2023 Mitacs Entrepreneur Awards



2023 Award winners

Kevin Kung

Kevin Kung


Environmental Entrepreneur

Jeremy Wang

Jeremy Wang


Change Agent Entrepreneur

Irsa Wiginton

Irsa Wiginton


Global Impact Entrepreneur

Nanette Sene

Nanette Sene

Juno Technologies

Social Entrepreneur & Pitch Competition Award Winner

Rafaela Andrade

Rafaela Andrade

Myomar Molecular

Outstanding Entrepreneur



2023 Featured Speakers

Jimmy Blais

Jimmy Blais (Emcee)


William Woodworth

William Wordworth

Elder in Residence, University of Waterloo

Marc Lafleur

Marc Lafleur (Keynote Speaker)

Co-Founder and CEO, truLOCAL/Author

Gold Supporter

Event Supporter

Event Supporter

Event Supporter

Celebrate Canadian entrepreneurship

The 2023 Mitacs Entrepreneur Awards will be broadcast live from Federation Hall in Waterloo, ON. Join us virtually on May 18 at 6 p.m. ET as we honour five emerging entrepreneurs who are using their groundbreaking research to fuel innovation and create meaningful change in Canada.

Tune in to:

  • Find out who won and learn their inspiring stories. Full details about our award categories can be found below.
  • Watch our honourees get a chance to win an additional $2,500 for their start-up in the Audience Favourite Pitch Competition during the ceremony
  • Connect with other professionals from the innovation ecosystem in the chat function
  • Visit our event partners in the virtual expo

To learn more about the expert judges who adjudicated the awards, read our news release.

Mitacs is committed to providing an inclusive and accessible event for all attendees. English and French captions will be available throughout the event.

For questions, contact us at entrepreneur@mitacs.ca.

Award categories
Outstanding entrepreneur

Awarded to an applicant with an outstanding start-up or business idea that is feasible and sustainable.

Environmental entrepreneur

Awarded to an applicant whose start-up has a positive impact on the environment or addresses a challenge related to climate change.

Social entrepreneur

Awarded to an applicant whose start-up works to address or solve social, cultural, or humanitarian issues.

Global impact entrepreneur

Awarded to an applicant whose start-up demonstrates the potential to scale to international markets or have a global impact.

Change agent entrepreneur

Awarded to an applicant whose start-up demonstrates the potential to significantly improve an industry, process, or mindset.

Who is eligible?

Participants in one or more of the following Mitacs programs as a college, undergraduate, master’s, or doctoral student, or postdoctoral researcher:

  • Accelerate, Elevate, Globalink, Entrepreneur International, or Business Strategy Internship
  • Training (formerly Step): completion of at least two Training courses and demonstration of how this experience inspired the entrepreneurship

Company eligibility

The company must have commercialized its product or service, or be in the pre-commercialization stage, and must also meet the following criteria:

  • The business is registered within Canada as a corporation or cooperative
  • The business cannot be owned by, or a subsidiary of, a parent corporation
  • The operations of the business will benefit Canadians or the Canadian economy, for example, through the creation of jobs, intellectual property, or innovative products or services

The applicant must be a founder or member of the senior leadership team (e.g., Chief Technology Officer, etc.) of the company for which they are applying.


Applications are judged based on the extent to which they demonstrate:

  • The soundness of business planning
  • The values and ideals of the award category or categories
  • A connection to, or influence from, your Mitacs experience

A panel of expert judges reviews the applications to determine the winners. Successful applicants will be notified by April 10, 2023.


When is the deadline to apply?
Sunday, March 5, 2023, at 12 a.m. ET

How are the winners determined? 
A panel of expert judges reviews the applications to determine the winners.

When will I find out if I won? 
Successful applicants will be notified by April 10, 2023.

When are the winners announced?
Winners are announced at a Mitacs Entrepreneur Awards ceremony on May 18, 2023.

Why is Mitacs doing this?
Supporting Mitacs program participants in their entrepreneurial journey is important to us. By helping them succeed, we strengthen Canada’s economy and improve the lives of Canadians.

What if I need help?
For any questions or concerns, email entrepreneur@mitacs.ca

I applied in a previous year. Can I apply again?
Yes, previous applicants are eligible and highly encouraged to apply again. Only previous winners are ineligible to apply using the same business for which they won. Previous winners can apply again with a new business.

Can I apply for more than one category?
Yes, you can apply for up to two categories.

I don’t have a connection to Mitacs, can I still apply?
No, you need to have participated in one or more of the following Mitacs programs: Accelerate, Elevate, Globalink, Mitacs Entrepreneur International, Business Strategy Internship, or completed at least two Training (formerly Step) courses.

My start-up is not related to my Mitacs research, am I still eligible to apply?
If your Mitacs experience helped or inspired you to become an entrepreneur, you can still apply.

I missed the deadline. Can I still submit?
Unfortunately, we cannot accept late submissions. As soon as the deadline passes, we immediately organize applications and send them to the judges. This is an annual event, and we encourage any applicants who miss the deadline to save their submission for the following year. There are no restrictions around the date of participation/completion of the Mitacs project to be eligible.

Government Partners

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