CEO Message

September was a month of celebration and new partnerships at Profound Impact.

We were proud to name Hui Huang Hoe and Mike Farwell as winners of the 2023 Impactful Actions Awards on September 14, Profound Impact Day. 

Profound Impact Day is a time to recognize the world’s diverse leaders and changemakers who are leaving their mark on the global community through their initiatives, influence, and impact. This year the award expanded to include two categories: Young Leader and Lifetime Achievement. Hoe was awarded the Young Leader category, and Farwell accepted the Lifetime Achievement award. 

Hui Huang Hoe is a serial inventor of green electrochemistry and the founder of elerGreen, a cleantech startup recovering valuable polymers, metals and chemicals from chemical waste. 

Mike Farwell is a radio host at CityNews 570 in Kitchener and is play-by-play announcer for the Kitchener Rangers OHL hockey team. He is a relentless community builder who turned the grief from losing his two sisters to cystic fibrosis into Farwell4Hire, the largest annual fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Canada, through which he has raised more than $1.25 million. 

You’ll learn more about Hui Huang and Mike in the profiles in this month’s newsletter.

We were also pleased to announce a new partnership with Haltech Regional Innovation Centre in September.  Haltech is a non-profit organization launched in 2011 and is the go-to strategic connector and educator for start-ups in the Halton Region of Ontario and beyond. The partnership between Profound Impact and Haltech is designed to discover a range of funding and research opportunities for internal research and product development for Haltech’s clients through access to Research Impact, our AI-powered tool.

Profound Impact is proud to be a woman-founded and led company. Last month, I joined Sean Weisbrot, host of the We Live to Build podcast, to talk about my previous career in cryptography, my ongoing passion for encouraging women in business and the power of female investors.  You’ll find the podcast here.

Thank you for connecting with us and the Profound Impact community.

Sherry Shannon-Vanstone

Mike Farwell

Mike Farwell
Farwell4Hire

2023 Impactful Actions Award Winner – Lifetime Achievement

“Community is my energy. It’s my fuel. It invigorates and inspires me,” says Mike Farwell, a relentless community builder who turned the grief of losing two sisters to cystic fibrosis (CF) into the largest annual fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Canada. The 2023 Impactful Action Award Lifetime Achievement Award winner’s Farwell4Hire campaign has raised over $1.25 million in unrestricted funds over the last decade, supporting research, advocacy, and clinical care for people around the world living with CF, the most common fatal genetic disease in Canada.

Mike was born in Kitchener, Ontario as the middle of five children. He aspired to be a radio announcer, but not believing that this was a real job, he attended the University of Waterloo, earned a degree in Arts and went on to teach high school. “After one year as a teacher, I decided that this wasn’t the job for me,” says Mike. He enrolled in Conestoga College’s television and radio broadcast program and graduated with two career ambitions:  to work as a radio music DJ and as a hockey announcer. He began his radio career in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, where he was a music DJ and also had the chance to report on the local hockey team. Mike moved from Salmon Arm to work in communities across Canada for several years before returning to the Waterloo Region.

Mike’s second dream job, as a hockey reporter and announcer, came about as the result of responding to an open casting call by Rogers for a daytime talk show host position in Kitchener. The casting director noticed that Mike had listed experience in sports reporting on his resume. “We need a sports guy,” she told him. Within a week, he was on camera for the first time as a field reporter for university sports including football, basketball, and volleyball. Mike now has more than 20 years of radio and television broadcasting experience, works with Rogers Radio in Kitchener as the host of the Mike Farwell Show, and is the play-by-play voice of the Kitchener Rangers on CityNews 570.

Mike created Farwell4Hire to honour Luanne and Sheri Farwell, the two sisters he and his family lost to CF. Luanne died in the fall of 1993 at the age of 24 and, just nine months later, Sheri succumbed to cystic fibrosis at the age of 18. “Farwell4Hire was started by accident,” says Mike.  “I’m really bad at asking for things. I’d rather do.” Prior to launching the campaign, Mike had raised money through stunts, including jumping out of an airplane, sitting in (and getting wet) in a dunk tank and participating in a boxing match. The odd jobs Mike has performed as part of Farwell4Hire have ranged from the routine, like washing windows and mowing lawns, to the more exotic, like cleaning a horse’s sheath. 

