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“The Challenge” finalists selected
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“The Challenge” finalists selected 

The finalists were selected from more than 1000 entries that small businesses across Canada submitted between March and May of this year. The winner will be announced on September 18, 2014.

“The Challenge is an opportunity for Canada’s brightest entrepreneurs and executives to showcase their unique business ideas and share their biggest challenges,” said Suzanne Trusdale, VP of Telus SMB, in a press release. “The four finalists exemplify the ways in which Canadian businesses are innovating today. Whether it’s by investing in technology, increasing their manufacturing capabilities or driving demand through marketing, we can’t wait to see how $100,000 will help the winner expand their organization to compete on a global scale.”

The finalists are 4Deep Inwater Imaging, Halifax, Nova Scotia, a producer of a submersible holographic microscope that monitors water quality; Imbibitive Technologies, Welland, Ontario, producer of Imbiber Beads, an oil-sensitive super-absorbent polymer, which the company claims can improve oil spill clean-up operations; Stathletes, based in St. Catharines, Ontario, which manipulates data through its tracking software to help NHL teams drive peak performance and gain a competitive advantage; and Vancouver Island Salt Co., Cobble Hill, BC, a producer of artisan sea salt which uses recycled cooking oil as dehydration process fuel.

Inwater Imaging plans to use the prize to improve its manufacturing capabilities. Imbibitive Technologies would use the award to launch a comprehensive communications campaign. Stathletes intends to hire technology experts to work on its camera-based technology with the $100,000, while the Vancouver Island Salt Co. wants to increase the global demand for Canadian sea salt.

“Funding is crucial for growth, and growth is what every small business owner strives to achieve every day. I have no doubt the $100,000 prize our four finalists are vying to win will have a measurable impact,” said Sean Stanleigh, product manager, Report on Small Business, The Globe and Mail. “The finalists have already cleared a huge hurdle in getting this far, and as judges, we will have a tough decision on our hands.”

The finalists will receive three Samsung smartphones, access to a Telus learning centre specialist, a one-year subscription to The Globe and Mail and a mentoring session with one of the judges.

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