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Tools for success


Inside Ottawa’s galas, fundraisers and networking events

Robin Lee says his family’s business has thrived for decades because it inspires ‘look what I made’ moments > PAGE 3


June 18, 2018 Vol. 21, NO. 17 PAGES 12-15, 20

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Startups’ next stop

Toronto-based scaleup hub OneEleven says bringing its high-growth model to Ottawa as its first expansion site will help grow city’s stable of VC-worthy ventures. > PAGES 4-5

Iversoft co-founders Matthew Strentse and Vicki Iverson (left) with omNovos CEO Allan Zander and Iversoft’s Graeme Barlow. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

Cooking up a retail tech revolution Ottawa analytics firm omNovos’ data-mining know-how set to drive Farm Boy’s new app Kanata company partners with east-end digital marketing agency Iversoft to bring iconic grocery chain’s strategy to market > PAGES 16-17


Age-old challenges Kanata’s tech firms know it will soon be time for a changing of the guard as the veterans of the Nortel era retire, columnist Jeffrey Dale says. > PAGES 8-9

Learn how your organization can make a difference and help support life-changing programs.



Growing expansion of digital transformation initiatives is driving traditional IT infrastructure services into the cloud.

HostedBizz see endless possibilities in the Cloud

MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

OBJ Fastest Growing Company alumnus finds its niche in the mid-market



o say the industry analysts. The traditional on-premise data centre for business is dead, or at least on life support. But how does your business fit into this equation? When considering cloud options, many people look to “hypercloud vendors” and “hybrid multi-clouds” from the likes of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Most of these services are geared toward large enterprises. Mid-market companies often find themselves attempting to shoe themselves into a service that just doesn’t fit their needs, budget or business model. Six years ago, Paul Butcher and Jim Stechyson took stock of the growing cloud market and saw an opportunity. Paul looked at it through the lens the telecommunications industry, where his resumé includes a decade as President and COO of Mitel Networks. Jim’s perspective was that of a tech entrepreneur and executive focused on small and medium-sized businesses. They saw a clear gap begging to

Jim Stechyson (left) and Paul Butcher (right) . PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON


“We felt that HostedBizz truly understood our business and network/cloud needs as we consolidated numerous service contracts with multiple service providers into one integrated package with a single point of contact. Their responsive customer service has reassured us that we made the right choice.” - Bill Chwedchuk CPA,CA, COO, Carefor Health and Community Services be filled between the cloud services being developed for large enterprises and the mid-market companies that

needed the same flexibility, reliability and scalability, minus the headaches of trying to architect and manage the

infrastructure themselves. HostedBizz was born. Today, HostedBizz delivers cloud services to companies ranging from 10 to 3,000 employees. The company has built a distribution network that includes IT resellers and white label partners across Canada, the U.S. and, more recently, Europe. High tech companies, not-for profits, municipalities, accounting firms, law firms, real estate brokerages and hospitality services – all have turned to HostedBizz. Why? For the convenience of having a flexible and elastic cloud infrastructure service where they don’t have to worry about the heavy lifting of managing it themselves or paying for anything they don’t need. For any Canadian organization using HostedBizz’s services, data sovereignty is assured. Sensitive data never resides outside the country – something which U.S.-based providers can’t always guarantee. All of this is supported by HostedBizz’s network of Tier 3 data centres – the most robust data centre certification available in Canada – using multiple redundant carrier-grade network service providers across the country. “We’ve built a truly utility-based consumption model,” said Jim. “Customers can provision any of the cloud services offered on our platform, get billed for what they use, then shut resources down and resume them again later.” It’s almost ironic, considering Paul’s background in an industry that was built on locking customers into multiyear contracts with limited flexibility. “You can’t have a flexible cloud under those kind of contractual terms,” Paul said. “We are fully committed to the dynamic and elastic use of the cloud for businesses of all sizes.”



He grew up in the Westboro area and attended Broadview Public School. In Grade 7, he completed his first school woodworking project: a homemade lamp made with driftwood. He biked up to the Ottawa River to find the wood for his project and was successful in wiring it up. The lamp is still in use at his aunt and uncle’s cottage.

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His wife Lucie and their two adult children, Philippe and Annick, also work for the company. One of his pastimes is exploring North America in his RV. He has a soft spot for quirky little roadside towns. His favourite band is the indie-rock band The Decemberists from Portland, Ore.

He’s on the board of the Early American Industries Association, a not-for-profit that focuses on the historical preservation of craft.

Lee Valley Tools president and CEO Robin Lee holds a copy of the Ottawa company’s first catalogue from 1978. PHOTO BY CAROLINE PHILLIPS

‘Good retail is like performance art’ After all the accolades his family-owned business has received, Lee Valley Tools CEO Robin Lee says his greatest satisfaction comes from his customers’ ‘Look what I made’ moments BY CAROLINE PHILLIPS


e can probably all think back to that sense of accomplishment we got in childhood after we created something with our own hands – even if it was nothing more than a lopsided clay ashtray that doubled as a peanut bowl. “Everybody I talk to remembers coming home from school in Grade 3

and 4 and saying, ‘Look at what I made,’” says Robin Lee, president and CEO of Lee Valley Tools, an award-winning, Ottawabased, Canadian-owned family business known internationally for its highquality and hard-to-find woodworking and gardening tools, hardware and home products. In this day and age of cheap and disposable appliances and electronics, there’s something to be said for honing a craft such as woodworking. “As humans, we have opposable

thumbs. That’s what’s allowed us to grab and hold tools; that’s really what has allowed us to evolve and develop, basically, to who we are,” says Lee, speaking at his company’s headquarters on Morrison Drive in the west end. “Our business is about woodworking, but, in a much larger sense, it’s about doing things yourself, that pride you get from working with your hands and doing something creative. “I don’t think there’s really a lot of satisfaction in defining yourself by the

things that you’ve purchased.” The Lee family was recently honoured at a gala dinner in Toronto with the prestigious Excellence in Retailing Lifetime Achievement Award. The Retail Council of Canada gives the award to a family or individual in retail who has shown outstanding business success and community service, and who has left an indelible mark on the industry through innovation and commitment to customers and employees. Continued on page 21




MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

Thank you GGFL and Westboro Station Dental for your support, once again, of the Westboro Fuse Street Festival!





ENTREPRENEURSHIP OneEleven aiming to take Ottawa startups to ‘the next level’ Backed by major investors, city’s newest accelerator hopes to lay the foundation for a new wave of world-beating software companies BY DAVID SALI


rom his vantage point in the capital’s newest business accelerator, Brad Forsyth has a bird’s-eye view of exactly the kind of opportunities he hopes lie ahead for the startups under his roof. The veteran tech entrepreneur is executive director of the Ottawa office of OneEleven, an organization launched in Toronto five years ago to help promising young companies become the next, well, Shopify. So it’s hardly a coincidence that when OneEleven brass chose Ottawa as the group’s first expansion site, they decided to set up shop downtown on Slater Street – just a stone’s throw from the e-commerce juggernaut’s global head office on Elgin Street. To quote the old entrepreneurial saw, if you can see it, you can be it. Forsyth – whose mission is to take software firms that have graduated from local incubators and accelerators such as L-Spark and Invest Ottawa and help scale them into global leaders – can’t think of a better

neighbour and role model for a new breed of local companies that, as he describes it, are bucking the old trend of “build it to a certain stage and let it be acquired.” “I must admit, I did the same thing in my day,” says Forsyth, who helped launch aircraft maintenance software firm Mxi Technologies in 1996 and stayed on as a director until the company was sold to New York-based Moelis Capital Partners in 2012. “But there’s a new attitude out there that, ‘No, we can actually take (a startup) and grow it in the marketplace to maybe (become) a public company.’” A partnership between OMERS Ventures – the venture-capital arm of the Ontario municipal employees’ pension fund – the provincial government’s Ontario Centres of Excellence and Ryerson University, OneEleven hosts more than 30 companies at its main office on Front Street in downtown Toronto. Once the Ottawa office is fully operational, it expects to house up to 15 startups. The organization provides mentorship, office space and other services to software ventures, with the goal of nurturing them to the point where they’ve secured enough capital to stand firmly on their own two

Tech veteran Brad Forsyth is the director of OneEleven’s new Ottawa office. PHOTO BY DAVID SALI

feet. Graduates of its Toronto location include online investment management service Wealthsimple. Forsyth says Invest Ottawa, L-Spark and local incubators such as Carleton University’s Lead to Win and the University of Ottawa’s Startup Garage are welcoming the organization with open arms. “Everyone is super supportive,” he says. OneEleven chief operating officer

John Mavriyannakis says he sees the new accelerator as a complement to what Invest Ottawa and others are offering. “At Invest Ottawa, you have companies that are growing, hitting their max, and with nowhere else to go, they end up with a glut of very large companies that don’t want to leave (the organization’s accelerator at Bayview Yards) because there is no natural progression,” he says.

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“At Invest Ottawa, you have companies that are growing, hitting their max, and with nowhere else to go, they end up with a glut of very large companies that don’t want to leave (the organization’s accelerator at Bayview Yards) because there is no natural progression. Their graduates are really our new clients. For them, this becomes a pressure release valve as opposed to a competitor.”— OneEleven chief operating officer John Mavriyannakis

“Their graduates are really our new clients. For them, this becomes a pressure release valve as opposed to a competitor.” A key component of OneEleven’s strategy is the creation of various “peer groups” made up of members from each portfolio company. Each group focuses on a specific aspect of a business – for example, marketing, technology, product management or sales. Members meet regularly to discuss problems, share ideas and best practices or bring in outside experts to advise them on how to scale as quickly and efficiently as possible. “What we hope to is by building this peer group community and building on the skills of these people and the leadership inside of these companies, that we can help them get to the next level,” Forsyth explains. “What we want to do is (be) like the real-life university. Too many people take the theory and they never apply it. What the peers help people do is, say, if we do really good inbound marketing and we apply the latest theory, it actually works. It’s partly knowing about it, and it’s partly the validation from your peers that says, ‘This is working for me. Why aren’t you doing it?’ That’s what we want to encourage.” An engineer by trade, Forsyth says

Ottawa’s trademark has always been great engineering talent. But he says the trend toward big-data analytics in sales and marketing is playing to the city’s growing strength as a developer of artificial intelligence tools – a strength he believes OneEleven’s members can use to their advantage. “More and more, the marketing side of it is becoming analytical,” says Forsyth, whose daughter Brittany has followed him into the tech world as Shopify’s senior vicepresident of human resources. “It’s becoming data-intensive. If we develop them, we’re going to take these great engineers (and) some of them will end up being great marketers and create great companies.” MORE VENTURE CAPITAL Being in the heart of Ottawa will give OneEleven’s tenants easy access to a host of potential mentors and invaluable contacts at nearby software companies, he adds. In addition to Shopify, firms such as Klipfolio – which recently moved into a new headquarters just down the block at World Exchange Plaza – are showing upand-coming entrepreneurs it is possible to scale an enterprise software venture while keeping it in local hands.

Forsyth says his ultimate goal is to help lay the foundation for more public companies that call this city home. That won’t happen, he adds, until much more venture capital starts circulating in Ottawa’s tech ecosystem. “Right now, it’s still difficult for a VC, particularly if you’re a Series-A VC, to come into this town and look around. If you come here, who do you meet with? There’s just not that critical mass. If we start creating 15, 20 companies that are all Series-A-ready or going to be, it’s a big difference. That’s what I’m excited about creating. “The idea is to get (companies) to that Series-A, maybe Series-B, and then they’re ready to roll. We haven’t done as many (IPOs) as we should (in Ottawa), and I think that’s going to be one of the measures I’m going to be looking at.” Forsyth says OneEleven also hopes to become a regular gathering spot for groups such as Fresh Founders, the Capital Angel Network and The Ottawa Network, whose members learned how to scale their businesses the hard way and can pass those lessons on to the next generation. “We really want to build a community, and the Fresh Founders and those types of (organizations) are the ones that we wanted to leverage,” he says. “That was

very much a part of the strategy.” OneEleven is officially launching its Ottawa space on July 16. For now, it’ll occupy nearly 12,000 square feet on the third floor on Slater Street, with an option to take two more floors in the building. Member companies sign leases of varying terms, from 60 days to 18 months. OneEleven has already inked a letter of intent with its first Ottawa tenant, and Forsyth has contacted more than 20 other potential candidates in the software-as-aservice sector. ‘GREAT MINDS’ He sees big opportunities for startups in fields such as fintech, health-care tech and big data analytics, as long as they’re coming up with “brand new solutions to old problems. That’s really the key. There’s lots of great minds here in Ottawa thinking of that right now.” Mavriyannakis couldn’t agree more. “We could have made site No. 2 anywhere,” he says, listing Berlin, Boston, London and Vancouver as the next potential future expansion sites for OneEleven. “We chose Ottawa. Everyone sees what’s going on here and what’s coming out of here. For us, what we see here, what we see coming out of this environment, is incredibly valuable.”


Hydro Ottawa launches electric vehicle charging program Pilot program installs EV chargers in 100 Ottawa homes


Many signs are pointing to a massive influx of electric vehicles on Ottawa’s roads in the coming years as automakers place big bets on the technology. McKendry notes that some have even committed to eventually phasing out gas-powered vehicles altogether. Volvo, for example, promises to only manufacture either electric or hybrid vehicles starting in 2019. And for those unswayed by the environmental benefits of electric

vehicles, McKendry also points to the relative cost of a “fill up.” For residents who charge their vehicles overnight during off-peak hours, it can cost as little as a dollar to return a car’s battery to full. “This is revolutionary,” says McKendry. “This is the renaissance of the electricity sector.”

To learn more about the pilot program, head to


Through this pilot program, Hydro Ottawa is able to offer 100 residents FLO Home X5 charger at a 40 per cent discount. The charger normally retails at $1,295, but Ottawa participants can snag one for just $777 under the pilot program. The utility assists with any rebate applications pertaining to the chargers in addition to connecting participants with licensed installers and walking users through the approvals process with the Electrical Safety Authority. Hydro Ottawa is no stranger to the process, having recently helped with the installation of charging stations at Ottawa City Hall, the Rideau Centre and the Brookstreet Hotel. The X5 charging station connects to an app on the user’s phone, which allows residents to monitor their energy usage. But the chargers will also transmit data to Hydro Ottawa, offering a glimpse at how an increase in electric vehicles will change the utility’s scope of work.

MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

ith automakers investing billions of dollars into electric vehicles, a revolution in how Canadians commute is on the horizon. Electric vehicles are growing in popularity among Canadians, with sales increasing by 68 per cent in 2017, according to a report by Ontario cleantech firm FleetCarma. Locally, Hydro Ottawa is preparing for an influx of electric vehicles to the nation’s capital. “The bottom line is that these vehicles just make sense,” says David McKendry, Hydro Ottawa’s Director of Customer Service. The public utility recently announced a pilot program to help Hydro Ottawa better understand the impact of electric vehicles on the city’s power grid. Hydro Ottawa has teamed up with FLO, Canada’s largest electric vehicle charging network, to offer a turnkey service for residents looking to install an EV charger at their home.

TOURISM It’s undoubtedly an economic boost to eastern Ontario that this successful provider of upscale boat rentals chose the Rideau Canal for its first foray into North America. Le Boat could have picked anywhere from Florida to California, or from the Maritimes to British Columbia. It chose the Rideau Canal

Le Boat’s cabin cruisers can now be found on the Rideau Canal. PHOTO COURTESY LE BOAT

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Luxury boat rental service worth the investment



Le Boat offers out-of-town visitors and local residents alike a novel way to appreciate the beauty of the Rideau Canal, says columnist Michael Prentice


hould Canadian taxpayers help pay for a luxury boat rental service that began operating recently on the Rideau Canal? I think so, and I wish the venture every success. Le Boat is a European-based service that provides luxury self-hire cabin

cruiser boats on inland waterways in nine countries, including Britain, France, the Netherlands and Italy. Smiths Falls will act as both its North American headquarters and as the starting point for customers near the midpoint of the canal.

