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Credit: Courtesy of AbCellera Biologics

AbCellera Biologics, led by founder and CEO Carl Hansen (centre), is one of the finalists

Tech companies are well represented among the 22 contenders, which also span consumer and retail

Pandemic or not, entrepreneurship in this province looks as strong as ever.

Judges just named 22 B.C. businesses as finalists for the 2021 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards’ Pacific Region program. BCBusiness is a longtime sponsor of EOY, which recognizes entrepreneurs across Canada for their contributions to innovation, growth and prosperity.

Ernst & Young partner Lui Petrollini, EOY’s Vancouver-based Pacific Program director, commended the finalists on their success in trying times. “Despite the ongoing shutdowns across B.C.—and the rest of the world—causing knock-on disruption to operations and supply chains, these companies have managed to push challenges to the sideline and respond with resilience and agility,” he said in a statement.

Tech companies are well represented among this year’s finalists, given that many of them “were in an optimal position to pivot and accommodate new demands,” Petrollini added. Other sectors that stood out were consumer goods and retail.

An independent panel of judges will select regional winners that will be announced in July. The winners go on to the national awards, where they’ll square off against finalists from the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic regions. A judging panel will name 10 national winners in November, including Canada’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year for 2021.

The overall Canadian winner will compete against rivals from some 60 countries for a shot at the EY World Entrepreneur Of the Year title next June.

“It’s been incredible to see so many entrepreneurs not only meet the bar for growth—but rise above it while supporting their local and national communities along the way,” Petrollini said.

Here are the EOY Pacific Region finalists and their founders and chief executives.

AbCellera Biologics
Carl Hansen

Apply Digital
Chris Coghlan and Gautam Lohia

Beanworks
Catherine Dahl and Reza Sanaie

Copperleaf
Judi Hess

Cymax Group Technologies
Rizwan Somji

DeeBee’s Organics
Dionne Laslo-Baker

Fresh Prep Foods
Becky Brauer, Husein Rahemtulla and Dhruv Sood

HME Mobility & Accessibility
Robert Boscacci and Cameron Fleming

Jane App
Trevor Johnston and Alison Taylor

Keystone Environmental
Raminder Grewal

Legends Haul
Craig Sheridan

Natu’oil Services
Haresh Bhatt

Nude Beverages
Julius Makarewicz

Power Wood Corp.
Jake Power

Save-On-Foods
Darrell Jones

Somatic – Mechanical | Electrical | Plumbing
Gilbert Ghezesan and Patrick Wu

Tasktop
Mik Kersten

The Pro-Claim Group
Tony Scott

Vessi
Mikaella Go, Andy Wang and Tony Yu

Weatherhaven
Ray Castelli

Western Logistics
Mary Waring

WPIC Marketing + Technologies
Jacob Cooke and Joseph Cooke