Ottawa Business Journal January 15, 2018

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Genes fit firm’s plan PAGES 16-17

Inside Ottawa’s galas, fundraisers and networking events

Ottawa startup aims to use DNA testing to help tailor health-care supplements to individual customers’ unique needs > PAGE 5

January 15, 2018 Vol. 21, NO. 6 RETURNS JAN. 29

For daily business news visit

Hiring? It’s all about the fit!



Finding a fit

Stevenson & White uses personalized approach to pinpoint top candidates





While Trevor White has since amicably left the firm to pursue a career in another industry, the company now boasts a team of seven, including four recruiters, one of whom is Anne’s son, Matt Stevenson. The local recruitment firm focuses solely on finance, accounting and payroll positions in the Ottawa area. These professionals play a critical role in the operation of virtually every organization, and frequently serve as trusted advisors to business owners. That’s why it’s so important to hire the right person for the job – and one of the reasons



clients keep returning to Stevenson & White as professional, specialized recruiters. As a way of building trust with new clients when she started her business, Anne Stevenson chose to double the industry standard by offering a sixmonth guarantee period for placements. To this day, the firm still stands behind the guarantee. This means that in the unlikely event that a candidate doesn’t work out during that time, Stevenson & White will find a replacement candidate, free of charge. “We put our money where our mouth is,” Anne Stevenson says. “We believe in the quality of our placements.” It helps that Stevenson & White builds long-lasting relationships with its clients. The firm’s focus on the Ottawa area, combined with low internal turnover, means their staff are able to learn their customers’ corporate culture and needs, leading to stronger placements. “Knowing when they pick the phone up that it’s going to still be the same voice at the end of the line really allows for that continuous relationship-building and respect on both sides,” explains Matt Stevenson. The company takes a similarly personal and thorough approach on the candidate side. After an initial screening, all selected applicants are interviewed by at least one member of the Stevenson & White team before they’re considered for any position. This allows the recruiter to understand the individual’s career objectives, personality and where they would be a great fit. By getting to know their clients and candidates, Stevenson & White can match individuals and employers with more precision than a recruitment firm that simply relies on reading job postings and emailing resumes. “We don’t believe in wasting anybody’s time,” says Matt Stevenson.



ike many new business owners, Anne Stevenson’s first day as an entrepreneur over 17 years ago was spent surrounded by cardboard boxes filled with computer equipment and office supplies. But rather than using their first day at the office to unpack, Anne and company co-founder Trevor White used those boxes as makeshift notepads after arriving to a deluge of phone calls from organizations and professionals wanting to work with Ottawa’s newest recruitment firm. A week before the company’s June 2000 opening day, Anne had received a call from a professional acquaintance at the Ottawa Senators. The E NHL team was looking to hire AT D I a controller and was willing to D N A cover the cost of an ad in the C weekend edition of the Ottawa Citizen if Stevenson & White would take them on as a client. Having done no other advertising, the firm received more than 300 applications for the Sens job as well as calls from new clients looking to fill positions within their organizations. Leveraging Stevenson & White’s connection with the Ottawa Senators to create a win-win situation turned out to be a fitting first day; the firm has continued to grow on the strength of its personalized relationships with clients and jobseeking candidates. “We’ve never looked back since,” says Anne Stevenson.


As a family owned business, Stevenson & White is facing the same succession questions as many small and medium-sized businesses in Ottawa.

Finance. Accounting. Payroll.

Stevenson & White can help. Head to for more information or call 613-225-5417.

Anne Stevenson, Managing Partner and her son Matt Stevenson, Partner. Fortunately, the company has been laying the groundwork for a gradual leadership change for several years now. Matt Stevenson will eventually take over for Anne as the firm’s managing partner, a plan that was in the works long before he joined the company in 2013. When discussions around Matt joining the company began, Anne was committed to having him start from the bottom and work his way up. Too many times, she’d seen employees leave a job because the owner’s son or daughter was parachuted into a senior role despite having limited experience. And the unique opportunity to follow in his mother’s footsteps is not lost on Matt. “For me, it’s being able to continue on the family legacy,” he says. “I’m proud to be able to continue the family business that Anne has built up over the years with blood, sweat and tears.” Matt Stevenson won’t be doing it alone. The company has built a close-knit team that works collaboratively to find the best candidates for Stevenson & White’s clients — a contrast from the normally competitive environment found within many other recruitment firms. They take the same approach with clients and candidates, offering open and honest guidance to everyone with whom they work. “People really appreciate that – that we take such a candid, up front approach and will provide real feedback and not just dance around it for our own sake,” says Matt Stevenson.


Genes fit firm’s plan PAGES 16-17

Inside Ottawa’s galas, fundraisers and networking events

Ottawa startup aims to use DNA testing to help tailor health-care supplements to individual customers’ unique needs > PAGE 5

January 15, 2018 Vol. 21, NO. 6 RETURNS JAN. 29

For daily business news visit

A better blueprint

Ottawa businessman Mischa Kaplan has a five-point plan to help local business groups raise their profile and be a catalyst for good in the year ahead. > PAGES 8-9

Saying it was “either build my own place or move to Toronto,” Gusto TV founder Chris Knight chose to stay put in Ottawa. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

Food TV guru’s recipe for growth Ottawa’s Chris Knight is on a mission to turn specialty channel Gusto into a global brand With firm’s new south-end TV studio now up and running, will a sound stage for big-time Hollywood productions be next? > PAGES 6-7, 15

Mini-MBA in Ottawa begins March 21, 2018 The Advanced Management Course (AMC)

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Calling all nominees Are you 39 or younger and a leader in Ottawa’s business community? Know someone who is? Your chance to enter the Forty Under 40 nominations is here. > PAGE 11




STARTUPS Health-care innovation embedded in new venture’s DNA Fledgling Ottawa company tailors wellness products to consumers’ unique genetic codes BY CRAIG LORD


n Ottawa founder believes your DNA is the extra personal touch that will separate his new startup from legacy competitors in the skin-care and supplements industries. Cyril Moukarzel, an Ottawa entrepreneur and personal trainer by trade, is one of the co-founders behind LifeDNA, a new company that tailors wellness products to consumers’ unique genetic codes. You may be familiar with Ancestry. com or 23andMe, services that analyze samples of your DNA to trace your ancestors’ origins. Moukarzel – who previously led Ottawa startup eCelery – and his co-founders believe there’s a bigger market in DNA analysis than unearthing the family tree. “Based on specific markers in your genes, we can tell certain things,” Moukarzel says. For example, your DNA can reveal whether you’re predisposed to dry skin or vitamin C deficiency. With the help of geneticists on staff, LifeDNA has developed an algorithm to determine the blend of skincare lotions or personal supplements that are most needed in your body based on your combination of markers. If you sign up for one of LifeDNA’s subscription boxes, you’ll get a mix of products specific to your genetic makeup. “You and I are going to get completely different products in our boxes because you and I are completely different. You’re not going to have the

same markers as I do,” Moukarzel says. Personalized products are timeconsuming and expensive to prepare, but the former personal trainer believes consumers will pay more for supplements that are tailored to them – to the point where customers’ names are printed on the bottles they order. TROPICAL OINTMENT Moukarzel founded LifeDNA with Jared Kushi, an active member in Hawaii’s startup and angel investment scene. The two became fast friends after meeting on an exchange program trip to Australia, but never met again in person until this idea formed between them and Moukarzel made the trip to the Hawaiian islands. There, Kushi introduced him to Steve Markowitz, the firm’s chairman and third co-founder, who put down the seed money to launch LifeDNA. The eightperson operation is run out of Hawaii’s tropical setting, though Moukarzel remains largely Ottawa-based. Though the scale of delivering personalized subscription boxes worldwide is ambitious, there are a few ways LifeDNA has made its own life easier. The DNA tests it sends to collect your genetic code are the same ones used by Ancestry and 23andMe, removing the cost of developing expensive technology. Once you take one of these tests, the firm has an online portal to upload the genetic data you receive. LifeDNA combines these results with a questionnaire about your family history and lifestyle to develop your products.

