless of the final outcome, this year all semi-finalists are guaranteed an award from TELUS. The four runners-up will each receive $10,000 plus a TELUS technology pack valued at $2,000.

The five semi-finalists will present their business challenges and pitch their plans for leveraging the $100,000 to an expert panel of judges at TELUS House in Toronto this morning and the companies will be profiled by The Globe and Mail this summer.

The winner will be announced on September 17. Following this, the Most Promising Start-Ups selected from the more than 3,300 entries will be announced on September 23, and 10 regional awards will be given out during Small Business Month in October.

For full contest details, please visit


TELUS (TSX:T)(NYSE:TU) is Canada's fastest-growing national telecommunications company, with $12.1 billion of annual revenue and 13.9 million customer connections, including 8.3 million wireless subscribers, 3.1 million wireline network access lines, 1.5 million high-speed Internet subscribers and 937,000 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 over 6 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Created in 2005 by Executive Chairman 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

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, 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. The Globe and Mail is 85% owned by Woodbridge, the investment arm of the Thomson family, and Bell Canada (15%).

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