Ottawa business journal 20160912

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Making news Elgin Street newsstand’s rebranding latest sign of industry ‘evolution’ > PAGE 3

September 12, 2016 Vol. 19, NO. 23



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The Fusebill team has plenty to cheer about, thanks to a major infusion of cash and a new board chairman with impressive credentials. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

Fusebill’s 6 million reasons to smile Software company lands key investment — and new board member with major cred Firm that specializes in recurring billing solutions says it’s ready to take on the world from its Herzberg Road head office > PAGES 10-11

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RETAIL Evolution of the newsstand Mags and Fags finds new niche amid rebranding BY JACOB SEREBRIN Special to OBJ


or 35 years, Elgin Street newsstand Mags and Fags had a memorable name that described exactly what the store sold. But after the store stopped selling cigarettes in February, owners Charlene and Christa Blaszczyk say the business went through an “existential crisis.” This week they announced they’d be changing its name to The Gifted Type, branding that they say better reflects what their store sells and the direction they want to take it. When the two sisters took over the store 10 years ago, cigarettes and other tobacco products accounted for about 50 per cent of sales, says Charlene Blaszczyk. Newspapers and magazines made up the rest since, at that point, the store didn’t sell much else. That has changed. “The cigarettes were sliding, year after year, and we had to fill the void in sales with something else and we thought cards and gifts were a great complement to the existing magazine business,” Ms. Blaszczyk says. Even though readers are consuming more and more content online, the retailers say the other half of their business hasn’t been hit as hard. “Magazines are still our largest category, and that’s why we remain committed to print,” Ms. Blaszczyk says. She says hard-to-find magazines and imported titles, in particular, have remained big sellers.

That niche focus is something the store has had from the beginning. “Even in our tobacco business, in its heyday, we would have premium product and hard-to-find product, so there was always a reason to come to us,” she says. “We’re trying to do that with our cards and gifts as well.” Cards and gifts appeal to a wider audience than magazines and cigarettes, Ms. Blaszczyk says. They also have a higher margin than magazines, though she says she can’t reveal percentages due to confidentiality agreements with suppliers. Ms. Blaszczyk says she and her sister want to move more of their business online, a step that’s been hindered by the word “fags” in the store’s name. While many people recognize it as British slang for cigarettes, it has caused the name to be blocked by spam filters. “If we want to be around for the next 35 years, we have to make the leap,” she says of the name change. The focus on hard-to-find and imported magazines has created an opportunity to sell magazines over the internet. Ms. Blaszczyk says the store has customers from as far away as British Columbia who are looking for single copies of magazines that are expensive to import one at a time. “If you’re trying to import them yourself, you might end up spending $40 per magazine, but we might be able to send it to you for $20 all in,” she says. With the decline of newsstands, Ms. Blaszczyk says it’s a growing opportunity. In particular, there’s growing interest in a new wave of magazines that are printed

Venerable Elgin Street newsstand Mags and Fags is now The Gifted Type. PHOTO BY DAVID SALI

“We didn’t make this decision lightly, that’s for sure. It’s been a process of adapting and evolving to the changes in the industry – both tobacco and print – and we really feel like it’s not the death of another newsstand, it is the evolution of one.” – CHARLENE BLASZCZYK, CO-OWNER OF MAGS AND FAGS, WHICH HAS REBRANDED ITSELF AS THE GIFTED TYPE

on higher-quality paper and have fewer ads. “We’re seeing a lot of younger people coming in and picking up magazines,” she says. “There’s a lot of interesting content and super high quality and it’s more of a collectable.” For the sisters, who started working at the store as students before taking it

over, changing the name wasn’t an easy decision. “We didn’t make this decision lightly, that’s for sure,” Ms. Blaszczyk says. “It’s been a process of adapting and evolving to the changes in the industry – both tobacco and print – and we really feel like it’s not the death of another newsstand, it is the evolution of one.”

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LAUNCH PAD Startup’s global expansion strategy on the money Fledgling fintech firm Fentury has based its marketing team in Europe in bold bid to build lucrative overseas client base BY ADAM FEIBEL


n Ottawa fintech startup wants to gain an edge on its competitors with a bold and challenging strategy – start by operating globally in order to reach underserved markets. Currently a division of Ottawa account data aggregation firm Salt Edge, Fentury has developed a personal finance adviser app that “makes you understand your money and prepare your future planning,” explains Lisa Terziman, who co-founded the firm in 2015 with Dmitrii Barbasura. The software-as-a-service app connects all users’ financial accounts and helps them build budgets, plan bill payments and handle other money management tasks. The firm is also working on a feature that would make specifically tailored suggestions based on a user’s particular habits. For example, it might recommend someone cut back on that daily latte at the coffee shop to help save for a new car. “We all keep up with money because we want to do something,” says Ms. Terziman. “We want to get out of debt, save for an awesome vacation, buy some really cool thing or whatever. If you really want to achieve your goal and you don’t want to spend a lot of time on your

money … then you should use Fentury – because in one minute you’ll know everything about your money.” The startup exists alongside wellestablished competitors like Mint, a leader in the field that offers similar personal finance services. Two years after launching, that company was acquired by Intuit for $170 million in 2009 and reported having 20 million users this year. Fentury says one of the biggest differences is its approach. While many existing personal finance apps are free to use, with the companies making money through lead generation or by selling non-identifying data on things like spending habits, Fentury has done the opposite: the company will generate revenue directly from subscriptions ($5 a month or $50 for the year, after a 30-day trial), rather than by indirect means. “Either it’s free and you partner with third-party companies who you’ll sell the data so that you can monetize, or you go with a subscription and make sure the data stays private,” says Ms. Terziman. “We chose the second one because we believe that finances should stay personal.” The company also emphasizes a global presence above all. While many apps are available only in Canada and the United States, Ms. Terziman

Fentury co-founders Lisa Terziman and Dmitrii Barbasura. PHOTO COURTESY FENTURY

says there’s a demand for such an app worldwide that isn’t being met. Fentury is currently compatible with 2,500 banks in at least 50 countries. The company has begun focusing on German-speaking countries – Germany, Austria and Switzerland in particular – where there seems to be unfulfilled demand and the firm thinks it can make major gains, she says. The company’s 11 employees are split into two offices: the main headquarters in Ottawa, led by Mr. Barbasura, and a European office in Moldova, led by Ms. Terziman. Basing their marketing team in Europe opens a door to what the firm sees as a lucrative overseas market, she says. Broadening their reach has been no easy task, says Ms. Terziman. “It’s really hard to achieve, and we worked like hell to get to it,” she says.