determine whether their products are safe before being sent to consumers. The FDA does warn that biological supplements can be harmful if taken in large amounts or in dangerous combinations. However, Moukarzel argues that with the added insight of customers’ DNA and the accompanying genetic risks, his firm’s products are more likely to be safe for consumption and application than those manufactured by generic pharmaceutical companies.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION There are certain Health Canada and U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations that LifeDNA must meet in its labelling about the kinds of claims it can and cannot make. Since the firm’s products aren’t classified as medicine, however, clinical testing is not a prerequisite for going to market. The FDA says it’s not authorized to review the effectiveness of dietary supplements such as vitamins and minerals. It adds that it’s up to manufacturers and distributors to

REVITALIZED LifeDNA is not Moukarzel’s first startup. In 2014 he launched eCelery, a food delivery service that brought home-cooked meals straight from the kitchen to the consumer. That company, a graduate of the University of Ottawa’s Startup Garage program, folded in early 2016, but Moukarzel says the experience taught him a great deal about entrepreneurship. There’s nothing unfeasible about the eCelery idea, he says, but it required a significant amount of startup capital to scale quickly enough. The firm also ran into issues with Health Canada, which insisted that each of the home cooks be certified via health inspections, leading to significant entry barriers. Moukarzel says he isn’t discouraged by eCelery’s flop. With LifeDNA, he believes he can address a big market by fulfilling a unique need. “My mission is to make a positive impact in the world, and I’m going to do it, regardless.” LifeDNA is set to launch this month.



ENTERTAINMENT Setting the stage for a film and TV boom? Gusto’s new studio provides another option for producers in Ottawa, but some industry insiders say it could be a while before the city gets a facility large enough to lure big-time movie shoots BY DAVID SALI





ttawa now has a state-of-the-art TV production studio to call its own, but the man who built it says the city is still a long way from landing a sound stage that will attract big-budget Hollywood blockbusters to shoot here. Gusto TV founder Chris Knight spent years trying to help cobble together the funds to construct a large enough studio to film major productions in Ottawa. That effort failed, and barring any surprise plot twists, he doesn’t see the situation changing any time soon. “It’s been 20 years (of lobbying for a sound stage), so call me skeptical,” says Knight, who finally grew tired of waiting and spent $1 million of his own money on a smaller studio for his specialty cooking channel to produce content. “To build a large infrastructure requires the political will from all three levels of government. If you look at any studio that was built in the last 10 years anywhere in this country, it’s had some sort of public investment in the facility.” Knight chaired an Invest Ottawa working group that tried to round up money and support for a sound stage several years ago. In 2012, Invest Ottawa selected a Toronto-based firm, Cinescape, to construct a new studio, but negotiations fell apart several months later. City councillors removed funding for the project the following year. Since then, the campaign for a sound stage in Ottawa has been put on the back burner, and Knight has turned his attention to building Gusto into what he hopes will become a “global brand.” Meanwhile, the Ottawa Film Office – the city-funded agency that became a stand-alone body in 2017 after years of being under Invest Ottawa’s umbrella – has been busy setting up its own organization and forging closer relationships with

Gatineau and other neighbouring municipalities in an effort to become a one-stop shop for producers looking to shoot a film or TV series in the region, film commissioner Bruce Harvey says. But he says the three-person agency is starting to find its footing, and he’s ready to make securing a sound stage for Ottawa a higher priority. “Having sound stages to accommodate (big-budget productions) is obviously something that we have to start thinking of in this city,” says Harvey, whose organization promotes the region as a filming destination and helps producers with tasks such as finding locations and securing the appropriate permits from City Hall. REVAMPED BOARD The office, which has an annual budget of about $290,000, recently revamped its board of directors, adding members from a wider range of local industries such as Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group CEO Bernie Ashe and Bruce Raganold of accounting firm Welch LLP. The agency is also in “the process of exploring additional funding sources” to help beef up its efforts to promote the capital as a go-to destination for producers, a city spokesperson said. Board member and prominent Ottawa producer Ken Stewart says he believes the office’s growing business and marketing acumen will help push the industry’s bid for a major sound stage over the top. “Two years ago if we had this conversation, I wouldn’t be as optimistic as I am today,” says Stewart, an executive producer at Ottawa-based GAPC Entertainment. “I’ll be disappointed if we don’t have (a full-fledged sound stage) inside the next two to three years.” Film and television producers currently pump about $100 million a year into Ottawa’s economy, according to the film office’s website – a figure that pales in comparison to the more than $1 billion the

Gusto TV founder Chris Knight has opened his own production studio. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

“Two years ago if we had this conversation, I wouldn’t be as optimistic as I am today. I’ll be disappointed if we don’t have (a full-fledged sound stage) inside the next two to three years.” – KEN STEWART, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER AT OTTAWA-BASED GAPC ENTERTAINMENT

industry generates annually in Toronto. The capital’s sweet spot is smallerbudget movies in the $5-million range that don’t require the massive sound stages used to produce Hollywood blockbusters and instead rely on location shooting in the streets and buildings of the community. “That’s exactly what we’re great at,” says Ottawa-born producer Michael Baker, who relocated his production company, Bunk 11, from Toronto to his hometown eight years ago and has shot more than half a dozen features in the National Capital Region. “When you get bigger, there tends to be a lot more studio shooting,

and because we don’t have a studio, (producers) want to go to other places.” A Hollywood-calibre facility would likely cost upwards of $10 million but would pay big dividends for the local economy in the long run, Knight argues. “If a $10-million movie comes to shoot in Ottawa, probably $6 or $7 (million) of that $10-million budget would get spent here, depending whether or not they do their postproduction here,” he said in a 2012 interview. Baker, whose films typically have budgets in the $4-million to $5-million range, says he’s never been deterred from shooting in his hometown even though it

lacks a full-fledged sound stage. “It would be great, but there has to be a business case for it,” he says. “It’s an expensive endeavour.” Ottawa has an additional hurdle to overcome if it wants to compete with the likes of Toronto and Vancouver for a bigger piece of the industry pie. Even if a stage were in place, the city’s total complement of just a few hundred crew members would be hard-pressed to meet producers’ demands for skilled workers. “It’s the chicken-and-egg thing,” Knight says. “We have really, really great crew who work for us, but we could certainly use more. But people aren’t going to move here unless there’s work.” Harvey says Ottawa, which typically hosts a handful of feature film shoots each year, needs to gradually build its talent base in order to make a sound stage a viable endeavour. “It doesn’t make any sense to be going to the producers of Suicide Squad and trying to convince them to come to Ottawa,” Harvey says. “The crew base that’s required for a show that big is something we don’t have right now. It’s really knowing those incremental steps you can take to start increasing


Ottawa film producer Michael Baker.

the production here and then to start working on that infrastructure … trying to get sound stages in place.” Knight says he’ll be more than happy to support another drive to bring a major production facility to Ottawa – as long as the will exists to follow through on that effort. “People have just got to decide that this is something that they want to do.”