Farwell4Hire is an excellent example of community collaboration. Small business owners, associations and larger companies across Waterloo Region come together each May in support of Mike’s efforts. The campaign is a fundraiser with absolutely no overhead. Managed entirely through the efforts of volunteers, every dollar donated to Farwell4Hire is a dollar donated directly to CF.

When asked how he finds the time to write, produce, execute and edit his daily radio show, travel with the Kitchener Rangers to do play-by-playing reporting on their games, and run an annual month-long fundraising campaign, Mike again points to the importance of community to his life. He quotes fellow Waterloo Region broadcaster and public speaker, Neil Aitchison: “Community service is the rent you pay for the space you occupy.” Mike continues, “I don’t think I could possibly give back to the community what it has given to me.”

Mike is delighted with the ongoing progress in CF research and with how the $1.25 million raised for research through Farwell4Hire has contributed to massive impacts in extending the lives of Canadians living with CF. When Mike started fundraising as a teenager, the estimated lifespan of a child with CF was less than 12 years. In 2023, a baby born with CF today has a median life expectancy of 57 years. And Trikafta, a new drug with the potential to treat up to 90% of Canadians with CF, doesn’t just treat symptoms. This transformational treatment targets the basic defect from specific genetic mutations that cause the disease.

Mike was struck by a statement made by Roberto Clemente, the late National Baseball Hall of Famer who has an award for sportsmanship and community involvement named for him in recognition of his charity work in Latin American and Caribbean countries during the off-seasons. “Roberto said that a person who can help others and fails to do so has wasted his life. I don’t want to waste my life. I want to help if I can. And the work I do is the way I can do my part,” Mike adds.

Profound Impact is proud to present the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Impactful Action Award to Mike Farwell, a remarkable leader who has worked tirelessly to build community and to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis research, impacting lives in the Waterloo Region and around the world.

Do you have an Impact Story to share? Reach out to us at connections@profoundimpact.com for a chance to have your story featured in an upcoming newsletter!

Hui Huang Hoe

Hui Huang Hoe
Founder and Inventor, elerGreen Industry
Photo Credit: Thomas Truong

2023 Impactful Actions Award Winner – Young Leader

As record temperatures were set in the northern hemisphere during the summer of 2023, people in locations as diverse as Canada, Europe and Hawaii experienced the severe effects of climate change in the form of ocean storms, wildfires, floods and droughts. For Hui Huang Hoe, this was not a new phenomenon. He had experienced the effects of climate change while growing up in Malaysia as ever-rising temperatures and extreme weather fluctuations resulted in floods and droughts. Hui Huang moved to Canada to attend the University of Toronto, and, in part, to escape the heat of Southeast Asia. 

Hui Huang was inspired at an early age to study science after reading Stephen Hawking’s book, The Universe in a Nutshell. He went on to exhibit a keen interest and talent in science and math during high school, where he won the national Physics and Chemistry Olympiads Championships. Motivated by this success, he decided to pursue a career in chemical engineering, with a focus on sustainable energy and environmental engineering. He was awarded a scholarship to study in Canada and enrolled in the Chemical Engineering program at the University of Toronto, where he earned an undergraduate degree with High Honours as the top student in his class, venerated by the Society of Chemical Industry Merit Award.

Hui Huang considers himself lucky to have received exposure to research in the summer following his first year of study, through his award-winning work on energy-efficient fuel with Professor Ya-Huei (Cathy) Chin, now a Canada Research Chair. In his third year, he was granted a senior fellowship to work with Professor Donald W. Kirk, another of his mentors, on carbon-free zinc-air fuel cell research. Hui Huang produced an award-winning thesis (such as Mackay Hewer Memorial Prize, as the best chemical engineering thesis related to environmental studies) on converting carbon dioxide into fuels powered by renewable electricity. As part of his graduate research work, the carbon dioxide conversion was expanded beyond fuels into useful products. The University of Toronto recognized Hui Huang’s work with numerous awards and filed a patent, Electrochemical Carbon Dioxide Utilization, related to his research.

