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Community builder Windmill Developments co-founder Jonathan Westeinde is comfortable in the role of green real estate trailblazer
Inside Ottawa’s galas, fundraisers and networking events
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May 22, 2017 Vol. 20, NO. 15
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Winning combo Husband-and-wife founders of growing employment services firm honoured at second annual Arnie Vered Dinner. > PAGE 10
Gastops CEO Dave Muir, an aerospace engineering graduate of Carleton University, has been working at the east-end company since 1981. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON
Slick oil-testing technology pays off Ottawa’s Gastops receives multimillion-dollar investment from aerospace industry giant Low-profile firm’s cutting-edge products have been preventing engine failures on military and civilian aircraft for decades > PAGES 14-15
Have you taken the legal steps to protect your startup from disaster? Find out how we can help. (See page 3)
Buying locally Calian Group beefs up service offerings, expands global reach by acquiring fellow Ottawa company. > PAGES 16-17
The Goodbusiness Collective Connect | Grow | Give Back The diverse social challenges that Ottawa faces can make it hard for a business to know how to invest in their own community and know they are making a real difference. When businesses give to charity, they want to be sure their dollars are making an impact for those who need it most. Enter the Goodbusiness Collective. Led by United Way Ottawa, the new Goodbusiness Collective was developed by and for local businesses who want to pair their philanthropic efforts with their business objectives. “Businesses told us they want to improve the communities where they live and work,” says Francesca D’Ambrosio, Senior Director, United Way Ottawa. “They want to help their communities in a way that lines up with their work and their customers’ values.” The Goodbusiness Collective empowers organizations to develop corporate social responsibility initiatives in an impactful way, while providing learning and networking opportunities with other local entrepreneurs. “The Goodbusiness Collective is tailored to meet the needs of local businesses,” says D’Ambrosio.
MONDAY, MAY 22, 2017
Investment in the Goodbusiness Collective supports United Way’s work in the community: ensuring those struggling with addictions or their mental health get support, connecting newcomers with meaningful employment, helping kids succeed in school, and more.
UTG Digital Media, a leader in digital signage and winner of an International Digital Signage Award, was the first investor in the Goodbusiness Collective. “We really see the value in partnering with United Way to create a tangible impact in Ottawa,” says Alan Wehbe, President and Chief
Executive Officer at UTG Digital Media. “Our hope is to invest our dollars in a way that makes a difference in the community.” “UTG helped us kick start this program and we’re excited to now open it up to other businesses in the community looking to make a difference,” says D’Ambrosio. Local businesses can join at one of four different membership levels. Each option will provide access to United Way Ottawa’s premier networking events, including Schmoozefest and GenNext’s Mix and Mingles, business development seminars, and workshops from industry leaders. Members also receive annual charitable impact reports, so they can see exactly how
their dollars are making a difference and share their great work with their customers and community. Businesses or entrepreneurs looking to join the Goodbusiness Collective at the “Founder” level also have the chance to participate in the program’s Social Finance Committee – a group that allocates a portion of all membership fees to support social enterprises and other grassroots initiatives. “We’re so excited to bring local businesses of all sizes together to make a real difference in the areas they care about,” says D’Ambrosio. “It’s a winwin for everyone.”
To learn more, visit unitedwayottawa.ca/local-business. Register at the Founder level before June 9, 2017 for a special Ottawa Business Journal readers’ rate.
