BDC honours 2011 Young Entrepreneur Award winners

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) tonight honours 11 of the country’s most successful young entrepreneurs at the 23rd edition of its Young Entrepreneur Awards (YEA) held in Saskatoon and today they announced the 2011 Award winners.

This year’s YEA winners were chosen based on the originality of their business concept, as well as their company’s success, growth potential and social involvement. The provincial and territorial selection committees also considered the entrepreneur’s, the number of years he or she has been in business and any special challenges that were overcome.

Among the winners are a handful of tech-related businesses:

British Columbia: Arnold Leung, 25, Appnovation Technologies, Vancouver

Open source—the technology that powers social media—is Arnold Leung’s ticket to success. After graduating from the University of British Columbia, where he started a web development business with two friends, Arnold struck out on his own in 2007. With 30 employees, Appnovation specializes in open source websites and iPhone applications and has annual revenues of more than $1 million. Arnold was also selected for Business in Vancouver magazine’s 2010 Top 40 under 40 list.

Ontario: Jeremy Gutsche, 32, Trend Hunter, Toronto

An innovation enthusiast and natural-born entrepreneur, Jeremy is the brains behind, a website that tracks hot trends in pop culture, technology and fashion. Trend Hunter’s platform brings together data from 40,000 contributors around the world, then hyperlinks the research and compiles it into value-added trend reports. The website attracts 35 million views a month, and some of its content has gone viral. As an author and keynote speaker, Jeremy makes regular media appearances.

Québec: Steve Couture, 35, Frima Studio, Quebec City

In 2003, Steve founded Frima Studio with two partners and turned it into a leading game developer on platforms ranging from the Web, consoles and mobiles, to handheld devices and TV. After investing hundreds of thousands of hours in research and development, Frima has won acclaim for its hit creations, including A Space Shooter for 2 bucks!, Pocket God on Facebook and Zombie Tycoon, and for its major youth brand products. The company has more than 260 employees and is focused on bringing entertainment to screens both big and small—from IMAX to iPhones.

And Techvibes readers will recognize the winner’s name from New Brunswick – Dan Martell‘s brother Pierre Martell of Martell Home Builders in Moncton picked up the award.