Hui Huang went on to establish elerGreen, a cleantech start-up company that addresses waste remediation through the recovery of polymers, metals and chemicals from waste and renewable electricity in an economical and eco-friendly way. For elerGreen’s key differentiator, he invented and patented a unique electrochemical reactor of moving electrodes against stationary blades to continuously harvest solid products. Interestingly, he conceived elerGreen moving electrode reactor with an Eureka moment while exercising on a treadmill!

elerGreen moving electrode reactor facilitates the conversion of pollutants, including tailings and petrochemical waste, into valuable metals, polymers and feedstocks, powered by renewable electricity. As a result, elerGreen converts CO2 or its derivatives into useful products, while replacing fossil fuel combustion in chemical or manufacturing plants, which is more energy-efficient. In layman’s terms, elerGreen cleantech is like Tesla’s electric vehicle, but for chemical or manufacturing plants. 

Hui Huang’s leadership extends far beyond his work in cleantech. In addition to being a serial inventor in green electrochemistry, Hui Huang has been recognized for teaching excellence and for his work coaching students. He also wrote and published Mathematica Particularis, a book on engineering mathematics that is offered free of charge to students. 

Hui Huang believes strongly in giving back to the community. In 2022, elerGreen partnered with Venture for Canada (VFC) to collaborate on the VFC Intrapreneurship Program, an experience offered to foster Canadian youth entrepreneurship and innovation. As part of this program, he coaches students, teaching them about clean technologies, educating them on intellectual property protection and making them aware of the importance of corporate social responsibility. 

elerGreen also actively participates in climate change planning, management and governance, as a policy recommendation signatory for Canada’s federal budget on cleantech and climate action. Beyond cleantech, elerGreen employs business model innovation as collaborative sales, to empower the community with cost-sharing and joint-IP protection. 

elerGreen’s community impact was recognized in 2022 as it was named one of the four semi-finalists by the Innovators and Entrepreneurs Foundation (IEF) for the Canada Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CANIE) Awards, in the category of Climate-Related Product Innovator of the Year. 

elerGreen’s impact also goes globally beyond Canada, recognized by Hub de Innovación Minera del Perú (Mining Innovation Hub of Peru) as PERUMIN Finalist in the category of Environment and Sustainability category, for meeting various UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on converting heavy metals tailings into saleable solid metals as a Canadian corporation. 

In June of 2023, elerGreen was named as one of 21 companies by Innovation Guelph to receive cleantech grants totaling $630,000 through the Government of Canada-supported i.d.e.a. Fund, an initiative to help clean growth firms in southern Ontario to develop or redesign green products, services, process and technologies and to create made-in-Canada climate change solutions. elerGreen is using these funds to collaborate with students at St. Lawrence College to establish a full-scale reactor, now further being upgraded into a pilot plant. 

Hui Huang works to integrate elerGreen’s core principles of profitability and sustainability while contributing to society by developing cleantech technology and expertise and shifting the mindset of how society supports the cleantech sector. To support these goals, elerGreen has become a certified Ontario Made company and a member of Ontario Clean Technology Industry Association. “What we do at elerGreen can be summed up as Electrification Done Green,” Hui Huang says. 

Hui Huang Hoe’s passion and success as a researcher, inventor and founder, his ongoing work to develop the next generation of cleantech entrepreneurs through his coaching and teaching and elerGreen’s commitment to equity, accessibility and inclusion for underrepresented people and newcomers to Canada truly make him a young leader deserving of the 2023 Impactful Action Award. 

Finally, the Impactful Action Award comes with a donation by Profound Impact to a charity, and Hui Huang Hoe and elerGreen have nominated Parkdale Centre for Innovation. This donation to Parkdale Centre for Innovation would further support public awareness and social entrepreneurship on equity, accessibility, and inclusion for underrepresented people, including women, Black, Indigenous, people of color, and newcomers to Canada. 

Do you have an Impact Story to share? Reach out to us at connections@profoundimpact.com for a chance to have your story featured in an upcoming newsletter!

We Live to Build Podcast

Our Founder and CEO, Dr. Sherry Shannon-Vanstone, joined Sean Weisbrot, host of the We Live to Build podcast, to talk about her previous career in cryptography, her new role encouraging women in business, and the power of female investors.