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Have you taken the legal steps to protect your startup from disaster? The best time to see a lawyer is when you don’t think you need one “We didn’t really have a clear understanding of what were the expectations between the co-founders, what was everybody going to get if we were going to pursue as a team, what was going to happen if we were going to break apart.” If any of this sounds familiar in the context of your startup venture, be concerned and don’t wait to get your house in order. Frank Bouchard made this comment last year to the CBC. His Ottawa startup, Wipebook, ran into trouble after one of the three founders filed a lawsuit against the other two. The conflict led to an out-of-court settlement and cost the startup a $300,000 investment from Dragons’ Den’s Arlene Dickinson. Heady with the success of a Kickstarter campaign that raised $420,000, the founders had neglected to distill into writing their obligations and responsibilities to the business and to each other. It’s a mistake that is all too easy for first-time entrepreneurs to make. Because let’s be clear: Despite the fabulous technology that may be at the heart of the company, a tech startup is still about people. Whether it’s friends, university classmates or other like-minded souls, they found themselves in the right place at the right time and found they worked well together. In those early days, it’s easy to assume that you don’t need rules. But then the company begins to grow. The founders need to bring other people on board, they consider venture capital or angel financing and begin to separate roles and responsibilities with job titles. If you don’t plan for this dynamic transition, you will face challenges. Add in the complicating factors of interpersonal relationships and money, and you have a recipe for disaster. Experienced employment and business lawyers can see these bumps in the road a mile off. They can provide the objective and arms-length counsel you need to anticipate and prepare for the realworld problems that could someday arise. Here are some things that should be defined in writing sooner rather than later:
WHO OUTRANKS WHOM? If two people start a business, don’t assume that makes them equal partners. Maybe a verbal agreement was made for one to be the employer and the other the employee. But then the company becomes a multimillion-dollar success and the employee is feeling like they got the short end of the stick. Or one partner argues the other partner didn’t pull their weight and shouldn’t get an equal split of the profits. Don’t risk it – get that relationship defined in writing on Day 1. Or, even better, the night before. Defining the relationship could take a number of forms. It could consist of an employee agreement. This spells out duties between employee and employer, addresses compensation and dictates entitlements upon termination. It can also include clauses to protect the business, such as confidentiality, non-compete requirements and ownership of intellectual property. The goal is to protect the rights of the individual and reduce the business’s liability for things such as wrongful dismissal. Defining the relationship could take the form of a shareholder agreement that details how shares can be bought or sold and the associated entitlements, or a partnership agreement outlining the rights and obligations of business partners.
PROTECT YOUR IP Intellectual property protection is a vital consideration for tech startups. There are many different aspects, from copyright of creative works (which includes software), to trademarks and patents. A tech startup should carry out a comprehensive IP audit to determine what trademarks and creative works are under its control. This again must be distilled into writing to define, without ambiguity, who owns what.
The employer wants to ensure it owns whatever an employee came up with on company time. The employee, meanwhile, wants to document and protect what they created prior to joining the company. The blurry line that is more challenging to clarify is determining what is created by an employee on their own time with their own resources, versus company time and resources.
AND DON’T FORGET OTHER WORKPLACE POLICIES Then there are the mandatory workplace policies that are required by law. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and Occupational Health and Safety Act are among the pieces of legislation that require that employers maintain particular policies in the workplace. Other policies that are highly recommended include human rights policies, workplace privacy policies and social media usage policies. In the modern workplace, what employees can do on their work computers and on their social media pages is increasingly important. Setting clear expectations goes a long way toward preventing problems.
SO DON’T BE AFRAID TO TALK TO A LAWYER All this paperwork can seem daunting for a couple of over-caffeinated friends hammering out code in a garage-turned-office. But if that great idea becomes a multimillion-dollar company, it’s well worth the effort. The key is to find a trusted legal advisor who understands the budgetary constraints and growth challenges of a tech startup. The Employment and Business Law Groups at Nelligan O’Brien Payne have the experience and eye for detail to put you on the path to success.
WHAT CAN NELLIGAN O’BRIEN PAYNE DO FOR YOU? Find a lawyer or consultant by name or contact Nelligan O’Brien Payne by email at info@nelligan. ca, or by phone at 613-238-8080 or toll-free at 1-888-565-9912 (Canada) for assistance. Visit us at nelligan.ca.