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“I’d say we probably have the biggest connection (to banks) so far.” Fentury landed an initial $500,000 seed round in late 2014, and will be seeking another $1.5 million in its next round of private equity financing. The firm projects 100,000 users in 2017 for monthly recurring revenues of $250,000, and expects to triple its user base the following year. Ms. Terziman says that aside from seeing Fentury as a business opportunity, she also sees it as a chance to make a positive difference in people’s lives, adding she would have loved to have had access to an app like it earlier in her life. “We don’t want to be just a usual personal finance manager,” she says. “We actually want to change the financial behaviour of people and really help them to get better with their money.”


startup journey, and outline a basic framework for communities to map their ecosystem.” The list spans the idea, launch and growth stages, and also includes resources for recruitment and advisement. The creators are still looking for input and feedback. Visit the website at canvas.

CHANGE LOG OTTAWA FIRMS WIN STARTUP CANADA AWARDS Local startups CanvasPop and SuraiTea are being recognized for excellence in entrepreneur-led business at the Startup Canada Awards this month. CanvasPop, a canvas printing company, won the global entrepreneurship award. SuraiTea, a social venture that makes and sells traditional jasmine tea while providing jobs to Syrian refugees in Canada, won the social enterprise award. In addition, Eli Fathi, head of analytics startup MindBridge Ai, won the senior entrepreneur award. The Ontario region’s reception and ceremony will take place Sept. 27. FOUNDER INSTITUTE MAPS OTTAWA STARTUP RESOURCES There’s a “giant list” now available to help Ottawa entrepreneurs and startups navigate the many resources available to them throughout the city. The Ottawa Founder Institute has created the Startup Ecosystem Canvas to “provide local entrepreneurs with a clear list of resources for every stage of their

ESTAFFMATCH LOOKS TO TOUCH DOWN IN EUROPE Ottawa startup eStaffMatch, a marketplace that connects event organizers with trained staff, has been accepted into the Techstars accelerator program and is using the opportunity this fall to establish a base in the European market. The company will have operations in Berlin and London. It was only a few months ago that eStaffMatch was expanding out of Ottawa and into Toronto and Montreal. As the startup continues to grow rapidly, chief executive Eropa Stein says that revenues have been doubling month over month as more users join the platform. YOU.I LANDS CONTRACT WITH CFL The Canadian Football League launched a new version of its mobile app CFL Mobile this month, powered by the user experience technology of Ottawa firm You.i TV. Working with the company was “the only option that allowed us to realize our vision for the new application,” Christina Litz, the CFL’s senior vice-president of content and marketing, said in a media release. You.i’s steady stream of bigname deals helped it to No. 6 on OBJ’s list of fastest-growing companies in 2016.


Info and registration at

Camp Tech: Social Media Basics Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 1 p.m. HUB Ottawa, 71 Bank St. Info and registration at

Startup and Small Business Financing Thursday, Sept. 22 at 1 p.m. Startup Canada, 56 Sparks St. Info and registration at

Diagnosing Business Innovation Thursday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. Startup Canada, 56 Sparks St. Info and registration at

Ottawa’s Internet of Things Conference Thursday, Sept. 29 to Friday, Sept. 30 Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St. Info and registration at

Building a Culture of Innovation Friday, Sept. 16 at 9 a.m. The Code Factory, 100 Gloucester St.

The deCODE Hackathon Friday, Oct. 14 to Saturday, Oct. 15 Info and registration at

Invest Ottawa: Ask an Expert! BY INVEST OTTAWA


anada is now home to more people over the age of 65 than under 15, according to Statistics Canada. As a unanimous feeling, the well-being of aging relatives always seems to pang the hearts of family members. That’s why Felipe Izquierdo, Nick Petryna, and Elizabeth Audette-Bourdeau decided to start the seniors care conversation by launching their app: Welbi.

“Taking care of our elderly family members, while still allowing them to be independent, is difficult. No one on our team could find a solution that provided the peace of mind that our families need, so we decided to build one ourselves,” says Felipe. Using wearable technology, Welbi tracks the health progression of aging loved ones. The app’s analyzes and aggregates the data (heartbeat, sleeping patterns, etc.), notifying users should any irregularities form. The startup wants families to be more informed when coordinating their efforts of caring for elderly loved ones. Right now, the new firm is in their beta phase, bootstrapping their operations. They hope to crack the international market with their product, connecting anyone with a smartphone and piece of wearable tech. With growing concern around the aging population becoming prevalent, many global companies are focusing R&D in this industry. So Welbi needs to know “what should be prioritized when your company needs to grow quickly to succeed in a competitive industry?”

Sam Khan: VP Operations and Business Development of iStorm & Invest Ottawa EIR Speed to market and a sound guerrilla marketing plan can be a big difference when competing against other companies in your market. Paid advertising such as Google Adwords or Facebook advertising will get your brand in front of your customers for a low cost and will build your brand’s awareness. Also position yourselves as a thought leader in your space. It sets yourself ahead of your competition and establishes you as an expert. Blog articles or videos work well. Another thing to consider is partnering. The more applications which Welbi can sync with, the more value your clientele can take away from it. I’ll use fitness wearables as an example. Fitbit is compatible with a surplus of other well-used apps and does a great job of creating a complete ecosystem which covers the user’s life. Three Takeaways: Differentiation is Key Your product and your competitor’s product are not the same and your customers should know that. Become a Thought Leader in Your Space Create blogs, videos, and any other content that displays your knowledge and puts your product ahead of your competition. Partner WITH the Best to BE the Best Create partnerships with applications and products which align with your customers.


