Douglas magazine’s 10 to Watch Award winners for 2020 are looking to change the world. Their bold visions include slowing down climate change, helping veterans reclaim their health, sustainably farming the land and the oceans, and providing natural healthcare solutions from a custom-outfitted Winnebago.
As daring as their goals may be, these innovative companies aren’t just disrupting for the sake of it — most of them have a much greater purpose in mind as they build their businesses.
That desire to create positive change has helped propel them beyond inexperience, fear and startup financial challenges to make it to the very top of the list of Vancouver Island’s most promising new businesses.
The winners of 10 to Watch Awards for 2020 are:
Eir Mobile Medicine
An acupuncture and natural medicine clinic housed in a multi-coloured Winnebago, Eir Mobile Medicine brings a vivacious farmer’s-market energy to the typically staid health environment.
Bilston Creek Farm
Maintaining a beautiful balance of progressiveness with sustainability, Bilston Creek Farm produces natural face, body, kitchen and bath products, and has become a hotspot destination for weddings, retreats and dinners.
Cascadia is a commercial seaweed farmer looking to bring more seaweed into the diets of North Americans.
The Covault app is powerful co-marketing software that connects brands and retailers to unlock co-op funding and reach a shared local audience.
VINN’s innovative online auto buying platform makes buying a car simpler and less time consuming for Canadians.
Zero Waste Emporium
Vancouver Island’s first full-serve, zero-waste grocery store, Zero Waste Emporium provides food, personal care and cleaning items all package-free.
This company’s inventive app streamlines restaurant ordering by combining meal delivery applications like DoorDash, Grubhub and SkipTheDishes in a single interface.
With its integrated payment software, DivDot solves a major pain point for business — how to pay and get paid.
Little Fox Design
This certified carbon-neutral green graphic design and branding studio focuses on something no one else in the industry seems to be paying attention to — the climate.
Rehab and Performance
Rehab and Performance provides a rehabilitation space for a particularly vulnerable sector: Veterans and service personnel.
“We celebrate each of these entrepreneurial 10 to Watch winners for their innovative ideas and ambition to change the world,” says Lise Gyorkos, co-owner of Page One Publishing, which produces Douglas magazine. “A 10 to Watch Award is a strong endorsement from local experts — and recognizes that these businesses demonstrate sound business models, scalability, talent and great market potential.”
This year marks the 11th annual 10 to Watch awards, which highlights 10 up-and-coming local businesses for their innovation and entrepreneurship.
Read the 10 to Watch Issue
Interested in reading more business content featuring local stories from Victoria, B.C. and Vancouver Island? Read the flip-thru of our 10 to Watch issue online or subscribe here. Copies of the 10 to watch issue will begin distribution throughout the South Island region via strategic distribution channels and Canada Post business delivery starting this week.
About 10 to Watch
The 10 to Watch winners were selected by an independent panel of judges that included local business owners and representatives of the University of Victoria Peter B. Gustavson School of Business and Royal Roads University School of Business.
The publicity these winners receive through the 10 To Watch Awards gives them well-deserved applause, builds brand recognition and shines the spotlight on the Island’s spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship.
“It’s an especially difficult time for new businesses,” says Douglas Editor-in-Chief Kerry Slavens. “These innovative local businesses are an important core part of our communities, so please consider giving them extra business and moral support.”
In the 11 years since Douglas magazine first launched these awards, we have recognized 110 winners, who have gone on to become a vibrant and successful part of the entrepreneurial landscape here on Vancouver Island.