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PROFILE Building a powerful legacy of green real estate Windmill Developments co-founder Jonathan Westeinde has never wavered from his most important mission: to create urban spaces that make Ottawans proud BY CAROLINE PHILLIPS firstname.lastname@example.org
MONDAY, MAY 22, 2017
onathan Westeinde can be forgiven for running a few minutes behind for our interview. As cofounder and chief executive of Windmill Developments, he has a lot on his plate these days. Most notably, Windmill has partnered with Dream Unlimited Corp. to transform the old pulp and paper mill on Chaudière and Albert Islands on the Ottawa River into an environmentally and pedestrianfriendly waterfront community, consisting of condos and townhomes, offices, shops and restaurants, and waterfront parks and pathways. It’s just a short walk (or portage) away from Parliament Hill. It’s named Zibi, after the Algonquin word for “river.” Windmill has held on tight to its ambition of creating a sustainable urban space it can be proud of, despite objections from certain Algonquin First Nations over the sacredness of the land being developed. The green real estate development firm is also building The Plant, an urban agricultural-themed condo and townhome project in Toronto, and is nearing completion of its church-tocondo conversion, Arch Lofts, also in The Big Smoke.
Windmill Developments co-founder Jonathan Westeinde learned the value of hard work at an early age. FILE PHOTO
Mr. Westeinde draws inspiration from a variety of sources, including a tour he did of northern Europe and, in particular, Sweden. The Scandinavian nation has been been ranked the most sustainable country in the world for its renewable energy sources and low carbon dioxide emissions. Other projects already ticked off the to-do list include the Cathedral Hill and The Eddy condominiums in Ottawa and — WINDMILL DEVELOPMENTS CO-FOUNDER JONATHAN WESTEINDE, the Whitewater Village luxury cottage ON BEING AN EXECUTIVE AT A CUTTING-EDGE REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER community farther up the Ottawa River. The biggest challenge in the business, he says, is having to rely on third parties, whether it’s different levels of government or building contractors. cleaning up contaminated sites. Mr. Westeinde gives a tip of the “My parents taught us work ethic,” construction hat to his mother, not just BUYING INTO A VISION says Mr. Westeinde, 47, a former OBJ for her community involvement but for “It all comes down to making sure Forty Under 40 recipient. “They would excelling in a male-dominated field. you’re working with the right people and never give us money, but they would “She broke many barriers by being have the right relationships with people always give us the opportunity to the first at many things as a woman in who are buying into your same vision,” he work for money, which had me on a the construction industry, showing the says, speaking in his office located along a construction site when I was 12 and importance of persistence and not letting bustling stretch of Wellington Street West. working two paper routes for much of intimidation slow you down.” Born and raised in Nepean, Mr. my childhood. Mr. Westeinde studied at St. Paul Westeinde is the youngest of three “I remember my dad leaving the High School in Bells Corners and Albert children and a member of the wellconstruction trailer door open when College boarding school in Belleville. He respected Westeinde clan, headed by I started working on a Westeinde followed in the footsteps of his family John and Shirley Westeinde. The pair ran Construction job site one summer, and members by attending the University of its own construction company until 2003, making it clear to the superintendent Western Ontario in London (now known when they sold it to Aecon Group. (ensuring that I heard) that it did not as Western University). However, unlike Mr. Westeinde’s older brother Jeff matter that I was his son; if I was not his father and siblings, he opted for an serves as the executive chairman of performing, he had every right to fire undergraduate degree in economics Windmill. He also ran his own company, me.” rather than engineering.
“There’s never a dull moment and there’s always lots going on. There can be good days and bad days, but there’s never a boring day.”
FIVE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT JONATHAN WESTEINDE
Mr. Westeinde burned through all his money while studying in Dublin and had to moonlight as a rickshaw runner.
Windmill Developments gets its his name from the patriarch of the family, John Westeinde, who came to Canada from Holland at age 14. He became known as “Mr. Windmill” for his campaign to build a working windmill of friendship at Dow’s Lake.
