Natalie Dakers, CEO, Accel-Rx – Canada’s Health Sciences Accelerator is the National Winner of the 2015 Startup Canada Award for Entrepreneur of the Year Award

December 01, 2015 – Accel-Rx Health Sciences Accelerator

December 1, 2015, Toronto, ON –  Natalie Dakers CEO of Accel-Rx has been named by Startup Canada as the national winner of the Startup Canada Award for Entrepreneur of the Year Award and will accept the award at a red carpet ceremony at the CN Tower in Toronto on December 1, 2015.

Natalie Dakers has stated: ” It was both exciting and rewarding for me to join the Startup Canada community during the Regional awards and now to receive this national recognition is truly an unexpected honour.  This grassroots organization is making an impact on Canada’s start-up community and I am proud to be a part of it. Canada needs to create a sustainable ecosystem of innovation and startups are its foundation.  Canada has so much to offer on a global scale; we just have to be ready to be bold and brave to make things happen.”

Ms. Dakers is a leading figure in the Canadian biopharmaceutical industry and currently serves as the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of Accel-Rx Health Sciences Accelerator, Canada’s new national health innovation sector accelerator. Accel-Rx is a national Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research,  headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Also accepting awards on December 1, 2015 are Right Honourable Paul Martin, founder of the Capital for Aboriginal Prosperity and Entrepreneurship Fund; Communitech CEO Iain Klugman; Medicine Hat-based wedding accessories company Weddingstar; 17-year-old Alex Gillis, CEO of; Vancouver’s Victory Square Labs; sustainable superfood producers Entomo Farms; industrial analytic app maker RtTech Software;  and Tom Fath, owner of  The Fath Group.

“Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 Startup Canada Awards, each of whom embody the spirit of entrepreneurship and who have exemplified excellence, integrity and exceptional  impact through their efforts, enterprises and ethos,” said Victoria Lennox, co-founder and CEO of Startup Canada. “Entrepreneurship is about human endeavour; it is about unleashing human potential to advance our society, economy and humanity. Canada was built by entrepreneurs and it is a privilege to have the opportunity to celebrate and showcase these magnificent Canadians who have collectively raised the tide for entrepreneurship and innovation.”

As the hallmark event celebrating and distinguishing Canadian entrepreneurship, the Startup Canada Awards can be likened to the Oscars for the entrepreneurship community. In its second year, hundreds of nominations were submitted from across Canada.  Regional winners were selected and celebrated at grassroots events throughout October and November in Halifax, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, and Ottawa.

The national winners were selected by a National Adjudication Committee, which includes some of Canada’s leading entrepreneurship and industry experts including Marissa McTasney, CEO of Moxie Trades; Frank O’Dea, Co-founder of Second Cup; Angela Tran Kingyens, investor at Version One Ventures; Gerry Pond, Co-founder and Chairman of East Valley Ventures; and Andy Nulman, President of Just for Laughs.

Members of the media are invited to attend the ceremony at the CN Tower on Dec. 1 for interviews and photo opportunities. To RSVP and to schedule interviews, please contact:

Kathryn Forrest
Communications and Marketing Manager, Startup Canada
1-844-782-7801 x106


Natalie Dakers, President & CEO
Accel-Rx Health Sciences Accelerator
Direct: 604-788-0277

About the Startup Canada Awards
The 2015 Startup Canada Awards are proudly presented in partnership with Intuit Canada and TruShield Insurance, and with the support of major industry partners including Gerry Pond, MNP LLP, Wolf Blass Wines, TELUS, UPS Canada, Scotiabank, BDC and FluidReview.

About Startup Canada
Startup Canada is a grassroots network of entrepreneurs working together to build an environment for entrepreneurship in Canada. Through online platforms, grassroots Startup Communities and cross-sector initiatives, Startup Canada is advancing entrepreneurial momentum and a culture of entrepreneurship, as the voice of Canadian entrepreneurs. Learn more at

About Accel-Rx
Accel-Rx is a Canadian- health innovation sector accelerator supporting the creation and development of national early-stage health sciences companies. Accel-Rx provides resources to health sciences start ups to help maximize their potential and enable them to stay and grow in Canada and become the next generation of innovative health sciences anchor companies. Along with its partners, Accel-Rx invests seed capital and acts as a national connectivity hub for entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and technical and business experts. Accel-Rx is a National Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research.