Profound Impact Partners with Haltech

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PROFOUND IMPACT PARTNERS WITH HALTECH TO OFFER TARGETED GRANT MATCHING THROUGH RESEARCH IMPACT

The partnership will allow clients to match with research funding and collaborative partners

HALTON REGION, ON | SEPTEMBER 19, 2023 — Profound Impact™ Corporation and Haltech Regional Innovation Centre are working together to provide targeted and timely grant matching opportunities to Haltech’s roster of clients.

The companies announced the partnership at Haltech’s annual open house on September 19, 2023. The newly announced agreement will offer Haltech clients access to grant matching through Profound Impact’s AI-powered tool, Research Impact. Research Impact offers automatic, targeted and timely grant matching. With more than $300 billion in funding opportunities, hundreds of thousands of industry partners and 8.8 million researchers available across the globe, it can be overwhelming and time-consuming to find the right matches for academia, industry and grants. Research Impact helps innovators find their perfect match, sending best-fit grant opportunities directly to the inboxes of interested parties.

“Academics and innovators face several challenges when it comes to discovering partnerships and finding suitable funding opportunities for applied research,” says Dr. Sherry Shannon-Vanstone, President and CEO of Profound Impact. “Our innovative matching tool, Research Impact, provides a faster, more accurate way to find these resources, saving time and money. We are excited to offer this tool to Haltech’s clients and look forward to helping advance new research projects.”

Haltech is a non-profit organization empowering innovative companies to realize their full potential through education, advisory services and strategic connections. Companies joining the Haltech roster have the opportunity to accelerate their business growth through educational workshops, business advisory services and strategic connections.

“We’re so pleased to be able to connect our clients to grant and research opportunities through this partnership with Profound Impact,” says Shann McGrail, Chief Executive Officer with Haltech. “We know the matches through Research Impact will help companies find new funding opportunities for their internal research and product development. 

Haltech clients interested in utilizing Research Impact can sign up using this form.

Anyone interested in learning more about Research Impact can contact the Profound Impact team and book a custom demo here

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ABOUT PROFOUND IMPACT CORPORATION 

Based in the Toronto-Waterloo technology corridor, Profound Impact’s AI-powered tool – Research Impact – helps academic and industry researchers find the perfect funding match. With over $300 Billion in research funding opportunities, 100,000s industry partners and 8.8 million researchers globally, finding the optimal grant for academic and industry innovators is often overwhelming and unnecessarily time-consuming.  More than just a search engine, Research Impact offers automatic, targeted and timely matching.  Profound Impact’s customers include top North American research institutions, universities and industry partners.  CEO and Founder Sherry Shannon-Vanstone is a serial technology entrepreneur with an unparalleled track record.  She has had five successful start-ups and exits in Silicon Valley and Canada, including two IPOs and acquisitions.

ABOUT HALTECH

Haltech is a non-profit corporation supported by Ontario’s Ministry of Research, Innovation & Science, Ministry of Economic Development & Growth, and their valued Corporate Sponsors.

Haltech empowers all innovative companies to realize their full potential through education, advisory services, and strategic connections. Haltech launched in 2011 and is the go-to strategic connector and educator for startups in Halton and beyond. To date, Haltech has helped boost more than 1,000 startups and scale ups. 

Website: www.profoundimpact.com 

Facebook: @aprofoundimpact

Instagram: @aprofoundimpact 

LinkedIn: Profound Impact Corporation

Twitter: @aprofoundimpact

YouTube: @profoundimpactcorporation

For media inquiries, please contact:

Durrell Communications

media@profoundimpact.com 

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Impactful Actions Awards Winners for 2023 Announced on Profound Impact Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SUSTAINABILITY ADVOCATE, LOCAL RADIO HOST NAMED WINNERS OF 2023 IMPACTFUL ACTIONS AWARDS

Hui Huang Hoe was named the Young Leader award winner, while Mike Farwell took home the Lifetime Achievement award

WATERLOO, ON | SEPT. 14, 2023 Profound Impact is proud to name Hui Huang Hoe and Mike Farwell winners of the 2023 Impactful Actions Awards. 

The annual awards, presented by Profound Impact™ Corporation, recognize individuals who are inspiring collaborative solutions to difficult global problems. The winners were announced at the 2023 Profound Impact Day event. Celebrated annually on September 14, Profound Impact Day is a time to commemorate the world’s diverse leaders and changemakers who are leaving their mark on the global community through their initiatives, influence, and impact.