Chris Knight hopes the new television studio he’s just built to serve his booming food network could set the table for a resurgence in Ottawa’s film and TV production industry. The local entrepreneur who founded Gusto TV in 2013 loves his hometown and wanted to continue to grow his upstart specialty network from his base here in Ottawa. After years of wondering whether a long-rumoured sound stage would ever materialize in the capital, he decided he couldn’t wait any longer and spent $1 million to construct his own studio. “It was either build my own place or move to Toronto where they have lots and lots of studios,” he said during a recent interview at the new stage located in Gusto’s south-end head office. “I was leading this desperate, transient gypsy life of renting warehouses and going in and shooting for three or four months and then leaving and storing things in giant sea containers until I could find another (place to shoot). It was kind of crazy.” Opened in early November, the cutting-edge facility features a 3,500-square-foot sound stage, a 1,000-square-foot commercial kitchen and post-production services. It will serve as the production hub for Gusto’s food and cooking

series such as One World Kitchen and the Urban Vegetarian and will also be available for other producers to lease. Ottawa isn’t known as a hotbed of TV production, but Knight is used to thumbing his nose at conventional wisdom. “When we launched Gusto, I went to see sage, learned elders of the broadcast industry in Canada and to a person they told me, ‘You’re out of your mind,’” he said. “There were five companies – Bell, Shaw, Rogers, Telus and Videotron – who owned 90 per cent of television channels and 90 per cent of the distribution. They owned everything. But there was something to be said for not knowing any better. I think the siren call for any entrepreneur has to be five words: How hard can it be? You just go out and do it.” Once considered virtually a licence to print money, specialty channels are facing tough times as more and more Canadians cut their cable cords and turn to internet streaming services to satisfy their hunger for televised entertainment. But Knight believes he’s hit on a recipe for producing popular shows on a comparatively shoestring budget. Continued on page 15


An M&A playbook for Ottawa businesses With 11 dedicated business lawyers, Mann boasts one of the biggest M&A teams in the region


the smallest to the largest of transactions, across Canada, the US and internationally. André advises the following to make the M&A process easier for anyone, no matter what role you’re playing: Seek legal advice early Even before talks of mergers or acquisitions or sales begin, it can be beneficial to bring a lawyer into the mix to ensure your operations run smoothly. In many instances, M&A transactions are years in the making, and having trusted advisors on hand to guide you in the lead up can avoid legal missteps along the way.

and in terms of your legal and accounting teams. Things can get messy when a business is sold off. Emotions flare and partnerships forged at the outset can erode faster than one might expect. An experienced practitioner will have had a hand in all different aspects of M&A transactions – including employee relations, alongside other areas such as financing – that can help make the process as smooth as possible.

In selecting a lawyer, André recommends businesses seek out those with a wealth of firsthand experience in M&A. Have agreements in place In M&A discussions, nondisclosure agreements between all parties ensure the details of a company’s internal operations – including its finances – aren’t made public. These prevent third parties from undermining the transaction by using insider knowledge shared behind closed doors.

Letters of intent are also critical to the success of an M&A transaction. These cover a multitude of topics, from no shop covenants to the fundamental terms of the transaction, even if all the fine details have yet to be worked out. A great lawyer will know when you should have such agreements in place.

Learn more about how Mann Lawyers LLP can help you at


Assemble a team you trust This means both internally

First row sitting, from l to r – Nancy Cook Johnson, Andre Martin, Ted Mann, Lacey Miller Second row standing, from l to r – Jason Peyman, James Doris, Brian McIntomny, Paul Franco, Mitchell Besner, Ian McLeod (missing: Stephen Guest)


o matter which side of the table you’re sitting on, the process of buying or selling a business can be simultaneously exciting, sad and stressful. At a time when so much is at stake, it’s important to have the right team standing with you ready to fight for your interests. “In M&A transactions, a lawyer is often the quarterback,” says André Martin, senior partner and leader of the business law group at Mann Lawyers LLP. While Mann is a full-service firm, with experienced lawyers across all areas of practice, its business law group is its biggest, with 11 lawyers. The team can assist with

COMMENTARY Five ways Ottawa’s business community can be a force for good in 2018 With a flood of challenges on the horizon, advocacy groups must rethink their strategy by focusing more on co-operation, public engagement and public relations



TELEPHONE Phone: 613-238-1818 Sales Fax: 613-248-4564 News Fax: No faxes, email PUBLISHER Michael Curran, 238-1818 ext. 228 CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER Terry Tyo, 238-1818 ext. 268 EDITOR, PRINT CONTENT David Sali, 238-1818 ext. 269 REPORTER Craig Lord, 238-1818 ext. 285 HEAD OF CONTENT Peter Kovessy, 238-1818 ext. 251


ith 2017 finally behind us, many business owners in Ottawa were most likely looking forward to breathing a sigh of relief. After all, the past year was a challenging one for much of the city’s business community. From the federal government’s proposed changes to the small business tax system to skyrocketing provincial hydro rates to challenges created from the provincial government’s new cap-and-trade system, 2017 was a rollercoaster for the business community. But with all that behind us, it seemed possible for a fleeting moment to hope that 2018 was going to be a bit better. Unfortunately, the year opened with a bang when Ontario’s minimum wage went up to $14 per hour. Some businesses responded to the increase by clawing back employees’ hours or benefits, generating plenty of controversy in the process. While Premier Kathleen Wynne has doubled down on her efforts to paint her government as the defender of the downtrodden, local and national media outlets have generally taken a more balanced and often critical view of the government’s handling of this issue. Stuck in the middle of this mess is the business community, which was nearly unanimous in its calls to phase in the wage increase over a longer period of time. Where this controversy is headed is anyone’s guess, but there seems little doubt that 2018 will be as momentous as 2017. In a recent article for the National Post, Canadian Federation of Independent Business president Dan Kelly listed “12 things small businesses will be watching out for in 2018.” The article presents a laundry list of mostly negative issues that will affect the entire Ottawa business community, whether directly or indirectly, over the next 12 months. As Mr. Kelly puts it, “the boxing gloves will be back on in 2018.” As a member of Ottawa’s business advocacy community, I see the coming year as one in which the business community must rethink its strategy in terms of dealing with government policy, economic development and advocacy. Our strategy must be based on a pre-emptive and positive approach.

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If the past year has proven anything, it’s that business groups such as BIAs and chambers of commerce are more necessary for the health of our economy than ever. But our influence as the voice of business will be significantly depleted unless we take a new approach to the issues at hand. With that in mind, I’d like to propose five key strategic perspectives that the Ottawa business community should employ in 2018 in order to raise its profile, support our city’s economy and act as a positive catalyst for good in the broader community. 1. Co-operation is key: Ottawa’s various business advocacy groups need to work harder to find common ground and to collaborate at every step along the way. With so many different economic development actors in Ottawa, it’s easy for each of them to just pick away at their own specific pet projects. By working together, these various groups can have a stronger voice and will be able to achieve far more than they would as individual groups. 2. Pro-action, not reaction: Ottawa’s business community needs to work harder to identify issues that are of benefit to everyone, not just businesses. The Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, for instance, has been doing some great work in helping to reverse our city’s immigrant brain drain, while the Kanata North BIA played a leading role

in helping to jumpstart an emergent autonomous vehicle cluster in Kanata North. These are both instances of business groups working to proactively fill a void, and both examples will be of tremendous benefit to the broader community. 3. Offer solutions, not problems: With municipal and provincial elections just around the corner, the next 12 months will likely be a period of intense debate over local and provincial policy issues. Rather than focus on everything that’s not working for the business community, we need to offer a vision for what can work and how governments can make these changes happen within the limitations of their own mandates. 4. Whole-of-community approach: In this age of polarization and division, business groups need to push for a whole-of-community approach that helps governments to understand how they can support businesses while also simultaneously supporting the many other groups that help make a community strong. For a long time, the business community has operated based on the adage that “what’s good for business is good for the economy.” While this is largely true, we need to also start thinking in terms of “what’s good for the community is good for business.”

