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Tue, 24 Apr 2012 13:08:24 GMT | By PROFIT
Canada’s most fabulous entrepreneurs

Kunal Gupta

Kunal Gupta, Polar Mobile (© Fred Lum/CP)
  • From Steve Nash to Chief Clarence Louie, these Canadians stand out for their successful business startups. (© Yuri.Kochetkov/Pool/Reuters; Dennis Gocer; Ross D. Franklin/AP Photo)
  • Steve Nash Enterprises (© Mark Rebilas)
  • Devon Brooks, Blo Blow Dry Bar (© Dennis Gocer)
  • Robert Deluce, Porter Airlines Inc.
  • The Dragons, Arlene Dickinson, Kevin O’Leary, Jim Treliving, Robert Herjavec, Brett Wilson (© CBC)
  • Guy Laliberté, Cirque du Soleil (© Cirque du Soleil)
  • Kunal Gupta, Polar Mobile (© Fred Lum/CP)
  • Murad Al-Katib, Alliance Grain Traders Inc. (© Troy Fleece)
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Kunal Gupta
CEO | Polar Mobile

Kunal Gupta thinks today's young entrepreneurs have it good. There's so much support and encouragement available to them, from incubators and degree programs to conferences and business-plan competitions. But in 2004, he says, "the landscape was very different." That's why the former University of Waterloo student created Impact Entrepreneurship Group, a non-profit organization run entirely by student volunteers in support of young, aspiring tycoons. "We saw that young people who wanted to go in an entrepreneurial direction in their careers needed help to make that a reality," says Gupta, who started Impact in his first year of university.

Through a variety of initiatives, such as educational programs and business competitions, Impact has established itself as a leading source of information, inspiration and support for student entrepreneurs. Gupta put Impact on a solid footing early on by leaning on a broad network of experienced advisors and developing a champion in former University of Waterloo president David Johnston, now Canada's Governor General.

At age 22, Gupta co-founded Polar Mobile, which provides a platform for digital media distribution. Today, the company boasts 50 employees and 380 customers in 12 countries. "We've grown every single year since we launched," says Gupta, now just 26. In January, Polar announced a $6 million funding round that will help the company push ahead with a new product line: MediaEverywhere, a software platform created to distribute media content across "all connected screens," including smartphones, tablets and desktops. "This is our big, hairy, audacious goal," says Gupta. "To power content and the monetization of that content in a multi-platform economy."

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