The 2015 Douglas 10 to Watch winners are saying “no” to the status quo and bringing new vibrancy to the business scene. These 10 businesses were selected by a panel of independent judges as the best new businesses on Vancouver Island. The 6th annual Douglas 10 to Watch Awards celebration was held at the Songhees Wellness Centre on May 26 where a crowd of 280 business leaders celebrated these new businesses and welcomed them to the business community.
If there is one trait this year’s Douglas 10 to Watch winners all share, it is their enthusiastic approach to business. Whether they’re creating a category-changing grocery product, transforming Internet advertising or empowering artists to earn sustainable incomes through web commerce, these entrepreneurs have built their companies on a zest and zeal for what they do. This fact was particularly noted by the judges — most of whom have been around since the very first Douglas 10 to Watch in 2009.
“The passion of the entrepreneurs was definitely something that stood out this year,” says judge Deirdre Campbell of The Tartan Group. “I think every winner is doing something they truly love.”
Again this year, our judges reviewed a record number of applications. And as the number of applicants grows, so does the level of competition.
As judge John Juricic of Harbour Digital Media says, “Since we’ve started, the word and brand of this project has really got out there. We’re seeing a larger number of applications from successful businesses who have already done so much worth watching and who are poised to take their company to the next level.”
Another universal quality of this year’s winners is their success at finding a gap in the marketplace instead of simply responding to trends. These are companies that are in it for the long haul, not a quick win.
Luckily, longevity and success are fuelled by passion. So let these businesses, and their passion for what they do, inspire you.