The boats are not just for the rich. I doubt any self-respecting multimillionaire would want to spend more than a few nights in one of the boats’ rather small bedrooms. For another thing, the boat rental rates are within reach of a good percentage of the population, especially in this area of well-paid public servants. The company says its clients tend to be groups and couples older than 55, as well as families. The renting “captain” must have a valid pleasure craft operator card and go through an orientation course with Le Boat. The weekly boat rental rate for two people sharing a room with a bathroom is about what a couple would pay to stay for a week at the Chateau Laurier hotel. The smallest boats have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, so a couple would need to share the boat with two family members or another couple. Le Boat’s rental rates vary like those of airlines, hotels and most businesses. But when I checked for a booking for four people for a week’s rental in June, the total cost was about $4,000, including taxes, mooring fees and fuel. That’s about $1,000 per person. It’s undoubtedly an economic boost to eastern Ontario that this successful provider of upscale boat rentals chose the Rideau Canal for its first foray into North America. Think about it: Le Boat could have picked anywhere from Florida to California, or from the Maritimes to British Columbia. It chose the Rideau Canal. Of course, the Rideau Canal has lots going for it. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its existence helps explain Canada’s existence, as it was built between 1826 and 1832 to help Canadian forces defend against a potential American invasion. In those days there was a very real threat that the United States would try to conquer Canada, as it had tried and failed to do previously. The 202-kilometre waterway is a gorgeous mix of rivers, lakes, canals, locks and waterfalls, stretching from the Ottawa River to Lake Ontario. Even in Ottawa, I suspect, many people are unaware of what the Rideau Canal offers besides free skating in winter. I love day trips to one or more points on the canal in summer months.

My favourite spots are Chaffey’s Lock and Jones Falls. Many Ottawans I’ve spoken with have never heard of either. You don’t need a cabin cruiser, or any kind of motor boat, or even a rowing boat or canoe, to appreciate and enjoy the tranquillity, novelty, natural beauty and technological marvels of the Rideau Canal. Le Boat was lured to the Rideau waterway – and specifically to Smiths Falls, now base of operations for its fleet of cabin cruisers – partly by subsidies from the federal and Ontario governments. Smiths Falls is a town that fell on hard times after the closure of its Hershey’s chocolate factory but is now doing better thanks to Canopy Growth’s medical cannabis plant that took over the Hershey space. PLAYGROUND FOR EVERYONE The town is ideally located for a business offering boat rentals by the week, since a week gives sufficient time to explore the northern part of the canal up to Ottawa or the southern part down to Kingston on Lake Ontario. Renters can also spend much of the week moored on Big Rideau Lake, lazing on deck in the sun. In addition, a canal cruise would be a wonderful way to see our world-famous fall colours. Some critics are unhappy that taxpayers were on the hook for $2 million to defray Le Boat’s costs. Media reports have said Le Boat would also benefit from more than $3 million in federal government spending on improvements to the canal. It’s fair enough to oppose taxpayer subsidies for private business. But the Rideau Canal is a playground for everyone. I believe governments should use taxpayers’ money to attract businesses to set up and invest in their communities. The question is whether taxpayers’ money was well spent in the case of attracting Le Boat to Smiths Falls. Time will tell, but I believe the answer is yes. – With files from Craig Lord

Michael Prentice is OBJ’s columnist on retail and consumer issues. He can be contacted at


Ottawa’s rural routes a favourite for tourists and locals Ottawa Tourism’s interactive map helps plan rural excursions Many seasoned travellers will assert that their most memorable experiences have taken place well off the beaten path. And though the urban areas of the nation’s capital have much to offer for visitors and residents alike, the region is also laden with hidden gems in its more rural stretches. As the city’s destination marketing organization, Ottawa Tourism is tasked with ensuring visitors get to enjoy the full range of what Ottawa has to offer. “Often, if you go to any other North American city, you’d be driving for hours before you get to a country experience,” says Catherine Callary, Ottawa Tourism’s senior director of destination development. In contrast, Ottawa’s rural experiences are anywhere from a 15 to 40-minute drive away, depending on where you’re heading. “And it’s an easy drive – it’s not a white knuckle sort of drive,” jokes Callary. Though the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) is based in Ottawa, it nevertheless encourages visitors to check out attractions from throughout the region, even if it means heading outside the city limits. While some rural communities fall within the City of Ottawa’s jurisdiction, such as Dunrobin or Cumberland, there are many more just beyond. These include the scenic towns of Vankleek Hill, home to Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co., and Almonte, among many others.

Artisan Products and Studios, Family Friendly, Breweries and Wineries and Entertainment. Hosted through Google Maps, it allows users to peruse the many options available to them, select those they’re interested in and then customize their own “self-guided” route. The map features businesses such as Cassel Brewery, the Diefenbunker Museum and Fulton’s Pancake House and Sugar Bush. “It’s a living and developing web page, because we’re adding new things to it all the time,” says Callary. Bike lovers can also enjoy self-guided tours, courtesy of the City of Ottawa. The municipality has curated 15 ride routes for cyclists to choose from, the majority of which are centred in or pass through rural parts of the city. “Each one of the self-guided tours has tourism attractions dotting them all along the way,” says Callary. “It’s really another great way to experience rural Ottawa.” HIDDEN GEMS Ottawa Tourism’s membership is composed of businesses with a stake in the region’s tourism trade, including restaurants, hotels and other such organizations. The DMO

offers promotional and development opportunities for its members. Of its 400-strong membership, there are approximately 50 identified as rural businesses. To help attract new and repeat visitors to the areas outside of Ottawa’s urban centre, Ottawa Tourism has a rural tourism committee. The group meets regularly to discuss pertinent issues for rural businesses, and to collaborate on bringing in more visitors. With the relatively short drive from the city’s urban centres and an abundance of options to choose from, Ottawa stands as a great destination for those who want to experience what the city has to offer in terms of shopping, restaurants and entertainment, but also spend time outdoors. Callary points out that Ottawa has close to 1,200 farms in its surrounding area, one of the highest concentrations for an urban centre in Canada. The region is also ripe with outdoor adventure activities, ranging from the many trails in Gatineau Park to OWL Rafting on the Ottawa River. But even beyond the array of choices for those hoping to escape the bustle of the city, there’s one other big draw of rural tourism. “It’s the people that make these experiences. Often you’ll find that people in rural Ottawa have chosen to be there to pursue their passion, says Callary. “They’re very happy to tell visitors about those passions and their unique stories.” For Ottawa Tourism, one of the best outcomes is that visitors experience what the city has to offer and become Ottawa ambassadors, encouraging friends and family to plan a trip to the nation’s capital.

For more information on rural experiences in Ottawa, visit

MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE Winery tours. Museums. Whitewater rafting. Whether you’re interested in food, culture or sport, Ottawa’s rural locales have activities to match virtually every interest. To make it easy to find the hidden gems scattered throughout the countryside, Ottawa Tourism created its interactive Rural Routes map, available at The DMO has broken down the region’s rural offerings into groups, each of which caters to a niche experience. Categories include: Foodie, Farm and Agritourism, Outdoor Recreation, History and Heritage,

Photo credits: Rafting photos from OWL Rafting Oktoberfest from Beau’s Brewing Company



MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

Kanata firms looking to brighten grey landscape



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West-end tech companies are facing a key challenge in an increasingly competitive world, writes Jeffrey Dale: finding enough young talent to reinvigorate an aging workforce

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few months ago, I spoke with more than a dozen senior executives from high-tech companies in Kanata about one of the biggest issues any technology firm in Ottawa faces: attracting and retaining talent. The companies included large telecom multinationals and some of our rising local stars. Kanata North is the largest technology park in Canada and is home to more than 500 companies that employ in excess of 20,000 people. For over a decade, former employees of Nortel and other firms provided the talent that fuelled the growth of both domestic and multinational companies in Kanata. Those workers are now starting to retire, and the next generation of tech talent is in high demand. I remember talking a few years ago to a company that said one of its biggest challenges was responding to the needs of a workforce that averaged more than 45 years of age. Many companies realize that a greying talent pool is limiting their adoption of new ideas, slowing their level of innovation and causing their culture to stagnate. The firms I spoke with understand they need to change the status quo and start hiring younger employees if they are going to grow. In real estate, they call a process of neighbourhood renewal “gentrification.” This concept could also be applied to the high-tech sector in Kanata. The old guard is still there, but it’s actively looking to a new generation to ensure future success and sustainability. Ten years ago, upstart companies such as Shopify, Klipfolio and Fluidware began to thrive in downtown office locations, largely because young employees wanted to live and work in an urban environment where they could enjoy a variety of conveniences without needing a car to get to them. That eastward shift in the city’s tech ecosystem has created a major challenge for firms attempting to lure young professionals to Kanata. Ottawa’s public transit system is designed to move people from the suburbs to downtown in the morning and back again in the afternoon. Companies in Kanata need the opposite. If you don’t drive, you won’t like working in Kanata. For the longest time, that meant Kanata wasn’t cool in the minds of many younger workers.

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Many companies now realize that an aging talent pool is limiting their adoption of new ideas, slowing their level of innovation and causing their culture to stagnate. The firms I spoke with understand they need to change the status quo and start hiring younger employees if they are going to continue to grow However, as the millennial generation is settling down and having children, some workers are now starting to move out of downtown condos into suburban homes because they need additional space for their families. That could work to Kanata’s advantage. MORE DIVERSITY As demand for software developers grows, Kanata firms are competing more and more often with their downtown counterparts for new talent. However, hiring younger tech talent is a complex challenge for many Kanata companies, and not just because many recent grads still prefer the “live, work, play” lifestyle associated with downtown firms. One of the biggest hurdles many

Kanata HR managers face is overcoming inertia when hiring new employees. It is only natural for recruiters to want to hire employees who closely resemble themselves and their teams. But I believe it’s essential for HR managers to encourage more diversity in terms of gender, age and ethnicity. Managed properly, a new hiring approach can revitalize a company’s culture, triggering innovation and new ways of thinking. A large telecom company in Kanata told me that for the past decade, it had been able to attract the talent it needed from the pool of veteran engineers who used to work at Nortel and other telecom leaders of the past. However, the company acknowledged that continuing innovation in the telecom sector has

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The surprising downtown Ottawa hotel you might have missed. 377 O’Connor Street, Ottawa, Ontario 1-800-465-7275


Jeffrey Dale is the president of Snowy Cloud and the former president of the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation.

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MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

forced it to start hiring younger engineers and computer programmers to maintain its competitiveness. As an example, one of the new hot programming languages is Rust, which is an evolution of C++. This language was invented less than 10 years ago and is an open-source project. Most universities don’t even teach it yet. Up until a few months ago, I had never even heard of it. It was only when my son was applying for co-op jobs that he was asked if he knew Rust. He taught himself the language, and that skill helped him land his latest co-op placement. The transformation of the tech workforce is a gradual process. The mass hiring practices of 20 years ago are disappearing, and companies are now growing and recruiting in a much more manageable fashion. Today’s leading tech enterprises are still looking for experienced talent, but they are also recognizing the need to mix in younger employees with renewed energy and cutting-edge skills. In some fields, Kanata firms have a clear advantage over companies in the downtown core. If you want to work on autonomous vehicles, multimedia video systems or telecommunication systems, for example, you’re probably best advised to head west. A Kanata company that specializes in autonomous vehicle systems told me that for many years it had a challenge attracting new talent. But as it has grown more successful, it’s become a much more attractive landing spot for younger workers. The biggest surprise for me in talking with the Kanata companies was this: Many told me that almost all of the new graduates they hire had been co-op students at their firms for at least one term. Companies use co-op placements as a “try-before-you-buy” method of assessing the skills, work habits and cultural fit of potential employees. Co-op also provides young workers with an extra year of experiential learning, a sort of tech apprenticeship program that benefits both students and their employers. However, transportation to Kanata is still a major hurdle for firms looking to hire co-op students, many of whom live downtown and don’t own cars. Hopefully, the city will one day expand LRT all the way to the far west end to provide a viable transportation solution for these workers. Recent studies name Ottawa as the second-largest technology cluster in Canada after Toronto, and Kanata remains a key driver of that growth. But if westend companies want to maintain their leadership position, recruiting, retaining and retraining top talent will be the most critical factors in ensuring their success.


Prof. Ioan Nistor poses in front of a building and ship destroyed by the 2011 Tohoku tsunami in Japan. (Photo by Ioan Nistor)

uOttawa’s Faculty of Engineering at the forefront of protecting Canada’s infrastructure From understanding the impact of road salt to preparing for “the Big One”, local researchers are helping to create more sustainable and resilient structures

MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018




ow much thought do you give to the roads and bridges you drive over on your daily commute? Ask an elite team of Ottawa-based researchers, and the answer will likely be “quite a lot.” The University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Engineering is home to a range of seasoned academics whose work revolves around the study of sustainable and resilient infrastructure. This research area, one of five recently unveiled by the school, leverages the strengths of the faculty’s Department of Civil Engineering. In addition to regular aging, modern infrastructure also has to withstand both natural and human-caused forces, including tsunamis, hurricanes and the more mundane – but still damaging – road salt. DESIGN STANDARDS FOR EXTREME EVENTS Ioan Nistor, a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and Vice-Dean Graduate Studies for

the Faculty of Engineering, is often deployed in the wake of major storms around the world to observe the effects of flooding on critical infrastructure, such as hospitals and major roads. “We are aiming to design better structures, so that people can take refuge from tsunamis and hurricanes on the higher floors of a building,” he says. Nistor also studies the effects of flooding and impact on such structures, which is sometimes also caused by the breach of a dam or a dike. In March 2011, following the devastating Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Nistor was deployed with the first international team to observe the impacts on the island nation’s infrastructure, including buildings, bridges, ports and coastal structures. As a member of the Tsunami Effects and Loads Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers, he was among those who developed the world’s first ever tsunami design standard in 2016. In the years since,

it’s been used in communities all along the western seaboard of the United States, Alaska and Hawaii as new developments go up in tsunami-prone areas. And though tropical storms are more commonly associated with locales situated further south, Nistor’s work also focuses much closer to home with his research on what some have dubbed “the Big One” – a massive earthquake and tsunami that many in the scientific community believe will hit Vancouver Island and its surrounding areas in the future. The concern dates back to 1700, when a “mega-tsunami” hit Canada’s west coast as a result of a massive earthquake. Research has shown that such occurrences are cyclical and tend to recur every 300 to 500 years. “A lot of the research that we do is focusing on the potential impact on the western seaboard of Canada, which is one of the most prone to such extreme events,” says Nistor. “By doing so, we’re literally saving lives.”

Learn more about uOttawa’s Department of Civil Engineering at

For researchers at the University of Ottawa, being situated in the heart of the nation’s capital provides certain advantages over other Canadian schools. For the Faculty of Engineering’s Department of Civil Engineering, many of its professors are involved in collaborative projects with government departments, such as the National Research Council. Professor Beatriz MartinPerez, for example, is engaged in a project to look at the effects of global warming on concrete, while Professor Ioan Nistor is working with the NRC to develop new coastal structures. “It provides the means for good collaboration, and as a result of that, good research outcomes,” says Martin-Perez. MANAGING AGING INFRASTRUCTURE While the thought of road salt may not conjure up the same fears as a tsunami, the de-icing material is notorious for corroding reinforcing steel and causing major damage to Canada’s critical concrete infrastructure. At the same time, global warming is also a threat as carbon dioxide lowers the pH level in concrete and increases the vulnerability for reinforcement corrosion. Over time, this erodes a structure’s integrity, shortening its lifespan. Beatriz Martin-Perez, a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, has spent the past 20 years at the forefront of research into concrete deterioration. Martin-Perez’s research is employed in determining the lifespan of a given structure, including when it will need repairs and replacement. “It’s not just the technical implications. There are also economical implications as well,” says Martin-Perez. Though her work largely centres on numerical modelling as a way to project the service life of a structure, Martin-Perez explains that her work can also be used by planners to conduct a lifecycle cost analysis on a building or structure. “You combine both of them and then you have a good decisionmaking tool,” says Martin-Perez.


Looking Looking for for better better yield? yield? Looking for better yield? Consider a MIC Consider a MIC Looking for better Consider a MICyield? Consider a MIC Looking for better yield? Consider a MIC

Fullscript’s Taylor Fantin, Chris Wise, Kyle Braatz and Brad Dyment. FILE PHOTO

Ottawa’s Fullscript merges with Arizona competitor


Chief product officer Brad Dyment and chief technical officer Chris Wise will retain their positions, while the company’s chief financial officer, Taylor Fantin, will become the combined firm’s new vice-president of operations.