Mr. Westeinde is famous in his family for his fish and chips, made with catch that he brings back from his annual fishing trips to the Haa Nee Naa Lodge on Dundas Island, B.C.
Mr. Westeinde sits on the board of the Children’s Aid Foundation of Ottawa, which, among other things, provides bursaries to deserving youth in care of the Children’s Aid Society.
Among his career highlights was being chosen in 2009 by a NAFTA committee to lead a North American task force on green building.
He worked for several years in business before heading to Dublin to earn his MBA at Trinity College. Interestingly, he had to cross the pond to meet his future wife, who was from his hometown. Susan Finlay was there working for Corel. Ms. Finlay is currently working with the Canada 3C expedition, which is taking Canadians on a learning and teaching adventure to all three coasts, via an icebreaker ship, to inspire a deeper understanding of our country. While she’s away, Mr. Westeinde has been keeping the home fires burning. The couple has three very sporty daughters: Savannah, 16, Paige, 15, and Kyla, 12, the eldest of whom is on the junior Canadian team for freestyle whitewater kayaking. She’s headed to Argentina in November to compete in the world championships. In his limited free time, Mr. Westeinde enjoys outdoor activities with his girls, particularly whitewater kayaking because it forces him to leave his cellphone behind. “This business is great for someone who has slight ADD (attention deficit disorder),” jokes Mr. Westeinde. “There’s never a dull moment and there’s always lots going on. “There can be good days and bad days, but there’s never a boring day.”
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ENTREPRENEURISM ‘We believe women entrepreneurs innovate differently’ Ottawa researchers set to follow up landmark report on female business owners with in-depth look at how womenowned companies in Canada approach innovation
Ottawa researchers Clare Beckton and Janice McDonald are teaming up on a new study of entrepreneurs. FILE PHOTO
BY DAVID SALI email@example.com
ith the federal Liberals promising to make their “innovation agenda” a key priority, Janice McDonald says it’s time to find out exactly
how some of Canada’s most important, yet often overlooked, drivers of economic growth – female entrepreneurs – approach the concept of innovation. A serial entrepreneur herself, Ms. McDonald has devoted a great deal of energy to studying
women business owners and their contributions to the Canadian economy. Last year, she and fellow Ottawa researcher Clare Beckton released a groundbreaking report on businesswomen and their approach to risk. The two
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“When you are underfunded and perhaps don’t have resources, you get pretty darn creative. It forces innovation. Given that we know that access to capital is very challenging for women entrepreneurs, has that limited access to capital shaped outcomes in terms of how they’ve approached innovation?” — JANICE McDONALD,
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are now teaming up again to study how female entrepreneurs from across the country view their role as innovators. “What we believe, and what we’re going to test in the national study, is that women entrepreneurs innovate differently,” says Ms. McDonald, founder of business advisory group the Beacon Agency. “We want to explore what is that difference and how does that difference play into how they run their businesses, how they compete. I think that will be an interesting discovery.” Their 2016 study – which concluded that women entrepreneurs are just as willing to take risks as their male counterparts but often encounter resistance from investors who believe otherwise – became a topic of discussion across Canada and beyond. Earlier this spring, Ms. McDonald briefly addressed the report’s findings as a featured speaker – and the only Canadian contributor – at the Women in Tech Festival in Mountain View, Calif. “(The report) has continued to garner a lot of attention internationally, not just in Canada,” she says. As for the new study, Ms. McDonald says she’s anxious to try to determine if factors such as a lack of access to capital make women more likely than men to devise inventive new ways of doing business out of necessity. “When you are underfunded and perhaps don’t have resources, you get pretty darn creative,” she says. “It forces innovation. Given that we know that access to capital is very challenging for women entrepreneurs, has that limited access to capital shaped outcomes in terms of how they’ve approached innovation? We’re not saying that those two are necessarily linked. We’re just wondering, are they? If so, in what way?” Ms. McDonald and Ms. Beckton have already begun preliminary background research for the new study, which is partly funded by BMO Financial Group. They expect to publish its results next year.
