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Canadian Innovators: Breaking Through the Pandemic

lightbulb in hands
lightbulb in hands
Kayla Isabelle

Kayla Isabelle

CEO, Startup Canada

Many working and operating outside of the entrepreneurship space have the common misconception that Canadian startups and scale-ups primarily serve local markets, and do not have global scaling potential. Based on what we have seen at Startup Canada, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Canadian founders and their teams continue to push the limits of innovation in their sectors, helping to forge Canada’s collective SME identity into one of leading edge innovation and international impact. Examples of those leading the charge include: 

Nyoka Design Labs 

Founded by Paige Whitehead and Yamila Franco out of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Nyoka Design Labs has created the world’s first earth-friendly glowstick. Powered by bioluminescence, their products are non-toxic and biodegradable. Perhaps the most innovative aspect of Nyoka is their commitment to the Earth as a key stakeholder. 

The Cultured Coconut

The Cultured Coconut is a Halifax-based company founded by sisters Linda Peers and Anne Hebb. Their non-dairy probiotic contains over 4 trillion Colony Forming Units and over 40 active strains, making it the most powerful probiotic on the market. 


Ecobee, a Toronto-based technology company, has created the first smart thermostat. Dreamt up by Stuart Lombard, the device learns from a user’s behaviour in order to conserve energy, while also saving money. Customers can rest easy knowing the company never monetizes personal data. However, user’s can donate their data to climate scientists if they wish. 

Current Ecobee customers have saved enough energy to take the city of Las Vegas completely off the grid.


Founded by Frederic Lalonde, Hopper is an airline and accommodation booking app that accurately predicts personalized travel recommendations for each user. Utilizing complex algorithms that process trillions of data points, the company has saved users over $3.8 billion to date on travel expenses. 

Profound Medical Inc.

Profound Medical is a leading edge medical corporation revolutionizing prostate cancer treatments worldwide. The Toronto-based company has created non-invasive, customizable therapies – removing prostate cancer without the use of radiation while also fully preserving the user’s urethra and rectum.


CarbonCure, founded by Rob Niven, is reimagining global carbon reduction efforts. Through their innovative technologies, the company is able to add recycledCO₂ to fresh concrete – helping to improve operations and drastically reduce the carbon footprint of the concrete industry. CarbonCure is on a mission to reduce 500 million tonnes of CO₂ emissions annually by 2030 – the same as taking one million cars off the road. 

Despite the estimated $135 billion in debt small businesses in Canada have jointly taken on since the beginning of the pandemic, entrepreneurs across the country continue to display resilience, flexibility, and world-class innovative solutions. As we work to rebuild our national economy, Canada’s startups will make it stronger than ever.  

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