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UNB professor wins Community Leader Award at the 2022 Ecosystem Impact Awards

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Oct 17, 2022

Category: UNB Fredericton

Dr. Dhirendra Shukla, University of New Brunswick (UNB) professor and Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) Chair of the J Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management & Entrepreneurship (JHSC), recently received the community leader award from the 2022 Ecosystem Impact Awards.

The Community Leader Award recognizes a company or individual directly impacting the growth and development of the technology and innovation ecosystem in Atlantic Canada. They demonstrate dedication to the start-up community, and give back through the donation of time, mentorship and serving as a resource in a peer-to-peer environment.

Dr. Shukla says that although the award was given to him, he wants to recognize the professors, mentors and students at JHSC who are the force that drives the momentum and innovation at the centre.

“The role I play is very simple,” said Dr. Shukla. “I bring together brilliant students and tell them they can make things happen. They have so much energy that they keep accomplishing things you would have never expected.”

Since 2009, Dr. Shukla has worked at the JHSC, where he founded both the Summer Institute and Energia Ventures accelerator programs designed to support young entrepreneurs launch successful businesses.

He is an entrepreneur, investor and, most recently, an advisory board member with the Lemann program on creativity and entrepreneurship at Harvard University.

“When I came to UNB, I thought to myself, ‘let’s see what can happen here’ and incredible things have happened,” said Dr. Shukla. “We won this award because the work we do at UNB doesn’t happen in a bubble; we create an unbiased platform for all Atlantic Canadians to be innovative.”

The Ecosystem Impact Awards were launched in 2019 as a partnership between Volta and the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) that celebrates ground-breaking tech talent across New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.

"When the Ecosystem Impact Awards committee got together to select the winner of the Community Leader Award, Dr. Dhirendra Shukla stood out due to the wonderful work he is doing at the Entrepreneurship Centre at UNB," said Matt Cooper, CEO at Volta. "Dr. Shukla has made a big impact mentoring the upcoming generation of entrepreneurs, having helped to grow and launch over 140 companies. As a founder himself, Dr. Shukla speaks from experience, and it is easy to tell that his expert guidance has been invaluable to the students he mentors."’

“This award is a very exciting win, not just for me, but for all of New Brunswick,” said Dr. Shukla. “As Atlantic Canadians, we embrace everyone and think about how we can collectively change the direction of the region. I am proud to be a part of that.”

Media contact: Kathleen McLaughlin