Have a business question for our experts? Email us at askanexpert@ and we’ll be in touch!


Christopher Johnson: Founder & CEO of Face Strategic, L-Spark Mentor & Invest Ottawa EIR First, clearly determine your value proposition, demonstrating succinct competitive differentiator(s). If your target market doesn’t understand the value of your product or service, what will stop them from buying from your competitors? Second, companies require validation and a proven sales and marketing model. Without clear validation and a proven model, companies can waste an inordinate

amount of capital on unproven tactics. How can you achieve rapid growth by pursuing the wrong buyer or investing in a flawed inbound marketing strategy? Once a product is validated bookended by a proven sales and marketing strategy, venture capital or angel funding is an option to scale quickly. This is especially applicable in a case where it provides a competitive advantage by taking market share from the competition.

COMMENTARY Great River Media 250 City Centre Ave., Suite 500 Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 6K7

Why I volunteer with Invest Ottawa You.i TV co-founder Jason Flick says city’s success as an entrepreneurship hub stems from a willingness to help young companies get on their feet





nce, while hosting an AccelerateOTT event, I asked the audience to define Ottawa’s business community in just a few words. I got a lot of serious-looking faces but few answers. Of those answers, I think the one from Tobi Lutke, the CEO of Shopify, characterized Ottawa best: “We are the city behind all the things we use. We aren’t Facebook, but Shopify drives their e-commerce. We didn’t build the internet, but it nearly all ran on Nortel hardware.” I’ll take it further; we have no big media companies here, but You.i Engine drives some of the world’s biggest TV apps. We don’t build cars here, but Kinaxis powers the systems that manage the just-in-time parts. We don’t build fleets of planes, but MXI Technologies manages the maintenance of the world’s largest airlines. And the list goes on and on. I think that sentiment matches Ottawa’s humble yet audacious stance as a key player of the less showy businessto-business (B2B) world, which in turn drives the more flashy businessto-consumer (B2C) one. From my perspective, the evolution of Ottawa’s tech sector has been exciting to follow, both as a participant and a spectator. I believe this success exists because our community has always rallied around each other. I started my first real business during the early days of the internet, selling used computer equipment. At the time, there was little support for local entrepreneurs. Our solution was to cram about 20 fledgling entrepreneurs into a small room at St.

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Jason Flick first joined Invest Ottawa’s innovation advisory committee in 2012. FILE PHOTO

Anthony’s Soccer Club in Little Italy. The room was free for us to use, and you dropped a dollar in the case if you took a beer. We talked about how our startups were faring and shared lessons learned, even our setbacks. There were no entrepreneurs-in-residence as there are in today’s business incubators. We were just a bunch of startup geeks creating a space to help and support each other. It was not a scalable approach, but we all benefited significantly from it. I’m sure I speak for this early group when I say that a lot of people gave up their personal time to help others be successful. I count myself in on both sides of that equation.

“We are the city behind all the things we use.” TOBI LUTKE, CEO OF SHOPIFY

My introduction to Invest Ottawa was joining the innovation advisory committee back in 2012. It immediately became obvious that IO was on the path to scaling entrepreneurship in a meaningful fashion. Just as our tech community has evolved, IO represents the evolution of our small, cramped meetings in those early days. Whether your head is percolating that next big idea or you are a seasoned tech entrepreneur with business abroad, IO has a way to help. I know this because the numbers speak for themselves. At least 22,000 people have attended its entrepreneurship-related seminars, and its experts have delivered more than 35,000 hours of mentorship to startups. We’ve helped 500 companies

grow globally and have facilitated 4,700 new jobs for the city. And if you time it right, drop by the incubator space for the late-night pizzas and watch our starving startups hustling to get product out the door; they’re just some of the 1,100 new companies that have done the same over the years. I have also seen first-hand how masterfully IO can secure precious funding from the province, federal government and local service providers. It’s no easy job, but when it’s managed properly, their work is magic for the city. Today, I am honoured to have a seat on IO’s board of directors and chair the innovation committee. Our volunteers are passionate about the community and driven to push Invest Ottawa’s reach across the entire functional landscape. We have CMOs, CEOs and university deans mentoring and even rolling up their sleeves for projects. They put in this time because they once needed that same help. The organization is filled with volunteers and staff who all share a passion for making Ottawa an incredible place to live and work. That is why I joined Invest Ottawa. That is why I volunteer my time with Invest Ottawa. That is why others do. This is a unique community that is dynamic and supportive. For those of you who’ve been on the receiving end, it’s time to give back and get involved. Jason Flick is a veteran in the world of enterprise growth and management, having founded and scaled a number of successful software companies, most notably Flick Software, Eftia and N-Able. Jason believes in disrupting the status quo, which is what led him to start You.i TV with co-founder Stuart Russell. He is currently a sitting member of the board for Turner Ad Labs, Invest Ottawa and Flick Software.

