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August 20, 2018 Class of 2018

40 Under Forty: Derek Canton, 25

Photo | Erika Sidor Winners of the WBJ 2018 40 Under Forty award (from left): Heidi Cooper, Pat Davis, Derek Canton, Blaine Schnare.

Founder & CEO

paerpay, Worcester

Lives: Chelsea

Birthplace: Worcester

Colleges: Worcester State University

Canton founded paerpay three years after graduating WSU, seeking to revolutionize the restaurant industry by creating a mobile app where diners can digitally see and pay their bill without waiting for a waiter to deliver it. The company was a direct result of Canton winning Money 20/20, the world's largest financial technology hack-a-thon, where he competed against 400 developers. He has partnered with Worcester restaurant parent company Niche Hospitality and Worcester digital services provider ten24 to develop and implement the app. Paerpay was among the top 8 percent of 1,600 applicants worldwide for MassChallenge Boston, getting accepted into its startup accelerator program. Before starting his company, Canton worked for Dell EMC in Hopkinton, but he always had the entrepreneurial bug since winning WSU's inaugural Next Big Idea Competition and receiving funding for his lifestyle clothing brand. Canton is the youngest member of the Framingham State University Foundation Board and a member of WSU's Young Alumni President's Circle, helping students pursue their life and career goals. Canton volunteers as the marketing director at Liberty Churches in Shrewsbury, where he developed the church's mobile application to improve congregation engagement.

From 40 Under Forty judge Kate Sharry: “Entrepreneurship at its finest, Derek does it all and he does it in style!”

What four people would you take on a road trip? Albert Einstein, Stan Lee, Pharrell Williams and Kobe Bryant. They brought a whole new meaning to game changers.

Who has been your best mentor? My dad has been and will always be! He is my day one ride-or-die.


Read about the entire 2018 Class of 40 Under Forty

Michael Alden - Ascentria Care Alliance

Che Anderson - City of Worcester

Victor M. Archila - VMA Electric Inc.

Allison Beckler, DO - YOU, Inc.

Sam Bitar - Webster Five

Mark A. Borenstein - Seder & Chandler LLP

Kate D. Campanale - Massachusetts House of Representatives

Derek Canton - paerpay

Ryan Canuel - Petricore, Inc.

Jennifer Caron - Body Therapeutics

Danielle J. Clark - Clark Career Coaching

Heidi Cooper - Cooper’s Hilltop Farm

Matthew M. Copeland, P.E. - Copeland Building Envelope Consulting

Pat Davis - The DAVIS Cos.

Efua T. Dufu, MSW, LCSW - Ellite Event Planning

Grace Elton - Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Ursula Furi-Perry, J.D. - Becker College

Jared E. Gentilucci - Nitsch Engineering

David Gilchrist, MD, MBA - UMass Memorial Health Care

Alvara Gjylapi - Santander Bank

Erica Grinkis - The GazBar Sports Grill

Meredith Harris - Marlborough Economic Development Corp.

Erin Jansky - Worcester Housing Authority

Ben Jones - Boston Scientific Corp

Alexis Kelleher - Crust Bakeshop; North Main Provisions

Bert LaValley - Sustainable Comfort, Inc.; deadhorse hill & simjang restaurants

Jennifer Leger - Fidelity Bank

Brian Lemerise - Quiet Logistics, Inc.

Tom Lubelczyk - The Worcester Jazz Collective

Laura Marotta - Creative Hub Worcester

Ryan Matson - Small Business Insurance Agency

Michael P. McDonough, CPA - McDonough, McDonough & Corsini, LLP

Madeline Mendoza - NewVue Communities

Jessica Morris - MCPHS University

Nathan Oriol - Oakdale Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center (Oriol Health Care)

Nicholas Pelletier - Pelletier Properties at Keller Williams North Central

Courtney E. Pelley - Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center

Lilian Radke - Unic Pro Inc.

Blaine Schnare - Harrington HealthCare System

Bonnie J. Walker - Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Learn how the winners were picked on our judges' page.

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