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Breakfast Series Breakfast Series Mayor’s Mayor’s

to enjoy breakfast His Worship Jim Watson A unique opportunity to enjoywith breakfast with HisMayor Worship Mayor Jim Watson If the past year has proven anything, it’s A unique opportunity and hear from and community leaders about issues critical to Ottawa. and business hear from business and community leaders about issues critical to Ottawa. that business groups such as BIAs and Guest Speakers: Guest Speaker:Guest Speaker: Guy Laflamme, Executive Director at chambers of commerce are more necessary Honourable Catherine MarcMcKenna Ottawa 2017Seaman, Bureau & Chairperson Minister of Environment and Climate Change National Capital Commission Victor Dodig, President and CEO of CIBC for the health of our economy than ever. Thursday, April 27, 2017 Monday, December Tuesday, February 6, 2018 11, 2017 Location: Ottawa CityOttawa Hall Ottawa Location: Location: City HallCity Hall But our influence as the voice of business Registration: 7:00 a.m. Registration: 7:00 a.m. Registration: 7:00am Buffet Breakfast: 7:30 Breakfast: a.m. Buffet 7:30 a.m. Buffet Breakfast: 7:30am Presentation: 8:00 a.m. Presentation: 8:00 a.m. will be significantly depleted unless we Presentation: 8:00am take a new approach to the issues at handINDIVIDUALINDIVIDUAL TICKETS: TICKETS: $35.00 + HST (Ottawa Chamber Members) $35.00 + HST (Ottawa Chamber Members) $50.00 + HST (Non-Members) $50.00 + HST (Non-Members)

5. Winning hearts and minds: In an era of social media, I believe strongly that business groups need to be public relations experts. And this doesn’t just mean convincing already sympathetic ears of the importance of Ottawa’s business sector. More importantly, it means helping the public at large to appreciate the positive impact that businesses have on the local community and the many ways that businesses help to make Ottawa a great place to live and work. By following the strategic principles outlined above, Ottawa’s business

community will be in a better position to CORPORATE TABLES OFTABLES 8 WITH SIGNAGE: CORPORATE OF 8 WITH SIGNAGE: deal with the inevitable challenges (and$245 + HST $245 (Ottawa Chamber Members) + HST (Ottawa Chamber Members) (Non-Members) + HST (Non-Members) potential opportunities) that 2018 will $350 + HST $350 bring. Our city’s business groups are now more important than ever. But to ensure Register online Register online that our voice is heard, we need to adopt an approach that can have maximum Event Sponsors:Event Sponsors: impact and effect and which is centred on a positive, collaborative approach to business and economic development.

Mischa Kaplan is a business owner Powered by Ottawa Business PoweredEvents by Ottawa Business Events to receive weekly updates on all our events. and the chair of the West Ottawa E-mail E-mail to receive weekly updates on all our events. Board of Trade.


Conflict at work: How we can change our perspective to become better leaders Telfer event aims to reposition the way we approach conflict


The panel will be moderated by Richard Clayman, the School’s Executive-in-Residence. The ultimate goal of the event is to look at conflict from a fresh perspective as a way to develop better tools and behaviours for handling it. As Clayman explains, the events content will explore the many faces that conflict presents by itself between individuals and within organizations.

WHO ARE THE SPEAKERS? • Nabil Oudeh, President and Founder, Centre for Conflict Resolution International Ltd (CCR International) • Cory Robertson, Sergeant, Crisis Negotiation Team, The Ottawa Police Service • Dr. Philippe Dufort, Assistant Professor, Saint Paul University “Conflict crosses all boundaries because it’s just a fact of human nature,” says Clayman. “We’re trying to have a better look at it and

provide some tactics to a better perspective on it.” EVENT TITLE: The dangers of ignoring conflict management: Should we agree to disagree? takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27 at the University of Ottawa in the Desmarais Building (DMS 1160), located at 55 Laurier Ave. East. This event is open to the public and is free to attend. Please register before 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 26. Register to attend at mbaconferences


CONFLICT AT WORK The annual event has been very well attended in the past, and Clayman expects this year to be no exception. He believes the event should be of interest to anyone who is in a working role where the effective management of conflict would be of value. “Conflict, at its basic nature, can be a very healthy exchange of perspectives and ideas,” says Clayman. “But on the other hand, it can also start to erode the good

relationships that exist within organizations to a point where it becomes a toxic environment.” Low-level conflict is an unavoidable part of most workplaces. However, Clayman believes it’s possible to identify it early on and turn potentially negative experiences into constructive exchanges.


onflict, whether at home or at work, can be a huge barrier to getting things done. When heads butt and tempers flare, it can bring even the best thought-out project to a grinding halt. Conflict can drive away top talent and erode morale, much to the detriment of the organization in question. But what if we rethought our approach to conflict in the workplace? On Jan. 27, the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management will explore this topic at its annual leadership development conference. The full-morning event will feature three professionals with direct experience managing conflict, who will share their thoughts on this topic from their unique perspectives. These will be followed by a panel discussion, where the audience will be allowed to ask questions.














Partners Dan Warren, Marie Fraser, Nancy Nicks, Jacob Milosek, PartnersIan IanHendry, Hendry, Dan Warren, Marie Fraser and Nancy Nicks are and Blair to Duffy are pleased to welcome a new partner our firm. He is pleased welcome two new partners to our firm.toBoth are passionate about helping entrepreneurial business with accounting, taxation, passionate about client service and helping owners entrepreneurial business owners succession planning, restructuring and managing growth. achieve their financial goals with accounting, taxation, succession planning, restructuring and managing growth.

Jacob Milosek, CPA, CA Todd Hamilton, CPA, CA Jacob joined HW in 2008 and has gained Todd has a broad range of accounting extensive experience inpublic taxation for small and and industry experience hisowner careermanaged is dedicated to helping business mediumand sized businesses owners, directors and organizations. executive management and not-for-profit Jacob is of private responsible a variety tax related matters companies and for not-for profitoforganizations. His areas including personal and corporate tax planning of expertise include financial reporting, assurance and and compliance filings, corporate accounting which is based complimented by a broad knowledge reorganizations, estate planning, GST/HST matters and strong background in corporate and personal and on assisting clients with audits to and appeals. taxation. He prides himself his full-service approach client service which includes providing strategic yet pragmatic value-added solutions to help his clients realize personal financial goals and organizational objectives.

Blair Duffy, CPA, CA

Todd enjoys networkingBlair and marketing with coaching andin mentoring joined HWalong in 2007 and specializes audit young professionals andand is a assurance. member ofBlair the firm’s Marketing committee. has experience with a variety of industries including technology, commercial In the past, Todd has volunteered a member of theservices. FinancialBlair Advisory real estate,asand professional understands what it takes to assist in the past Committee of the Ontario Zone of the Canadian Red Cross.clients He is also managing andthat growing and Treasurer of Actua, a national charity helps their youthbusinesses by reaching out to them provides personal attention to their unique and engaging them in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. accounting and taxation needs. Whether your needs are for accounting, audit, taxation, business advisory, controllership support, management consulting or financial planning Hendry Whether your needsexceptional are for accounting, taxation, business advisory, Warren LLP provides service foraudit, both individual and corporate controllership support, management consulting or financial planning clients. Hendry Warren LLP values and supports the entrepreneurial spirit. Hendry Warren LLP provides exceptional service for both individual We in building trust, mutualthe respect andbelieve corporate clients.effective Hendry relationships Warren LLP based valueson and supports and commitmentspirit. to excellence. entrepreneurial We believe in building effective relationships based

on trust, mutual respect and commitment to excellence. With a staff of 40 professionals and over 20 years of service excellence in With a staff of 35 professionals and over 20 years of service excellence in the Ottawa business community, we ensure the right individual is working the Ottawa business community, we ensure the right individual is working with you to meet your needs efficiently and cost effectively. Our unique with you to meet your needs efficiently and cost effectively. Our unique team accounting andand bookkeeping staff staff will work team of ofCPAs CPAsand andprofessional professional accounting bookkeeping will alongside the partners to provide personalized solutions solutions for your business. work alongside the partners to provide personalized for your


We are growing and always looking for new people for our dynamic team. We We are growing and always looking for new people for our dynamic respect and encourage a balance between work and personal activities. Our team. We respect and encourage a balance between work and personal team enjoys the work environment at our office and participates together in


various community service activities. Talented individuals are encouraged to participate together in various community service activities. Talented apply. individuals are encouraged to apply.

activities. Our team enjoy the work environment at our office and

881 LADY ELLEN PLACE, SUITE 200, OTTAWA, ON K1Z 5L3 | 613.235.2000 | HWLLP.CA

EVENTS nominations open


or two decades, OBJ has been spotlighting the National Capital Region’s top 40 professionals under the age of 40 – a tradition that continues once again in 2018. Nominations are now open for this year’s Forty Under 40 awards, a partnership between OBJ and the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce that celebrates the region’s top up-and-coming young leaders who reflect the economic diversity, entrepreneurial spirit and future of the capital’s dynamic business community. Nominations can be submitted at Selfnominations are encouraged. Applications will be judged on the applicant’s professional accomplishments, expertise in his or her chosen field and community involvement. Nominees must be 39 years or younger

on June 30 and must spend the majority of their work time in Ottawa-Gatineau. They also must be an owner, executive, manager, professional or person with significant business decision-making authority. Preference is given to nominees who work in the private sector; however, nominees can also work for a public or non-profit organization. Past recipients of the Forty Under 40 award have represented a wide range of industries, including architects, high-tech CEOs, homebuilders, lawyers, musicians, restaurateurs and startup founders. Wellknown honourees include Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke and Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. co-founder Steve Beauchesne. Recipients will be announced in late April. The award gala honouring this year’s recipients will be held on Friday, June 15 at the Hilton Lac-Leamy.