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READER COMMENTS Cheers, jeers for Invest Ottawa Re: “Leave innovation to business community, exInvest Ottawa startup mentor says” (OBJ, Aug. 29)

People who are not a part of Ottawa’s technology community probably haven’t noticed that Ottawa doesn’t have a technology community any more. It used to have one called Silicon Valley North. It’s a bit odd because companies founded on technology create more jobs in Ottawa than anything except the federal government, just like when there was a Silicon Valley North back at the end of last century. There are lots of leaders in Ottawa leading tech companies. They just don’t make up a community any longer. The one they used to have, stirred by an organization called OCRI, was dismembered five years ago. That’s when the city created Invest Ottawa. They don’t talk technology so much at IO. It’s “knowledge-based business” they’re concerned with, which when you get down to it is just about any business. As IO’s first chief famously said, “If you get off the bus in Ottawa and say, ‘I want to start a barbershop,’ we’ll help you out.” Tech, of course, would be included in its mandate but there would no longer be members. Networking events were sharply curtailed. Born in the 1980s, supported by tech company members, OCRI was the heart of a tech community that grew to be known as Silicon Valley North. For decades it was the builder of networks, applauding success, featuring leaders, encouraging mentors, facilitating partnerships and doing a wide range of things to bring people together. Monthly breakfast meetings for hundreds were held at the Corel Centre. Educational and networking events from Kanata to downtown were common. There was even a time when pre-competitive, commercial, joint research projects were managed (OCRI was originally the Ottawa Carleton Research Institute, later the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation). OCRI inspired and was model for a number of tech sector growth engines. – Tony Patterson, via



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I think there is something about not overthinking or overplanning this sort of stuff. Hard stuff to swallow in a government town. Having a space where technophiles, creatives, makers, solvers and people who build stuff for a living can mix it up I think is powerful. Ottawa is not so big and dense to have this happen naturally. So an open and friendly space may well work. Or not. Won’t know until we spend the money and do it. Having been part of Invest Ottawa a few years ago, it is just a bit too well organized for me. Too restricted in access. Sterile. A big government and big business feel. Not a crazy, eclectic, authority and statuschallenging place. Oh well. – Mike, via

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Dr. Guy J. Hébert, Head of the Department of Emergency Medicine at The Ottawa Hospital (TOH), hesitates when he describes himself and his fellow emergency department medical staff as “adrenaline junkies.” It’s best to describe them as professionals who thrive on highly organized chaos.

“Emergency medicine has a lot of excitement to it, a lot of adrenaline. It’s very challenging medicine,” says Dr. Hébert. “We see the sickest of the sick – along with all our colleagues at The Ottawa Hospital – but we do see it all here in Emergency Medicine.” Originally from New Brunswick, Dr. Hébert describes himself as “a Maritimer at heart.” His family moved to Ottawa when he was 12. He did his undergraduate studies in Ottawa and attended medical school here as well. “I love acute care medicine,” says Dr. Hébert. “I love the challenge of diagnosis, the challenge of being the first intervener… being the first person to actually get in there and treat the patient.” As the only trauma centre in Eastern Ontario, an average of 222 patients come through the

emergency department every day at TOH Civic campus – 238 patients at the General. That adds up to almost 170,000 patients annually. Issues range from sprained ankles to the most serious kinds of trauma and illness, including some of the most severely ill patients in the region. Dr. Hébert is an expert in a broad spectrum of trauma and illness but he’s quick to point out that it’s a team effort at TOH. Having the ability to draw upon specialized expertise, including research, he says, is what sets TOH apart from other hospitals. If there’s a health-related emergency, the best place to be is at The Ottawa Hospital, especially when minutes count. One area of emergency medicine that’s seen advances, is how hospitals manage strokes. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is obstructed. If









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brain cells are deprived of oxygen they begin to die, and if too much time goes by, patients can lose memory and muscle control. If paramedics pick up a patient suffering from a stroke they bypass the regional hospitals - whether the patient is in Orleans or Kanata and go directly to The Ottawa Hospital where a team of medical staff is quickly assembled. Once admitted, the patient falls under the care of specialists and nurses with exceptional skillsets. According to Dr. Hébert, the Civic campus has the greatest number of “time critical specialties.” There’s also the Regional Trauma Centre and the Stroke Centre where all of the traumas and strokes in the region are diverted. Improvements in patient care are happening every day at TOH, and as an academic facility, it’s home to some of the most pre-eminent researchers in Canada. “The emergency medicine research program here in Ottawa, lead by Doctors Stiell, Perry, Vaillancourt, Thiruganasambandamoorthy, these are our researchers. Together, they are the most prolific, emergency medicine research group in Canada,” says Dr. Hébert. Their research often results in new guidelines and new treatment. Dr. Stiell, for example, has been conducting research into atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat, which some patients present with in the emergency department), and whether it’s better to treat with medication or to reset the heart electrically to start it back in a normal rhythm. It’s a madein Ottawa approach that leads to shorter lengths of stay in emergency, fewer hospital admissions, and a quicker return to regular routines for patients. It’s practice-changing research, and it’s improving patient lives every day. Whether it’s a stroke, trauma or illness, today, entire teams are mobilized, there are specialists on call, and research advances are improving patient care and outcomes. What has remained constant over time however, is the very nature of the emergency department: they see the sickest of the sick, people in their times of greatest need. “We’re here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our mission is to care for the patients the best way that we can… And I think that we do, every single day,” says Dr. Hébert. “We are proud to be the safety net for the community.”







With a current workforce of more than 30 employees, Kanata’s Fusebill is on a growth trajectory that could see it nearly double its headcount before the end of the year. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

Fusebill books $6-million venture capital infusion MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2016

Kanata firm’s push to become global leader in billing software for SMEs gets extra boost with funding from Toronto, Washington groups that see massive upside in its product offerings





hen Greg Burwell and Tyler Eyamie were laid off as part of a purge at Ottawa tech firm Protus in 2010, they found themselves with plenty of time and a “little bit of a nest egg” to start the next phase of their lives as entrepreneurs. But as any astute businessperson knows, time and money aren’t enough to build a successful company – you need to have a marketable solution to a problem that customers want solved.

