Dr Darren Burke
“Working harder than the competition will result in success” -Dr Darren Burke
Athlete. Scientist. Entrepreneur.
Young Darren Burke, once a plump enthusiast of junk food, underwent a transformative journey thanks to his mom’s insistence on involving him in various sports. Surprisingly, this led to a newfound love for athleticism, propelling him to win national championships and even compete internationally.
What set him apart from his peers and extended family, however, was his remarkable intelligence. School was a breeze, evolving into an enjoyable experience where he found solace in the marvels of science. This passion became the catalyst for his academic achievements, culminating in a swift acquisition of a Ph.D., numerous scholarly articles, and a prompt tenure at the university.
Then came the revelation of business. Always up for a challenge, Darren, armed with little knowledge, initiated a sports nutrition brand. Astoundingly, he turned a $50K loan into a staggering $20M in revenue within five years, marking a triumphant exit.
Following this triumph, he co-founded a sustainable technology company alongside his longtime friend and former NHL hockey player, TJ Galiardi. Their joint efforts propelled the company from a mere idea to a valuation exceeding $30 million in just three years, emphasizing their commitment to preserving nutrients in food destined for landfill.
Dr Darren Burke
Dr. Darren Burke forged a distinguished research program and earned a reputation as an expert in his field. Serving as a professor at St. Francis Xavier University, he not only imparted knowledge in sports nutrition, exercise physiology, and metabolism but also mentored students, guiding them to excel in scientific pursuits and various professional fields, including medicine and dentistry.
In a bold move in 2008, Dr. Burke departed from his tenured university position to venture into the realm of sports nutrition. Launching a line of products encompassing protein powders, energy pills, and muscle-building creatine supplements tailored for professional athletes, he revolutionized the industry. His brand pioneered the provision of safe supplements for athletes in drug-tested sports, setting a precedent that led to safety certifications becoming the norm in the world of sports nutrition. Within a swift five years, he transformed his business idea into a category leader in both Canada and the United States, ultimately achieving a successful exit when Nutrivo, based in Chicago, Illinois, acquired the company.
A visionary leader and self-proclaimed curious mind, Dr. Burke’s next venture, in 2018, saw him teaming up with former NHL hockey player TJ Galiardi to launch a groundbreaking sustainable technology company. Outcast Foods, an innovative endeavor, focused on upcycling fruits and vegetables destined for landfill into nutrient-dense, long-shelf-life powders for use in natural health products. The company swiftly evolved from concept to multiple manufacturing facilities, attaining a valuation exceeding $30 million in just three years.
A sought-after speaker, Dr. Darren Burke frequently delivers insightful presentations on a range of subjects, spanning nutrition, cleantech, sustainability, and food waste reduction. In 2021, he received the esteemed EY Entrepreneur of the Year for Atlantic Canada, a testament to his remarkable achievements. Dr. Burke’s academic journey includes a graduate degree in Kinesiology and a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.
Positioning himself as a trailblazer in the realm of innovative consumer products and sustainable food practices, Dr. Burke’s creative approach to product development and brand building has disrupted industries and yielded unique, enduring consumer products.