TECHNOLOGY Four tech firms to watch in 2018 From AI trailblazers to blockchain adopters, these local companies are poised for big things in the year ahead. OBJ reporter Craig Lord has the scoop on what sets them apart from the pack MARTELLO TECHNOLOGIES Kanata’s Martello Technologies wasted no time proving why 2018 will be its year. In just the first week, the fast-growing firm announced a merger with Montreal’s Elfiq Networks. But it’s only going to get bigger from there. New CEO John Proctor confirmed what former chief executive Bruce Linton hinted at last year, that Martello may seek an initial public offering in 2018. If that weren’t enough, Martello is also still looking for acquisitions. “The hunt is still on,” Proctor says. Martello has made waves in the Ottawa business community as a company to watch since it was founded in 2009. A child of Wesley Clover International, the firm develops software to support cloud-based communication systems, specifically focusing on Mitel customers. Martello has been one of OBJ’s fastest-growing firms and led Ottawa companies on the 2017

Profit 500 list of Canada’s rising stars. The field is open for a Martello IPO to be Ottawa’s sole public offering this year. If its ambitions pan out, it could end up being the city’s biggest tech story of 2018. MINDBRIDGE AI Montreal made waves with blockbuster artificial intelligence investments in 2017, but Ottawa’s best chance for an AI leader may be in MindBridge AI. MindBridge applies its AI algorithms to fraud detection, alerting auditors to discrepancies and anomalies in the books. The firm has already garnered attention from fintech heavyweights such as the Bank of England, partnering on proofof-concept projects with the massive institution. Deloitte Canada also named MindBridge as a startup to watch on its 2017 Fast 50 list. In June of last year, MindBridge scored

$4.3 million in seed funding from investors such as the Capital Angels Network, Montreal’s Real Ventures and Silicon Valley-based 8VC, a fund that counts former prime minister Stephen Harper among its advisers. The firm raised its seed round to meet international demand for its product, its founder Solon Angel said. CEO Eli Fathi told Techopia Live a few months later that the firm has a disruptive product in a hot market, and the main concern he has is making sure the company doesn’t grow too quickly. Good problem to have. Fathi believes MindBridge’s success can be a boon for Ottawa, which he told Techopia Live can become a hub for AI startups. “Our intention is to actually put Ottawa on the map, plant the flag here that we are open to business in AI, we have great companies and we can become a centre of excellence in this area,” he said.

From left, Solink CEO Mike Matta with Chris Beaudoin, head of the firm’s growth team, director of customer success Chelsea Sterling and former Kanata North BIA executive director Jenna Sudds at last year’s Best Ottawa Business Awards. FILE PHOTO

SOLINK MindBridge AI isn’t the only local startup with momentum (and funding) in artificial intelligence. Solink is also using AI to detect fraud, in this case to analyze


Smart as a fox: Hydro Ottawa leads the charge with electrical safety campaign





t can be easy to forget about the electrical infrastructure that keeps our homes and businesses powered. It’s everywhere around us, yet it lives in the background of our day-to-day lives. While this is understandable, the lack of awareness can also come at a heavy cost. Transformer boxes and hydro lines, while equipped with safety measures, nonetheless carry a high-powered electrical current. A wrong move around a downed power line or other equipment can lead to serious injuries and in some cases even turn deadly. In an effort to move the needle on public safety, Hydro Ottawa launched its new and improved electrical safety campaign in early 2017. It was partially in response to a

survey conducted by the Electrical Safety Authority and the Ontario Energy Board that revealed many Ontario residents aren’t aware of the dangers of electrical infrastructure. Though the nation’s capital received a positive score on the survey, Hydro Ottawa nevertheless used the opportunity to further raise public awareness on how to stay safe near electrical equipment. EDUCATION & ENGAGEMENT The stars of the campaign are Felix the fox and Sam the squirrel, who encourage viewers to “Become as smart as a fox about electricity.” As part of the campaign, Hydro Ottawa offers in-school presentations to demystify electrical safety and


Call before you dig, so you know of any underground cables. Stay at least 3 to 6 metres from power lines. Stay at least 10 metres away from downed power lines. Never touch a power line (with your hand or anything else). Never tamper with electrical equipment, such as transformer boxes. If your vehicle is touching a live wire, stay inside until the power has been disconnected.

conservation for kids. They are offered free of charge to Ottawaarea schools, for students from kindergarten to grade 8. Students who participate in the educational sessions are then asked to go online with a parent to take Hydro Ottawa’s “whiz quiz.” Those who complete it are entered in a draw to win an iPad. Another major component of the campaign is a series of six short and engaging videos featuring Felix and Sam, as the fox prevents the squirrel from hurting himself. As Dan Séguin,

Hydro Ottawa’s Manager of Media and Public Affairs, explains, squirrels often unwittingly cause power outages by tampering with hydro lines. While Ottawa’s squirrels may never learn to stay safe around power lines, there are plenty of steps the city’s human residents can take to protect themselves. To learn more about electrical safety, go to

surveillance footage from restaurants, retail outlets and banks. By establishing a pattern of behaviour from videos, Solink’s software can flag suspicious behaviour to business operators. Solink was one of OBJ’s fastest-growing firms last year, and in November it landed $5 million in financing from some high-profile funds – Chicago-based Valor Equity Partners, for example, which also counts Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors and SpaceX in its portfolio. Massive restaurant chains such as Tim Hortons and New York Fries already make use of Solink’s software, and investors are bullish on the firm. Speaking last year to OBJ, CEO Mike Matta hinted at two more major clients in the pipeline that could double the firm’s current business and projected recurring revenues of $100 million in five years’ time. LEONOVUS If comeback stories are more your thing, you may want to keep an eye on Leonovus this year. The publicly traded firm has faced a sales dry spell for the past two years, but started to build momentum in late 2017 with a pivot to blockchain technology. Last month, Leonovus raised an extra

Université d’Ottawa


$13.75 million to put the finishing touches on its new product, which provides encrypted protection for clients migrating data to the cloud. CEO Michael Gaffney told OBJ the firm has seen an uptick in interest from potential customers since adding blockchain technology to its solutions. Interested parties include a big six Canadian bank and a global health-care data firm, both of which signed proof of concepts with the Ottawa company last year. Gaffney says Leonovus’s technology, developed over eight years and millions in investment, was always solid but needed to be packaged in the right way. He believes he’s done that with “Leonovus 3.0,” and has thus far been able to convince investors and prospective customers that it’s worth a shot. “I think we’re on the right track now. We’ve taken the pieces that were broken and fixed them,” he says. Like Fathi, Gaffney believes that if Leonovus is successful it could build momentum for Ottawa’s emerging industries. He wants to build a blockchain development team in Ottawa to train homegrown talent in the increasingly popular field, rather than exporting expertise.

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.

Download your FREE Digital copy at

University of Ottawa

2018 Physical and Cyber Security Conference Readiness and Resilience in the Age of Disruption World’s security experts converge on Ottawa for this inaugural conference

The conference will also feature a Technology Expo that will showcase new technologies and services in support of readiness and resilience.