This year the award expanded to include two categories: Young Leader and Lifetime Achievement. Hoe was awarded the Young Leader category, and Farwell accepted the Lifetime Achievement award. 

Hoe is a serial inventor of green electrochemistry and the founder of elerGreen, a cleantech startup recovering valuable polymers, metals and chemicals from chemical waste. The company places an emphasis on giving back to the community through mentoring student entrepreneurs through Venture for Canada (VFC) Intrapreneurship projects. elerGreen also works to expose students to diversity, inclusion and corporate social responsibility through company projects and hiring visible minorities, people with disabilities, youth, newcomers to Canada, and survivors of violence and the criminal justice system.

“I’m incredibly honoured to receive this award and have my work promoting a greener and cleaner world acknowledged,” says Hoe. “We need to act now to protect our planet and ensure future generations will have somewhere safe to live. This award is a wonderful recognition for elerGreen, supporting our eco-friendly endeavour and our goal to take action to protect our climate.”

Hoe encourages youth to learn more about entrepreneurship through VFC coaching. He has also published a free book, Mathematica Particularis, written to complement the syllabus of engineering mathematics, particularly for B.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto.

Farwell works as a radio host at CityNews 570 in Kitchener and is a play-by-play announcer for the  Kitchener Rangers OHL hockey team. He is a relentless community builder who turned the grief from losing his two sisters to cystic fibrosis into the largest annual fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Canada. In 2014, he began the Farwell4Hire fundraising campaign, getting out into his community and trying new things, from weeding gardens to washing windows. Farwell4Hire has raised more than $1.25 million to date for Cystic Fibrosis Canada. 

“I am so flattered and humbled to win this award,” Farwell says. “Profound Impact does so much incredible work in our community and knowing they’ve recognized me in this way makes it all the more meaningful.”

The funds raised through Farwell4Hire have allowed Cystic Fibrosis Canada to bring a transformational drug, Trifakta, to Canada. Trikafta is considered the single greatest innovation in the history of cystic fibrosis, treating 90 per cent of Canadians with cystic fibrosis by addressing the causes instead of managing the symptoms and potentially preventing irreversible damage caused by this progressive disease. It is now publicly available and insurable to all cystic fibrosis patients in Canada six years of age and older, with advocacy in place for younger patients.

“Each year, we receive so many incredible and inspiring nominations for the Impactful Actions Awards, and this year was no exception. Congratulations to our winners, Hui Huang and Mike, and thank you for all the important work you do in your communities,” says Sherry Shannon-Vanstone, Founder and CEO of Profound Impact. 

Profound Impact opens up community nominations for the Impactful Actions Awards every year. In 2021, the inaugural Impactful Actions Award was presented to Dr. Feridun Hamdullahpur, former President & Vice Chancellor (2010-2021) and Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo. In 2022, Kehkashan Basu, M.S.M. took home the award. She is the founder of Green Hope Foundation, a global social enterprise working with more than 300,000 people across 26 countries, focusing on water, sanitation, clean energy and food security. 

A recording of the event is available on Profound Impact’s YouTube Channel.

–30–

ABOUT PROFOUND IMPACT CORPORATION 

Based in the Toronto-Waterloo technology corridor, Profound Impact’s AI-powered tool – Research Impact – helps academic and industry researchers find the perfect funding match. With over $300 Billion in research funding opportunities, 100,000s industry partners and 8.8 Million researchers globally, finding the optimal grant for academic and industry innovators is often overwhelming and unnecessarily time-consuming.  More than just a search engine, Research Impact offers automatic, targeted and timely matching.  Profound Impact’s customers include top North American research institutions, universities and industry partners.  CEO and Founder Sherry Shannon-Vanstone is a serial technology entrepreneur with an unparalleled track record.  She has had five successful start-ups and exits in Silicon Valley and Canada, including two IPOs and acquisitions.

Website: www.profoundimpact.com 

Facebook: @aprofoundimpact

Instagram: @aprofoundimpact 

LinkedIn: Profound Impact Corporation

Twitter: @aprofoundimpact

YouTube: @profoundimpactcorporation

For media inquiries, please contact:

Durrell Communications

media@profoundimpact.com 

CEO Message

The Profound Impact team is looking forward to announcing the 2023 Impactful Action Award winners on September 14th during Profound Impact Day. This annual virtual event honours the late Professor Scott A. Vanstone and celebrates the impact and legacy of collaboration and innovation developed through the Profound Impact community.  