You are cordially invited You are cordially invited to a presentation on a Mortgage Investment Corporation areon cordially invited toYou a presentation aby Mortgage Investment Corporation opportunity presented The 6IX Capital Group Corporation. opportunity presented by The 6IX Capital Group Corporation. toYou a presentation on cordially a Mortgage Investment Corporation are invited “PUTTING CAPITAL TO WORK” opportunity presented The 6IX Capital GroupCorporation Corporation. “PUTTING CAPITAL TO WORK” to a presentation on, 2018 aby Mortgage Investment Wed., June 20 Fri., June 22 , 2018 You are cordially invited opportunity presented byCAPITAL The 6IX Fri., Capital Group Corporation. Wed., June 20 , 2018 June 22 , 2018 “PUTTING TO WORK” from 6:30– 8:30pm from 6:30– 8:30pm combined income of $125,000 in the previous two calendar years. If you’re looking for regular, predictable and secure income, or simply to diversify your portfolio, the MIC may be the ideal investment.

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CALIAN ACQUIRES IT FIRM In other M&A news, Kanata-based Calian Group is keeping its foot on the gas pedal in its aggressive drive to grow through acquisitions, announcing earlier this month it has snapped up local IT security firm Secure Technologies. Calian chief information officer Jerry Johnston said the transaction is the latest step in the company’s strategic plan to expand its cybersecurity offerings that began when Calian acquired another local IT firm, DWP Solutions, in 2014. Terms of the deal, which closed on June 1, were not released. Johnston said the deal will boost Calian’s credibility with customers in the rapidly growing North American cybersecurity market, which is expected to reach revenues of US$53 billion by 2020, up from $24 billion three years ago. Founded in 1986, Secure Technologies employs 10 people at its office in Orleans. The privately held firm works with corporate partners such as Fortinet, McAfee, Forcepoint and Gemalto to provide cybersecurity solutions and training to clients ranging from the federal government to Fortune 500 companies. The company has annual revenues of between $6 million and $8 million, Calian said in a news release. It’s the sixth acquisition in the past six years for Calian, which has more than 2,900 employees and last month reported record revenues of $77.1 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2018. – OBJ staff

MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

fter seven years of exponential growth, Ottawa’s Fullscript says a merger with a U.S.-based competitor is just what the doctor ordered to ensure its future success. The local health technology firm – which topped OBJ’s list of fastest-growing companies in 2016 and 2017 – announced this month it is combining operations with Arizona-based competitor Natural Partners. The transaction is expected to be finalized in mid- to late June. Founded in 2011, Fullscript is an online dispensary for natural health products such as vitamin supplements. CEO Kyle Braatz said joining forces with Natural Partners, which has been in business for 23 years and sells more than 16,000 different products from hundreds of manufacturers, will allow both companies to speed up growth and provide a wider range of products and services to customers. “This industry needs to evolve and mature, and we need to grow the pie and be a big pioneer in that,” Braatz told OBJ. “When we looked at the two (companies) together, it accelerated both of our plans almost two years. It was really one of those ones where one plus one equals four. It became a no-brainer to bring these two together.” Though it’s a young company, the firm that was originally backed by a “few million” dollars in angel funding now employs about 100 people at its downtown headquarters near Elgin Street. The newly merged company, which will be known as Natural Partners Fullscript, will be based in Scottsdale, while Fullscript’s operations will become its Canadian headquarters. Natural Partners CEO Fran Towey will head the firm, with Braatz assuming the role of president. Other key Fullscript executives are expected to see few changes in their roles.

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Stories and photos by Caroline Phillips



Henry Burris, honorary president of the OSEG Foundation and former quarterback for the Ottawa Redblacks, with Jasmin Rose Ibrahim, a host with Gusto TV’s One World Kitchen, and her mother, community volunteer Lucy Ibrahim, both of whom were part of the leadership team for the Redblacks Women’s Training Camp.

From left, leadership committee member Mary-Ellen McIntosh with Janice Barresi, executive director of the OSEG Foundation, and leadership committee member Marg Clunie at the Redblacks Women’s Training Camp held in support of OSEG’s new charitable foundation.

OSEG Foundation scores big with Redblacks Women’s Training Camp children and youth the opportunity to play, learn and develop through sports. OSEG owns the Ottawa Redblacks football team, the Ottawa 67’s hockey team and the Ottawa Fury soccer club. It also operates the stadium and the commercial district of Lansdowne, which is a booming destination for nightlife and entertainment in Ottawa. More than 360 women of all ages and athletic abilities donned running shoes and workout clothes as they gathered together on the football field, scoring perfect weather conditions. There, they were led through a series of warmups by a fit and toned Maria Bassi. Bassi was part of the event’s

MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

Anybody and everybody involved in the first major fundraiser for the new OSEG Foundation deserves a round of highfives and fist bumps for pulling off a tremendously successful event. The $125-a-ticket Redblacks Women’s Training Camp at TD Place Stadium on June 12 sold out lickety-split and raised more than $100,000 toward sports programming that will help keep girls active and healthy. By the age of 14, girls tend to drop out of sports at twice the rate as boys, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation. The OSEG Foundation was launched last year by the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group to give more

24-member female leadership team and is also a founding donor of the OSEG Foundation. She’s married to well-known Ottawa builder John Bassi. On hand were Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell, the OSEG Foundation’s executive director, Janice Barresi, and honorary president Henry Burris. The Redblacks players made their grand entrance by running onto the field and slapping the outstretched hands of nearby fans. The athletes spent the next few hours instructing the women on such skills as how to throw and catch a football, tackle players and kick a field goal. Observed were versions of the wobbly-

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leg, ball-spiking football dance – normally reserved for such special occasions as a touchdown – but also appropriate that day to celebrate the women’s smaller victories, such as the catching of a pass. The signature fundraiser for the OSEG Foundation was presented by St. Laurent Shopping Centre. “I think it’s amazing to look out at the field and see so many women,” said leadership committee member Krista Kealey, vice-president of communications and public affairs at the Ottawa International Airport Authority. “Just listening to the hooting and hollering, you know everybody is having so much fun.” Continued on page 20


From left, Steve Gallant hams it up with Ringside for Youth ambassador Gerry Cooney and this year’s special boxing guest, Andre Ward, at Ringside for Youth XXIV.

RINGSIDE FOR YOUTH XXIV GOES THE DISTANCE FOR CHARITY June 7 was a night full of political knockouts, but just as exciting as the Ontario election were the punches and jabs being thrown back and forth at Ringside for Youth XXIV, an annual charity boxing night held for the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa. A sold-out crowd of 1,200 headed into the Shaw Centre for cocktails and dinner before cheering on amateur fighters duking it out in the ring. Several competitors were from Ottawa’s Beaver Boxing Club, while others came from St. Catharines, Montreal and even Gothenburg, Sweden. Hanging proudly in the large hall were banners with the names of all the boxing greats who have supported the fundraiser since its humble beginnings in 1995,

starting with Canadian boxer George Chuvalo. The popular event, founded by Steve Gallant, branch manager, investment adviser and vice-president with CIBC Wood Gundy, has raised more than $3.2 million to date. Ringside was expected to net between $180,000 and $200,000 this year. Gallant is part of a 24-member, well-oiled committee that puts on a slick show each year. The group, chaired by Jeff O’Reilly, general manager of D’Arcy McGee’s Irish Pub, has been together for so long that it’s now entering its second generation of volunteers. This year’s special boxing guest was undefeated American light heavyweight champion Andre Ward, who announced his

From left, Kevin Yemm, vice-president of land development at Richcraft Group of Companies, Howard Silver, owner of The Silver Group, Shawn Bellman, marketing manager for Richcraft, and Yemm’s brother-in-law, Jeff Smith, partner/owner at Smith Bradley’s Insurance.

unexpected retirement last September. He was first introduced to boxing at the age of nine because his father wanted to toughen him up. With Virgil Hunter as his trainer, Ward went on to have an illustrious boxing career that saw him win an Olympic gold medal in 2004. The event, presented by former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, Manulife Investments, Mark Motors of Ottawa and CIBC Wood Gundy, had dozens of other businesses also in its corner that night. Also present was Cindy Tomlinson Keon, vice-president of Tomlinson Construction, which made a $1-million donation to the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa last year. Cody Ceci and his Ottawa Senators teammate Mark Stone attended, as did retired player Chris Phillips. Former Ottawa mayor Jim Durrell, chair of Hydro Ottawa’s board of directors, was also in the crowd. The BGCO board is chaired by well-known Ottawa Stephen Beckta, chair of the Boys and Girls Club restaurateur and all-around nice guy of Ottawa board, with its executive director, Colleen Mooney. Stephen Beckta.

When you give to Bruyère, you help make life better for seniors and the most vulnerable in our community. As one of the largest healthcare centers of its kind in Canada, Bruyère offers services in brain health, rehabilitation, healthy aging and palliative care.


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The Finest Portfolio of Luxury Homes in Ottawa

MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018



Stories and photos by Caroline Phillips



From left, Grant McDonald, managing partner of KPMG, with NAV Canada CEO Neil Wilson and KPMG Canada CEO Elio Luongo.

From left, KPMG manager Heruka Kumararatne with tech veteran Eli Fathi, CEO of MindBridge Ai, and Susan St. Amand.

Charles-Antoine Rozon, a KPMG Enterprise partner and former Forty Under 40 recipient, was among the hundreds of guests to attend a reception hosted by KPMG.

NAC’s stunning O’Born Room hosts KPMG bash It should be called the Ooh! Born Room, so dazzling is the National Arts Centre’s new event space named after Janice and Earle O’Born, the philanthropic couple from Toronto who donated $1.5 million to the performing arts centre last year. The impressive venue, with its soaring windows and expansive views of some of Ottawa’s most iconic buildings, was where professional services firm KPMG chose to host a big party June 5 for more than 350 clients, staff, alumni, retired partners and friends of the firm. The O’Borns, who are KPMG clients, were forced to make a late arrival after their train was delayed that day. Janice is chair of the NAC Foundation board,

while Earle is founder and chairman of the Printing House Ltd. On hand to welcome guests was KPMG’s Ottawa managing partner Grant McDonald, who’s also chair of the NAC Foundation finance committee. KPMG Canada’s CEO and senior partner, Elio Luongo, was seen mingling in the crowd, as was regional managing partner Mario Paron. The reception celebrated the contributions made over the years by those people associated with KPMG. “Tonight, our theme is really about service,” McDonald told “Really everything we do, whether it’s in the business community or philanthropic community, is all about service.”

From left, Gregory Sanders, head of the tax law group at Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall, with Stephen Assaly, owner of Richmond Heights Apartments, and KPMG partner Patrick Coady.

MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

Lower Taxes, Higher Giving

Tel: 613 596 3277


14 @FoundationWCPD

The Foundation WCPD


From left, Doug Fyfe, a partner at Gowling WLG, with his wife, Alice, along with neighbours Arlo Litman and Meg Wilson.

Supply and Demand chef and co-owner Steve Wall with Karen Secord, manager of the Parkdale Food Centre, at the food bank’s fifth annual food- and drink-tasting fundraiser.

CULINARY BENEFIT RAISES THOUSANDS FOR PARKDALE FOOD CENTRE From left, Laryssa Korbutiak, owner of Oresta organic skin care apothecary, with Carley Schelck, CEO of The Urban Element, and Natalia Karplus.

From left, PFC board member Hilary McVey with sponsors Jeff Hill, vicepresident, managing director, branch manager and investment adviser at BMO Nesbitt Burns, and RE/MAX real estate broker Susan Chell.

MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

15 From left, Len Fardella, president of job-search service Peter’s New Jobs, with Wellington West BIA executive director Dennis Van Staalduinen.

From left, Adam Weiss with Allium Restaurant executive chef Arup Jana, Frazer Nagy and Michael Moffatt, managing partner of Thyme & Again.


An Ottawa food bank known for thinking outside the box selected the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards – which is also about exploring new ideas – as the venue to hold its fifth annual Parkdale Food Centre Gala. This year’s fundraiser held late last month was a sellout, with 300 guests filling the entrepreneurial hub to enjoy a night of eating, drinking and catching up with their Wellington West and Hintonburg neighbours. The tickets were $125 per person, or $100 each for those who were on the ball and bought early. Returning favourites from the culinary community included: Absinthe, Allium, Bar Laurel, Dish Catering, Supply and Demand, The Urban Element, Thyme & Again and Stella Luna Gelato, along with Beyond the Pale Brewing Co. and two new joiners: Stofa Restaurant and The Table vegetarian restaurant. The net total of around $22,000 raised will help the Parkdale Food Centre cover its summer grocery bills for the roughly 750 residents who visit the centre each month. The PFC also runs grassroots programs and activities to help community members gain better cooking skills and learn more about nutrition.

RETAIL Farm Boy eyes fresh approach to in-store experience Iconic Ottawa grocery chain teaming up with local partners on new digital app for shoppers BY DAVID SALI


he leader of one of Ottawa’s best-known companies says the time has come for the iconic food retailer to step up its digital game. Farm Boy’s Jeff York has watched a host of other retail firms launch apps over the past few years in an effort to enhance the shopping experience for consumers, both in-store and online. But Farm Boy has remained largely on the sidelines of the digital retail revolution. Until now, that is. The chain known for its freshly prepared meals and wide selection of produce has teamed up with two other local companies to create an


app that could eventually do everything from alerting customers that nearby items are on sale to allowing shoppers to pay for their groceries without having to line up at a checkout counter. “Most of our customers have mobile devices now, where five years ago, they didn’t,” York says. “There’s a whole bunch of marketing angles.” York, whose company now operates 15 stores in the Ottawa region plus nearly a dozen more in other parts of the province, has clearly done his homework. According to Statistics Canada, more than three-quarters of Canadians owned a smartphone in 2016, up from 55 per cent just two years earlier. With access to such powerful technology at



their fingertips no matter where they go, Canadian consumers now have a “baseline expectation” that the stores they shop in will have a digital presence, says Michael Mulvey, a marketing professor at the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management. HIGH-TECH TOOLS For Farm Boy customers, that could mean a friendly text sent to shoppers’ mobile devices reminding them to pick up a package of those scrumptious chocolate chip cookies before they leave. Mulvey calls it a modern twist on Kmart’s old “Blue Light Special” routine, where the big-box retailer would flash a police siren to alert customers to sales in a particular part of the store.

“You can do that in a much more elegant way using current technology,” he says with a smile. “What they’re really trying to do is get share of wallet. Most consumers don’t mind those friendly suggestions over time.” Today’s high-tech analytics software offers retailers a much clearer picture of consumers’ shopping habits than ever before – and several companies here in the capital are at the forefront of developing those tools. Kanata-based omNovos, which specializes in mining data from pointof-sale and customer relationship management technology to help its clients better understand their customers, is creating the back-end infrastructure for Farm Boy’s new app. Meanwhile, east-end firm Iversoft, which has been working with the grocery chain for about a year on its digital marketing strategy, is building the user interface. “It’s new territory for us,” York says. “We wanted to partner with local companies that … are excited about working with us and exploring this space with us. We want to find out what’s going to work and then … roll it out fast.” For omNovos, which spun out of local firm DataKinetics in 2015, the “multi-year, seven-digit” contract with Farm Boy has


Breakfast Series Breakfast Series Mayor’s Mayor’s A unique opportunity to enjoy breakfast His Worship Jim Watson A unique opportunity to enjoywith breakfast with HisMayor Worship Mayor Jim Watson and hear from and community leaders about issues critical to Ottawa. and business hear from business and community leaders about issues critical to Ottawa. Speaker: Guest Speaker:Guest Guest Speaker: Honourable Catherine MarcMcKenna Seaman, Chairperson Brenda Lucki, RCMP Commissioner Minister of Environment and Climate Change National Capital Commission Wednesday, July 4, 2018 City Hall Thursday, April Location: 27, 2017Ottawa Monday, December 11, 2017 7:00amCity Hall Location: OttawaRegistration: City Hall Ottawa Location: Registration: 7:00 a.m. Registration: a.m. Buffet Breakfast:7:00 7:30am Buffet Breakfast: 7:30 Breakfast: a.m. 8:00am 7:30 a.m. Buffet Presentation: Presentation: 8:00 a.m. Presentation: 8:00 a.m.

