Recognizing exceptional entrepreneurial contributions
Alumni honoured by Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce
Waterloo Engineering graduates were recognized for their involvement and leadership in the community by the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce at its annual Business Excellence Awards Gala.
Alumni received awards in three categories for the contributions made through innovative companies they founded or co-founded.
Armen Bakirtzian (BASc ’08, mechatronics engineering) won in the Young Professional category as co-founder of the Medical Innovation Xchange, an industry-led hub dedicated to helping medical technology startups scale successfully in Canada.
Its focus includes developing, sustaining and retaining domestic medical technology companies to establish Waterloo Region as a leader in medical innovation.
Bakirtzian is also co-founder and CEO of Intellijoint Surgical Inc., which develops technology to improve hip and knee replacement surgeries. Intelllijoint Surgical Inc. is part of the Medical Innovation Xchange located in Kitchener.
Friendlier, a company founded by Kayli Dale and Jacquie Hutchings to keep food packaging from ending up in landfill, captured top honours in the New Business category.
Former classmates Dale and Hutchings (both BASc ’20, chemical engineering) started the company about 18 months ago after seeing recycling boxes and garbage cans overflowing with restaurant and fast-food containers while walking to and from Waterloo’s campus.
Based in Guelph, Friendlier sells reusable takeout containers to restaurants and prepared meal suppliers throughout Ontario.
Ajoa Mintah, founder and chief ice cream maker of Four All Ice Cream, took home this year’s Small Business of the Year award.
Mintah (BASc ’01, chemical engineering) worked in the automotive sector designing car interiors for six years and as a consultant for nine years before starting her business five years ago.
Her handcrafted ice cream, made from all-natural, locally sourced ingredients at the company’s Kitchener facility, which at 400 square feet is the smallest dairy plant in Ontario, is sold in numerous locations throughout the province.
Banner photo: Kayli Dale, left, and Jacquie Hutchings, co-founders of Friendlier.
Take a look at this year's Business Excellence Awards Gala on YouTube.
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Office of Indigenous Relations.