Profound Impact Day 2023 will commence at 12 noon EDT on Sept. 14th and feature a fireside chat with past Impactful Actions Awards winners Dr. Feridun Hamdullahpur, former president of the University of Waterloo, and Kehkashan Basu M.S.M., Founder of Green Hope Foundation

Learn more about the finalists in both the Young Leaders and Lifetime Achievement categories in this month’s newsletter and register for Profound Impact Day 2023 here.

The Profound Impact team had a productive time at the NCURA (National Council of University Research Administrators) annual meeting in Washington, DC last month. There was tremendous interest in Research Impact and everyone loved the Canadian maple syrup candy! We also conducted a survey of attendees about their areas of concern regarding research funding and industry partnership. We will analyze the responses and make the report available on our website soon.

As Profound Impact continues its growth in the Canadian market and expands into the United States and internationally, we are pleased to announce that the company surpassed our goal of raising $3 million in two tranches this summer, for a total of $3,125,000.  A group of female investors, including many who were first-time investors, led the way for Profound Impact’s pre-seed round of financing, which closed on May 5, 2023 and August 4, 2023 respectively. The participation of first-time female investors sends a clear message of confidence in Profound Impact’s vision and the team’s leadership. 

We’re excited about how we continue to connect great people to do great things and look forward to seeing you at our noon event – Profound Impact Day on September 14.

Thank you for connecting with us and the Profound Impact community!

Sherry Shannon-Vanstone

Meet the Impactful Actions Awards Finalists

Young Leaders Finalists

Leigh Zachary Bursey

Leigh Zachary Bursey is an activist, journalist, former three-term municipal politician, singer-songwriter, recording artist, writer and champion for the homeless. He has a long history of tackling challenging social topics including homelessness, mental health, harm reduction and allied support for the LGBTQIA community.  While serving as a city councillor for Brockville, Ontario, he came out as a suicide attempt survivor and an advocate for the federally tabled National Suicide Prevention Strategy private member’s bill.

Leigh has worked in youth homelessness shelters and adult warming centres, advocating for naloxone training and increased harm reduction supports and has been a strong advocate for increased public transit hours and operating funds for local libraries.  He focuses his speaking, research and journalism on amplifying marginalized people and sharing their ideas for change and resolutions to community challenges. Through his work, he has amplified these voices by helping them deliver meaningful messages and by challenging stigmas.

Hui Huang Hoe

Hui Huang Hoe is a serial inventor in green electrochemistry.  He founded elerGreen, a cleantech start-up that recovers valuable polymers, metals and chemicals from chemical waste. elerGreen places an emphasis on giving back to the society through mentorship of student entrepreneurs in Venture for Canada (VFC) Intrapreneurship projects. elerGreen exposes students to diversity, equity, inclusion and corporate social responsibility through these projects and by hiring visible minorities, people with disabilities, youth, newcomers to Canada and survivors of violence and the criminal justice system.

Hui Huang encourages youth entrepreneurship by coaching students in Venture for Canada. He has also published a free book, Mathematica Particularis, written to complement the syllabus of engineering mathematics, particularly for B.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto.

Tabatha Laverty

Tabatha Laverty is an acclaimed non-profit leader and award-winning marketer with a passion for workplace equity and inclusion. As VP of Marketing and External Relations at the Accelerator Centre, she has been instrumental in leading the organization in rebranding and cementing the centre’s status as a global innovation ecosystem leader.

Through Tabatha’s leadership, the Accelerator Centre has made significant progress in its mission to create a more inclusive and equitable innovation ecosystem. After only one year of work under the action plan, the centre has nearly achieved its objective of gender parity and 30% representation from traditionally underrepresented groups across its stakeholder groups. This includes the Accelerator Centre’s board, mentorship team, staff, and the founders. In addition, the centre’s most recent program launch boasts over 63% of its participants being women-led businesses, 26% being led by newcomers to Canada and 5% by indigenous entrepreneurs.

Tabatha was instrumental in developing the Accelerator Centre’s cleantech incubation program, a first for Waterloo Region. In 2020, the programming was expanded to support all entrepreneurs working on solutions that support the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, adding resources for med-tech, ed-tech, smart city and social innovation-focused start-ups, supporting nearly 100 start-ups.