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“What they’re really trying to do is get share of wallet. Most consumers don’t mind those friendly suggestions over time.” — University of Ottawa marketing professor Michael Mulvey

been a watershed. CEO Allan Zander says he hopes it will be a springboard to growth for his company, which employs about 20 of its own workers in addition to sharing five with its parent organization. “This really can be an Ottawa-based success story,” he says, adding he expects his firm to book about $2 million in sales in 2018 and is predicting annual revenues of $25 million within five years. In addition to its deal with Farm Boy, omNovos recently inked a contract with a large U.S. office supply company and is in talks with a “major fashion retailer” and a big-name American sports ownership group. “We’re always hopeful to build a billion-dollar company,” Zander says. “We definitely do think we’re on to something, and we definitely do think that we’re doing things that are a little bit more unique in the market around this space. Banks have been doing (data analytics) forever. We’re now just sort of taking that capability and those smarts and applying that in a retail context and putting it in the hands of clerks or the consumer or a store manager.” Iversoft chief marketing officer Graeme Barlow says it’s encouraging to see Ottawa businesses collaborating on a large-scale project in a rapidly growing sector of the retail economy. OmNovos has

Allan Zander of omNovos with Iversoft’s Vicki Iverson, Graeme Barlow and Matthew Strentse. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

subcontracted the marketing firm to work on the app. “The more we can work with Canadian industry leaders, the happier we are,” Barlow says. “We see it as a turning point for the

company in terms of where we can go in the connected retail world.” He says he thinks Ottawa is just scratching the surface of its potential to evolve into a digital retail technology powerhouse.

“There’s a huge opportunity coming in the shift in the way consumers shop and interact with brands. If we can help make Ottawa one of the global leaders for technology in that space, we’re pretty excited.”


SEPT. 9, 2018




MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

Register your corporate team today, and get on route to doing something great for your business and community!



A gamer pivots to hit a virtual target at CGX 2017. Photo by Craig Lord

Ottawa-based Canadian Gaming Expo finds growth in inclusivity by Craig Lord

MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018




ince taking over Capital Gaming Expo in late 2016, new owner Jillian Mood has made a lot of changes. For one, it’s growing. The first year after taking CGX over from former owners Ottawa Geek Market, Mood’s conference of Canadian gaming industry speakers and expo of local indie studios and retailers garnered 4,000 attendees to the Nepean Sportsplex over an April weekend. Another big change has been the name, from Capital to Canadian Gaming Expo. With the new title has come a national mandate: the expo has since spread to Canadian gaming hubs such as Montreal and Halifax. Despite the traction across Canada, Mood says Ottawa will “always be home,”

with CGX preparing for its return to the capital later this month. This year, with a new, more central home at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre, CGX will be even bigger. On June 23 and 24, the conference will welcome developers from some of this past year’s biggest gaming breakout hits such as Cuphead and Fortnite. The expo will feature 100 local studios and interactive booths including an escape room themed around Ottawa’s own inky indie success, Bendy and the Ink Machine. Add to that huge brands such as Disney, Geek and Sundry and Twitch sending speakers and lending their support, and suddenly the first year’s event, which ran in the middle of a community hockey

rink, seems quaint compared to today’s production. “That was our first event, and it feels like we’ve done 10 years of work,” Mood says with a bit of disbelief at the lineup her team has brought together.

Difficulty setting: hard

It’s a small team – just five or six full-time staff plus a few contractors and volunteers come event-day – with big ambitions. CGX is just one event run out of the Mood Foundation, an umbrella organization that also produces game jams, hosts mentor lounges, provides indie studios with HR services and more. Mood herself also runs Girl Force, which introduces young girls and non-binary individuals to the

skills needed for a career in the industry, and organizes annual meetups for game developers in the city to connect. “We’re a small team, but we’re working our butts off,” she says. What motivates Mood and her team is a mission to improve and connect local gaming scenes with Ottawa first and foremost. “In Ottawa, when I had first moved there, the local industry wasn’t really communicating. There were a lot of missing things,” Mood says. Since that time, she’s been a driving force behind a number of the game jams and meetups. Mood Foundation joined with a number of other local studios last September in a collective Hintonburg space where a number of events in the local gaming scene are now held. The Foundation hasn’t taken any external funding to finance any of its numerous initiatives, Mood says. She and her husband Mike – also the developer behind the aforementioned Bendy series – have spent a great deal of their savings on the events they put on, even going as far as to put up some of CGX’s out-oftown indie studios in hotels. “We have put a lot of CGX owner our money into this. It’s Jillian Mood. a philanthropic mission File photo for us,” she says.

Inclusive mission

A core tenet of CGX and Mood’s work in general is inclusion and diversity in Canada’s gaming industry. Mentor lounges at CGX events routinely feature female or trans-identifying game developers, and talks at the conference are aimed at helping developers build inclusive studios. This focus on positive leadership and diversity is something that Canada “really, really needs,” Mood says, and she’s even turned it into a selling point for event organizers to partner with CGX. The Mood Foundation has built up the connections and expertise to bring inclusivity-minded programming and speakers to events; the team was even at the annual E3 conference in Los Angeles last week – the world’s biggest gaming expo – hosting a CGX mentor lounge. The team has brought similar programming to events in New York and even Sweden in recent months. Of course, this presents a difficult question for the Ottawa-based team: if CGX is going global, is it time for another name change? Not necessarily, Mood says. Organizers seem to be interested in bringing in a distinctly Canadian company to put on programming, with the country’s industry having apparently built a strong international brand for itself. “The whole world seems to be welcoming us into the events,” Mood says. “I think we’re going to keep the name.”


Techopia Live brings Ottawa’s hottest startups and coolest tech execs to your screen every week. The live tech show airs at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesdays on Techopia’s Facebook and Twitter channels. Check out our ever-growing video archive of 80+ Ottawa tech interviews at, and if you’re reading our digital edition, click play below.

AccelerateOTT 2018. Photo by Josh van der Linden/Invest Ottawa

Winning investors, scaling tips and more backstage at AccelerateOTT by Craig Lord


female founders and funders panel, told Techopia Live that environments like this are especially important for women in business. “We know that networks are incredibly important for women entrepreneurs,” she said. “Coming to a place like this, you’re going to sit down beside somebody and have a fantastic conversation, and then who knows where it leads.”

Scale without fail

Startup ‘secret power’

Even with a clear vision of growth, the process of landing investment is rarely straightforward. The investors visiting AccelerateOTT had a few tips for startups seeking early stage funding. “I think it always comes down to the


The star of AccelerateOTT on the Ottawa side was Assent Compliance CEO Andrew Waitman. With $60 million in venture capital funding to date, the self-proclaimed “intense” leader told Techopia Live about the challenges facing the local firm as it attempts to scale globally. Waitman contrasted Assent Compliance with another Ottawa juggernaut, Kinaxis. While the latter has built out a solid enterprise-focused product over some 20 years in business, Assent is trying to reach the same standards in just three years time. “The demands from our customers are enormous,” Waitman said. Taking on such a large amount of capital, he added, was critical to being able to achieve the rapid scale the market wanted. “Money is time,” he told Techopia Live.

“We could not be where we are today without that large round.” That doesn’t mean money is the solution to every startup’s problems. Techstars entrepreneur-in-residence Chris Heivly told Techopia Live that the biggest mistake he sees companies make after receiving earlystage funding is hiring a huge number of people before they’re ready. “Just because you have the money doesn’t mean you should spend it,” he said. Chowdhury said that firms attempting to scale require a sense of maturity. Startups obsessed with the CEO’s vision will fail, he suggested, due to a lack of empathy with their customers. Understanding the customer’s pain points is a continual process, but companies that want to stick around as they scale will always put consumer need at the core of the business. “The biggest challenge in scaling, actually … is, ‘How do I be a good servant?’” he said.

MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

undreds of entrepreneurs, investors and mentors made their way to the sold-out AccelerateOTT conference last week hoping to make new connections, pick up some valuable insights or perhaps just find a bit of inspiration. Alongside Megan Cornell from sponsor Momentum Law, Techopia Live was your backstage pass interviewing Ottawa’s business leaders and visiting startup gurus. Saalim Chowdhury, partner at 500 Startups, told Techopia Live the conference could be the show of excellence that local entrepreneurs need to reach the next level. “We’re helping show Ottawa not what Ottawa-good is like, what global-good is like. And if Ottawa gets global-good, it then becomes a world-class place to build and grow and thrive,” he said. Invest Ottawa CEO Michael Tremblay echoed Chowdhury’s sentiments and championed the value of networking at the economic development agency’s annual conference. “AccelerateOTT brings some great minds together, so tap into it,” he said. The day of events featured numerous keynote speakers, investor panels and an expo of local startups showing off their solutions to some 500 attendees. Janice McDonald, founder of Ottawa’s Beacon Agency and a speaker on the

team, especially at the early stages,” said Code Cubitt, managing director of Ottawabased Mistral Venture Partners. Heivly agreed. He told Techopia Live that if a startup is going to take money from an investor, they’re going to have to take advice, too. Even if the pitch is a home run, if the minds at the table aren’t really connecting, there’s no point in working together. Cubitt added that being able to acknowledge what you don’t know is, perhaps counterintuitively, an important characteristic for a founder team to have. “The secret power of a good startup is to surround themselves with advisers who have expertise in areas that they lack,” he added. The investors joining Techopia Live also pointed to a recent change in the capital winds. Elizabeth Yin, co-founder of San Francisco’s Hustle Fund, said many U.S. venture capitalists are beginning to turn north for investment opportunities. “As a vast generalization, the Canadian startup ecosystem is an overlooked gem; that’s why I’m here,” she told Techopia Live. Cubitt concurred. With U.S. investors putting more money into Canada, he believes Ottawa is poised to reap the capital rewards. The city has strengths in a variety of industries, he told Techopia Live, and punches “above its weight class,” a line echoed by Tremblay during his own interview. “There’s no question that we’re very well positioned,” Cubitt said. Head over to to check out the full collection of interviews from AccelerateOTT 2018.

In Memorium

In Memorium


Stories and photos by Caroline Phillips

We are deeply saddened that Paul We are deeply saddened that Taggart, President, Taggart Realty Paul Taggart, President, Taggart Realty Continued from page 12 Management and Partner the Taggart The Redblacks players also toured Management and Partner in theinTaggart groups around the locker and weight Group of Companies passed Group of Companies passed away away on on the rooms and went over some televised plays th Saturday, May 26 , 2018. Saturday, May 26th, 2018. in a classroom setting. Afterward, there was a post-drill reception, with auction

the course of Paul’s 30 year items and take-home swag bags full of OverOver the course of Paul’s 30 year career working the family business gifts, in the exclusive Otto’s Club. career working in theinfamily business “It’s awesome to meet such empowered he grown has grown Taggart women and to be able to teach them some he has Taggart RealtyRealty to to a market leader in commercial football,” Redblacks quarterback Trevor be abe market leader in commercial Harris told after giving a lesson property development, ownership, property development, ownership, and andon how to throw the perfect spiral. “It’s management. He has RealtyRealtyamazing how well they’re picking it up.” management. Heleft hasTaggart left Taggart When asked whether any of the women in a position of strength. in a position of strength.

had draft potential, Harris politely replied: “We’ll have to talk to Coach Campbell PaulPaul was best known for hisforwarm was best known his warm about that. That’s outside of my power.” Among the football fans to take part smile, his strong leadership, and his smile, his strong leadership, and his was leadership committee member Lynda We are deeply saddened that Paul Taggart, entrepreneurial entrepreneurial spirit. Paul was was dedicatedBordeleau, a law partner at sponsor President, Taggart Realty Management and dedicated and passionate about his Partner in the Taggart Group of Companies and passionate about his work and his Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall th She grew up in Ottawa going to work and his family. His leadership, passed away on Saturday, May 26 , 2018. family. His leadership, compassion, LLP. football games with her dad. She’s also compassion, intuition, and personal Over the course of Paul's 30 year career working intuition, and personal touch will be a Redblacks season ticket holder with touch will be missed by all who worked in the family business he has grown Taggart missed by all who worked with him overher husband, Ottawa police chief Charles Bordeleau. with him over his very successfull career. Realty to be a market leader in commercial his very successfull career. “It’s our ‘happy place,’” said Bordeleau property development, ownership, and of their game nights together. management. He has left Taggart Realty in a The Taggart Group Partners, position of strength. She brought together two groups, The Taggart Group Partners, Family totalling 20 women. Most of the Family Members, and Employees Members, and Employees Paul was best known for his warm smile, his participants knew very little about football strong leadership, and his entrepreneurial prior to the training camp but ended up spirit. Paul was dedicated and passionate about his work and his family. His leadership, compassion, intuition, and personal touch will be missed by all who worked with him over his very successfull career.

Paul Taggart

Paul Taggart

MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

The Taggart Group Partners, Family Members, and Employees



MOTORS taking a shine to the sport, she said. “I think they’ll be coming to games,” Bordeleau predicted. As for the drills, said the marathon runner, “They’re a workout. I’m feeling it.” Leadership committee member Chantal Biro-Schad also knows a thing or two about football. Her husband and business partner, Andre Schad, was drafted by the Montreal Alouettes (but got injured), while his brother Mike played in the NFL and their 13-year-old son Wolfgang is a quarterback for the Cumberland Panthers minor football team. She, too, recruited two teams of women, consisting of customers, friends and football moms. It was an easy ask. “Everybody – unless they couldn’t come because of a prior engagement – said ‘Yes,’” she noted. The Schads own the eponymous high-end clothing boutique on Sussex Drive. They also run the seasonal outdoor patio and bar hotspots, Tavern on the Hill, located in Major’s Hill Park, and the new Tavern by the Falls at 50 Sussex. Biro-Schad has watched her share of football and tossed many balls around with her son, but never had she participated before in football drills and exercises. They were harder than she’d expected. “The players make it look so easy,” she said.

PROFILE “Our business is about woodworking, but, in a much larger sense, it’s about doing things yourself, that pride you get from working with your hands and doing something creative. I don’t think there’s really a lot of satisfaction in defining yourself by the things that you’ve purchased.”



Continued from page 3 “This business was built by a lot of good people; I just happened to be sitting in the chair when the award was being given,” Lee, 55, says rather modestly, considering he joined the business right out of university and has been officially running things for the past 13 years. The company began in Ottawa as a mailorder business, selling do-it-yourself wood stoves. Lee’s father Leonard started the firm on a part-time basis in 1977. He was a public servant at the time and a former foreign trade commissioner with degrees in engineering and economics. The following year, Leonard added specialized woodworking tools to his catalogue. Eventually he left his government job to devote himself full-time to his business.









Networker T H E K A N ATA









SECURING How Kanata North companies are protecting an increasingly connected world from emerging threats. Stephan Jou is the chief technology officer of Interset. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON






Networker T H E K A N ATA










Stephan Jou is the chief technology officer of Interset. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON


How Kanata North companies are protecting an increasingly connected world from emerging threats.

MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

ENTREPRENEURIAL PASSION Growing up without electricity or running water in a log cabin in rural Saskatchewan, Leonard knew the value of a dollar, honesty and self-reliance. His commitment to achieving his goals through hard work, along with his entrepreneurial success, were officially recognized when he was made a member of the Order of Canada in 2003. When he died two years ago at age 77, he was fondly remembered by many for boldly pursuing his passion. “That’s how Dad started this business – he followed what he enjoyed,” says Lee. “He wasn’t a master woodworker, but he enjoyed what he was doing, and he enjoyed tools. “People who enjoy what they’re doing are inevitably successful, and they’re always happy.” The multimillion-dollar company now runs retail stores across the country, with its 20th location slated to open in Laval, Que., this fall. It employs more than 1,000 people across North America and distributes to more than 90 countries. About 450 of its employees are based in Ottawa, which is home to its main distribution and manufacturing facilities, machine shop and mail-order shipping department.

“We take a lot of pride in how much product we make right here in Ottawa, and if we don’t make it in Ottawa, we make it in North America,” says Lee. “There’s nothing wrong with buying products from other places. It’s just that we’re very committed to domestic manufacturing.” Despite being involved in all aspects of the business, Lee still gets his greatest enjoyment from dealing with customers. “Good retail is like performance art; the applause is in your sales. I really don’t care about the sales – I care about the validation, that people value what we do,” he says. Lee Valley’s clients have been known to share photos of their completed woodworking projects with staff. Once, a customer pulled up into the parking lot to show off the canoe he had built by hand. “That really to me is the inspiration, and it’s inspiring for the staff to be part of people’s ‘Look what I made’ moments,” Lee says. Lee Valley Tool prides itself on its reputation for high-quality products. “Good products tend to be bettermaintained, they tend to be used with purpose and they tend to stand the test of time,” says Lee. The typical Lee Valley customer is a baby boomer with skills and interest to devote to woodworking. However, a growing base of customers includes makers and homeowners who skew younger. “A lot of people tend to know us as, ‘My grandfather shops there’ or ‘My dad shops there,’ but we really want to be your son or daughter’s store,” says Lee. “We want to be everybody’s store, because I truly believe we have something to offer everybody. “We’re focusing on designing courses to appeal to children and to people who are not our traditional customer. You don’t have to build a bombé chest; sometimes just hanging a shelf is enough. “It’s about giving people that confidence, that ‘You know you can do this. It really isn’t that difficult, and it really doesn’t involve that many tools.’ “What we’re after is engaging somebody for life, not to sell them a big pile of woodworking tools.”

