Fredericton, NB – June 12th, 2019 | Yesterday, Susan Holt, VP of Strategy and Communications of PLATO Testing was named the winner of the Fredericton Canadian Export Challenge Pitch Competition. Holt won $2,500 and an all-expense paid trip to Toronto where she will compete head-to-head against six regional finalists for the grand prize of $25,000 and up to $100,000 in in-kind scaling support.
New Brunswick-based company PLATO Testing was founded by industry veteran Keith McIntosh to address the rapidly growing demand for talent by providing meaningful training and employment to Indigenous people in Canada. Investing in a diverse network of over 50 Indigenous software testers across Canada, the company provides quality outsourced testing solutions to clients throughout North America, with a focus on projects previously been sent offshore. To date, over 167 students have graduated their 6-month software tester training program and internship, growing the opportunity for Indigenous Canadians to pursue careers in Information Technology and the STEM fields.
“We plan to use the opportunity to tell the story about the need for economic reconciliation in Canada and beyond, and to attract companies to come work with us, and to create technological employment for Indigenous people all across the country,” said Susan Holt, Vice President of Strategy and Communications at PLATO Testing. “I think programs like the Canadian Export Challenge increase people’s ambition levels. They allow people to think about going further, and get people imagining that there is a world of customers beyond our backyard; that there are tons of people prepared to support them.”
“PLATO Testing is combining a shortage in software knowledge with training Indigenous people across Canada, and addressing a system-wide knowledge gap in STEM fields while addressing inclusivity. Indigenous youth are the fastest growing population in Canada so PLATO Testing is more important than ever for the future of Canada,” said Rachelle DeSorcy, Canadian Export Challenge Lead at Startup Canada. “We’re delighted to see PLATO Testing win the Fredericton Canadian Export Challenge Pitch Competition and know they will proudly represent New Brunswick entrepreneurs in October at the Final Showdown.”
Presented by Startup Canada in collaboration with UPS Canada®, Export Development Canada, and the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, the Canadian Export Challenge in Fredericton showcased and supported more than 100 borderless businesses to go global.
PLATO Testing is set to travel to Toronto to represent the East Coast’s global companies in October during Small Business Week, where they will have the opportunity to pitch to win the grand prize and title as Canada’s 2019 Global Entrepreneur, receiving a host of support and funds.
Follow the Canadian Export Challenge as it makes its last stop in Montreal next week.
For more information, to schedule interviews, and to secure your media pass at the Pitch Competition Final Showdown, please contact:
Media Relations, Startup Canada