As it turns out, Mr. Burwell and Mr. Eyamie figured they had that, too. They’d seen firsthand how Protus, which invoiced more than a half-million customers every month, employed eight full-time staffers to manage its archaic billing system – a “slow-moving Titanictype beast,” in the words of Mr. Eyamie. There had to be a way to make recurring billing more efficient, they thought. And if they found it, they could put Ottawa on the map in a space that was ripe for disruption. Their search for an answer led to Fusebill, which now employs more than 30 people and is a fixture on OBJ’s annual

list of fastest-growing companies. The Kanata firm’s cloud-based platform has won hundreds of customers in Canada and the United States, even though the company has devoted most of its efforts so far to perfecting its technology rather than marketing it. That’s about to change. Fusebill announced earlier this month that it has landed $6 million in fresh venture capital, which it plans to spend on beefing up its sales and marketing team in an effort to take the business “to that next level,” says Mr. Eyamie, Fusebill’s CEO. Toronto-based ScaleUP Ventures

is leading the latest round along with Washington, D.C.’s Langdell Investments, with additional participation from past investors OMERS Ventures and BDC Capital. ScaleUP managing partner Kent Thexton, a former managing director of OMERS Ventures, will also become chairman of the Fusebill board. Mr. Eyamie calls Mr. Thexton a “billing domain expertise beast” and says he couldn’t have asked for a more experienced industry veteran to help guide the company through its next stage of growth. “It all kind of came together perfectly,” he says in a chat with OBJ at Fusebill’s

head office on Herzberg Road. The company has also brought software industry veteran Rob Sutherland on board as its chief revenue officer. Mr. Sutherland, a former vicepresident and director of international sales at local human resources software firm Halogen, says he sees a “fundamental shift” toward a subscription-based billing model in the software industry and believes Fusebill is only scratching the surface of its potential. “It is a completely underserved market,” he says. “There are very few companies globally that understand the secret sauce to be successful in that space.” Like Halogen, Fusebill is setting its sights on the small and mediumsized business segment, particularly in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia. It is targeting customers with annual sales of anywhere from a half-million dollars to $100 million that are struggling to efficiently invoice customers, chase down past-due accounts and manage the overall billing process. “They either have humans or they have some kind of homegrown (system) that they’ve put together to get them to

where they are,” Mr. Eyamie says. “It’s a real greenfield opportunity right now. There are no real solutions in place.” That segment, he says, could be worth up to $8 billion and is there for the taking. That opportunity caught the attention of Mr. Thexton, who is also chairman of the board at Toronto-based Redknee, which makes converged billing software used by such telecommunications giants as AT&T and T-Mobile. “The market likes (Fusebill’s) product,” he says. “I knew Fusebill from my time at OMERS Ventures, and Tyler and the team have done a great job of going through that valley-of-death period, the hard times of establishing your product market fit, and they’re really starting to hit some strides. “Tyler and Greg did a great job of buckling down and making it work. That fortitude, that just-get-it-done attitude, impressed me a lot.”

FAST FACTS ON FUSEBILL: Founded: 2011 Number of employees: About 35 Number of customers: Hundreds worldwide Revenue growth: 328.57% from 2013-15

“It is a completely underserved market. There are very few companies globally that understand the secret sauce to be successful in that space.” – ROB SUTHERLAND, FUSEBILL’S NEW CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER

While the company has devoted most of its sweat and toil so far to developing what it feels is a market-leading product, it’s now time “to put the pedal to the metal” in its sales and marketing efforts, Mr. Eyamie acknowledges. Mr. Thexton agrees. He notes the firm does face a heavyweight competitor in Zuora, a cloud-based subscription billing platform made in northern California that tends to target larger customers than Fusebill. He says Fusebill needs to focus on its system’s strengths – simplicity and ease of use among them – and get its growing sales staff in front of more potential clients. “There’s lots of opportunity right now,” Mr. Thexton says. “The market potential is huge. In a lot of markets, you can have a No. 1 and a No. 2, and

they’re both very successful. I think the opportunity is to really ... differentiate from Zuora, beat out the other competition and fill that void.” Mr. Eyamie sounds like he’s up for the challenge, predicting Fusebill will be at nearly 60 employees before the end of 2016. He says other Ottawa firms such as Shopify and Halogen took years to become “overnight successes,” adding there’s no reason why Fusebill can’t join that list. The company has yet to turn a profit, but Mr. Eyamie believes it will be breaking even by 2018. “The short-term strategy is to build an awesome company,” he says. “Obviously, there’s pressure to grow it, but we want to grow it at the right pace. The longterm play is to build another great Ottawa success story and kind of let the rest happen for itself.”

Management buyout as a succession plan option Robert P. Kinghan is a Partner and Head of the Business Law Group at Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall LLP/s.rl. His practice focuses on general corporate law, with particular emphasis on securities law, corporate finance, banking, and mergers and acquisitions counselling. He can be reached at 613.566.2848 or

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2016 An evening of Live Jazz, Outstanding Cuisine, Exceptional Wine & Fireworks buy tickets at


Read Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall’s top legal tips for succession planning here


TECHNOLOGY Tablo cutting into cable’s market share Made-in-Ottawa product lets consumers stream over-the-air TV broadcasts on range of devices BY DAVID SALI


hile Canada’s major cable companies were taking heat over their $25 skinny basic TV packages at CRTC hearings last week, an Ottawa company was stepping up its efforts to promote a local product that aims to make “cutting the cord” more attractive to consumers. Nuvyyo CEO Grant Hall says more and more Canadians are ditching cable because they’re dissatisfied with poor customer service, escalating costs and contracts that force them to receive channels they never watch. “I think the trend is pretty wellestablished,” he said in a recent interview with OBJ. “People are voting with their pocketbooks.” With more people now getting their TV fix via online streaming services such as Netflix and Crave TV, Mr. Hall believes

there’s a clear market opportunity for his company, which gives those consumers access to over-the-air content such as local news and sports broadcasts. The Kanata firm’s Tablo device streams over-the-air broadcasts to TVs and other devices such as smartphones and tablets. It also allows users to record programming and play it back later. Nuvyyo originally launched the Tablo back in 2014. About 95 per cent of its sales are currently in the United States, where the average household receives 42 over-the-air channels, as opposed to 15 in Ottawa, and streaming services have a bigger market penetration. “Canada generally follows the trends in the U.S., so we see more over-the-top services coming,” Mr. Hall said. He is hoping to “ride on the coattails” of that trend by boosting Tablo’s marketing efforts in this country. With year-over-year revenue growth of 270 per cent in 2015 and triple-digit gains expected again this year, Nuvyyo

