The Bootstrap Awards 2022

Join us on June 7th at the Tech Tuesday Ceremony!

2021 winner videos and round table discussion

The Annual Bootstrap Awards celebrate self-capitalized businesses that have “bootstrapped” their growth with limited outside funding and achieved commercial success. The awards were created to recognize the outstanding achievements of early stage companies in all industries, both for-profit and non-profit, and across a range of distinct criteria-based categories.

Companies must be located in the National Capital Region, from Eastern Ontario to Western Quebec, have been in business less than seven years, and have received no more than $500,000 in outside capital funding (excluding debt).

The Bootstrap Awards began in 2004, when Dr. Bruce Firestone, a local entrepreneur and founder of the Ottawa Senators, believed self-funded entrepreneurs deserved more recognition. Originally headed by Exploriem, the awards were relaunched by The Ottawa Network in 2017.



The winner demonstrates how their company or organization is striving to improve the environment or contribute to environmental health or awareness through a combination of environmental and economic (commercial) sustainability.

The winner demonstrates how their company has applied scientific and/or engineering expertise and technology to solve a problem in a way that is unique and innovative.

The winner demonstrates how their company uses Software as a Service to provide a product that has customer uptake and enthusiasm as shown in number of customers and/or growth.

The winner demonstrates how they used innovative marketing strategies to attract media attention and stakeholder involvement while cost-effectively acquiring customers and clients.

The winner demonstrates their ability to self-finance and “bootstrap” their enterprise with limited or no help from Angel or Venture Capital investors, and grow their business while remaining economically viable and profitable.

The winner demonstrates how they are boldly trying to turn a business or paradigm on its head or changing an industry, and have received some early traction from supporters. This award celebrates those who have a big vision and are taking a risk to make their vision a reality.

The winner demonstrates how their efforts or organization has had an impact on the community in terms of social good by improving diversity, providing a service or product to an under-served community, raising awareness of a cause or initiative through a unique event, campaign, or fundraising program and by using innovative and/or entrepreneurial techniques. This award may be given to an individual entrepreneur or company.

This winner demonstrates exceptional leadership and ability to grow their company and build their business through stakeholder engagement and networking, and/or shown themselves to be a leader and influencer in the business community, acting as a peer role-model for other founders.

2021 Winners

Green Award: greenre President: Keith Loiselle

Innovation Award: CoGenerate Solar CEO: Ra'ed Arab CTO: Bruno Rocha

SaaS Award: Noibu Co-founders: Robert Boukine and Kailin Noivo

Marketing Award: Wicket Co-founders: Jeff Horne and Laura Mindorff

Bootstrap Capital Award: RedLore CEO: Niek Van Dierdonck

Disruptor Award: Extend Pharmacy Specialists Founder: Jason Wentzell Manager: Meghan Hayes

Community Impact Award: Treehouse Medical Founder: Julia Slanina


Founder of the Year: Jason Lee Company: SmartCone Technologies

2020 Winners

Green Award: Backcountry Wok Founder: Melanie Ang

Innovation Award: Tungsten Collaborative Co-founders: Mike Brown, William Dicke, Dave McMullin

SaaS Award: Rilea Technologies CEO/CTO: Lisa Hallsworth, Rob Hallsworth

Marketing Award: Hit Point Press Founder: Ricardo Evangelho

Bootstrap Capital Award: Space Strategies Co-founders: Adre Dupuis, Maria Rey, Anne-Marie Dupuis

Disruptor Award: Lightship Security Directors: Jason Lawler, Brad Proffitt, Greg McLearn, Lachan Turner

Community Impact Award: Sprig Learning CEO/CTO: Jarrett Laughlin, Faud Khan


Founder of the Year: Meta Innovation Technologies Founder: Dr. Ellie Ardakani

2019 Winners

Green Award: Ecovena Founder/CEO: Trevor Boicey

Innovation Award: The Growcer Co-founders: Corey Ellis, Alida Burke

SaaS Award: CEO: Josh Garellek

Marketing Award: Desk Nibbles Co-founders: Cassy Aite and Emil Aite

Bootstrap Capital Award: Purecolo CEO: Rainer Paduch

Disruptor Award: Brokrete CEO: Jordan Latourelle

Community Impact Award: Thawrih CEO: Sarah Abood

Founder of the Year: Open Door Education Services Founder: Heather Desjardins

2018 Winners

Green Award: Riverwood Acoustics Founder/CEO: Ben Seaman

Innovation Engineering & Technology Award: SanEcoTec Founder/CEO: Els Vanbeckevoort

Best Mobile Application: GoFor Co-Founder/CEO: Brad Rollo

Best Guerilla/Social Marketing Campaign: Digitera Founder/CEO: Jordan St. Jacques

Bootstrap Capital Award: Spatial DNA Informatics Inc. Founder/CEO: Todd Lewis

Community Impact Award: KindVillage Founder/CEO: Tanya Woods

Founder of the Year: Welbi Technologies Co-Founder/CEO: Elizabeth Audette-Bourdeau

2017 Winners

Green Award: Spectrafy

Innovation Engineering & Technology Award: iBionics

Best Mobile Application: award shared by Bluink & Punchtime


Best Guerilla/Social Matrketing Campaign: Grype


Bootstrap Capital Award: Ottawa Media Group


Community Impact Award: NuGrocery

Fastest Growing Startup Award: CanadaWheels

2012 Winners

Best Business Model – CanaFlora

Innovation in Engineering and Technology – Crack Semiconductor

Lead to Win for Women- Amanda R A Lunan | Auntie Loo’s Treats

Bootstrap Capital – Apption Corporation

Best Guerilla Marketing – Toletta

Community Impact – Shepherds of Good Hope

Green Award – Rumidifier Home Comforts Inc.

Best Mobile App/Website – Spoonity Inc.

Best Customer Service – Blue Rabbit Machines

Best Sales/Value Proposition – LavaBlast

People’s Choice – Dermis Advanced Skin Care

Fastest Growing Startup – Stoneshare

2011 Winners


Best Micro Business – FaveQuest

Best 20 and Under Startup – Jennifer Lee Promotions

Best website – Manpacks

Best Technique for Sales/Pre-Sales/Launch – Vertigrow

Best Value Proposition/Value Differentiator/Pixie Dust – Patientway

Most Innovative Source, Bootstrap Capital – IdeaVibes

Best Guerrilla Marketing Idea/Social Marketing – Zeebu Mobile

Most Innovative Social Enterprise Fundraiser – Ottawa Humane Society

Most Innovative Business Model -SokJok

Fastest Growing Startup – Inovatech Engineering

2010 Winners

New Micro Business of the Year – Network Hippo Inc.

20 and under Startup – Stewart Supreme Vending

New Web Site of the Year – Wedding Republic

Best Sales/Pre-Sales/Launch Clients – CrowdWave Games

Value Differentiation Technique – UCreate Media

Best Pixie Dust Technique of the Year – BSETC

Most Innovative Source of Bootstrap Capital of the Year – MartSmart Shopping Network

Best Guerrilla Marketing Idea or Campaign of the Year – Social Mention

Most Innovative New Bootstrap Business Model of the Year – Shopify

Fastest Growing Bootstrap Startup – Telepin Software

See all our winners and presenters since 2010 at the Facebook home of the Bootstrap Awards!


Presenting Sponsor




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