COMMENTARY Solid boards lay strong foundation for startups Veteran entrepreneurs map out everything founders need to know about creating and managing effective boards
MONDAY, MAY 22, 2017
Startup Boards: Getting The Most out of your Board of Directors by Brad Feld and Mahendra Ramsinghani. Wiley, December 2013.
This is a book that every entrepreneur and prospective board member should read. For most startups, establishing a board of directors is not a top priority. Entrepreneurs are typically too busy trying to get the company off the ground and feel that establishing a board can wait until after they have raised their first round of capital. Others may consider boards as nothing but a nuisance undermining their ability to control their company. The authors of Startup Boards strongly recommend that entrepreneurs create a board early in the life of their company no matter how they are financed. They believe that if you do it correctly, choose the right directors and engage them actively, you can dramatically accelerate the growth of your business. Research shows that the success rate of early stage companies is in the 10 to 20 per cent range. Failures are often attributed to execution problems caused by managers inexperienced in key business functions. This is where a board can play a valuable role. Outside directors with management and operational experience can help offset some of the management deficiencies of startups. They can also help companies develop their business models and add value in terms of their networks and access to key external resources, customers and new investors. There are a lot of books on governance for established companies, but the literature on this topic related to startups is quite sparse. This is a valuable addition by two experienced authors. Brad Feld is a popular writer on startup issues, founder of several venture capital firms and co-founder of Techstars, a mentorship-driven startup accelerator. Mahendra Ramsinghani is an investor and entrepreneur who has led investments in more than 50 seed-stage companies. The book contains just about everything an entrepreneur needs to know to set up and manage a board. The early chapters deal with critical issues such as structuring
and managing a board, dealing with board dynamics and conflicts and many others. There is also a good chapter on advisory boards, how they differ from formal boards and how they can be useful in the early stages of a company.
According to the authors, the mistake many startups make is to populate their boards with friends and family who have no ability to address the challenges that the company faces or make decisions in its interest. Later chapters look at the basics of board management, including how to run a meeting, motions, legal issues and more. There are also chapters on the responsibilities of boards in CEO transitions, going public and going out of business. There are lots of checklists provided for managing an effective board.
I found the early chapters on creating your board and recruiting board members to be especially valuable, since this is where startups typically go off the rails early on. The book provides great advice on how to choose the right director. According to the authors, the mistake many startups make is to populate their boards with friends and family who have no ability to address the challenges that the company faces or make decisions in its interest. They argue that recruiting a director should be done the same way a company builds its core management team. Founders should look for a diverse set of experiences, such as product development, business strategy, financial expertise and general management skills, network and others. They should focus on the right personalities and chemistry. The authors also offer some excellent advice on what to look for in a venture capital board member and how to evaluate venture capitalists in terms of their ability to contribute to your company. Too often, they argue, entrepreneurs raise money from investors without considering their competencies and the strategic value they can add to the startup. They also point to the need for entrepreneurs to understand the conflicts that venture capitalists can bring as board members. In particular, venture capital investors will often face conflicts between a fiduciary relationship with their own investors and a legal duty to a company on whose board they sit. In these cases, their fiduciary responsibility to their investors will often take precedence, causing them to push for decisions that are in the best interest of themselves but often not ideal for the startup. Entrepreneurs need to understand and deal with this issue up front and carefully manage it as the company evolves. Overall, this is a very useful book containing almost everything you need to know to create and manage an effective board. Micheal Kelly is Dean of the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics and founder of the Lazaridis Institute for the management of Technology Enterprises.