Register online at:

When: February 27, 28, 2018 Where: Ottawa Conference and Event Center TOPICS INCLUDE: • Cyber Crime


• Terrorism

• Mr. John Brennan,

• Emergency Management Planning for the Next Disaster • The New Soft Targets – Keeping the Threat in Perspective • Executive Security in the Age of Disruption • State Cyber Ops and Cyber Security • Radicalization and the Foreign Fighter Phenomenon • Crowd Management Public Safety and Security

former Director, Central Intelligence Agency

• Senior government and corporate officials from Canada, US and allied countries

• Subject matter experts from the academic and business communities The complete list of keynote speakers and panelists may be found at our website.


Join us as we discuss the emerging and exigent threats with many of the world’s pre-eminent physical and cyber security practitioners. Together we will consider new strategies to address the safety and security challenges of the 21st century.

Seats are limited

Thank you for sharing your insights in 2017 on how to make Ottawa the most innovative city and BEST PLACE to do business.


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‘There are a tremendous amount of opportunities in all of the content we do for all of this global expansion push’ Continued from page 7 Labour, hotel and other production costs are lower in Ottawa than in larger centres such as Toronto, he notes, and operating out of his hometown allows him to cash in on additional tax credits given to producers who film outside the Greater Toronto Area. “We’re in a business where you’ve got to squeeze a dime out of a nickel,” he explained. “Every penny counts.” After going it on his own for a couple of years, Knight sold the Canadian rights to his productions to Bell Media two years ago. Under the deal, his production company, Gusto Worldwide Media, produces exclusive programming for Bell while retaining the rights to its productions in all markets outside Canada. It’s all part of Knight’s drive to turn Gusto into a global brand. Today’s over-the-top internet technology means producers no longer need access to expensive satellite services to broadcast programming around the world, he said. “There are a tremendous amount of opportunities in all of the content we do for all of this global expansion push,” he said. “It’s out

of a business park in Ottawa, which I think is kind of cool.” Now at 47 full-time employees, Knight’s company is aiming to make a major foray into foreign markets in 2018. Gusto expects to launch on Amazon Prime south of the border this month, and Knight is in the process of hiring an agent in Hong Kong with the aim of cracking the massive Chinese market soon. He believes global consumers, particularly women, will eat up Gusto’s programming and is eyeing a move into other major markets such as Germany, India, South Korea and the United Kingdom. But he’s also more than happy to share the fruits of his success by offering up his studio to producers in Ottawa and beyond on the 100 or so days a year when Gusto isn’t shooting its own content. He sees it as another step toward making the nation’s capital a viable alternative to Toronto or Montreal as a TV production centre. “I hope that opening this studio is the beginning of some really great opportunities and that we play some small role in growing the industry here,” he says.

Are you under the age of 40 and a business achiever in Ottawa? It’s your time to shine!


Nominations are now open

for the 2018 Forty Under 40 awards We’re looking for 40 young leaders who exemplify business success, professional expertise, and community giving.


(There is no disadvantage to self-nomination; nominees are encouraged to participate in the process)


and unsophisticated politician who succeeded more because of luck than skill. ering financial situation. Some wrote he embarrassed the country by staying out of the war in Iraq. They criticized the Clarity

The Shawinigan Fox:


nment. They often credited his successes to his finance minister, rival and successor, Paul Martin. key figures of the time and careful analysis, Chretien made the critical decisions that positioned Canada for the 21st century


The TheShawinigan ShawiniganFox: Fox:How HowJean JeanChrétien Chrétien How Jean Chrétien Defied the Elites Defied Defiedthe theElites Elitesand andReshaped ReshapedCanada Canada

and Reshaped Canada

“Having written two volumes on Chretien back in the day, I can assure you that Plamondon’s book has much to add. I highly recommend it.”


Bob Plamondon is the author of four nationally acclaimed bestsellers: The Truth about Trudeau, Blue Thunder: The Truth BobBob Plamondon Plamondon is the author author four of four nationally nationally acclaimed acclaimed bestsellers: TheThe Truth Truth about Conservatives from Macdonaldistothe Harper, Full of Circle: Death and Resurrection inbestsellers: Canadian Conservative Politics, about about Trudeau, Trudeau, Blue Blue Thunder: Thunder: TheThe Truth Truth about about Conservatives Conservatives from from Macdonald Macdonald and Hay West: A Story of Canadians Helping Canadians. to Harper, to Harper, FullFull Circle: Circle: Death Death andand Resurrection Resurrection in Canadian in Canadian Conservative Conservative Politics, Politics, andand HayHay West: West: A Story A Story of Canadians of Canadians Helping Helping Canadians. Canadians.





JEAN JEAN CHRÉTIEN’s CHRÉTIEN’s critics critics have have analysis analysis and and exclusive exclusive interviews interviews Until now, the ofwith Jean as prime minister hasministers, been largely said said hehe was was astory man a man with aChrétien’s short a short time with with former former cabinet cabinet ministers, misunderstood. Jean Chrétien’s critics have said he was apremiers, man with no vision and a attention attention span span — a—small-town a small-town provincial provincial premiers, political political staff, staff, short attention span. But while Chretien was the subject of intellectual ridicule, he was hick hick who who stumbled stumbled hishis way way to to and and high-ranking high-ranking bureaucrats, bureaucrats, quietly giving his competitors — both inside and outside of theBob Liberal party — a master become become Canada’s Canada’s 20th 20th prime prime bestselling bestselling author author Bob Plamondon Plamondon class in politics, leadership and nation-building. His decisions, which often ranof counter minister. minister. But But while while Chretien Chretien was was tells tells the the surprising surprising inside inside story story of to elite opinion, fundamentally reshaped and strengthened Canada as it entered the the the subject subject of of ridicule, ridicule, hehe was was thethe Chretien Chretien years, years, including including what what 21st century. Relying on exclusive interviews with former cabinet ministers, quietly quietly giving giving hishis competitors competitors — — Chretien Chretien would would have have done done if the ifprovincial the premiers, political staff, strategists, bureaucrats bestselling both both inside inside and and outside outside of of thetheand high-ranking 1995 1995 referendum referendum had had ended ended in in a author a Bob Plamondon surprising story offor the Chretien and years. Liberal Liberal party party —tells a—master athe master class class ininside in vote vote for separation separation and how how politics, politics, leadership, leadership, and and Chretien Chretien kept kept Canada Canada outout of of thethe nation-building. nation-building. HisHis decisions, decisions, US-led US-led war war in in Iraq. Iraq. Plamondon Plamondon sets sets which which often often ranran counter counter to to elite elite thethe record record straight straight and and provides provides opinion, opinion, fundamentally fundamentally reshaped reshaped compelling compelling lessons lessons about about political political and and strengthened strengthened Canada Canada as as it it leadership leadership and and problem-solving problem-solving — Lawrence Thechapter Globe andin Mail entered entered thethe 21st 21st century. century. Relying Relying from from aMartin, critical a critical chapter in Canadian Canadian onon new new evidence, evidence, detailed detailed history. history.


Ottawa firms pitch the future of TV at CES 2018 You.i and Espial on the shifts and opportunities in television tech by Craig Lord



he annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is known for its flashy tech: high-flying drones across the aisle from high-definition televisions. This year, however, shifts in the media industry put a sharper focus on the content playing on these screens and how audiences will watch in the coming years. Disney, with its anticipated acquisition of 21st Century Fox studios and two streaming services set to launch in 2018, has put the industry on notice, while firms such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple have each pushed their own video platforms. Among these tech giants were two Ottawa companies with their own stakes in the fluctuating media industry. Though they’re not in the consumer-first business, You.i TV and Espial Group were both in Nevada suites and showrooms last week, following television trends and putting forth their own visions of the future of TV.