seems to have hit on the right formula for success. Mr. Hall said the firm leads its field right now, but he added it’s probably just a matter of time before competitors emerge. “I think that’s inevitable,” he said. “They tell you in business school if there are no competitors in your market, you’re probably not in the right market. We think we’ve got a pretty substantial lead in the market, and, really, the challenge here is developing great applications across pretty much every device a consumer may own.” The other challenge, Mr. Hall said, is convincing consumers that over-the-air signals – which have been broadcast in digital high definition in Canada since 2011 – are just as clear as those on cable or satellite. He said over-the-air HD signals are usually crisper because cable and satellite signals often have to be compressed due to the huge volume of channels. “You can put a pair of rabbit ears up

and get an excellent signal now,” he said. “Our biggest challenge is really educating the market.” Founded in 2010 with $4 million in funding from Celtic House Venture Partners, Nuvyyo now has 18 full-time employees, all but one in the capital. The Tablo was designed by another Ottawa firm, Valydate, and is manufactured locally by Lloyd Douglas Solutions. “It’s truly an Ottawa product,” Mr. Hall said.


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Metro to deliver OBJ papers

This annual event will examine trends and opportunities in the city’s business sector and provide an insightful forecast about Ottawa’s economic future. This event will include: • A Keynote address by Geoff Smith, President and CEO, EllisDon • Presentation by Douglas Porter, CFA, Chief Economist & Managing Director, BMO Financial Group

OBJ is going for the green. Green outdoor newspaper boxes, that is. OBJ has entered into a multi-year distribution agreement with Metro Ottawa. The agreement includes 50 new outdoor newspaper boxes located in the downtown core that include both Metro Ottawa and OBJ. In addition to these outdoor boxes, Metro will deliver OBJ’s biweekly newspaper to 1,150 other businesses and public access distribution points, such as hotel lobbies, libraries and large office complexes. “I think this is a big step forward,” says OBJ publisher Michael Curran. “When the system is fully operational, we’ll

• An important update from The Mayor of Ottawa

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 Shaw Centre – Trillium Ballroom 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

have 50 new outdoor boxes downtown, we will have 2,400 addressed copies to 700 targeted downtown businesses and, to cap it off, 450 bulk distribution drops across the region to businesses and public racks. This will keep the newspaper’s 11,000 printed copies very visible and accessible to our readers.”


Ottawa Chamber Members: $60 Non-Members: $75

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CORPORATE TABLE OF 10 Ottawa Chamber Members: $540 Non-Members: $675





Steve Beauchesne SERIES

Co-Founder, Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company

They are an award-winning, local, family-run, organic and independent brewery located in Vankleek Hill.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm





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Corporate Group of 8:

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Grab your copy at Ottawa Business Journal distribution outlets or online at

CRAFT Beer Market 975 Bank Street at Lansdowne

THE LIST 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 9 9 9 13 14 15





17 18 19 19

Company/Address/ Phone/Fax/Web McMillan 541 Sussex Dr. Ottawa, ON K1N 6Z6 613-789-1234 / 613-789-2255 Smith* 300-490 St. Joseph Blvd. Gatineau, QC J8Y 3Y7 819-778-0313 / 819-420-0121 Banfield Agency 35 Armstrong St. Ottawa, ON K1Y 2V4 613-722-6832 / 613-722-7151 Acart Communications 600-171 Nepean St. Ottawa, ON K2P 0B4 613-230-7944 / 613-232-5980 bv02 Inc. 103-858 Bank St. Ottawa, ON K1S 3W3 613-231-2802 / 613-822-8340 Mediaplus Advertising 103-141 Catherine St. Ottawa, ON K2P 1C3 613-230-3875 / 613-230-1458 Accurate Design & Communication 100-57 Auriga Dr. Ottawa, ON K2E 8B2 613-723-2057 / 613-228-0145 Xactly Design & Advertising 204-311 Richmond Rd. Ottawa, ON K1Z 5H8 613-745-2225 / 613-745-3861 gordongroup 334 Churchill Ave. N. Ottawa, ON K1Z 5B9 613-234-8468 / 613-234-8655 Kaboom Communication Design 14 Jeanne d’Arc St. Gatineau, QC J8Y 2H2 819-772-4621 / 819-772-1629 Marketing Breakthroughs 202-2255 Carling Ave. Ottawa, ON K2B 7Z5 613-721-3335 / 613-721-3337 MediaStyle 131 Bank St., 3rd floor Ottawa, ON K1P 5N7 613-369-5006 Stiff* 101-9 Gurdwara Rd. Ottawa, ON K2E 7X6 613-683-4100 TRUEdotDESIGN 43 Eccles St., 1st floor Loft Ottawa, ON K1R 6S3 613-749-9449 Jackpine 704 Somerset St. W. Ottawa, ON K1R 6P6 613-680-7463 Cyan Solutions 200-58 Arthur St. Ottawa, ON K1R 7B9 613-860-4444 / 613-247-9190 H3Creative Inc. 114-42 Antares Dr. Ottawa, ON K2E 7Y4 613-722-7871 / 613-722-5351 Star Marketing Group 7-1149 Shillington Ave. Ottawa, ON K1Z 7Z3 613-759-4400 Creekside Communications 201-200 Isabella St. Ottawa, ON K1S 1V7 613-695-7755 GLS dezign Inc. 38 Gilbey Dr. Nepean, ON K2E 5S6 613-787-2002 / 613-787-6077

No. of local employees 74


Year est. in Ottawa Principals 1996

Gordon McMillan CEO and chief creative officer Robert Hyams president

Notable current clients

Services offered

Schneider Electric; Trend Micro; Unify; Intuit; HUB International; Commvault; BrandActive; Atos; Cognizant

Business-to-business creative agency focusing on brand and campaigns, primarily for global technology companies.

