entrenomics

ACE is the Name of the Game

In Business on July 25, 2011 at 10:05 am

The key impact metrics of ACE, Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship are impressive. In 2010 alone, ACE has helped generate 600 jobs and $12 million in economic activity. With the sponsorship of CIBC, this non-profit organization has been supporting young Canadian entrepreneurs since 1995.

Each year, the Student Entrepreneur National Competition is held in Toronto and is witness to countless entrepreneurs who compete to be named ‘National Champion’. As expected, the competition is tough. Finalists must impress a panel of over 30 industry leaders and CEOs with their business accomplishments – not an easy thing to do. This year Mike Wahl, co-owner of ‘Definitions’ rose above the rest and was declared the ‘2011 ACE National Champion’.

Mike and his business partner began ‘Definitions’ in 2003 when they saw a gap in the health and safety market: “We noticed that there was no scientific application to lifestyle and wellness. People needed to have simple solutions that were realistic; not restrictive.” Studying for a PhD in epidemiology, endocrinology, and applied exercise physiology at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, science is Mike’s forte.

So what exactly is ‘Definitions’?
There are three distinct divisions in this company; each aiming to improve health and safety in the work place:

  • Individualized Training
  • Corporate Wellness and Safety Services
  • Occupation Therapy Services

Determined to learn more about this year’s winner, Toronto Entrepreneurs got in
touch with Mike and found out what inspires him, what is in the future for ‘Definitions’, and asked the end-all question: iPhone or BlackBerry? Keep reading to get the scoop.

Born: June 16, 1978 – Coburg, Ontario

Alma Mater: University of New Brunswick and Memorial University Medicine

Who is your hero? My parents are my heroes. They are both
entrepreneurs and academics so they are amazing role models.

What is your motto? Winston Churchill once said, “I am easily
satisfied by the very best.” I try to take pride in everything I do and we
stress the importance of integrity.

iPhone or BlackBerry? I was a BlackBerry guy
forever but I switched to Mac products. Now I’m addicted to the iPad.

Name a setback you experienced with ‘Definitions’. How did you solve it?

We’ve had to change the way we do business in the past. For example, when the
drilling moratorium came into effect after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, we had to start conducting business remotely. We couldn’t access the facilities because there were no operations in the Gulf.

As things change, we are forced to change the way we do business rather than saying “O.K. we can’t do business the way we typically do, so let’s not do business”.

When will we see ‘Definitions’ fitness studios in Ontario?

We’re looking to franchise at some point. But right now we’re expanding into corporate wellness. Currently we’re looking into mining areas, oil sands out west in Canada, and up north in Alaska. We expand to where our clients are and following industrial populations in mining, forestry, and oil and gas.

Formore information on ‘Definitions’, check out www.definitionsonline.com.

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