A Whitehorse-founded technology company that specializes in helping governments go paperless has won its second national accolade this year.
Proof, a digital platform designed for use by governments who want to digitize and improve the efficiency of their decision-approval processes, was given Startup Canada’s National Innovator of the Year award in the Entrepreneur-Led Businesses Demonstrating Excellence category at a ceremony in Toronto on Oct. 23.
“It was pretty cool, a neat opportunity for our team to be recognized,” Proof CEO and co-founder Ben Sanders said in a phone interview from Toronto Oct. 24.
“… I think the award that we got for top innovator is one of the more sought-after awards and so it’s pretty cool to see a Yukon-based team start to really shine on a national level and we’re excited about that.”
On its website, Startup Canada describes itself as the “national rallying community and voice for Canada’s 2.3 million entrepreneurs.”
This is the second time Proof, which was founded three years ago, has won the top spot in an entrepreneur-geared competition in 2019. In May of this year, Proof won the Pitch@Palace Canada 1.0 pitch competition, the local version of an event founded by the Duke of York in 2014. Winning the Canadian competition landed Proof an invite to participate in the international version being held in London this December, Pitch@Palace Global 4.0.
Sanders, however, was quick to point out that despite the accolades and the team’s upcoming trip, the Proof team still has a lot of work lying ahead.
“We’re excited about it, you know, but ultimately keeping our eyes really focused on something that’s even more important, and that’s serving our partners and users,” he said. “We’re still building something … There’s still so much that still needs to happen to change government and it’s hard to innovate in government, so that’s still where I’m laser-focused and where our team is focused every day.”
Since being founded three years ago, Proof has expanded from serving only clients in the Yukon to clients across the country, with offices now in Victoria, Winnipeg, Halifax and Toronto. Besides offering support and implementing feedback on its platform, the team is also now beginning to integrate the ability to digitize forms, Sanders said.
“We’re looking at ways to do e-signatures, we’re looking at ways to digitize — why couldn’t we digitize every form? Why is it that we’re almost in 2020 and there’s still so much on paper, you know?” Sanders said. “We’re here to help change that, I think people are expecting it and wanting it ever more so we’re the right partner to help governments pull it off.”
Contact Jackie Hong at firstname.lastname@example.org