SOURCE: The Next 36

The Next 36

August 22, 2016 09:30 ET

Spotlight Awards to Celebrate Record Year for Canadian Tech Companies

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - August 22, 2016) - What began last year as a one-time event to showcase Canadian entrepreneurial success in tech has grown into a highly anticipated annual celebration attended by the country's top business leaders. This year's Spotlight Awards, scheduled for September 15 in Toronto, will honour twelve extraordinary companies that have achieved significant milestones over the past year -- among them, unicorns such as Hootsuite and Kik, and $100M+ contenders Bitstrips, Quickplay and CarProof. (See below for complete 2016 list.)

Hosted by Razor Suleman and emcee'd by serial entrepreneur and Dragon's Den personality, Michele Romanow, at the private residence of Razor and Kari Suleman, the celebration is the social event of the year for Canadian tech founders, investors, influencers & ecosystem builders, along with select US VCs and media. This year, attendees will be marking a banner year for Canadian tech companies. A wave of high profile exits combined with four businesses valued or sold in excess of a billion dollars has created an unprecedented level of excitement and pride in the Canadian tech ecosystem.

"We need to be better at promoting our wins in Canada and to the world because the excitement it creates is infectious and leads to bigger thinking and bolder risk taking," said Suleman, founder of Achievers. "This year's Spotlight Award recipients highlight the incredible innovation happening in this country and I am thrilled that we have grown from a one-time event to the premier showcase for the Canadian tech ecosystem."

All proceeds from the awards will be donated to The Next 36, a national non-profit charity that provides mentorship, seed capital and founder development to Canada's most exceptional young entrepreneurs.

"The Spotlight Award recipients provide an aspirational goal for so many of the young entrepreneurs participating in The Next 36," said Peter Carrescia, Managing Director for The Next 36. "We are honoured to be part of this celebration of Canadian tech entrepreneurship and fully expect our own inspired alumni to be award winners in the years to come."

The recipients of the 2016 Spotlight Award are:

Centurions ($100M+ exits)

  • AJB Software
  • Bitstrips
  • CarProof
  • Distech Controls
  • eSignLive
  • Quickplay
  • Solace Systems
  • XE

Unicorns ($1B+ valuations and exits)

  • AppDirect
  • Hootsuite
  • Kik
  • Wind

The Co-Chairs of the awards include:

  • John Albright, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Relay Ventures
  • John Ruffolo, CEO at OMERS Ventures
  • Reza Satchu, Managing Partner at Alignvest Management Corporation
  • Angela Strange, Partner at Andreessen Horowitz
  • Peter Carrescia, Managing Director at The Next 36
  • Sam Sebastian, Managing Director at Google Canada
  • Michael Serbinis, CEO and Founder of LEAGUE
  • Craig Campbell, Founder and CEO at Resilience Capital
  • Paul Desmarais III, Vice President of Power Financial Corporation
  • Nadir Mohamed, Former President & CEO at Rogers Communications Inc.

The Spotlight Awards are generously supported by sponsors; Cumming & Partners, EY, Relay Ventures, Globalive Capital, Toronto Stock Exchange and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, and delivered in partnership with the C100. To sponsor, donate or learn more, please visit:

About The Next 36

The Next 36 addresses Canada's deficit of high impact entrepreneurship by providing world-class founder development, business mentorship and venture building programs to promising young entrepreneurs. It was founded by a small group of business leaders and academics and is championed by Founding Patrons W. Galen Weston, Paul Desmarais, Sr. and Jimmy Pattison. We believe that by fast-tracking the development of Canada's most talented young innovators, we will help create industry-changing businesses and grow Canada's long-term prosperity. The Next Founders is the second program from The Next 36 and is designed for young founders of high growth start-ups looking to scale quickly. The Next 36 is supported through strong national partnerships with MaRS, MasterCard, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and TD Bank Group.

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Contact Information

  • For more information:
    Sarah Legault
    National Director, Development
    The Next 36
    647-259-8943 ext. 107