“packed” with media executives all week. One of the problems You.i TV is addressing is a big one: advertising. Russell points to the immense popularity of ad-blocker plug-ins as a sign that audiences are tired of banner ads and 30-second videos interrupting the viewing experience. On the other hand, he says, modern viewing habits have opened up new opportunities for brands. Russell gives an example: When you select a show on your Smart TV, the interface that pops up could offer a natural space for sponsors. Maybe the service provider sells that space to Coca-Cola, and now the loading bar is a Coke bottle that pops its lid when it’s finished buffering. A promo code might even appear offering a free Coke. You.i TV’s code already allows for that. Russell says this isn’t an interruption in the way of a traditional commercial. It’s a different “flavour” of branding, he says, that doesn’t ruin the experience. “It’s something that’s completely and utterly abstract, but it allows users to get engaged. It allows users to see products without having disruption in the content.” Cooke says these approaches are changing the way companies think about screens and creating a new space that’s attractive to brands. “Every piece of glass on the interface side is new real estate for branding, which is actually blowing the sponsorship folks’ minds,” she says.

The big picture

In the next decade, both Russell and Edwardson expect the traditional TV experience will evolve beyond the screen. Russell says the advent of augmented, virtual and mixed-reality technology will blur the lines between where video begins and ends. Once relegated to the household’s glowing box, visual media will begin to follow us around on special spectacles and transport us to alternate dimensions, he says. “I don’t think TV as we view it, as television, is going to really be the same at all … It’s going to be a completely different environment.” Edwardson expects Alexa and her fellow AI assistants will play a more proactive role in choosing what we watch, mastering our preferences to the point where recommendations are more accurate and enticing. Ever-changing channels He also foresees a regression, of sorts. “All that dynamism of the marketplace While today’s variety of streaming services makes it fascinating to be in. There’s that has given consumers more freedom than constant change going on,” says Espial ever before, he says the inability to watch marketing director Kirk Edwardson. what’s on Hulu because you only have Espial helps video-service providers Netflix and HBO GO subscriptions will deliver content on Smart TVs or set-top inevitably frustrate users. He foresees boxes such as Android or Apple TV. These a return to an aggregator-style format, - Stuart Russell, chief technical officer and co-founder of You.i TV new platforms are increasingly critical to similar to the way traditional cable Espial’s customers, television carriers, packages clustered channels. who Edwardson says are showing up to also pitched potential customers on what technical officer and co-founder of You.i TV, How long the traditional glowing boxes CES in bigger numbers. they can do with on these platforms. says being at CES gives a front-row seat to stick around is anyone’s guess – in 2018, At the expo, he says Espial was able to In Las Vegas, the Kanata firm showed the trends the firm needs to watch. the aisles of CES remained lined with TV show how its turnkey solution, Elevate, off how its code can work with popular “We get a chance to see all of these screens of higher and higher resolution. works with emerging technology such as open-source software React Native to companies in one place and see, ‘Who are Whichever direction television and its Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. put providers’ apps on every platform the the leaders? Who are the innovators?’” producers head in the few decades, though, “We’re giving them the platform and the company supports, including both Apple Las Vegas is likely to be a stop on the way. tools to compete in the face of all of those and Android. Ad space “I think CES is a marquee show to changes going on,” he says. Every tech firm wants to drop jaws, Don’t think You.i TV is sitting on the catch a sense of all those changes coming, You.i TV, which develops video apps for but the show is just as much about what sidelines, though. Marketing vice-president and it’s exciting for us to be right in the clients such as TBS or Cartoon Network, everyone else is doing. Stuart Russell, chief Trisha Cooke says the firm’s suite was midst of that hurricane,” Edwardson says.

“I don’t think TV as we view it, as television, is going to really be the same at all … It’s going to be a completely different environment.”



As Techopia Live kicks off its 2018 season this week, take a look back at some of last year’s most quotable interviews from the world of Ottawa tech. The live tech show airs at 12:15 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays on Techopia’s Facebook and Twitter channels. If you miss it, videos and recaps will always be available on techopia.

It’s not always our policies that are out of date, or our approaches, but it’s maybe our culture and our mindset. … That kind of shift takes time. - Federal government CIO Alex Benay on embracing the digital age in the public sector

Most people in a lot of tech companies are doing a piece of a piece of a piece. We’re doing stuff. We’re shipping tier-one apps for media companies … We want to change the relationship people have with technology and make it awesome, everywhere. - You.i TV CEO Jason Flick

by Craig Lord


n its most active year yet, the Capital Angel Network invested $3.3 million in 20 companies, giving many up-and-coming local startups their first taste of funding. The organization, which brings together local angel investors to hear pitches from early stage startups, covered a range of industries with its investments. Nolan Beanlands, who took on CAN’s executive director role in September, says although the organization invested in eight SaaS firms this past year, it tends to focus less on the software sector because it’s “well-covered elsewhere.” Instead, he points to CAN’s investments in spaces such as the Internet of Things as an area where Ottawa firms are thriving. “I think Ottawa works well there,” he said. “There’s still a bit of a hardware history here as much as the world is going to software and AI.” Mike Foster, an investor with the group, said in a statement that he’s bullish on Ottawa’s cybersecurity potential. ‘’Personal information, health cards, driver’s licences, passwords and credit card information are all at risk at a time when countries and companies want to expand their use and increase protection. New security standards are not far away,” he said. “In this environment, there are a number of crypto-security and nextgeneration solutions being brought to the market by the Ottawa-based community,” he continued, pointing to Bluink and Crypto4A as examples. CAN also implemented a new form of funding this year through its pitch award. Startups that pitch at the monthly angel meetings have a chance to walk away with almost instant funding, as members can allocate their individual “shares” worth $2,500. If a minimum of four angels signal their interest, that startup receives $10,000, or more if it sways extra members. Three startups – SnapClarity, LeadFox and Back-Bone Gear – received funding through the pitch award in its first year. Chair Jennifer Francis said in a statement that 2018 will be an even better year for Capital Angel Network, with a strong pipeline of Ottawa companies coming through the organization’s door.


40% SaaS

15% IoT


*All companies Ottawa-based unless otherwise-stated



Initial investments Member365 Back-Bone Gear Inc. Daisy Intelligence (Toronto) Motorleaf (Sutton, QC) Crypto4A Technologies SnapClarity Bluink Ltd. Aetonix reDock Food Cycle Science

15% AI

Initial & Follow-on Relogix LeadFox (Sherbrooke, QC) Klashwerks SmartCone Technologies Follow-on The Better Software Company Mydoma Inc. QuickSilk RareLogic Inc. MindBridge AI


- Invest Ottawa CEO Mike Tremblay on Ford’s 2017 investment in the capital’s tech scene

Twenty companies received the local angel investors’ blessings in 2017



They found the best damn platform to put in their cars they could point to. And that was QNX. And that’s in Ottawa … Make no mistake about it, we are in a growth period right now. It’s around building that attitude and culture of growth.

Capital Angel Network’s year of investments

THE LIST 1 2 3 4 5 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 13 15 MONDAY, JANUARY 15, 2018




17 18 19

Company/Address Phone/Fax/Web Abbott Point of Care 185 Corkstown Rd. Ottawa, ON K2H 8V4 613-688-5949 Nordion* 447 March Rd. Kanata, ON K2K 1X8 613-592-2790 / 613-592-6937 Epocal 2060 Walkley Rd. Ottawa, ON K1G 3P5 613-738-6192 / 613-738-6195 Best Theratronics 413 March Rd. Kanata, ON K2K 0E4 613-591-2100 / 613-591-6627 AMITA 250-2650 Queensview Dr. Ottawa, ON K2B 8H6 613-742-6482 Pillar5 Pharma* 365 Madawaska Blvd. Arnprior, ON K7S 0C9 613-623-4221 / 613-623-1259 DNA Genotek 3000-500 Palladium Dr. Kanata, ON K2V 1C2 613-723-5757 / 613-368-4628 Thermo Fisher Scientific, Microbiology Division Canada 100-1926 Merivale Rd. Nepean, ON K2G 1E8 613-226-1318 / 613-226-3728 Stanley Healthcare* 309 Legget Dr. Ottawa, ON K2K 3A3 613-287-4553 / 613-592-4296 PRA International* 600-1145 Hunt Club Rd. Ottawa, ON K1V 0Y3 613-739-8162 / 613-739-8163 BTG International Canada Inc. 200-11 Hines Rd. Ottawa, ON K2K 2X1 613-801-1880 / 613-701-4086 Spartan Bioscience* 500-2934 Baseline Rd. Ottawa, ON K2H 1B2 613-228-7756 / 613-228-8636 Allphase Clinical Research 301-320 March Rd. Ottawa, ON K2K 2E3 613-287-0366 / 613-287-0367


No. of local employees

Key Ottawa-area executive(s)

Year established

Publicly traded?


