NanoCnet earns Canada’s first printable and flexible electronics Startup of the Year Award

NanoCnet (Waterloo, Ontario) has won The Canadian Printable Electronics Industry Association’s (CPEIA) first Startup of the Year Award at CPES2017, Canada’s premier conference and tradeshow exhibition for printable, flexible and wearable electronics held May 24-26 at Centennial College’s new Conference Centre in Toronto. The award presentation capped off the final day of CPES2017, in which a panel representing six Canadian financing organizations and programs for startups and SMEs, led by CPEIA financing partner the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), heard pitches from four finalist startups.

Dr. Hadi Hosseinzadeh Khaligh.
NanoCnet CEO Dr. Hadi Hosseinzadeh Khaligh.

Winning startup NanoCnet Limited manufactured a transparent conductive film using silver nanowires so thin, that they’re invisible to the human eye! This stable silver nanostructure has set a new standard for cost, durability and flexibility, making it a promising option for thin solar cells, printed and flexible electronics, touchscreens and smart windows. Compared to typical silver nanowire, the synthesis process for NanoCnet’s nanomaterial is faster and can occur at room temperature – which is essential for low-cost manufacturing.

The team behind the company includes co-founders Dr. Hadi Hosseinzadeh Khaligh (CEO) and Dr. Ehsan Mazbanrad (COO), with the support of technical advisor and investor Dr. Kaamaran Raahemifar of Ryerson University. Judges scored each startup based on the market potential of the product or application, the soundness of the business plan, and the viability of the business to generate wealth and jobs for the Canadian economy.

Peter Kallai, President and CEO of the CPEIA.
Peter Kallai, President and CEO of the CPEIA.

“The judges faced a difficult challenge – these four startups did a fantastic job developing and presenting their pitches, and we see a bright future for all of them,” said Peter Kallai, President and CEO of the CPEIA. “As part of this program, the CPEIA will continue to provide support to all our finalists, with introductions to customers and partners, assistance with accessing financing, and securing mentorship from seasoned industry leaders.” The four finalists were coached and mentored over a six-week period by Kallai through his Keystep Growth & Finance consultancy, and Kirk Irving, Business Centre Manager at the BDC. The other startup finalists were Acquire Industries, Formi 3DP and Wibicom.


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.