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TECHNOLOGY Artificial intelligence startup Fluent.ai secures $1.8M in seed funding Firm led by former Energate CEO says technology will revolutionize how users operate Internet-connected devices from fridges to watches BY DAVID SALI email@example.com
ith the number of appliances and electronic devices connected to the Internet growing every day, Ottawa entrepreneur Niraj Bhargava wonders why we’re still wearing out our fingers and thumbs to operate them. “Why can’t we talk to our technology?” says the CEO of fledgling artificial intelligence startup Fluent.ai, which makes a voice-activated interface that allows users to do just that. “We’ve been talking about voice recognition for a long time, but with
machine learning today, it actually can be a reality. I absolutely believe that just about all technology can be voice-enabled.” Fresh off its graduation from Montrealbased tech incubator TandemLaunch, Mr. Bhargava’s firm is ready to take the world by storm with a product it says will revolutionize the way users operate everything from fridges to watches. Fluent.ai recently announced it landed $1.8 million in seed funding from a highprofile group of investors that includes Ottawa-based BDC Capital, California’s Danhua Capital and the Toronto-based Creative Destruction Lab and Maple Leaf Angels.
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Mr. Bhargava, the firm’s only full-time Ottawa employee and the former CEO of clean-tech firm Energate, says the young company plans to use the cash to ramp up its R&D and marketing teams in anticipation of extending its reach around the world. The firm only just began generating revenues, he says, and it’s already selling beyond its borders. In fact, he says its first customers aren’t even based on this continent. “We really do see that there’s a very large opportunity to take our technology to the global markets,” he says, adding he expects the company to pursue a series-A
venture capital round in the next 12 to 18 months. “We see the market as much in Asia and Europe as we do in North America. There’s a very strong appetite right now for voice enablement, so we’re looking for a fast growth path.” Fluent.ai’s software allows users to operate devices with voice commands in any language, Mr. Bhargava says, regardless of accent, how garbled the sound or how much background noise there is. Unlike other voice-assistance systems such as Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, he adds, it doesn’t have to translate speech into text, making it faster and much more accurate at following instructions. “It’s pretty instantaneous in understanding what your intent is,” Mr. Bhargava says. “It doesn’t matter what language you’re speaking.” Mr. Bhargava says the technology is already attracting interest from potential customers in a wide range of industries from automotives and electronics to health care and telecom. Fluent.ai’s team includes three parttime contractors in Ottawa as well as five employees in Montreal, and Mr. Bhargava said he sees vast growth opportunities in both cities.
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Family businesses feted at Arnie Vered Dinner
MONDAY, MAY 22, 2017
While we’ve all heard stories about family businesses gone bad (think McCain Foods and its bitter succession feud), family-owned firms are the bedrock of communities and the backbone of economies. They were also the focus of a celebratory dinner held at the Château Laurier on May 6 and presented by Family Enterprise Xchange (FEX) Ottawa. The second annual event is named in honour of Arnie Vered, a revered community leader who was also president of his family’s property development and management company, Arnon Corp. Sadly, Vered lost his 15-month battle against pancreatic cancer in July 2014, leaving behind his wife, Elizabeth, and their six children (one of the daughters, Ariel Vered, led the dinner guests in a toast). Some 160 attendees filled the Laurier Room for a four-course dinner, emceed by prominent broadcaster, writer and entrepreneur Mark Sutcliffe. Presented that night was the 2017 Family Enterprise of the Year Award to Keynote Group, an Ottawa firm that specializes in employment services for small to mid-sized private companies. Keynote Group is owned by husband and wife James Baker and Donna Baker. They’re originally from England but know a thing or two about risks: They jumped on a plane 11 years ago to come to Canada, a country they’d never set foot in before. They live out in Navan with their two boys, ages six and three.
Elizabeth Vered, wife of the late Arnie Vered, is surrounded by her daughters, from left, Jordana, Alexandra, Ariel and Danya, with Danya’s husband, David Glick-Stal, at the Arnie Vered Dinner held at the Château Laurier on May 6.