THE LIST Company / Address Phone / Fax / Web


MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

Largest event/ Smallest event attendees

No. of Ottawa employees/ Year est.

Key local executive

Types of facilities used

Sarah Zgraggen president

Hotels; convention centres; special venues

10 1988


700/ 30


Triple I Event Services 15 Piety Hill Way Ottawa, ON K2R 1E3 613-254-7444


7,000/ 50

Carolyn Parker founder and president

Hotels; banquet halls; museums, outdoor recreation facilities

3 1991


JPdL Ottawa 275 Bay St. Ottawa, ON K1R 5Z5 613-238-1070 / 613-232-8228


2,600/ 65

Paul G. Akehurst managing director

Convention centres; hotels/resorts; national museums; sporting facilities; unique venues

8 1972


Alliance Events 2701-27 Northside Rd. S. Nepean, ON K2H 8S1 613-722-4140


11,000/ 8,000

Philip Dangerfield president

Hotels; exhibition halls; resorts; convention centres

6 1999


j/m/a Event Planning 133-70 Edenvale Dr. Kanata, ON K2K 3N7 613-271-2713 / 613-271-9651


3,500/ 150

Joanne McDonald president and owner

6 7

Blackbook Lifestyle Ottawa, ON 613-889-5093


500/ 25

Daniel Mackinnon James Jefferson co-owners

A Social Affair 100 Gloucester St., Suite 492, Third Floor, K2P 0A4, Ottawa, ON 613-796-3211


100,000/ intimate

Christian Garceau, founder and chief executive

Hotels, convention spaces, warehouses, outdoors, art galleries and museums, street festivals, City Hall

5 2016


Say Something Communications* 3-2420 Bank St. Ottawa, ON K1V 8S1 613-769-9500


2,000/ 50

Chantel Beaupre president

Hotels; conference centres; convention centres; museums; universities; resorts

4 2000


Unconventional Planning** 100-32 Colonnade Rd. Ottawa, ON K2E 7J6 613-721-7061 / 613-721-3581


3,000/ 50

Ellyn Holzman Anne Chartrand partners”

Hotels; convention centres, resorts

7 1998

Oxygen Events 2083 Black Friars Rd. Ottawa, ON K2A 3K6 613-725-2079


2,500/ 150

Lynne Greenwood and Mike Greenwood co-owners

Shaw Centre, Johnny Cash Museum, private residences, conference centres, outdoor

Golden Planners 310-1390 Prince of Wales Dr. Ottawa, ON K2C 3N6 613-241-9333


1,100/ 20

Phil Ecclestone president


Intertask Conferences 275 Bay St. Ottawa, ON K1R 5Z5 613-238-4075 / 613-236-2727


3,800/ 300


Starfish creative events + inspiration 219 Flamborough Way Ottawa, ON K2W 1G5 613-712-7956


2,000/ 25


Venues Conference Planning & Events 75 Breezehill Ave N. Ottawa, ON K1Y 2H6 613 797 4645”



All Events Planning Services 58 Castleton St. Ottawa, ON K2G 5N5 613-228-0718 / 613-228-4021


Museum of History; Andrew Haydon Park; EY Centre; Restaurant International; Canadian Golf & Country Club Hotels; automotive dealerships; restaurants; sporting venues; conference facilities; unconventional spaces; museums; outdoors

5 2002

5 2010

Major recent events

Services offered

National and regional government and professional association conferences and trade shows.

Association management; event management; trade show management; creative design

Grand openings; product launches; Christmas parties; corporate picnics; customer service training; customer appreciation events; anniversary galas; team building; management consulting; full/partial service management

Events management; marketing and advertising strategies; business development and implementation; coaching and consulting

Corporate events, pharmaceutical, financial and insurance, national and international associations.

Creative event design, conceptualization and delivery; decor and entertainment; objectivefocused team-building events; transportation logistics; staffing; airport management services.

Ottawa Beer Fest; Whisky Ottawa Festival; CANSEC registration staff and transportation management; corporate and government events; festival management services

Event themes; technical and logistical management; developing and coordinating production team, managing program budgets; communications.

An Evening of Hope, Toronto and Vancouver; Salut!; BDC Golf Tourney and World Trivia Night for Children’s Aid Society; Walk So Kids Can Talk; Accora Village Street Party; Experience Algonquin College 125th Ashbury Ball; Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market launch; University of Ottawa Orthopaedic Surgery gala; Otto’s BMW; Otto’s Subaru; Bayshore Shopping Centre; ARC The.Hotel

Event, conference and public relations solutions.

Creative event planning; promotional events and launches; rentals and decor; media relations; and buying; strategic advertising; promotion; community relations; web and graphic design; social media

Ottawa Capital Pride, Party Under the Stars, CANSEC exhibitions, Zinati Realty Launch, Art of Hope

Full-service event production and digital communications

Several annual general meetings; annual public meetings and fundraising events for government agencies, Crown corporations, associations, corporate and not-for-profit organizations.

Registration; accreditation; project planning and management; financial management; media relations; marketing; volunteer relations; site selection; supplier negotiation and liaison; feedback and evaluation

Government, corporate, medical and association national and international conventions; trade shows; workshops and meetings

Association management and full and partial conference management

4 2012

COUNTERMEASURE IT Security Conference, UNISONG Choral Festival, Microsoft Dynamics Support Event, holiday parties, corporate celebrations, medical conferences, galas

Corporate events; festival planning; business development; specialty events; sales consulting; creative event design; B2B; event and growth strategy; sponsorship management

Hotels; convention and conference centres and facilities; special venues; museums and galleries

5 1989

National associations and not-for-profit corporations; national research organizations; commercial corporations

Bilingual event management for 200–1,500 person multi-day national professional development conferences. Project management, site selection; logistics, marketing, registration, finance, on-site.

Paul Akehurst managing director

Shaw Centre; convention centres across Canada; Canadian Tire Centre; convention hotels; museums; airports; resorts

17 1973

National and international associations; conferences and exhibitions; congresses; summits; forums; consultations; stakeholder engagements; roundtables; workshops; trade shows; association management

Produces conferences across Canada for government departments and agencies, corporations and associations. Offers turnkey services in every aspect of conference operations.

Sid Mahmood CEO and event specialist

Hotels; museums; private residences; outdoors

7 2007


Corporate galas; team building; event planning; social media; coordination; decor; charity events; conferences; grand openings; weddings

900/ 50

Margaret Grace Vale president and managing director of creative strategies

Hotels; convention centres; restaurants; museums

4 1994

Conferences for Helicopter Association of Canada; SaskTel; National Conference on Tobacco & Health; Canadian Pharmacists; Morguard; International Neural Therapy


500/ WND

Aliza Gauzas lead planner, owner and general contractor

Warehouse; private residence; corporate buildings; museums; hotels; corporate locations; churches; halls; synagogues

3 1991


Full or partial conference services including site selection, registration, food and beverage management; housing management, entertainment, decor, sponsorship management. Private workshops/training for logistics and event planning; personal on-site coordination; pre-staging; renovations and decor; catering; fundraisers; conferences; tournaments; destination events/travel coordination

ConferSense Planners 2527 Severne Ave. Ottawa, ON K2B 7V8 613-232-4414


2,500/ 100

Chuck Schouwerwou president and pricipal meeting planner

Convention centres; conference centres; hotels; resorts; universities; museums

1 1999

Various association, university and corporate meetings taking place at the local, provincial, national and international levels.

Site selection; contract negotiation; budgeting and financial reporting; registration services; food and beverage; room setup and decor; entertainment; sponsorship development


Taylor & Associates 11-5370 Canotek Rd. Gloucester, ON K1J 9E7 613-747-0262 / 613-745-1846


1,000/ 100

April Taylor president

Hotels; convention centres

6 1989


Site selection; contract negotiation; logistics, program and exhibit services

18 19

D. R. Dunlop & Associates, Inc. 310-95 Beech St. Ottawa, ON K1S 3J7 613-235-8879


350/ 125

Convention facilities, hotels, college facilities

4 1987

2017 YMCA Canada Fellowship of Honour. Forum on Hydropower 2017. ASCC / Algonquin College / Administrative Services Coordinating Committee Conference 2017. 2017 Canadian Energy Industry: Updates and Insights. 2017 Canadian Energy Person of the Year Awards

Registration; logistics; venue planning; scenarios; catering; logo design; website design, creation and maintenance. Protocol specialist (former Deputy Chief of Protocol for State Visits.)

Vis-à-Vis Events Ottawa, ON K2J 0Y2 613-620-6914


600/ 300

Dora Dalietos owner and creative director

Hotels; convention centres; museums

1 2012

Get Sidified Fashion Gala

Event planning; corporate and non-profit events; conferences; galas; awards ceremonies


1,500/ 12

Kiley Jamieson and Stephanie Eikenberry


3 2015

Festivale St Jean, Make a Wish Gala

Planning, coordination, design, decor, destination & local




The Willow Group 1485 Laperriere Ave. Ottawa, ON K1Z 7S8 613-722-8796 / 613-729-6206



No. of events in 2017



Opportunity Knocks 613.314.4008

David R. Dunlop president Susan Ball Dunlop vice-president of communications

WND = Would not disclose. * This company did not update their listing in time for publication. This information is from 2016. **This company did not update their listing in time for publication. This nformation is from 2017. Should your company be on this list? If so, please send details to This list is current as of May 31, 2018. © 2018 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 Rosa Saba. Please send questions and comments to

FOR THE RECORD People on the move Ottawa-based Quarterhill has named Keaton Parekh president and chief executive of its Wi-LAN subsidiary. Prior to joining Quarterhill, Parekh was chief intellectual property officer of Lumileds, where he built a global IP team and infrastructure and led the successful separation of Lumileds’ IP functions and assets from its parent Royal Philips. Parekh also held various senior legal and business roles with SanDisk Corp., Rovi Corp. and Tessera Technologies. He will be based in the Palo Alto area of California. Ottawa’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks has appointed Jean-Charles Fahmy as its new CEO. Fahmy has more than 25 years of experience in the networking industry. He was most recently vice-president of product Management and business development at Coriant. Prior to that, he held several senior leadership roles at Nortel Networks and BTI Systems and was operating executive in the telecom practice at Marlin Equity Partners, a leading private equity firm. Shalini Nagrani has been appointed

Contracts The following contains information about recent contracts, standing offers and supply arrangements awarded to local firms. Lockheed Martin Canada Inc. 501 Palladium Dr. Armament Training Devices Repair Buyer: PWGSC $15,255,000 Thales Canada Inc. 1 Chrysalis Way Antennas, Waveguides and Related Equipment Buyer: PWGSC $8,590,588

Hats off Hybrid cloud automation and orchestration company Embotics announced that Forrester Research named the firm a leader in the Forrester Wave: Hybrid Cloud Management, Q2 2018. Embotics received the highest possible score in the market approach and commercial model evaluation criteria, the highest score of any vendor evaluated in support services and the second-highest score for overall strategy. The Forrester Wave report identified 12 vendors and researched, analyzed and scored their products against 15 criteria, spanning current offerings, strategy and market presence. Bentall Kennedy’s office building at 100 Murray St. has received Canada’s first Zero Carbon Building – Performance certification from the Canada Green Building Council. The certification requires buildings to demonstrate that they did not generate any carbon emissions over a 12-month period of operations, with performance verified annually.


DavidSegal Segal David

Perrin Beatty Founder ofCanadian MadRadish Radish Inc. Founder of Mad President and CEO, ChamberInc. of Commerce

Thursday,December June 28, 2018 Thursday, December 14,2017 2017 Thursday, 14, 7:00 am-9:00 ama.m. 7:00 am-9:00 am 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 Shaw Centre 55 ColonelBy ByDrive Drive Shaw Centre By Drive Shaw Centre---55 55Colonel Colonel Room 214 Room 214 Room 214

Register online at EventSponsors: Sponsors: Event Sponsors

David Segal

Individual Tickets: Individual Tickets: Individual Tickets: $35.00 + HST (Ottawa Chamber Members) $35.00++HST HST(Ottawa (OttawaChamber ChamberMembers) Members) $35.00 $50.00 + HST (Non-Members) $50.00++HST HST(Non-Members (Non-Members $50.00

Founder of Mad Radish Inc.

Corporate Tables of 8 with Corporate Tables of8Signage: 8with withSignage: Signage: Corporate Tables of $245 +++HST (Ottawa Chamber Members) $245.00 HST (Ottawa Chamber Members) $245.00 HST (Ottawa Chamber Thursday,Members) December 14, 2017

$350 +++HST (Non-Members) $350.00 HST (Non-Members) $350.00 HST (Non-Members) 7:00 am-9:00 am Shaw Centre - 55 Colonel By Drive Room 214 E-mail E-mail toreceive receiveweekly updates on all our events. to receive weeklyupdates updateson onall allour ourevents. events. to

Event Sponsors:

A du idoi -oV- iVsius aula R l e Rne tnatlasl s Au audio-visuels Locationsaudio-visuels Locations

Individual Tickets:

$35.00 + HST (Ottawa Chamber Members) $50.00 + HST (Non-Members

Corporate Tables of 8 with Signage:

Services Buyer: PWGSC $5,486,209 Maplesoft Consulting Inc. 1545 Carling Ave., Suite 702 TBIPS Project Management Services Buyer: PWGSC $5,482,934 Veritaaq Technology House Inc. 1111 Prince of Wales Dr., Suite 100 TBIPS Project Management Services Buyer: PWGSC $5,422,341 Dalian Enterprises and Coradix Technology Consulting, in Joint Venture 151 Slater St., Suite 1010 Project Management Services Buyer: PWGSC/Citizenship and Immigration Canada $4,116,669 ADRM Technology Consulting Group Corp. 1052 St-Laurent Blvd., Unit #2 Project Management Services Buyer: PWGSC/Citizenship and Immigration Canada $4,054,680

DEW Engineering and Development ULC. 3429 Hawthorne Rd. Racking System Ammo Storage Handling/Assemblies Interchangeable Between Weapons in Two or More Classes Buyer: PWGSC $3,632,857

$245.00 + HST (Ottawa Chamber Members) $350.00 + HST (Non-Members)

E-mail to receive weekly updates on all our events.

Audio-Visual Rentals Locations audio-visuels

Eclipsys Solutions Inc. 411 Legget Dr. Suite 701 Managed File Transfer Solution/ ADP Software Buyer: CRA $2,260,332 ThyssenKrupp Elevator (Canada) Limited 1151 Parisien St. ICAO Modernization of Elevator Controllers Buyer: PWGSC $2,195,374 Primex Project Management Limited 119 Walgreen Rd. Tactical VHF/Power Modules (Miscellaneous Communications Equipment) Buyer: PWGSC/DND $1,715,676


CORADIX Technology Consulting Ltd. 151 Slater St., Suite 1010 TBIPS Project Management

general manager of OpenConcept Consulting. Nagrani has more than eight years of experience as an integrated operations leader.

MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

Colliers Project Leaders Inc., Tiree Facility Solutions Inc. in joint venture 2720 Iris St. Human Resource Services, Business Consulting/Change Management; Project Management Services Buyer: PWGSC $5,999,739

presents: presents: presents:

Ottawa business news



MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

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New subscribers are entered into a monthly draw for the ultimate smartphone charger, the PowerTrek, from Ottawa-based It Includes a 9,000 mAh battery and built-in charging cables so you are never left searching for the right cable. Charge up to four devices simultaneously! Draw will be held on the last business day of the month and winners contacted via email.











