Raquel Urtasun Named OCC’s 2023 Emerging Technology CEO of the YearSeptember 21, 2023
(TORONTO – September 21, 2023) – As part of its 41st annual Ontario Business Achievement Awards (OBAAs), the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is proud to present the inaugural recipient of the 2023 Emerging Technology CEO of the Year Award: Raquel Urtasun, Founder and CEO of Waabi. This award is presented to a CEO who has demonstrated exceptional leadership over the past 12 months, bringing their organization to a new level of growth and success within their industry.
“We are honoured to have Raquel Urtasun as the esteemed recipient of the Emerging Technology CEO of the Year Award,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the OCC. “Raquel’s outstanding achievements are a testament to her unique vision and deep expertise in artificial intelligence. Her ground-breaking work continues to bring the promise of self-driving closer to commercialization than ever, inspiring new up-and-coming technology disruptors across Ontario.”
Waabi is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) company founded in 2021, building the next generation of self-driving technology. The company is the culmination of Urtasun’s 25-year career in AI and over 13 years of experience building self-driving solutions. Urtasun is a Full professor at the University of Toronto, a co-founder of the Vector Institute for AI, and the recipient of several high-profile awards, including a Longuet-Higgins Prize, an Everingham Prize, an NSERC EWR Steacie Award, and more. She has published over 200 papers in AI and filed more than 150 patents in self-driving innovations.
“I’m honored to receive this award from the OCC and so proud of all the Waabi team has accomplished in the past year,” said Urtasun. “We’ve grown tremendously by adding best-in-class talent to our innovative and collaborative team and unveiled our core offering, the Waabi Driver: the most advanced autonomous trucking solution and a major milestone for the future of transportation. Waabi has an exciting road ahead, and there’s no place we’d rather be building in than Ontario. Thank you again to the OCC for this honor.”
Prior to forming Waabi, Urtasun was the Chief Scientist and Head of R&D at Uber’s Advance Technology Group and a Canada Research Chair in Machine Learning and Computer Vision. She earned her Ph.D. from the Computer Science department at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in 2006 and completed her post-doctorate at MIT and UC Berkeley. In 2021, Urtasun was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine’s “100 Women of Impact,” Business Insider’s “100 People Transforming Business,” and Toronto Life Magazine’s “Toronto’s Most Influential Torontonians.”
The OBAAs are the most distinguished industry celebration in the province, recognizing business success. The televised Lifetime Achievement Award episode will celebrate Urtasun’s achievements as a business leader and trailblazer in the field of AI, showcasing the incredible potential of Ontario’s homegrown talent and solutions in addressing sustainability challenges.
Watch the 2023 OBAAs on Saturday, October 14, at 3:30 p.m. ET on TLN.
This year’s OBAAs are supported by our Series Presenting Partner, CN and Broadcast Partner, TLN Media Group. To learn more about the broadcast and our partners, visit the OBAAs website.
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About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is the indispensable partner of business and Canada’s largest, most influential provincial chamber. It is an independent, non-profit advocacy and member services organization representing a diverse network of 60,000 members. The OCC’s mission is to convene, align and advance the interests of its members through principled policy work, value-added business services and broad engagement to drive competitiveness and economic growth in the province.
Waabi, founded by AI pioneer and visionary Raquel Urtasun, is an AI company building the next generation of self-driving technology. With a world class team and an innovative approach that unleashes the power of AI to “drive” safely in the real world, Waabi is bringing the promise of self-driving closer to commercialization than ever before. Waabi is backed by best-in-class investors across the technology, logistics and the Canadian innovation ecosystem, including Volvo, Khosla Ventures, Uber, 8VC, Radical Ventures, OMERS Ventures and BDC Capital. To learn more visit: www.waabi.ai
For more information, please contact:
Ontario Chamber of Commerce
Policy and Public Affairs, Specialist
firstname.lastname@example.org | 647-882-9878
LaunchSquad for Waabi: email@example.com