TORONTO, August 23, 2016 — SAGE Canada announced today that Toronto-based startup, HelpWear has won first place in the Social Enterprise Business category at the SAGE World Cup 2016. Youth entrepreneurs Andre Bertram and Frank Nguyen developed the HeartWatch—an around-the-clock heart monitoring and alerting device that aims to aid both the diagnoses and treatment of heart related illness, as well as functioning as an emergency response device.
On August 13th, 2016, HelpWear competed amongst 21 participating countries and over 70 youth entrepreneurs at the SAGE World Cup which took place in Manila, Philippines. HelpWear advanced to the final round of the SEB category, taking on Ireland, China and the Philippines. HelpWear came out as the 2016 SAGE World Cup SEB champions, marking the first major victory for Canada.
“As a youth entrepreneur, I am grateful for SAGE’s support in providing a global platform to showcase our life saving technology,” said André Bertram, CEO of HelpWear. “Organizations like SAGE understand the power of youth entrepreneurs to create real businesses that drive real change.”
HelpWear first joined the SAGE Canada program in September 2015, while continuing to develop their prototype with funding from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship and with the support of the Biomedical Zone–a healthcare incubator formed by a partnership between Ryerson University and St. Michael’s Hospital. In April of 2016, SAGE Canada hosted a video pitch competition open to all high schools students, qualifying the top 12 socially innovative ventures across Canada to compete in TheSTAGE: National Competition held in May. HelpWear became the national Social Enterprise Business champions along with the Socially Responsible Business champions, Sitto, an online babysitting platform, representing Canada at the global competition.
SAGE (Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship) was founded by Dr. Curt DeBerg in 2002 as a platform to develop youth entrepreneurs around the world as agents of social innovation. SAGE Canada was officially created by Wendy Cukier, former VP Research and Innovation at Ryerson University, and Andrea Belvedere, Manager of Customer Consulting at PwC, in 2009 as the Canadian chapter of this global organization. SAGE Canada gives an opportunity to youth between 13-18 years old to become change makers through their socially innovative business ventures.
SAGE continues to empower the youth through educational assistance, resources and one-on-one mentorship, striving to build the next generation of leaders. Since its inaugural year, SAGE Canada has assisted with launching 40 youth ventures, helped businesses generate over $50,000 in revenue, and united over 300 students to become social change makers. The SAGE Canada program is greatly supported by Ryerson University, as an extension of their commitment to supporting the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country.
David Kwok, Strategic Advisor for SAGE Canada, said: “We always create excuses as to why high school entrepreneurs shouldn’t be taken seriously, but HelpWear has helped change that mindset. We are hoping to leverage the success of this competition to ignite some conversations and start getting government, corporations, and academia to acknowledge youth entrepreneurship and provide the necessary support systems for them to succeed.”