FIGHTING CRIME IN THE CLOUD Magnet Forensics builds Kanata team to advance software used to investigate child exploitation, terrorism and other cases around the world











FIGHTING CRIME IN THE CLOUD Magnet Forensics builds Kanata team to advance software used to investigate child exploitation, terrorism and other cases around the world





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Contemporary home design in the heart of Stittsville. At Minto we take pride in not only the design of our homes, but also the design of our communities. Potter’s Key in Stittsville is beautifully designed around the Feedmill Creek, with connecting pathways, parks, and green spaces bringing you closer to nature.

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2 KANATA NETWORKER SUMMER 2018 MCC_11856_KanataNetworkerAd_JUNE.indd 1

2018-06-04 11:52 AM

Canadian Gaming Expo (CGX) Ottawa 2018: A Celebration of Games! June 23-24 @ 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. The Canadian Gaming Expo (CGX), a conference and expo focusing on tech, gaming and creative industries, is taking place June 23-34 in Ottawa. An event unlike any other Canada, CGX will feature lots of games and advances in tech with creative art workshops and masterclasses. Meet industry leaders and visit the Mentor Lounge, Connect Cafe (with hiring studios) and a gorgeous video game art gallery showing off Canadian game artists! Local tech companies are welcome to join! Check our events calendar for more details.

welcome message


t is with an immense amount of pride and excitement that I introduce myself as the incoming president and executive director of the Kanata North Business Association. I am humbled with the opportunity to be joining a team that represents Canada’s largest technology park. As a lifelong Kanata resident, graduate of the University of Ottawa and recently recognized Forty Under 40 recipient, I have spent the last 10 years of my career in the local business community.

As a result of my experience working in startups, venture capital and tech, I am extremely passionate about building supportive ecosystems for scaling Canadian businesses and their teams to live, work and thrive. The businesses that have sustained in Kanata North over the past 35 years and those that have recently emerged are leading as globally dominant players in their respective markets. With a rich base of more than 21,000 skilled employees and 500 companies that call Kanata North home – collectively contributing more than $7.8 billion to Canada’s GDP – it’s no wonder we are poised to be Canada’s capital of innovation. Kanata North has a legacy of tech success, an existing track record of real-time achievement and future potential to lead Canada’s innovation agenda on the world stage. Underpinning our ecosystem are a variety of retail and business support services. Consequently, this rich community attracts a high percentage and diverse mix of young, highly educated and highly experienced people who choose to take advantage of the many career growth options presented in Kanata North. The future is bright for Kanata North and I’m honoured to have the opportunity to represent this diverse and innovative community! My predecessor, Jenna Sudds, as well as Deborah Lovegrove – KNBA’s marketing and events lead – have set in place an incredible foundation. I look forward to working with the team to cultivate further opportunities, strengthen existing pride, build national and international recognition and attract diverse talent to the region. Over the coming weeks and months, Deborah and I will be meeting with member companies. We are eager to visit you and your teams on #MemberMonday, in order to develop a stronger connection and understanding of your priorities! We’ve already had the pleasure of meeting many members of the Kanata North community. The feedback thus far has been resounding, with a focus on attracting and retaining top talent, and spotlighting Kanata North and Ottawa as a global leader in technology innovation! The KNBA rocketship will be taking off across Canada as we aim to dramatically grow awareness of the opportunities that exist for innovative minds locally and across the country to join our community. Jamie Petten Executive director Kanata North Business Association


The Legacy Bootcamp: Coding 101 is back! June 23 @ 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. The Legacy Bootcamp: Coding 101 is a one-day crash course in HTML and CSS to inspire Canadian students to champion their dreams through one of the most valuable skills in the 21st century: coding. The event will bring together Canada’s top companies, industry experts and eager students into one room to learn, network and participate in a five-hour hackathon. Visit our events calendar for more details.

what’s inside


WHAT’S NEW, WHAT’S NEXT: Upcoming events and key dates

10 WHERE WE WORK: Magnet Forensics finds success by combining people and passion 12 WHAT WE’RE GEEKING OUT ON: Neptec prepares to send a new generation of cameras and sensors to space 14 Breaking the data-centre monopoly 16 WHERE WE LIVE: Engineers showcase creative side with art installation 17 Jamie Petten takes the reins at the Kanata North Business Association 18 Algonquin College introduces DARE District to Kanata North 19 Discover TechNATA showcases sector’s diversity

“THIS IS A FABULOUS TIME FOR US TO BE HERE AND FOR US TO GROW HERE.” – New Martello CEO John Proctor, on the company’s trajectory in Kanata. See the full story on page 8.




WE LIVE Page 16





FIGHTING CRIME IN THE CLOUD Magnet Forensics builds Kanata team to advance software used to investigate child exploitation, terrorism and other cases around the world






COVER IMAGE: Thusha Agampodi is the manager at Magnet Forensics in Kanata. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON


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DISCOVER THE MARSHES OTTAWA’S LEADING PUBLIC GOLF CLUB • 18 Hole Championship Golf Course • 9 Hole Executive Course

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Solace partners with CORE to strengthen IoT support for airlines Ottawa software company Solace has announced an increased partnership with Florida’s CORE Transport Technologies, a partnership that will offer implementation and management of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

This will allow air carriers to improve the monitoring, tracking and routing of shipments using CORE’s software and Solace’s enterprisegrade messaging product Solace Cloud.

According to the news release, this service is already being rolled out with one of North America’s largest airlines. Increased communication and monitoring will allow air carriers to respond more effectively to

weather and security issues that may affect air cargo deliveries. Solace CTO Shawn McAllister said air carriers need to think about investing in IoT support technologies in order to utilize the visualization and control these technologies can provide. “Our deepening partnership with CORE helps air carriers make faster, smarter decisions to ultimately deliver better customer experiences,” McAllister stated.

what’s new


WORKING MINDS #GETLOUDER June 21 @ 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Working Minds brings together Ottawa’s startup and tech communities to #GetLouder about mental health care in the workplace. Featuring a diverse group of industry leaders and future influencers, the afternoon will focus on transparent and honest discussions as we help shed further light onto this incredibly important and growing movement. All proceeds will be donated to the ROH and DIFD Foundation in support of their incredible cause. An initiative backed by SnapClarity will also be launched that same night. Check our events calendar for more details.

YOGA AT THE HUB! June 19 @ 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Join us for FREE YOGA at the Community Hub every Tuesday, starting June 5. Enjoy a midday break with local yoga guru Inner Revolution for a yoga-filled hour from noon to 1 p.m. every Tuesday throughout the summer!

FOOD TRUCKS WEDNESDAY LUNCH PARTIES June 20 @ 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Join us every Wednesday starting in June until the end of September for our Wednesday Lunch Party! Enjoy a great afternoon break and lunch outdoors on the picnic tables at the Community Hub from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A selection of food vendors, as well as musical entertainment, will be on location.

CANADIAN GAMING EXPO (CGX) OTTAWA 2018: A CELEBRATION OF GAMES! June 23-24 @ 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. The Canadian Gaming Expo (CGX), a conference and expo focusing on tech, gaming and creative industries, is taking place June 23-34 in Ottawa. An event unlike any other Canada, CGX will feature lots of games and advances in tech with creative art workshops and masterclasses. Meet industry leaders and visit the Mentor Lounge, Connect Cafe (with hiring studios) and a gorgeous video game art gallery showing off Canadian game artists! Local tech companies are welcome to join! Check our events calendar for more details.

JUNIOR GOLF DEVELOPMENT CENTRE 2018 PROGRAMS INCLUDE: • Golf Summer Camp • Learn to Play Golf • Introduction to Competition • Teen Golf and more … For full details & registration visit MARSHESGOLFCLUB.COM/JUNIORS



Careworx closes $17M funding round Ottawa-based Careworx closed a $17-million funding round this spring from Kayne Partners, the growth private equity group of alternative investment firm Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors. Careworx provides services and

technology for mid-market and senior care, such as 24/7 desk and remote monitoring. The company has been growing steadily since its 2006 inception, with offices across Canada and around 150 employees nationally. In

2016, Careworx merged with IT firm TUC to add IT support to its technology offerings. The firm’s CEO, Mark Scott, said that its services are used in just under a third of long-term care facilities in North America. Careworx plans to

use this investment to continue its growth in the senior care market, including through acquisitions within this market. The company’s senior care division is the industry’s largest provider of managed end-user devices, support, IT services and wireless solutions.

THE LEGACY BOOTCAMP: CODING 101 IS BACK! June 23 @ 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. The Legacy Bootcamp: Coding 101 is a one-day crash course in HTML and CSS to inspire Canadian students to champion their dreams through one of the most valuable skills in the 21st century: coding. The event will bring together Canada’s top companies, industry experts and eager students into one room to learn, network, and participate in a five-hour hackathon. Visit our events calendar for more details.

THE RIDE FOR THE OTTAWA HOSPITAL RESEARCH Sept. 9 @ 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. The RIDE, powered by Mattamy Homes, is an epic cycling experience that will not only get you physically fit, but will also have a direct impact on patient care by supporting research at The Ottawa Hospital. Participants can choose from 50-kilometre, 117-kilometre or virtual ride. See our events calendar for details.

CANADA DAY IN KANATA Friday June 29 to Sunday July 1 from 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. One of the largest family events in Kanata is held at Walter Baker Park. Canada Day in Kanata is excited to celebrate Canada’s 151st anniversary this year. Local businesses in Kanata and Ottawa West are encouraged to help support this special family event with live entertainment, vendors and a kid’s zone. Find out how you can become a sponsor by visiting

LUMIÈRE CHARITY GALA Sept. 13 @ 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. West Ottawa’s most anticipated networking and socializing event! Brookstreet, in partnership with the Wesley Clover Foundation, is pleased to present “15 Years of Lumière” – a fundraising event for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. Enjoy 15 different food stations, wine and beer pairings as well as both a silent and live auction. End the evening with an unforgettable fireworks display! See our events calendar for details.

CYCLING MAPS The Transportation Action Committee Kanata North (TACK) has new cycling maps available that highlight routes and paths in the local area. A digital version of the map is available at


Welcome to

East India Company Restaurants For the past 50 years, we have presented the largest Indian buffet in Canada. East India’s notable cuisine can be enjoyed at either of our two locations in Ottawa, with takeout and delivery options as well.


210 Somerset St. W 613-567-4634

Ottawa West: 1993 Robertson Rd. 613-721-3777


Welcome to East India Company Restaurants. For the




Martello raises $7.5M in private placement

Ahead of its expected debut on the TSX Venture Exchange later this year, Martello Technologies says it’s raised $7.5 million in a private placement round. The Kanata-based cloud communications services firm says the oversubscribed non-

brokered placement will fuel the company’s growth strategy, including future acquisitions. In a statement, Bruce Linton – the co-chair of Martello’s board of directors – said the oversubscribed round illustrates the high degree of confidence

among investors in the Kanata company as it prepares for its public markets debut. “The overwhelming response to Martello’s private placement is a testament to the company’s opportunity and capacity to execute,” he stated.


It’s a good thing Proctor is no stranger to big change. When he first arrived in Toronto to fill his new role with CGI in 2011, he remembers being struck by the stark difference between his work in the military and the new challenges he was about to face. “I remember getting off the train at Union Station in Toronto and walking out of Union and looking up at all these skyscrapers, thinking, ‘How on earth do I climb these?’” he says. “And I can remember just being rooted to the spot.” He didn’t stay still for long, though. Proctor says the key to adapting to business after life in the military was to ask questions, to be open to learning new ways of doing things, and – most importantly – to find people who could guide him along the way. “You’ve got to learn,” says Proctor. “It’s reaching out, it’s finding mentors, it’s finding people who can guide you.”


John Proctor is the CEO of Martello. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON


John Proctor’s climb to the top Building on a military career spanning more than two decades, Proctor is now leading one of Kanata’s hottest tech firms to its TSX-V debut By Rosa Saba


ohn Proctor came to Martello Technologies at a time when the company was gearing up for change. From the acquisition of Montreal firm Elfiq in January to the recent announcement that Martello will be going public, the new CEO had – and still 8 KANATA NETWORKER SUMMER 2018

has – a lot on his plate. Never one to step down from a challenge, the Canadian and British Forces veteran and former vice-president of global cyber security at CGI rolled up his sleeves and got to work preparing the company for what was sure to be a busy 2018.

After six years at CGI, Proctor was ready for another big change. This time, instead of going from one large organization to another, he would be stepping into the much bigger role of CEO at a much smaller company – Ottawa’s Martello, a software developer focused on enterprise communications systems and one of the capital’s fastest-growing companies. “Was there initial nerve? Absolutely. Initial doubts and fears? Absolutely,” says Proctor. But he realized the company’s stakeholders saw something in him, and the opportunity was too good to pass up. Despite his title, Proctor says he hasn’t forgotten the importance of “humble pie” as he leads Martello onto the TSX-V through the reverse takeover of Vancouver shell company Newcastle Energy Corp. He’ll be working closely with former CEO Bruce Linton, now the co-chair of Martello’s board along with Terry Matthews. Proctor is also a mentor himself, and the founder of the Ex-Military Businessmen Association’s Ottawa chapter.


Martello’s decision to go public isn’t one undertaken by many other companies its size. But Proctor says he sees the move as an opportunity to show the public that there is confidence in Martello’s growth from its investors and its client base – a group that the acquisition of Elfiq expanded, giving way to an upcoming line that combines both Elfiq’s and Martello’s products into one. Where previously Martello’s technology could only monitor

networks and identify problems, Elfiq’s technology adds the capability to find solutions to those problems. The new system “can not only monitor all your unified communications, but then it can use that software-defined networking ability to prioritize the traffic,” says Proctor, adding that demand for this type of technology is only going to grow. “We aren’t a fad. As you add more requirements and data, we become more in demand, which is a great place to be.” As the company moves forward and onto the public listing, Proctor says more acquisitions like this will be key to Martello’s growth and success. However, he says it’s as much about the people Martello is acquiring as it is about the products – he wants people and companies that are aligned with Martello’s values. As the company scales up, he’s focused on maintaining the positive workplace culture that has already been established, regardless of size – and he sees the Kanata North tech community as the perfect place to continue that careful growth. “If it’s the wrong people with the right product, we’re not interested,” he says. “As we grow those pieces, I think that’s a fabulous story … I just think that this is a fabulous time for us to be here and for us to grow here.”


CEO 2017-present


Vice-president, global cyber security 2011-2017


Vice-president, risk operations 2009-2011






Kanata North businesses support Kanata Food Cupboard KRP Properties and the Kanata Food Cupboard joined forces in May for the first annual youCANhelp

event. Teams formed by several of KRP’s tenants from the Kanata Research Park and Kanata North

Technology Park – Embotics, Iceberg Networks, Investors Group, IQVIA, Technology Integration Group, Payment Source as well as Syntronic Research and Development – produced seven sculptures of non-perishable food items, which resulted in a donation of around 5,400 lbs. of food. The three-day event was held at a time of year when food bank donations are generally slower, after the holiday donation rush. KRP representative Natasha

Plotnikov said the event was also valuable for those who participated, combining team building, community building, and a good cause. Plotnikov said KRP is always interested in initiatives that not only give back to the community, but that also help strengthen community bonds within the technology park. KRP plans to make youCANhelp an annual event, aiming for an even higher donation goal in 2019.

Thusha Agampodi is the manager at Magnet Forensics in Kanata. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

where we work

Magnet Forensics’ growing Kanata team helps law enforcement fight crime in the cloud Tech firm builds unique workplace culture with the right people in the right place


sk any of the people who work in Magnet Forensics’ Kanata office why they are there, and they will give you one of two reasons. For Ian McGillen, it’s the work itself. McGillen, who once worked at BlackBerry, now works as a software test specialist in Kanata North – the Waterloo company’s first separate R&D office. The local office houses the team dedicated to developing and testing the 10 KANATA NETWORKER SUMMER 2018

cloud component of software used daily around the world to prosecute criminals, including for such notable cases as the Boston Marathon bombing. “It’s very rewarding,” says McGillen. “What you directly work on is being used by law enforcement to capture those people … it’s pretty awesome.” For Craig Hodge, also in software testing, it’s even simpler than that: “The people.”