Andrew McNiven plant director




Ian Downie vice-president of gamma technologies Phil Larabie Vice-president of medical isotopes



Imants Lauks CEO


Lisa Schoenhofer marketing manager

Major clients

Distinctive or main technologies



Medical diagnostics; high technology; biotech

Manufacturer of real-time blood analysis systems for patient-side testing of electrolytes, metabolites, gases, coagulation and cardiac enzymes.


Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies; medical device manufacturers; hospitals; clinics; research laboratories

Radioisotopes, radiation and related technologies used to diagnose, prevent and treat disease.

Medical isotopes; targeted therapies for cancer; radiopharmaceutical development; clinical and commercial manufacturing; gamma sterilization technologies




Epoc point-of-care blood analysis system

Point-of-care blood analysis solutions for health-care enterprises.



Hospitals; clinics; cancer centres; research centres

Gamma beam teletherapy (external beam therapy for oncology); blood and research irradiators; cyclotrons for radioisotope production and research

Manufactures and sells medical equipment worldwide. Radiation teletherapy for oncology; cyclotron systems; blood and research irradiators.

Public Safety Canada; Defence Research and Development Canada; Microsoft platform; Open Standards Global Affairs Canada; Citizenship N Platform and Immigration Canada; Communications Security Establishment Canada; CSIS Manufacturing; packaging; aseptic capabilities; supporting services to Pharmaceutical companies and manufacturing; analytical and biological N over-the-counter consumer testing services; formulation and process health-care products companies development Academic institutions; hospitals; Y Specializes in kits and reagents to collect, Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge and NASDAQ: stabilize and prepare samples for genetics, Johns Hopkins universities; The OSUR (parent Hospital for Sick Children; Karolinska microbiome and infectious disease. company) Institutet; 23andme

Public safety and emergency management IT solutions and services; incident management, mass casualty management and surveillance; cyber security.


Nils Lundahl president



Jamie Moore chief operating officer



Brian Smith senior vice-president and general manager



Lexy Martin senior manager of manufacturing operations



Clinical and industrial microbiology laboratories

Prepared culture media and diagnostic kits

Manufactures and distributes products for microbiology laboratories.


Diane Hosson director of security solutions



Hospitals; medical centres; government; health networks; skilled nursing; assisted living; retirement communities; rehabilitation centres

Visibility and analytics solutions based on RTLS technology for monitoring the location, status and inter-relationships of staff, patients and equipment.

Provider of real-time locating systems to locate and protect people and medical equipment in health-care environments.

Clinical trials management, electronic data capture

Global contract research organization providing therapeutic and clinical expertise in the management of phase I - IV clinical trials. Provides protocol design, medical monitoring, monitoring data management, regulations, pharmacy and report writing.





Peter Pattison general manager, interventional oncology



Paul Lem CEO



Sterile liquids for prescription and consumer health products; solid dose.

Creates products that allow donors to provide a reliable, high-quality sample in a non-invasive and cost-effective way.


Hospitals in North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia

Medical devices that treat liver cancer, emphysema and pulmonary embolism.

Manufacturer of medical devices for the treatment of liver cancer, COPD, pulmonary embolism and renal cancer, and specialty pharmaceuticals for the treatment of varicose veins, snake bites as well as digoxin, methotrexate and 5FU toxicities.



Sample-to-result testing system that fully integrates DNA collection, extraction and analysis.

DNA testing


Jeff Smith president



Novartis; Merck; Janssen; Nordion; Roche

Electronic data capture – DataInsight

Medical device and phase 2 to 4 clinical trial development and management services, including protocol development, project management, data management, biostatistics and medical writing. Quality assurance services: site, vendor, process audits, QMS development and staffing solutions.


Richard Bonato CEO



Hospitals; clinics; physicians; dentists; OEMs

Hardware, software, services and consumables for sleep medicine.

Solution provider for the diagnosis and treatment of snoring and sleep apnea.

Optometric and ophthalmology clinics; eye care research institutes; veterans hospitals

Devices designed to allow eye care professionals the ability to visualize the earliest evidence of retinal and choroidal disorders.

Multi-spectral imaging technology is a tool for diagnostic retinal imaging. It is the gateway to the RPE, allowing eye care professionals to identify, diagnose and monitor retinal disorders non-invasively.



Point-of-service solution digitizes intake, automates eligibility and benefits verification, calculates and collects patient responsibility.

Braebon Medical 1-100 Schneider Rd. Kanata, ON K2K 1Y2 613-831-6690 / 613-831-6699 Annidis 100 Maple Grove Rd. Ottawa, ON K2V 1B8 613-596-1800 / 613-596-9453 Phreesia* 110-1 Hines Rd. Ottawa, ON K2K 3C7 888-654-7473 Embla (Natus)* 202-1 Hines Rd. Kanata, ON K2K 3C7 613-254-8877 STACS DNA 206-2255 St. Laurent Blvd. Ottawa, ON K1G 4K3 613-274-7822 / 613-274-3825


Mike McDonnell vice-president of operations




Cathy Nathan vice-president of business systems







Jocelyn Tremblay president and chief operating officer


VitalAire* 3-831 Industrial Ave. Ottawa, K1K 4C1 613-741-0202




Y NASDAQ: WND BABY (parent company)

Medical software and hardware for the health-care Real-time acquisition of clinical patient data industry, specifically sleep labs and respiratory care as well as an SQL-based information system departments, to diagnose patients with sleep disorders.


FBI; RCMP; U.S. Army; U.S. state labs, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Texas, plus regional labs in Ohio and Nevada

Sample processing software designed for forensics and healthcare DNA labs. Tracks and controls samples; captures detailed audit trail; manages workflows, consumables, inventory, storage, maintenance; integrates systems and instrumentation

Sample tracking software: Track-Kit™ tracks samples from collection to storage, preventing delayed or lost tests. STACS® sample processing software provides audit trail of all lab activity to dramatically increase productivity and improve data quality.





WND = Would not disclose. *Did not respond to 2017 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 9, 2017. © 2017 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

FOR THE RECORD personal injury litigation. Dion practises in the firm’s labour and employment law groups, while Lepine is a member of the firm’s family law and wills and estates groups.

Frances Shapiro Munn, David Contant, Karine Dion and Erin Lepine have joined Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP. Shapiro Munn will practise personal injury law with a focus on insurance defence litigation and professional liability litigation. Contant specializes in civil litigation, employment law and

InitLive announced that Chris Courneya has been appointed CEO and a member of the company’s board of directors. Courneya is the former CEO of PrairieFyre Software and was active in the Ottawa technology community as a mentor and angel investor.

Bank Street

People on the move


to be held @ 1792 Bank Street, Ottawa, ON K1V 7Y6 Just north of Walkely (yellow sign) on Thurs. Jan. 25/18 @ 1 pm

Solid Commercial Investment MONDAY, JANUARY 15, 2018

Auctioneer & Qualified Appraiser JIM HANDS: THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE Phone: 613-267-6027


Strategically located on Bank just near Walkley in the heart of one of Ottawa’s highly prized precincts. Prime position distances & travel times to key locations. Featuring 0.65 acres (+/-). 2 concrete buildings (48’w x180’d & 51’w x25’d). Zoned AM1. This property will be sold w/ a very reasonable reserve bid. Vendor Anxious to Sell. Visit website @ for specific details. For private viewing, terms & conditions please call our office @ 613-267-6027.

Asian flavours at Arôme restaurant! MONDAY, JANUARY 15, 2018

From January 9 to February 26, enjoy our special Asian flavours menu.



Daily, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Reserve now at 819-790-6410.

we’re all play

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