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Three young OCE entrepreneurs among Top 20 FuEL Award Winners

November 13, 2012

Armen Bakirtzian (Avenir Medical), Arjun Kumar (Kela Medical) and Ronald Richardson (Benbria) some of “Canada’s Best Young Entrepreneurs”

Young OCE entrepreneurs Ronald Richardson, Benbria (left); Arjun Kumar, Kela Medical (centre); and Armen Bakirtzian, Avenir Medical are all Top 20 winners in the FuEL Awards.
They’re young, they’re successful and they’ve made their own way. Now these three enterprising scientists and engineers are officially Future Entrepreneurial Leaders. 

Armen Bakirtzian, CEO of Waterloo-based Avenir Medical Inc.; Arjun Kumar, founder and CEO of Kela Medical in Whitby, ON; and Ronald Richardson co-founder and Vice President, Sales of Kanata, ON’s Benbria Corporation rose to the top of nearly 100 nominees to emerge as Top 20 winners in PROFIT’s FuEL (Future Entrepreneurial Leaders) Awards yesterday.

Created to promote entrepreneurship in Canada, the FuEL Awards identify forward-thinking role models for youth and illustrate the many benefits of venturing out on one's own. As Top 20 winners, Armen, Arjun and Ronald receive the title, coverage in PROFIT Magazine, consulting services from KPMG Enterprise and passes to the 2013 PROFIT 200 CEO Summit and GrowthCamp.

All three entrepreneurs have been supported by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and/or OCE’s Centre for Commercialization of Research (CCR) to help them develop their technology, launch their business and grow their management capacity.

"It is truly exciting to see that three of this year’s FuEL Award winners are young entrepreneurs that we have had the privilege of supporting as they build their companies and careers. We couldn't be more proud of them and extend our sincere congratulations," says Tom Corr, President and CEO of Ontario Centres of Excellence.

This is the second consecutive trip to the winners’ circle for Arjun Kumar. He was honoured last year alongside Matt Rendall, CEO of OCE-supported Clearpath Robotics, and overall FuEL Entrepreneur of the Year Alex Levy, Founder, CEO and Lead Designer of OCE-supported MyVoice. Young OCE entrepreneur Kunal Gupta, CEO of Polar Mobile was one of this year’s FuEL judges.

“Winning the FuEL Award is a great milestone for any young entrepreneur. We may be young, but this achievement still represents years of hard work. Solid support from groups like Ontario Centres of Excellence throughout various stages of growth helps companies and the entrepreneurs behind them build up strength and become competitive on a national level — which based on this acknowledgment, is obviously working,” says Arjun.