People and passion – these are the two words that manager Thusha Agampodi had in mind when she set to work creating the Ottawa team. A former manager at BlackBerry, Agampodi used her connections to start Magnet Forensics’ Kanata location in the heart of the technology park, building a team that has continued to grow ever since. When hiring, she says the person is just as important as their resume. She’s looking for that passion, a belief in what Magnet Forensics does, and she’s carefully crafted a team that not only embodies those values, but also functions as more than just an office of employees. “We care about each other even outside of work,” says Agampodi. “I feel valued.” As software developer Daniel VanderVeen puts it, “We’re kind of like a family here.” That comfort is clear in the way the team interacts and jokes with each other. On Thursdays they like to wear matching shirts – on the day the Networker visited, six were wearing “Sky Pirates” team shirts designed by one of their colleagues – and at 3 p.m., a group huddled near the windows to play HQ, a daily live trivia game. As with many families, food is a big part of the culture at Magnet Forensics. They have catered lunches together every Friday, and Agampodi sometimes likes to surprise her employees with breakfast before their daily morning meetings – usually waffles. “I like to bake a lot, and they’re my guinea pigs,” she laughs. What unites the Kanata Magnet team

the most, however, is the work they are doing and the people they are doing it for.


Magnet Forensics founder Jad Saliba is a former police officer in the tech crimes unit who found himself working on a lot of cases involving Facebook messages, especially child exploitation cases, and wanted to be able to access the information left behind on devices such as laptop computers and cell phones. Saliba found the process of scrubbing hardware for data used to investigate child exploitation, terrorism and other cases to be time consuming, and wanted to speed up the process with a digital tool. In the evenings, he began developing what would eventually become Magnet’s flagship product, Internet Evidence Finder (IEF). “I was giving (the software) away for free because I was passionate about helping others who were working similar cases,” says Saliba. However, he soon realized demand for the software was much higher than he could handle, and he decided to found Magnet Forensics. Now, IEF is used by thousands of agencies worldwide. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, they have also developed a product called AXIOM, which helps investigators comb through data faster. Version 2.0 of AXIOM was released earlier this year, which Saliba called a big milestone for Magnet. The Kanata office’s mandate was to create the cloud component of the IEF software, allowing access to data stored

KRP Properties and the Kanata Food Cupboard joined forces to collect donations during the three-day event. PHOTOS SUPPLIED.

“AS A SMALL COMPANY, YOU NEED (THE) COMMUNITY, AND THE NETWORK.” – Thusha Agampodi, engineering manager, Magnet Forensics on or synced to the cloud. That product launched last September, less than a year after the team was initially formed. What VanderVeen said about family rings true for Saliba, just as he would hope – since the company’s inception in 2011, he’s been focused on instilling the right values in his company and hiring people who are aligned with those values, regardless of which office they are in. “It all feels like one big family,” he says. Saliba interviews every new hire in person, and makes sure all nonWaterloo employees visit the headquarters, while also making visits himself. Saliba’s presence is something that motivates many of the team members, who say they joined for the chance to work for a person they believe in. Software test specialist Paul Carr says Saliba was a “big reason” he chose Magnet Forensics. Shawna Crawford, a software tester who is also from BlackBerry and a member of the original team, says Saliba’s down-to-earth approach and inspiring story made it an easy move. “Inside or outside of work, he’s still the same guy,” she says. “We totally belong here.” Agampodi has also brought some of her own central values to the team. As a woman in tech who is originally from Sri Lanka, she’s vocal about bringing more diversity to the sector, whether it’s in age,

gender, ethnicity or otherwise. As a result, her team is diverse, especially in age, but united with a common front that brings them into work every day. “On Monday morning, you actually look forward to coming into work,” says Crawford. “To this day, as soon as we hear that there’s a cloud license sold, we still all scream.” As a small office, especially with so many of the team members coming from larger companies such as BlackBerry, the Kanata North tech community has been a good place for Magnet Forensics to grow. Saliba says he chose Ottawa because he saw it as a technology hub, and housing Magnet among other small tech companies seemed like the right fit. For Agampodi, it was the right place to find and build her team. “As a small company, I think you need that community, and the network,” she says. “There’s a lot of talent here.” The Kanata office continues to grow from the seven-person team it began as to 16, with another new hire about to arrive. Agampodi says they hire people who are the right fit, regardless of timing. As Saliba puts it, they’re looking for passion – for the work, and for the people. “What we do (is) impacting people’s lives in a positive way around the world,” he says. “We really want people who are passionate about that.”

Some staff members at Magnet Forensics are known to pick up a guitar at the office and break into song – performances that speak to the company’s welcoming and relaxed work environment that promotes creativity. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON



March Networks becomes a designated cybersecure business Kanata-based March Networks is one of the first Canadian companies to become Cyber Essentials Canada certified.

This means the video solutions provider is now a designated cybersecure business. The designation certifies organizations able to “demonstrate good cybersecurity practices and an ability to mitigate risks from Internet-based threats,” according to a press release from March Networks. This includes expertise in areas such as firewalls, routers, email, servers, computers and cloud providers. March Networks helps companies transition to advanced surveillance technologies, and takes a “proactive, transparent” approach when it comes to identifying possible vulnerabilities,

according to the press release. They conduct background checks on employees working with product code and have participated in security audits with Fortune 500 customers. Its secure Network Operations Centre provides a hub for employees to work remotely and securely, monitoring video network health and providing information. “Achieving this Cyber Essentials certification, which is already well recognized in the U.K., provides our customers with yet another assurance of our cybersecure standards,” said president and CEO Peter Strom in a statement.

“WE WILL GET PICTURES OF THE (INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION) LIKE WE’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE.” – Stéphane Desjardins, manager of projects and programs, Canadian Space Agency

Neptec’s technology is already used aboard the International Space Station and on various space missions. Its largest new contract will combine and improve upon the Kanata firm’s existing technologies to help maintain the ISS. PHOTOS SUPPLIED

what we’re geeking out on

Neptec sharpens its focus New camera and sensor technology developed by the Kanata firm will increase automation, accuracy and security aboard space missions


echnology developed by Neptec Design Group has long been a fixture on the International Space Station and shuttles. Now, armed with millions of dollars in new contracts from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the Kanata firm is developing a new generation of cameras and sensors to help researchers push the boundaries of their work Neptec, which provides vision systems for space, industrial and military use, was recently awarded several CSA contracts that highlight the agency’s interest in increasing automation both on the space station and in future space missions. Neptec’s largest new contract began its preliminary design phase in September 12 KANATA NETWORKER SUMMER 2018

2017. The $11.9-million project will combine three existing Neptec technologies to form a new vision system, called the Dextre Deployable Vision System (DDVS), for the International Space Station (ISS). According to Brad Jones, director of mission and mobility systems at Neptec, the vision system’s main task on the ISS will be to inspect the exterior of the station in far greater detail and at more regular intervals than current inspections. It will be integrated with Dextre, a Canadian robot currently used to monitor and repair the station. “We will get pictures of the ISS like we’ve never seen before,” explains Stéphane Desjardins, manager of

projects and programs at the CSA, adding astronauts will no longer perform the potentially dangerous inspections themselves. The vision system will combine three of Neptec’s existing technologies: a highresolution video camera, a thermal night vision camera, and LiDAR – a 3D laser sensor. The vision system can also be used to monitor incoming spacecraft. LiDAR can track incoming craft beyond one kilometre and detect sub-millimetre damage. It’s currently used as part of Neptec’s TriDAR system on the ISS’ Cygnus resupply craft. Without relying on reference markers, the sensor develops a 3D image of incoming craft regardless of orientation. Jones says the DDVS will also be used to evaluate how similar systems could be applied in other ways, including for deepspace missions. “The international community, led by NASA, is already looking at a gateway space station that would be much further from the earth than the ISS is now,” says Jones. The sensor suite could be used not only for maintenance, but also in the assembly of the station. According to Desjardins, the DDVS represents a necessary next step in the space sector’s move toward automation. “If you want to increase the autonomy, the first thing you need to invest (in is) the vision system,” says Desjardins.


Also in the works at Neptec is another move toward automation, and Jones’ main project. Neptec once provided a space vision system used on the space station and a long-retired shuttle called the Advanced Vision Unit (AVU) processing platform. The setup is now redundant, says Jones, and recently the CSA and NASA have shown interest in reusing the hardware capabilities of the AVU in a way that would enable more autonomy for the Mobile Servicing System, the team of robots that includes Dextre. “Right now, when they use the manipulator system, it requires either someone on the station sitting at a manipulator workstation, or it can be configured to allow the manipulation of the arm through a ground operator,” says Jones. “What the agency is aspiring to do here is to basically demonstrate that the

manipulations system can be made more autonomous.” In addition to the vision system, Neptec was awarded three smaller contracts in April 2018 totalling almost $1.8 million. The first contract is to develop a miniature 3D camera to help rovers navigate with more autonomy, enabling more efficient and accurate collection of data. Rovers would be equipped with forward-facing and rear-facing cameras. The second contract is a partnership with Thales Alenia Space Switzerland, the Institute for Quantum Computing, and McMaster University to build upon Neptec’s expertise in optical subsystem design and create an optical communications system – essentially, to enable the transfer of large amounts of data between satellites and Earth, improving bandwidth, accuracy and security. Neptec’s optical technology, like LiDAR or their metrology systems, involves minute control over the pointing of a laser, and has developed to the point where Jones says it could be used to reliably transfer data much more securely than current radio wave technology allows.


The third contract, at first glance, might not seem up Neptec’s alley. However, like the other projects, it aims to use the company’s existing technologies. Neptec – which is headquartered in Kanata North and has corporate roots dating back to 1990 – is aiding in the development of a cell culture system to study the impacts of micro- and zero-gravity as well as radiation on the human body. According to Perry Johnson-Green, chief scientist of life sciences and ISS utilization at the CSA, the agency currently performs studies on humans who have been to space, but wants to take that research further. “We know quite a bit about … the physical risks and the psychological risks of being in space,” says Johnson-Green. “But there’s still a tremendous amount that we don’t know.” Johnson-Green says though the symptoms are often clear – loss of bone structure, decreased muscle mass and power, among others – it’s the causes that remain less known. By studying these effects at the molecular level, the agency hopes to identify possible treatments and preventions for the negative effects space travel can have on the human body. So, why Neptec? The company’s expertise in optical systems was key to their proposal, says Johnson-Green. A cell culture system being taken into space would need a container with extremely accurate monitoring capabilities to ensure its pH and oxygen remained at the necessary levels. Johnson-Green says the technology could also benefit research on Earth in other sectors. The 2018 contracts were awarded as part of the CSA’s Space Technology Development Program, intended to support innovation in the Canadian space industry and further research for future space missions.






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Steve Cody, Bruce Linton, buy Better Software Co. assets Entrepreneurs Steve Cody and Bruce Linton have joined forces to buy the assets of the Better Software Co., a software firm originally founded by

Cody. Cody left BSC in 2017 to start Ruckify, an online rental marketplace, with Linton. Now, he hopes BSC and Ruckify will work hand-

in-hand. Cody says Ruckify is something that hasn’t been done before, which is why the company is taking its launch slowly, hoping to do

things right the first time around. They already have customers, with an app launching soon and a full website coming in the fall. Right now, “we’re doing it the old-fashioned way,” he laughs, connecting customers with renters themselves as they anticipate the launch of the app and website. BSC makes software used by franchise businesses across the U.S., and Cody says he had an unprecedented number of BSC clients interested in using Ruckify

to rent out equipment. Likewise, he hopes Ruckify users will grow into businesses that will then benefit from BSC. Launching the app has taken more time than expected, but Cody says the fact Ruckify isn’t backed by venture capital means they can take their time, launching when the product is ready and no sooner. “There’s no pressure other than the pressure we put on ourselves,” he says. “We know when it’s out there, we’ll be proud.”

Breaking the monopoly (again) Seven years after launching Granite Networks, James Mackenzie and Rainer Paduch are again operating an independent data centre in Kanata North By Rosa Saba


hen Granite Networks first opened in Ottawa in 2011, it was something new on the data centre scene: a carrier-neutral data centre, competing alone against a monopoly – at the time, Primus unit Blackiron, which was bought by Rogers soon after. That’s exactly what happened to Granite. Not long after it opened, the independent data centre was sold to Rogers, restoring the monopoly. Now, Granite Networks’ James Mackenzie and Rainer Paduch have started over with Purecolo, another independent data centre. What’s different this time? Focus, focus, focus, says Mackenzie – and a little bit of luck. Before Granite, Mackenzie saw high demand for a carrier-neutral data centre, which was the impetus behind his first big startup. Six months into the project, he was joined by Paduch, someone he says he had long admired, and together they set out to offer what they felt the big names could not.

“THE DAY AFTER WE OPENED (GRANITE’S) DOORS, WE GOT OUR FIRST CALL FROM ROGERS SAYING, ‘DO YOU HAVE A PRICE IN MIND?” — James Mackenzie, chief operating officer, Purecolo “We could compete against the monopoly and we could do it bigger, better, smarter,” says Mackenzie. “The day after we opened (Granite’s) doors, we got our first call from Rogers saying, ‘Do you have a price in mind?’” Six months later, Rogers bought Granite Networks. Mackenzie maintains this was the right thing for the company, which he felt didn’t have the focus to do what it needed to do. “There’s a whole lot of responsibility in a company to not do what you want to do, but to try to do what’s right for the company,” he says. “What we had built is the good foundation blocks for a successful business.” 14 KANATA NETWORKER SUMMER 2018

James Mackenzie is the chief operating officer of Purecolo. FILE PHOTO

However, he and Paduch knew that the sale of Granite Networks was just the beginning of what they had set out to do. “We still hadn’t solved the problem in the Ottawa market,” Paduch says. “We really tried to go back to our first principle. Who are our customers, and where are they going to be?”


The pair had an 18-month non-compete period during which to plan their next venture. They incorporated Purecolo after that time, initially with the intent of opening a centre of the same scale as Granite Networks. However, they soon switched strategies, deciding upon a smaller centre after they had more luck securing smaller businesses for the proposed space. After shopping around for the best location to open Purecolo, they happened upon their current space by luck. Just as their first choice fell through, they found a space inside the Mitel building at 390 March Rd. that had been vacant for eight years. The space had previously been used to bake ceramic parts for Mitel, so it had most of the infrastructure Mackenzie and Paduch needed – namely, “megawatts and megawatts of power,” says Mackenzie – negating much of the costly renovations they would have otherwise had to do themselves. That, plus the landlords’ eagerness to fill the space, meant their new home would cost them just over a third of what the other place would have. “In the end, we were lucky that this

Above: Rainer Paduch is the CEO of Purecolo.


place was here,” says Mackenzie. Purecolo secured financing in April 2017 and, after a summer of construction, the green lights began to blink for their first customer in October of that year. Low startup costs and smaller customers are just a few of the things Mackenzie and Paduch are doing differently. What they really learned from Granite Networks was that focus is key in building a new business, something Mackenzie says they struggled with the first time around. “The problem is, nobody believes that a startup can do everything,” he says, describing how they would offer to help clients with firewalls, websites and more. “We were trying to be everything to everybody, and I think that hurt us.” Having learned from Granite, both Mackenzie and Paduch say simplicity is key. “Pure … colo. It reminds us every time we say the name,” says Mackenzie. They’ve also learned their lesson when it comes to scale. “One of the things we thought we needed to do (with Granite) was make a big splash,” says Mackenzie. Granite had 28,000 square feet of space, which made them the largest independent data centre

in Eastern Ontario at the time. “For a startup, it was a nice feather in the cap, but it was an expensive feather.” Purecolo, meanwhile, is starting smaller, but staying flexible and ready for growth. In the current space, they have another 2,500 square feet available, which could conceivably be taken up by just one client, but they have another 10,000 square feet available to them. And it’s possible they may need that space. Paduch says that though Purecolo has been targeting small- to mid-range businesses, many of the potential clients who have approached them are much bigger than expected. As startups go, maybe a data centre isn’t the most exciting, says Mackenzie. But it’s something they know there is demand for, and the range of customers approaching Purecolo prove just that. “We’re very unexciting,” he says with a laugh. “The work we do is so important because it supports what all those other people are doing internationally.” Paduch agrees, more succinctly: “Boring is profitable.” “It’s really about the customer and giving them as much choice as we can,” he says. “If they prosper, then we prosper.”