You can see more from the Young Leaders and their impact below:

Lifetime Achievement Finalists

Mike Farwell

Mike Farwell is a relentless community builder who turned his grief of losing two sisters to cystic fibrosis (CF) into the largest annual fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Canada, raising over $1.25m of unrestricted funds supporting research, advocacy, and clinical care for Canadians living with CF.

Between his day job at CityNews 570, his night job calling games for the Kitchener Rangers junior hockey team and his philanthropic work with organizations across Waterloo Region, Mike Farwell’s name and voice are synonymous with leadership in the Waterloo Region. In 2014, he began the Farwell4Hire fundraising campaign, which has raised more than $1.25m for research to find a cure for cystic fibrosis. After many years of soliciting donations, Mike thought it was time for a different approach and offered to do work in exchange for donations. From weeding gardens to washing windows, Farwell4Hire has raised $1.25m since its launch, allowing CF Canada to bring a new transformational drug (Trikafta) to be widely adopted across Canada in 2022. Trikafta is considered the single greatest innovation in the history of cystic fibrosis, treating 90% of Canadians with CF by addressing the causes instead of managing the symptoms and potentially preventing irreversible damage caused by this progressive disease. It is now publicly available and insurable to all CF patients in Canada six years of age and older, with advocacy in place for younger patients.

For his tireless efforts on this annual fundraising campaign, and his genuine support of building community through his talk radio show, Mike is a true example of one person making a huge impact on the lives of many.

Lynn Smith

As a proud member of Peavine Métis Settlement, Lynn Smith is leading her northern community through a significant change to take control of monitoring the impact of climate change on their land and waterways. Through compassion, perseverance, engagement, and collaboration, she is guiding her community on the path to being able to once again drink the water from their rivers and streams; an act not experienced since her own childhood because of pollution. She is doing this by enabling her community to achieve data sovereignty, and building knowledge in her community so that they can better hold Industry and all levels of Government accountable for their actions that impact Indigenous lands.

Lynn’s exemplary leadership has created a program of environmental monitoring that delivers real benefits to her community. Her mentorship model has built a team of community-based Environmental Monitors and Data Technicians whose skills and talent are retained in the community for the benefit of the community. At the same time, Lynn practices inclusion in how she shares her knowledge and learnings with other Indigenous communities suffering from similar environmental challenges. She is doing this by showing the way for communities to build competencies in their consultation teams to autonomously monitor their land, generate and interpret data, and enact management programs. Lynn is also a builder of inclusivity, partnering with scientists outside of her community, teaching indigenous ways of knowing, and sharing Western-based methods of doing science with professionals who have participated in creating environmental monitoring programs in her community and beyond.

Lynn has been recognized for her achievements by being asked to represent her community on the Board of Directors of the Lesser Slave Lake Watershed Council, which works to improve and maintain a healthy watershed through education, planning and implementation of shared initiatives in support of communities and ecosystems throughout the region.

Stephanie Thompson

Stephanie Thompson is a passionate engineer and community leader who actively pursues new and innovative ways of promoting science, technology and learning in the Niagara Region.  “Be a ladder, be a lamp or be a lifeboat” is Stephanie’s motto, which she uses to inspire the women in Niagara and online.

In 2018, Stephanie launched her social enterprise, STEM by Steph, developed on the notion that the lack of female role models prevents girls from considering careers in the trades and in STEM fields. Following the principle that STEM is best tackled by connecting women with knowledge with those who need support in breaking barriers, the organization offers STEMbySteph, a frequently sold-out social event in the Niagara Region where Stephanie and other women teach mothers and their daughters about STEM subjects in a laughter-filled atmosphere focused on camaraderie.

Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering, a Certificate of Professional Management from Brock University, and is a Professional Engineer in Ontario. 

You can see more from the Lifetime Achievement finalists here:

Do you have an impact story to share? Let us know at connections@profoundimpact.com for a chance to be featured in an upcoming newsletter!