Benoit Lavigne vice-president of managed services AT&T; Cansel; Microsoft; Cisco; Best Buy; T-Mobile; Amtrak Sylvain Boies vice-president of client services Nancy Webb president Iridium; MeadJohnson Nutrition; National Arts Centre; John Charette Hydro Ottawa; Canadian Medical Association vice-president and creative director Elections Canada; The College of Family Physicians of Canada; Egg Farmers of Canada; York Region Transit; Al Albania Grand River Transit; Canadian Science and Technology president Museum; Ottawa Senators Hockey Club; Tanger Outlet Malls; Ontario Public Service Employees Union Canadian Partnership Against Cancer; Canadian Institution for Health Information; OC Transpo; United Way; Yukon Andrew D. Milne Arts Centre; Canadian Museum for Human Rights; Carleton CEO University; uOttawa; University of Manitoba; Export Development Canada; Royal Canadian Mint Don Masters Ottawa Tourism; OC Transpo; Ottawa 2017; Canada Post; president and creative director Ottawa Sports & Entertainment Group; AIC; CATSA; CHEO Christine Kincaid Foundation; Tartan Homes; The Lung Association; OGHA; Jennifer Irwin Glebe BIA; RBC Ottawa Bluesfest; Encounters with Canada vice-presidents Diane J. Dufour president Canadian Blood Services; Hyperline Cabling Systems; Marc Landry City of Ottawa; Croplife Canada; Coleman; Ottawa Hospital; partner and chief financial Titus; Government of Canada; Government of Ontario officer

Strategy and intelligence; technology - commerce; website; content management; experience design















Denis Andre Sabourin president

Carlingwood Mall; Canadian Veterinary Medical Association; David Beckham Academy; Gal Power; Air Force Association; City of Ottawa; Bytown Catering; Ottawa Construction Association

Advertising; branding; content development; desktop publishing; hosting; graphic design; mobile; online marketing; printing and promotional items; search engine optimization; social media; trade show booths and exhibits; web design and development



Robert Chitty founder and president

Interiors Designers of Canada; IDC; Cree Nation Government; Biotech Canada; Federal government

Strategic identity development and brand building for governments, private enterprises and NGOs; content development and execution of digital media; go to market; strategies; brand and identity; stakeholder engagement; ROI reporting; publishing



Katleen Allen Pierre Falardeau Christine Lajoie partners

National Gallery of Canada; Canadian Space Agency; Slush Advertising; graphic design; web design; multimedia; web programPuppie Canada; Industry Canada; Canadian Museum of Hisming; branding tory; Ville de Gatineau; Canada Revenue Agency



Stephen Klein CEO and creative director

Preston Hardware; District Realty; Greely Sand & Gravel; Paramount Properties; BluMetric Environmental; BEMAC Collision Group

Strategic and marketing planning; branding, advertising campaigns, web marketing; enterprise SEO and SEM; Google advertising; promotional videos; WordPress web design and development; website copywriting and maintenance; social media marketing



Ian Capstick managing partner Caitlin Kealey Ewald Friesen partners

National Association of Friendship Centres; National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation; Canada’s Nurses; Credit Unions of Canada; Canada’s Building Trades Union

Full-service agency specializing in communications audits, plans and strategy; media relations, graphic design, digital strategies, social media management, communications workshops and training, message crafting and speech writing.



James Hanington CEO

Argo Group; Canadian Blood Services; Canadian Fuels; CARE Canada; Elections Ontario; Hamilton Insurance Group; Office of the Governor General of Canada; Saatchi & Saatchi; University of Ottawa Telfer School of Management; Lord Stanley’s Gift; CCMTA

Builds and manages brands, develops communications strategies and go-to-market through traditional, digital and social communication.



Shelley True president

Barry Hobin & Associates Architects; Uniform Developments; Deslaurier Custom Cabinets

Strategy; branding; marketing; graphic design; social media; public relations; copywriting; web design and programming; advertising; showroom interior design



Liam Mooney CEO and founder

CD Howe Institute; Proslide; Hyatt Hotels; Claridge Homes; Ottawa 2017; Canada Council for the Arts; Earnscliffe Strategy Group; Canadian Heritage; Engineers Without Borders

Creative counsel; business strategy; visioning; urban desig/ placemaking; interactive design; graphic design; product/packaging design; interior design; marketing; branding; web design; videography; pubic affairs; event planning



Brent MacGillis president

Amnesty International; Canadian Real Estate Association; Forest Products Association of Canada; Bell Canada; Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement; Railway Association of Canada

Full-service digital marketing and communications: strategic marketing planning; social media; content marketing; inbound lead generation; SEO; graphic design; web design and development; printing; promotional branding; video production; signage



Rob Herrera president

Hydro Ottawa; Energy Ottawa; Canadian Commercial Corp.; 4C Foods; Interactive Audio Visual; Think Tank Initiative; IDRC; Canadian Judicial Council; Parks Canada; Health Canada; Elliot Lake Commission; Science, Technology and Innovation Council;

Graphic and web solutions; creative and communications consulting; branding; corporate identities; advertising; corporate reports and publications; project/print management; web and application development and programming



John Saykali president and creative director

Calabogie Golf, Carlingwood Dental; All Seasons Restaurant; Air Tabs Bridlewood and Barrhaven Dental; Lieutenant’s Pump; Green by Nature; DNS Networks

Branding; graphic and web design services; marketing strategies; media planning and placement; advertising campaigns; awareness campaigns; print co-ordination; promotions/special events; trade show personnel and support services



Michaela Tokarski president

Council of International Neonatal Nurses; International Coach Federation Ottawa; Canadian Leaders in International Consulting; Red Apron; GoodFood2u