Canada’s largest technology park is our targeted and growing audience of business leaders, professionals and talent. Connect with Cindy Cutts for details:



Kanata photographer recognized at exhibition

Kanata photographer Steve Cain had four photos selected for an annual exhibition of the best of Canadian photography. The 2018 National Image Salon of the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPoC) was held during the PPoC’s annual conference in Richmond, B.C. It featured entries from across Canada. Inclusion in the exhibition offers merits towards designations such as

Left: Artist Margit Hideg says her approach with Wisdom of Trees was to give the busy employees of Kanata North tech companies a feeling for what it means to “get disconnected” – even if just for an hour.

where we live

Creation of Wisdom of Trees exhibition prompts participants to reflect on importance of collaboration, community By Rosa Saba



workshops, helping participants get used to exercising the more artistic side of their brains. Hideg, who is no stranger to the high-tech world thanks to her work in graphic design and her husband’s engineering background, says her approach was to give the busy employees of Kanata North tech companies a feeling for what it means to “get disconnected” – even if just for an hour. “Each company had a different way of approaching this subject,” Hideg says. “They really enjoyed working with their hands and having a totally different mindset.” Hideg helped the participants explore the theme of “how their roots influence their choices in life,” finishing the project off with a series of video interviews.

street in Verona, Italy won Best Editorial Image, and was on display at the Shenkman Arts Centre in summer 2017. Cain has three national accreditations through PPoC, and is one of just over 200 professional photographers in Canada to achieve the General Portraiture accreditation. He is the owner of South March Studio in the heart of Kanata North’s tech community.

Exploring trees as a representation of the community highlighted the importance of creative collaboration and of community, even in a high-tech world, she explains. “The miracle for me with this project is that it grows organically,” she says. “Once we are creative, we can connect with each other, because that’s the nature of creativity.”


Kanata North tech workers make their artistic mark n the second floor of Kanata’s Beaverbrook Library hangs a chandelier-like formation of more than 150 Mylar triangles, dangling in the natural light from a nearby window. The triangles that make up the Wisdom of Trees installation feature drawings by Kanata North community members, many of them from well-known local tech companies including Ericsson, You.i TV, ThinkWrap and Martello. The project was a joint effort by the AOE Arts Council and the Kanata North Business Association as part of a series of neighbourhood arts projects meant to contribute to last year’s Canada 150 celebrations. The installation was first unveiled in June 2017. Artist Margit Hideg led hour-long

Craftsman of Photographic Arts and Master of Photographic Arts. Cain’s photographs displayed his talent for photographing people, from two studio portraits of clients, to a portrait of a young hockey player at his arena with dreams of playing professionally, which also won first place in an international competition. Provincially, Cain’s photograph Man’s Best Friend of a man on the

For Deborah Naczynski and her team at You.i TV, a video platform development company, the chance to participate in the project was a departure from their dayto-day work. However, her team wasn’t shy about jumping right into the opportunity. Techies might not be always known for their artsy inclinations, but Naczynski says her team is used to integrating a creative mindset into the work they do at You.i TV. “I knew they would jump all over it,” Naczynski says. “The engineers are highly creative … it comes through in a different way.” Naczynski, an outreach specialist at You.i TV, says she considers the firm “an art and science company,” and that the importance of creativity to innovation is often overlooked in the tech world. “To have that influence is so incredibly important,” she says. Pavel Latif, a technical project manager at Ericsson, says that exploring his own connection to Kanata during the workshop helped remind him of why he has grown to love the tech community. “When I first moved here, I was very skeptical. I wasn’t sure what to expect,” Latif says. “But now after living here for four years, when I go to Toronto, I miss Ottawa.” Though visual art isn’t something he does often or comfortably, Latif says the workshop was a breath of fresh air, as well as a chance to see another side of the people he works with every day. “You could see that people were having fun together and trying to create something together. I think that was the essence,” he says. Latif ’s triangle featured


a tree positioned like a “watchful eye” over his community, representing how he has come to feel about his new home in Kanata North. “I feel safe within this community, within this city.” Latif says he noticed that at work, he felt more comfortable around his colleagues after having seen their creative sides. “People are more relaxed and informal,” he says, adding that projects like this are a good way to make friends, not just within the company, but within the Kanata North tech community. Jenna Sudds, the former executive director of the Kanata North Business Association, says the intent of the project was exactly that – to bring community members together in ways beyond their day-to-day work. “This is a technology community, and we were asking them to get out of their comfort zone a little bit,” she says. “It was really fun to witness just how creative these folks are.” Naczynski says she thinks the inclusion of more arts projects can only benefit the business community, which she calls “overwhelmingly technological.” “If you don’t try to introduce the artistic community in with what you’re doing every day ... you just miss out on some really, really important skills,” she says. “It’s definitely a conversation that should be had.”


Kanata’s Yoppworks partners with IBM

Online programming firm Yoppworks has partnered with IBM, allowing it to expand its open source product offerings using some of IBM’s technology. The Kanata North company specializes in open-source consulting, training and solutions. In a news release, Yoppworks CEO

Jack Gulas said partnering with IT giant IBM will “create a groundswell” in the open-source industry, allowing the much smaller company to benefit from IBM’s expertise and reach. A spokesperson says the collaboration will expand its capabilities in predictive and

cognitive analytics, enabling more growth in the open-source market both locally in Kanata and to Yoppworks’ global customers. According to the statement, the partnership will also help IBM “transform” its customers through the adoption of the open source technology Yoppworks is known for.


Jamie Petten scales up New KNBA executive director aims to be a ‘champion for talent’ in Canada’s largest technology park By Rosa Saba


or virtually her entire career, Jamie Petten had a front-row seat to see the strength and ingenuity of the Kanata North tech community as its established anchor firms and startups alike expanded locally and abroad. Now, as the newly appointed executive director of the Kanata North Business Association, Petten is preparing to shepherd in a new phase of growth. “There’s a unique opportunity for Kanata North as Canada’s largest technology park to really drive our Canadian innovation forward,” says Petten. Petten began her career fresh out of university with the SPA Group of Companies, building the brand-new business’s home offices and overseas development in Jamaica from the ground up. She had stayed in her home city to study communications and psychology at the University of Ottawa, and though the responsibility of building a new company was a big step for a new graduate, she took the challenge on with confidence. The company was, and still is, successful. But after four years, Petten says she was ready for a new – and bigger – challenge. “What I learned about myself during that time is my passion for building businesses and building brands,” Petten says. “Being from Kanata, I turned to where I knew, from legacy, to an entrepreneur that had built many businesses and brands in Kanata.” That entrepreneur was Terry Matthews, who played a key role in founding the L-Spark Accelerator Program through his company, Wesley Clover, along with Invest Ottawa. Petten saw an opportunity to do the kind of work she had grown to love, but on a larger scale and focused on her home community. So, like many of the tech startups Petten champions, she scaled up, this time as a member of the founding team of L-Spark with Leo Lax and Patrick White. She helped build the business accelerator from the ground up, finding

Jamie Petten is the new executive director of the Kanata North Business Association. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

“THE CREATION OF THE KANATA NORTH BA HAS ENABLED THE COMMUNITY AND THE TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES WITHIN IT TO CONNECT AND LEVERAGE THEIR COLLECTIVE RESOURCES IN A WAY THAT COULD NOT HAVE BEEN DONE OTHERWISE.” – Jamie Petten, executive director, Kanata North Business Association inspiration and reward in helping small tech companies establish themselves and eventually attract venture capital. Petten says the Kanata North tech community itself was “the impetus behind forming L-Spark.” The company’s focus was on connecting experienced people from some of the successful tech firms in Kanata with emerging entrepreneurs as part of an accelerator program meant to steer startups toward the investment they would need to maintain their momentum toward success. “We worked diligently with those companies on a day-to-day basis,” Petten says. “There was nothing that we thought we couldn’t do.” With 36 companies in L-Spark’s portfolio and a growing, diversifying community of tech firms in Kanata North, Petten once again began to look to bigger projects. Many of the companies in the technology park were making their names known nationally and globally, and with the Kanata North Business Association – now five years old – she saw an opportunity to continue the work she loved on yet another level. “I started to really see the full picture of Canada’s technology community,” Petten says. “The creation of the Kanata North BA has enabled the community and the technology companies within it C








to connect and leverage their collective resources in a way that could not have been done otherwise.” Where she once had just one company under her wing, Petten will now have several hundred. Nevertheless, she feels her experience and passion for helping businesses grow will translate well to the growth of the Kanata North community. She says she wants to continue the push to attract diverse talent into the Jiffy print ad.pdf 1 13/06/2018 3:51:15 PM

technology park, as well as to show companies the potential talent available in Kanata. “I am looking forward to being a champion for talent … both as a young leader and as a woman leading in technology,” Petten says. “I’m looking forward to working with those that are already here in the region and attract others who have unique and diverse perspectives to support our companies.”

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Cannabis grower Tweed opens Kanata North office One of the country’s largest cannabis producers now has a home in the Kanata North Technology Park. This spring, a large sign bearing

the stylized name of Tweed – a subsidiary of Smiths Falls based Canopy Growth – was affixed near the top of the office building at 555 Legget Dr., where the company has

Algonquin College pitches new DARE District to Kanata tech firms President Cheryl Jensen says she wouldn’t rule out eventually establishing a footprint in Kanata By Kieran Delamont


lgonquin College’s president travelled to Kanata this spring to share her vision of an “education city” and invite members of the country’s largest technology park to collaborate with the school in creating a new cohort of skilled workers. Cheryl Jensen’s presentation at Tech Tuesday – a monthly Kanata meetup spearheaded by Terry Matthews – came just ahead of the opening of Algonquin College’s DARE District, a $44.9-million multi-use facility designed to stimulate incubation, innovation and entrepreneurship. DARE – which stands for discovery, applied research and entrepreneurship – serves as a multidisciplinary space for students, faculty, researchers and businesses, and includes a makerspace,

Algonquin College’s $45-million DARE District opened earlier this year. cybersecurity centre and multimedia production facility and more. For Jensen, the DARE District is more than just a building. She argues it’s a bricks-and-mortar manifestation of the college’s identity and mission as it looks towards the next century. “We’re not just saying something about what we think this new and exciting building will become,” Jensen

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told the standing-room only audience at the Brookstreet Hotel. “We’re making a profound statement about who we are as a college. DARE effectively encapsulates the goal and purpose of Algonquin College.” In a nutshell, the DARE District aims to bring students and researchers from different disciplines together, stimulating a cross-pollination of ideas, some of which will hopefully evolve into viable businesses.

leased a full floor on the ninth storey. A spokesperson said that approximately 60 administrative employees were expected to move in this spring and that Canopy Growth is looking to fill “hundreds” positions across the company ahead of the expected legalization of cannabis for recreational use later this year.


Algonquin College, like Ottawa’s other post-secondary institutions, is an important source of skilled graduates for Kanata North companies. This was an underlying theme of Jensen’s presentation: By investing in the school’s infrastructure, Algonquin College is investing in the sustainability of Kanata’s tech sector. Some, of course, would like to see Algonquin College or another postsecondary institution establish a physical satellite campus in Kanata, especially since the school owns a parcel of westend land that it’s reserving for “future development.” However, Jensen preferred to outline a more pan-Ottawa vision of “the education city” that emphasizes collaboration between the city’s schools and economic development agencies. Working with the other postsecondary institutions, as well as with Invest Ottawa, the schools are looking at new initiatives such as pop-up learning centres that would allow them some flexibility when it comes to working directly in Kanata. When asked if there were plans to invest in the area, she didn’t rule out the idea of eventually establishing a Kanata footprint. “We’ve been asked many times, ‘Could we have a presence in Kanata?’” she said. “I wouldn’t want to say what might happen, but there’s interest.”

Office furniture names such as Haworth and Keilhauer are some of the brands we remanufacture. Our remanufacturing department – one of the largest in North America – cleans, inspects and renews more than 3,000 spaces each year, giving previously-loved products a new life. Not only is great furniture saved from landfills, we are confident you’ll find what you need to make the most of your space. ABI has been a trusted name in office furniture for over 25 years. At ABI we guarantee our remanufactured products with the same warranty as our new products. All of our remanufactured furniture meets LEED certification for commercial interiors.

Quick delivery and design services. WHY PAY MORE for big box store office furniture when you can get better quality and better prices at ABI? CALL US TODAY FOR A QUOTE Rod Phillips / Manager Remanufacturing w: 613.738.1003 ext.205 c: 613.913.5362



KNBA launches first national AV directory The Kanata North Business Association has created Canada’s first Autonomous Vehicle Technology and Innovator Directory. The launch,

which coincided with National Autonomous Vehicle Day on May 31, is in partnership with Invest Ottawa and the Canadian Automated Vehicles

Centre of Excellence. Canada’s network of AV contributors – companies, universities, innovators and more – has been steadily expanding, with more than 70 companies and organizations in Ottawa alone contributing technology and expertise to the AV industry. The Kanata North Technology Park is home to global leader BlackBerry QNX, as well as companies such as

Neptec Design Group, which has developed an autonomously capable rover. Elsewhere, Ford announced plans in 2017 to invest $337.9 million for an autonomous vehicles R&D centre in Ottawa. The directory will be hosted in Google Sheets, populated by KNBA and Invest Ottawa with the eventual aim of including companies across Canada.

Discover TechNATA showcases growth and success of Kanata North T

he diversity of Kanata’s tech sector was on full display this spring at the Brookstreet Hotel as some 2,500 attendees gathered for one of Canada’s largest tech expo and career fairs. The 80 exhibitors ran the gamut from a one-person startup to a 45-year-old anchor of Kanata’s tech community. All had similar goals: Scout out the region’s top talent and highlight the creative solutions local firms are applying to compelling challenges. Neptec’s booth featured the company’s co-op students displaying the firm’s infrared cameras, which have been used on the International Space Station. BlackBerry QNX was parked in the hotel lobby, showcasing one of the firm’s autonomous vehicles. And representatives from Mitel were chatting with recent grads about how an established tech giant could adopt the mindset of a startup. Representatives from participating companies say Discover TechNATA has connected them to employees and helped forge stronger connections with other Kanata tech firms. Magnet Forensics, for one, ultimately hired an employee who they first met at the 2017 edition of Discover TechNATA.

Mike Shane, left and David van Geyn are members the BlackBerry QNX development team that brought the company’s autonomous vehicle to the Discover TechNATA career fair. PHOTO BY REBECCA ATKINSON “Aside from direct hires, I really appreciate the connections I’ve made at Discover TechNATA,” says Thusha Agampodi, a manager at Magnet Forensics in Kanata. “(The event brings together) a diverse set of individuals and leaders from other companies who I keep in touch with and continue to learn from and collaborate with.”

The demographics and background of job-seekers was as diverse as the exhibitors. Luis Dias and Brenda Brassette, a Brazilian couple who have been visiting Toronto in hopes of relocating for IT work in Canada, came to Discover TechNATA to scout out the region’s job market. Both Dias and Brassette were impressed to see the

number of IT companies present at the fair. “I never imagined Kanata would have such a concentration of tech companies,” says Brassette, who was visiting Ottawa for the first time with her husband. Even some experienced Kanata North tech workers saw how the region’s momentum was on display at Discover TechNATA. Ian Durant, people operations leader at You.i TV, commented on how neat it was to see Kanata “thriving.” While the growing number of downtown tech firms may be grabbing headlines, Durant says he speaks to plenty of young workers who love working in Kanata North and enjoy the professional community’s unique amenities, such as midday yoga sessions and weekly summer lunch parties at the Community Hub. Durant says he has seen “tremendous growth” in both the volume of available positions and number of companies hiring in the last five years he’s worked in Kanata North. Now in its third year, Discover TechNATA has seen the same dramatic growth as Kanata’s tech sector, with the number of exhibitors more than doubling since the career fair launched in 2016.

For organizers, it’s one more sign that Kanata North has achieved a critical mass of skilled workers and leading companies, and continues to thrive as Canada’s largest technology park. — By Rebecca Atkinson

Tomorrow’s Technology is Shaping Business Today MNP TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS For more information on how MNP can help you, contact: Sean Murphy, CPA, CMA, FCMC, PMP Regional Managing Partner and National Leader, Digital Services 613.271.3700 x500 340 March Road, Suite 200, Ottawa ,ON










FIGHTING CRIME IN THE CLOUD Magnet Forensics builds Kanata team to advance software used to investigate child exploitation, terrorism and other cases around the world










Ottawa Business Journal June 18, 2018  

Local Ottawa business news, start ups, technology, real estate, marketing, tourism, entrepreneurship, local commentary, reader comments, peo...

Ottawa Business Journal June 18, 2018  

Local Ottawa business news, start ups, technology, real estate, marketing, tourism, entrepreneurship, local commentary, reader comments, peo...