Meet the Winners of the 2024 Innovation Awards

In the past year, businesses have had to navigate a landscape marked by whiplash-inducing technological advancements, undeniably urgent evidence of climate change and ever-shifting consumer values that increasingly prioritize social responsibility. The companies that simply keep up with digital transformation, sustainability best practices and workplace wellness trends can survive, but it takes a future-focused commitment to driving meaningful impact to truly thrive in 2024 and beyond.

Together with judges Krista Jones, interim CEO of MaRS Discovery District, and Takara Small, award-winning tech reporter and podcaster, Canadian Business selected 25 companies that exemplify resilience, adaptability and an unwavering dedication to bettering lives both within and beyond our borders. Meet the companies that are redefining what it means to be an innovator.

Illustration: Nada Hayek


Founded 2021

Headquarters Toronto

Founders Alex Qi, Yihong Qi and Muxin Ma

In 2017, at the Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas’s annual gizmo circus, tech entrepreneur Alex Qi watched a presentation for a biometric monitoring device that was unlike the heart-rate-tracking smartwatches already common at the time. Two wireless routers captured the heartbeat of an audience participant without any physical contact, instead using the same radio waves that Wi-Fi utilizes. He remembers Yihong Qi, a BlackBerry alum who was also attending the event, turning to him with a revelation: You could get even more detailed data using higher-frequency millimetre waves, or mmWaves, through a singular but more efficient sensor.

In 2021, the pair, along with health-tech entrepreneur Muxin Ma, officially co-founded Pontosense, with the aim of using mmWave technology to analyze environments, recognize patterns and offer actionable insights in a variety of settings. The applications of this technology could save lives on numerous fronts, they thought, from health care to vehicular safety to home security.

The underlying science is deceptively simple. Pontosense’s proprietary four-square-centimetre sensor emits high-frequency electromagnetic waves into the air. After bouncing off objects, those mmWaves reflect back onto the sensor, identifying micro-movements as subtle as a heartbeat with medical-grade accuracy from up to 15 metres away. Qi likens it to a bat’s echolocation—except Pontosense takes it to the next level. Using artificial intelligence and proprietary machine-learning tools, the company’s software is able to quickly isolate and remove unwanted noise from data—like a car’s vibrations when trying to measure the driver’s heartbeat—solving an issue that plagued previous iterations of mmWave tech.

Imagine the safety and security enhancements possible with a Pontosense sensor incorporated into

Read more

Is Your Business Model Part of Your Innovation Strategy?

June 14, 2023

The theory of disruptive innovation, first introduced in a 1995 HBR article, endures as a way to make a complicated and expensive product simpler and more affordable. Think about how Netflix disrupted video rental stores with video streaming.

But the originator of disruptive innovation, the late Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, argued that disruptive innovation isn’t just about simplifying technology — it also requires a new business model to deliver the solution cost-effectively.

“If you’re actually trying to create a new business model because the world is changing on you, then you don’t want to leverage what’s already in place,” he told IdeaCast guest host Sarah Cliffe in 2008. “The reason why entrant companies so readily beat the incumbents is [that they don’t] have anything that exists that they are tempted to leverage, and so they just create what needs to be created.”

The episode also explains why it’s important to build a disruptive business model that avoids falling into the trap of marginal costs, which can be the difference between success or failure.

Key episode topics include: innovation, disruptive innovation, business models, technology, value proposition, marginal costs, new products, incumbents, new entrants, computer industry, IBM.

HBR On Strategy curates the best case studies and conversations with the world’s top business and management experts, to help you unlock new ways of doing business. New episodes every week.

HANNAH BATES: Welcome to HBR On Strategy, case studies and conversations with the world’s top business and management experts, hand-selected to help you unlock new ways of doing business. The theory of disruptive innovation, first introduced in 1995 right here at HBR, has proven to be an enduring way to think about innovations that make a complicated and expensive product simpler and more affordable. Think about how Netflix disrupted video rental stores with streaming video.  But the originator of disruptive innovation, Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen, says many managers overlook a crucial component: business model innovation. This episode will help you understand when and how to create a whole new business model for innovative activities – with plenty of real-world examples. And you’ll learn why it’s important to build a disruptive business model that avoids falling into the trap of marginal costs — which can be the difference between success or failure. This episode originally aired on HBR IdeaCast in November 2008. Here it is.


Read more

Sri Lanka’s Ministry Of Finance Receives South Asia Innovation Award

Ministry of FinanceThe Ministry of Finance ensures accountability, continuous productivity of government companies, and financial progress by selling insurance policies for, and sound management of, expenditures, revenues, financing and human resources. The Detlev Rohwedder Building, positioned in the Wilhelmstraße in Berlin’s historical government quarter, has been the head office of the German Finance Ministry since 1999. It displays the levels of Germany’s turbulent history more clearly than nearly every other constructing within the capital.

The financing includes a $25 million grant from the International Improvement Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries, and a $seventy five million grant from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), managed by the World Bank on behalf of 34 donors. It will result in enhancing improvement finances execution, rising revenue assortment, and strengthening government capacity to perform extra efficiently and successfully.

The constructing took on a big position in the history of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) on 7 October 1949. It was here, on that date, that the German People’s Council, a kind of surrogate parliament for the Soviet occupation zone, declared itself the provisional People’s Chamber with the enactment of the GDR constitution, thus executing the division of Germany in law. After the Folks’s Chamber moved out, the building served as the Home of Ministries” of the GDR. As one of the seats of governmental energy it was the vacation spot of protesting builders on sixteen June 1953 and the centre of the people’s uprising of 17 June 1953.

The main duties in the subject of finance are focused on Liechtenstein’s place as a monetary centre as well as on monetary market policy, including basic points concerning international monetary centres. Other important areas embody draft budgets, national accounting, the position of the Principality of Liechtenstein as a financial centre and monetary policy. Monetary companies represent a crucial pillar of Liechtenstein’s financial system, both by way of employment and added value. The Ministry for Normal Government Affairs and Finance creates the absolute best framework and reliable circumstances to be able to maintain and strengthen Liechtenstein’s position as an internationally aggressive monetary centre.

2003 – 2006 – Vice-Minister of Economy and Finances Planning of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Ministry of Finance performs a wide range of roles, all centered on supporting a strong economic, fiscal and funding local weather for Ontario, while making certain accountability with respect to the use of public … Read more