News Release – Profound Impact Corporation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PROFOUND IMPACT™ CORPORATION OVERSUBSCRIBED, $3.1 MILLION PRE-SEED FUNDING ROUND

Company exceeded its second tranche target to fuel continued growth of its AI-powered platform that connects academic and industry researchers with grant opportunities

WATERLOO, ON | AUGUST 30, 2023 — Profound Impact™ Corporation announced today the successful close of $3.125 million pre-seed funding round, surpassing its second tranche target for its AI-powered platform that helps academic and industry researchers find and access grants. Female investors accounted for nearly all of Profound Impact’s second tranche, including many first-time angel investors.

“As the leader of a female-founded company, it is truly inspiring to see the rise of female investors in our community and across Canada,” says Dr. Sherry Shannon-Vanstone, Founder and CEO of Profound Impact. “When women invest, industries transform. It becomes a catalyst for innovation, inclusion and a future where everyone has a seat at the table.”

Profound Impact’s first tranche of financing saw female investors contribute more than $2.2 million in pre-seed funding. Their participation demonstrates significant progress for women in the investment space, challenging gender stereotypes while contributing to a more equitable distribution of wealth. These investors also offer diverse perspectives, experiences and insights that enhance Profound Impact’s long-term planning and strategic objectives for business growth.

“Investing is so much more than just providing capital,” says Dr. Deborah Rosati, Angel Investor and Chair of Profound Impact’s Board of Directors. “It is about infusing a company with innovative business ideas that align with its vision and objectives. With female investors on board, we can cultivate an environment where equality, empowerment and creativity flourish.”

Profound Impact, which operates in the Toronto-Waterloo technology corridor, offers Research Impact, an AI-powered platform that helps academic and industry researchers find the perfect funding match. This second tranche of financing will enable Profound Impact to expand into the United States.

While this funding announcement represents a significant milestone for both Profound Impact and women-led ventures across Canada, there are still major systemic challenges that hinder female entrepreneurs’ access to capital and support.

Profound Impact isn’t the only one noticing the impact of women investing in women. The51, a Canadian Financial FeministTM platform and venture capital fund, is on a mission to see gender parity in investing, entrepreneurship, on boards, as business leaders and economic decision-makers. They’ve even launched a non-profit, Movement51, to educate women and gender-diverse individuals on how to become investors as well as to teach women and gender-diverse founders how to prepare for investment.  

The51 has compiled many stark statistics on their website including:

  • Only 11 per cent of decision-makers at Canadian venture capital (VC) firms are women
  • Roughly 85 per cent of all Canadian limited partner dollars are invested in funds with no women managing partners
  • Since 2011, all-female teams have only accounted for 1.8 to 2.7 per cent of VC dollars

Despite these alarming figures, research has shown that investing in female entrepreneurs results in high returns and more diversified, risk-averse portfolios. In fact, companies with female founders perform 63 per cent better than investments with all-male founding teams according to recent studies. Female entrepreneurs also provide access to untapped markets and new consumer segments, as their products and services more commonly address real-world needs that are often overlooked by male-dominated industries. This includes educational services, social assistance, women’s healthcare and environmental issues.

With the rate of female entrepreneurs in Canada increasing by 30 per cent over the past decade, it is imperative that we work towards closing gender gaps and encouraging greater investment in female entrepreneurs. Empowering women through economic opportunities will lead to a more equitable distribution of wealth, challenge gender stereotypes and set a positive example for future generations.

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ABOUT PROFOUND IMPACT CORPORATION

Based in the Toronto-Waterloo technology corridor, Profound Impact’s AI-powered platform – Research Impact – helps academic and industry researchers find the perfect funding match. With over $300 Billion in research funding opportunities, 100,000s industry partners and 8.8 million researchers globally, finding the optimal grant for academic and industry innovators is often overwhelming and unnecessarily time-consuming.  More than just a search engine, Research Impact offers automatic, targeted and timely matching.  Profound Impact’s customers include top North American research institutions, universities and industry partners.  CEO and Founder Sherry Shannon-Vanstone is a serial technology entrepreneur with an unparalleled track record.  She has had five successful start-ups and exits in Silicon Valley and Canada, including two IPOs and two acquisitions. 

Website: www.profoundimpact.com

Facebook: @aprofoundimpact

Instagram: @aprofoundimpact

LinkedIn: Profound Impact Corporation

Twitter: @aprofoundimpact

For media inquiries, please contact:

Durrell Communications

media@profoundimpact.com