PwC wants Vision to Reality Awards to be the bridge connecting Canada’s business ecosystem

PwC’s Phil Grosch thinks that Canadian entrepreneurs need to be better at bragging.

And he isn’t the only one — both US and Canada-based tech leaders have spoken out about the famous Canadian quality of being hesitant to hype themselves. “It’s a very Canadian trait to underplay things,” Grosch said.

Grosch, who is the national leader of the digital services consulting practice at PwC, said this is part of the reason why PwC runs the Vision to Reality Awards, the organization’s annual awards celebrating Canadian entrepreneurship. “There are unbelievable stories taking place, and we can’t showcase all of them, but we can pick a few and say that there’s amazing talent in Canada,” Grosch said. “They have an opportunity to change the reality that our rate of innovation is slower than our global peers. In reality, it shouldn’t be.”

“What makes this program a bit different is the fact that we are focused on bringing the full economy together.” – Phil Grosch, PwC

PwC is currently on the hunt for nominations for its Innovator of the Year awards, which are split into three categories: the disruptor, which recognizes companies with under $25 million in revenue; the builder category, for companies with $25 million to $50 million in revenue; and the visionary category, for companies with $500 million in revenue. While the Vision to Reality awards initially launched to recognize the startup community, it has evolved to include the entire ecosystem.

“Large communities are harnessing the power of entrepreneurship, and we see them making investments in startup incubators and investing and teaming with startups. We also find that in the mid-sized market of Canada, which is a huge segment of the population, a lot of innovation and disruption is taking place,” said Grosch. “Given that the small guys want to get access to the big guys because that’s how they will grow their startups — and the big folks want to learn how to be nimble and agile and move with the speed that startups have — we extended the program to three distinct award categories.”

Grosch said that the Vision to Reality Awards are meant to be an extension of what PwC — and entrepreneurs — try to capture in their work: examining complex problems and bringing a solution to life. “It’s not theoretical. It’s action and goal-oriented and we like to think that that’s how we align with vision — we work with clients to solve problems,” said Grosch.

Grosch said that, ultimately, the awards are about bringing together companies at all stages of building their businesses and creating a network of companies that can leverage each other’s unique experience.

“What makes this program a bit different is the fact that we are focused on bringing the full economy together,” said Grosch. “If you think of it as: there’s a chunk of the economy that is made up of large enterprise, but there’s a massive portion that is midmarket companies and a growing startup community, it’s beneficial for all those communities to have an opportunity to come together and learn from each other.”

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