Montreal’s Frank & Oak Takes PwC’s Innovator of the Year

The PwC Vision To Reality awards are a celebration of Canadian entrepreneurship and a chance to raise up some or our most dynamic technology companies who are innovating to disrupt in their space. Now in it’s tenth year, PwC honours ten up-and-coming companies and awards one as innovator of the year.

This year’s diverse group included companies behind some significant game changers in the industry including Bionym’s heart-beat authentication bracelet Nymi; the gesture-control armband from Thalmic Labs and UrtheCast’s mission to put high definition cameras on the International Space Station to stream footage directly from space.

Menswear brand for the internet generation, Frank & Oak, was awarded Innovator of the Year. The Montreal-based online retailer continues to make waves with their integrated and personalized shopping experience. “When we think back, Frank & Oak was only launched about eighteen months ago, so I feel like we are getting this a bit early,” Co-Founder and CEO Ethan Song said as he accepted the award last night. “It really puts more pressure on the year to come. But its the journey that matters and that’s what we are looking forward to it”.

Toronto’s Vena Solutions accepted a new award for the program this year, the People’s Choice award. Vena Solutions offers web-based applications which automates your corporate performance management.

Last year’s Innovator of the Year went to Toronto-based online reader and writer platform Wattpad.

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Here is the complete list of PwC’s Vision to Reality Top 10 up-and-coming technology companies.

Frank & Oak  *Innovator of the Year*

Montreal, QC

An online menswear brand with premium threads and a simple, integrated and personalized shopping experience.

Recent News: Canadian Business reported that this online menswear site has amassed 500,000 members and its mobile app which launched in January of 2013 accounts for 15% of sales. *UPDATE* Frank & Oak have confirmed they are now at a total of 1 million members since the CB article.



Toronto, ON

A photo community powered by creative people worldwide that lets you discover, share, buy and sell inspiring photographs.

Recent News: 500px was one of the 10 up-and-coming winners from PwC Vision to Reality 2012 program.



Toronto, ON

Specializes in biometrics and authentication technology for consumer electronics and develop technology that utilizes gesture control, proximity detection and application development.

Recent News: Bionym just opened up pre-orders for their heart authentication bracelet called the Nymi this month.



Location: Mississauga, ON

Leading developer of wireless web access products and services and inventors of the much talked about Aakash tablet (cheapest tablet in the world).

Recent News: This month DataWind tied up a partnership with TES India to preload educational content to its tablets.


D-Wave Systems Inc.

Burnaby, BC

Offers the first commercial quantum computing system on the market designed for industrial problems encountered by Fortune 500  companies, government and academia.

Recent News: In May of this year, D-Wave computers were installed at the new Quantum Artifical Intelligence Lab – a collaboration between NASA, Google and URSA.


Global Relay Communications

Vancouver, BC

Provides SaaS electronic message archiving, instant messaging, compliance and supervisions solutions with a focus on highly regulated industries such as finance and healthcare.

Recent News: CEO and Founder Warren Roy was recently honored with BCTIA’s prestigious Person of the Year award in June of this year.


Method Integration Inc.

Toronto, ON

Creators of a Method, the customizable cloud- based customer relationship manager which integrates with QuickBooks, Gmail, Microsoft Outlook and more.

Recent News: The company raised $3 million dollars in Series A funding in Februrary of this year.


Thalmic Labs

Kitchener, ON

Developer of MYO – the gesture control armband which uses the electrical activity in your muscles to wirelessly control your computer, phone or favorite digital technologies.

Recent News: Thalmic Labs raised $14.5 million in Series A funding this June.


UrtheCast Corp.

Pronounced “earthcast” this company is putting high definition cameras on the International Space Station and streaming footage directly from space.

Recent News: In August, UretheCast announced that a key hardware component critical to attaching their cameras had been installed on the International Space Station.



Montreal, QC

A social search engine that lets users get recommendations from friends by letting them search through public and private data shared on social networking platforms.

Recent News: Earlier this year, Wajam received the Best New Information Technology Company award at the 8th Annual Hot Companies and Best Products Awards.


Photo by the Financial Post


Tom Emrich

Sometimes called the “man from the future” Tom Emrich is a leading voice in wearable technology as an investor, community builder and influencer. His passion for this space is driven by his belief that wearable tech plays a critical role in our human evolution.

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