Marketing: graphic design, website development and communications

Gregory L. Sreblowski principal

Integrated communications; branding and rebranding; digital content marketing; ABM, PPC, SEO and SEM ARC du Canada; Canadian Architectural Certification strategies; social media; communications Board; City of Ottawa; BMT Fleet Technology; CESOC; and creative development; mobile Government of Canada; Blend360; Hosteling International apps UI/UX design; multimedia; print media collateral



Creative; marketing; brand strategy; PR, social and content strategy; graphic design; advertising and promotional campaigns; event management; video production; web and mobile application development; media strategy and buying Full-service agency including: strategic planning; integrated ad campaigns; media planning; media buying; direct marketing; branding; creative; digital media; public relations; media relations; social marketing Helps clients build and maintain digital ecosystem to support and revitalize their business goals: digital governance; digital roadmaps; web, mobile and app design; video and motion; digital marketing; performance measurement; SEO

Advertising; interactive; branding

Communications strategies; content development; branding and corporate identity; web design and development; motion graphics and video; print design; multimedia; exhibits; advertising and campaigns; print management

WND = Would not disclose. *Did not respond to 2016 survey – using data from previous years. Should your company be on this list? If so, please send details to This list is current as of August 12, 2016. © 2016 by Ottawa Business Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced by any method in whole or in part without written permission by Ottawa Business Journal. While every attempt is made to ensure the thoroughness and accuracy of the list, omissions and errors sometimes occur. Please send any corrections or additions by e-mail to OBJ lists are primarily compiled using information provided voluntarily by the organizations named. Some firms that may qualify for the list are not included because the company either failed to respond to requests for information by press time, because the company declined to take part in the survey or because of space constraints. Categories are drawn up in attempt to gather information of relevance to the Ottawa market. Research by Patti Moran. Please send questions and comments to


The following contains information about recent contracts, standing offers and supply arrangements awarded to local firms. Brookfield Global Relocation Services Ltd. 116 Albert St. Description: Relocation assistance – CAF Buyer: DND $100,428,750 Calian Ltd. 340 Legget Dr. Description: Training support for personnel Buyer: DND $7,910,000 Michael Wager Consulting Inc. 173 Dalhousie St. Description: Telecom System Specialists Buyer: DND $5,148,148 Calian Ltd. 340 Legget Dr. Description: Vehicle technician instructors Buyer: DND $4,883,173 S.i. Systems Ltd. 170 Laurier Ave. W. Description: Task-based informatics professional services Buyer: Employment and Social Development Canada $3,942,492 Cache Computer Consulting Corp. 275 Slater St. Description: Task-based informatics professional services Buyer: Employment and Social Development Canada $3,942,492 Valcom Consulting Group Inc. 85 Albert St. Description: End-to-end learning services (excludes COTS training) Buyer DND $2,520,144 Lumina IT Inc. 57 Auriga Dr. Description: Procurement specialists Buyer: Treasury Board of Canada $2,366,672

Halogen Software announced the appointment of two new executive team members, Paul Fitzpatrick and David Mennie. Mr. Fitzpatrick joins the firm as chief marketing officer. He will lead the expansion of the company’s market positioning and brand awareness, and drive demand generation for its solutions. Mr. Mennie is the new vicepresident of product management and strategy. In this role, he will lead the company in defining and amplifying its future solution vision, while building on its product strengths and driving technical innovation.

Hats off Amika Mobile’s Amika Mobility Server for critical and emergency communications platform has been selected as a finalist in the People’s Choice Awards for ASIS 2016. The product was selected because of its integration with single or multiple gunshot sensor detection supporting unlimited escalation to individuals, groups or personnel automatically discovered within affected network zones.

This data is part of the Ottawa Business Growth Survey. Conducted by Abacus Data and made possible by Welch LLP, the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and the Ottawa Business Journal, the survey gathered input from hundreds of local businesses. A free 36-page report can be downloaded at

If provided the option, would you support or oppose an exemption in 2017 for all retail businesses in Ottawa to open on statuatory holidays, with the exception of Christmas, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.




When Is Late Too Late? Supreme Court of Canada Clarifies Limits on Courts’ Jurisdiction to Backdate Orders By Kyle Stout

Last December, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in a trilogy of class actions reported as Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce v Green. At issue was when the limitation period is suspended for commencing a statutory claim for secondary market misrepresentation under Ontario’s Securities Act (the “OSA”). The Court found the clock did not stop running on the limitation period under Section 138.14 of the OSA until leave was granted. The Supreme Court also confirmed that where the plaintiff fails to commence the statutory action within the three-year limitation period under the OSA, the action cannot be saved by granting leave nunc pro tunc (backdating orders to have retroactive legal effect). It appears that Ontario litigants failing to comply with the statutory leave requirement under the OSA (and other legislation) risk a finding that late is, in their case, too late. The Commercial Litigation Group can help ensure that your claim is brought on time, and in accordance with any statutory leave requirements.



DRS Technologies Canada Ltd. 500 Palladium Dr. Description: TACAN AN/GRN-516, flight recorder locator AN/USH-502(V) and the Beacon radio set AN/URT 506(V)/507 Buyer: DND $2,090,500

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP welcomed four new associates to the firm. Jessica Sheridan will practise commercial real estate law, Marion Unrau will practise in commercial litigation, Jillian Brenner will focus on intellectual property law and Avril Ford-Aubry will specialize in insurance and tort liability law. All four new associates were called to the bar in 2016.


Stantec Consulting Ltd. 1331 Clyde Ave. Description: Bullmoose site supervisor Buyer: PWGSC $2,100,000

People on the move









© DevMcGill All rights reserved 2016. Specifications are subject to change without notice. Rendering is artist’s concept. Exclusive Listing Brokerage: TradeUp Real Estate Inc., Brokerage. Brokers Protected. E. & O.E. 2016.

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