Announcing The 2021 CANIE Product Innovation Award Semi-finalists – Presented by UPS Canada

Five innovative Canadian products you will want to cover:
RainStick Shower, A Friendlier Company, Spot App, Sollum Technologies and PROOF

A prize recognizing and celebrating products that create innovative solutions to real-world problems, this distinction celebrates entrepreneurs across Canada who inspire us with their vision and resilience.

Product innovation has the game-changing potential to expand our imagination beyond business-as-usual and improve existing realities. From the environment, to the labour market, to food production, to waste, these Candian companies make us proud for addressing some of the greatest challenges of our times. Help us celebrate these innovative companies by shining a light on their success!

“It is more important than ever to recognize excellence in Canadian entrepreneurship and underscore the crucial role this ecosystem plays in the country’s economy,” said Kayla Isabelle, Executive Director of the Innovators and Entrepreneurs Foundation and CEO of Startup Canada. “We are proud to shine light on these individuals and organizations that are creating positive disruption and contributing to the nation’s well-being and prosperity.”

Individual Product Innovation Award semi-finalist profile videos will roll out from today, June 2 – June 11 in the following order:

Wednesday 2nd June 2021
RainStick Shower, rainstickshower.com
Growing up in part of the Okanagan Desert in Kelowna, B.C., founders Alisha and Sean McFetridge became acutely aware of how showering is both a water and carbon-intensive activity. Inspired by biomimicry, they designed the water-saving RainStick Shower system to dramatically reduce the environmental impact, cutting household emissions by 1,900kg of CO2 annually, while still providing a high-pressure showering experience. Their high-flow shower system saves 80% energy and 80% on water through point-of-use recirculation and filtration. As a result, RainStick Shower
users can save $500 to $700 annually, all while reducing their carbon footprint.
TW: @RainstickShower IG: @rainstick.shower ; FB: @rainstickshower ; LI: RainStick ;

Thursday 3rd June 2021
A Friendlier Company, afriendliercompany.ca
On a mission to make reuse easy and accessible to all, A Friendlier Company (AFC) offers a tech-driven reusable packaging system to food-service companies. As the food service industry is transitioning away from disposables due to government and consumer-driven change, AFC simplifies reuse to eliminate single-use packaging waste. While alternatives are too expensive and can actually be worse for the environment, AFC’s centralized system is designed to be simple, affordable, accessible and scalable. Similar to The Beer Store’s bottle return program, they use a deposit-based system to incentivise container returns. Unique QR codes on each container are used to track deposits, process parameters and impact data for clients. AFC is making single-use packaging a thing of the past.
TW: @afriendlierco ; IG: @afriendliercompany ; FB: @AFriendlierCompany ; LI: A Friendlier Company

Tuesday 8th June 2021
Spot App, spotapp.co
Responding to a growing skills gap in the Canadian labour market, Spontaneous Paid Opportunities Today Inc. was founded in 2019 as a social enterprise tech platform that offers free resources for upskilling, micro-certifications and job opportunities with hiring employers. The platform is revolutionizing the future of work by connecting hiring employers with ready and looking workers. They have eliminated the need for resumes by leveraging a proprietary Learning Management System to train and onboard users for the jobs being posted. More than 50% of workers who are matched with employers have become full-time employees. In partnering with Employment Ontario Offices, vocational service organizations and non-profit organizations, Spontaneous Paid Opportunities
Today Inc. is also a vital tool assisting marginalized Canadians, newcomers to Canada and persons with disabilities to lay the foundations for future careers. It also won the LaunchYU Accelerator 2020 Cohort and is currently enrolled in Sheridan’s EDGE Incubator. The vision today is to be part of the Covid-19 Economic Recovery Plan by connecting job seekers with work opportunities and helping develop meaningful careers.
IG: @spotapp.co ; LI: The SPOT App

Wednesday 9th June 2021
Sollum Technologies, sollumtechnologies.com
Offering greenhouse growers a smart LED lighting solution that recreates and modulates the full spectrum of the sun’s natural light, Sollum Technologies works closely with clients to adapt to every produce’s growth cycle. Their flexible, evolving, and easy-to-use application provides unparalleled energy savings, productivity, and superior produce quality. Working with partners like Québec’s Ministry of Economy and Innovation Technology Showcase program, Allegro Acres — the first commercial-scale greenhouse to produce peppers using LEDs during winter in Ontario — the Harrow Research and Development Center for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Sustainable Development Technology Canada, and Transition énergétique Québec’s Technoclimat program, their
future is bright. In May of 2020, the company closed a seed round of $3.2 million and in September, it was awarded the Solar Impulse Foundation Efficient Solution Label, which is a designation granted to only 1,000 technologies in the world on the basis of its sustainability and profitability.
FB: @sollumtechs ; LI: Sollum Technologies ; Twitter: @sollumtech ; IG: @sollumtechnologies

Thursday 10th June 2021
PROOF, proofgov.com
PROOF empowers governments to go paperless. Its CEO, Ben Sanders, has helped contribute to some of Canada’s most advanced technology, from the BlackBerry, to the Canadarm, to fundamental physics at CERN. And PROOF is his third VC-backed startup, which he launched in 2017 with a team that shared his passion to bring government into the digital age. PROOF is  working with governments at all levels across the country, empowering public sector leaders to go paperless by streamlining approvals, digitizing forms, signing with a single-click and improving data-driven decisions — all in one central software platform designed specifically for governments.
TW: @proofgov ; LI: Proof Gov

Follow @IEF_FIE to watch the semi-finalist videos and stay up-to-date on the 2021 #CANIEAwards. Learn more about the Awards at canies.ca.
About The CANIE Awards: Celebrating Innovators and Entrepreneurs with seven Award Categories across Canada with up to $10,000 prizes. #CANIEAwards

FOR MEDIA REQUESTS, CONTACT:
awards@ief-fie.ca