Innovation and disruption strategist headlines Henry Bernick Awards

Georgian’s Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (HBEC) held its annual Henry Bernick Awards, an evening of connecting, networking and a celebration of entrepreneurship, on May 25 at the Barrie Campus

Shawn Kanungo — globally recognized innovation and disruption strategist, best-selling author and prolific content creator — inspired attendees with a bold, contrarian view of the near-term future.

He explored the disruptive forces impacting every industry (like artificial intelligence and new technologies) and shared how organizations can become more adaptable, experimental and collaborative.

Shawn Kanungo on stage presenting at Bernick Awards
Shawn wove together storytelling and humour to provide actionable takeaways

Shawn is a partner with Queen & Rook. Previously, he spent 12 years at Deloitte. He was recognized as Edify’s Top 40 Under 40 and named by Forbes as the Best Virtual Keynote Speaker I’ve Ever Seen in 2021. His bestselling debut book, The Bold Ones, has been touted as one of McKinsey’s top decision-making books for leaders.

Bernick Medals

Shawn’s keynote followed the presentation of this year’s Bernick Medal award recipients. Nominees and recipients embody the qualities of the awards’ namesake — Henry Bernick — a mentor, businessman and philanthropist whose generous donation made HBEC possible

The awards recognize recipients in three categories.

Student Entrepreneur

Shubham Mavani, Local Era

Awarded to a Georgian student entrepreneur who has exhibited exceptional achievements in an entrepreneurial initiative that has realized or shows potential for success in a commercial, social, educational, cultural or environmental venture.

Local Era is a digital marketing agency catered toward local businesses and hopes to gain presence in Simcoe County.

Shubham won a project accelerator grant by HSBC Entrepreneurship via Enactus Georgian and secured a runner-up position in the first qualifying round for the Enactus Nationals Exposition.

HBEC Medals award recipient Shubham on stage talking into microphone

We offer our skills as a form of services helping local businesses to share their stories, gain awareness, earn trust and create traction in the market. We also learn about their operations, giving us a more understanding perspective about the owner and their business.

– Shubham

Community Entrepreneur

Angie Ricci, DriverDX

Awarded to an entrepreneur(s) at the helm of a small business of less than 25 employees who has benefited from the services provided by HBEC. The entrepreneur will have shown their resilience and fortitude in overcoming obstacles and difficulties to ensure a secure and growing success.

DriverDX is a two-sided platform that instantly connects transportation companies with qualified commercial drivers. They’ve digitally transformed access, recruiting, onboarding and dispatching for the transportation industry and now are populating the DriverDX National Commercial Driver Network so we never have a driver shortage again. DriverDX is the future of work for carriers and drivers of buses, trucks and vans.

HBEC Medals award recipient Angie Ricci on stage talking in microphone

Whether it’s directly related to my years in transportation, or related to experiences outside that business, it’s important to share the outcomes so we can learn from each other. That means we share what it’s like during the hard times, embarrassing moments, the humbling times when you ask yourself if you took on too much. We share so others can relate and pass it on. Mistakes are guaranteed but how you handle it becomes the life lesson. These teaching moments can inspire, impact, and bring calm to entrepreneurs and innovators who feel the pressures of business.

– Angie

Entrepreneurs’ Champion

Darryl Hindle, Quench Buggy

Awarded to a person or organization who works to help entrepreneurs be successful. Through fostering, nurturing and encouraging entrepreneurs, they’ll be distinguished by their insight, reach and success stories, but most importantly, by the example they set through their own actions and the unwavering support they offer.

Quench Buggy provides filtered, chilled drinking water refill stations to events and festivals looking for sustainable ways to eliminate single-use plastic water bottles and hydrate their patrons. Quench Buggy also sells these units to municipalities and educational institutions.

Georgian College Mechanical Engineering Technology Automotive Manufacturing alumnus Darryl Hindle

Darryl is an alumnus of Georgian’s Mechanical Engineering Technology – Automotive Manufacturing program (class of 1999).

As a long-term entrepreneur, I’ve had experience in many different facets of business and several mentors along the way. Everything I’ve done in business has been aided by many others, and I believe it’s my duty to give back to others to help build the business community.

– Darryl

The event was generously sponsored by Barriston Law, Central Ontario Broadcasting, Grant Thorton, Marquee Benefits Inc., and Sunlife McBride Robillard Financial Solutions Inc.

About HBEC

HBEC assists entrepreneurs in four main areas: training, connections, funding and mentorship.

  • Today, it serves 570 clients – more than 240 of which are new to the centre.
  • 18 mentors from various industries provide expertise to clients on everything from perfecting their business pitch to marketing their product or services.
  • From April 2022 to April 2023, the centre connected with more than 3,000 Georgian students, empowering and supporting them on their entrepreneurial journey.
  • Since 2016, clients have received $20 million in investments and created more than 2,000 jobs – with $19 million in revenue generated.

Henry Bernick’s vision was to engage as many aspiring and working entrepreneurs as possible, to help others’ reach their full potential, and to play a key role in transforming and evolving the local economy. That vision continues to flourish thanks to the family’s ongoing support of our students and the college.

– Kevin Weaver, Georgian’s President and CEO

Did you know?

Georgian offers two Business – Entrepreneurship programs:

Explore intrapreneurship, social innovation, ideation and design thinking, as well as business principles and practices in order to successfully launch and operate a business.

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