Wipebook founder Frank Bouchard sure knows how find money.
This time, though he didn’t raise another successful crowdfunding campaign for his erasable, reusable notebook. This time, his product earned him the 2016 Ernest C. Manning Innovation Award, a prize valued at $10,000.
A release announcing Mr. Bouchard’s award highlighted how the Wipebook is a low-tech solution to a common problem, whereby learners and creators can scribble notes in an environmentally friendly and efficient manner.
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The Wipebook’s innovation lies in its aqueous water base layer, giving the notebook’s pages properties mimicking a conventional whiteboard. Wipebook began as a class project for Bouchard at the University of Ottawa, but after multiple successful crowdfunding campaigns and a deal on Dragons’ Den, he has taken the idea to market and found great demand.
The product line has since found applications in flip charts, and is available at retail chains like Staples and Walmart and across 68 countries.
The Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation uses its Innovation Award to highlight Canadian entrepreneurs who improve lives in Canada and abroad. The Wipebook stood out because of its sustainability and potential to replace the standard disposable notebook.
In a statement, Mr. Bouchard said he appreciates how the Manning Awards goes beyond an electronic definition of innovation, saying it is “really about having a purpose and finding a way to make things better.”
He continued on to say that his hope is that every student who can benefit from a Wipebook can get his or her hands on it.