James Baker and his wife, Donna Baker, from Keynote Group were this year’s recipients of the Family Enterprise of the Year Award at the Arnie Vered Dinner.
Elizabeth Vered is flanked by Stephen Bleeker, president and founder of Assurance Home Care, and his wife, entrepreneur Janice McDonald (the two families have grown children who are dating one another).
Grant Walsh, director with KPMG Familiy Enterprise, and his daughter, Danielle Walsh of Walsh Family Business Advisory Services, are on the board of advisers for the Ottawa chapter of the Family Enterprise Xchange, which hosted the Arnie Vered Dinner.
Jim Burton, chairman and CEO of PPI and chair of the Family Enterprise Xchange Foundation, with Susan St. Amand, founder and president of Sirius Financial, at the Arnie Vered Dinner.
Since starting their business 20 months ago, they have already scored a bunch of awards. Keynote Group was a recipient of Best New Business honours at the 2016 Best Ottawa Business Awards. It also landed both New Business of the Year 2017 and Young Entrepreneur 2017 honours at the West Ottawa Board of Trade awards gala. Keynote Group grew by about 300 per cent last year and has launched two more businesses. It’s on track to shoot up another 600 per cent this year. The award, said Baker, “recognizes that we’re doing something right and that, as a couple and as a family, we’re on the right path.”
In the crowd were family members from such notable business clans as the Greenbergs, Taggarts, Vereds and Westeindes. Will McFall from the familyowned Burnbrae Farms was a keynote speaker, along with industrial psychologist Lisa Miller. There to welcome everyone was Danielle Walsh, president of her own consulting company specializing in assisting family-owned and operated businesses with management and ownership succession. She’s also president of the Ottawa chapter of the Canadian Association of Family Enterprise.
“Family businesses really are the backbone of our economy, and they deserve to be celebrated and congratulated,” said Walsh, noting they contribute to about 60 per cent of the Canadian gross domestic product, employ more than half of the Canadian workforce and contribute more than 55 per cent of all charitable donations. – email@example.com FOR MORE ON THE EVENT, CHECK OUT CAROLINE PHILLIPS’ VIDEO AT OBJ.CA
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CANCER FUNDRAISER TRULY A BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS There’s nothing like powering up in the morning with a cancer-fighting breakfast, served with a side order of hope and inspiration. A crowd of early risers was 500 strong as it sat down together in the ballroom of the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre on May 10 for the 11th edition of the Cancer Champions Breakfast. The charity event raised $433,000 for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, bringing its grand total to date to $3.18 million. The fundraiser was chaired by Gregory Sanders, a law partner at Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall and the head of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation’s board of directors. Sanders, who lost both his parents to cancer, was helped by a committee of volunteers. They successfully recruited dozens of table captains to fill the room with guests, who, in return, pledged donations. Each table was joined by such cancer experts as medical researchers and
oncologists. The sponsored breakfast, presented by Richcraft Group of Companies, was emceed by Mayor Jim Watson, who’s had two bouts with skin cancer. Nearly one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. “We cannot be a passive community,” Linda Eagen, the cancer foundation’s president and CEO, said on stage. “As a community, we have a role to play in the way we access care and the care we get, and you guys are the champions of making that possible.” The money raised from the event is helping to support the cancer research and clinical trials happening in our region, as well as the cancer foundation’s nationally recognized coaching program available to cancer patients. The room heard how Charlynne MacCharles, a clinical social worker and mother of two young daughters, was handed a breast cancer diagnosis just
From left, Dr. Rachel Goodwin, Dr. Susan Dent, Dr. Stéphanie Brûlé and Dr. Moira Rushton-Marovac at the Cancer Champions Breakfast held at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre on May 10.
shy of her 40th birthday. Gone was the balance and certainty in her life, she said, upon hearing the three words that no patient ever wants to hear: You have cancer. MacCharles, who had been so busy taking care of others, particularly her kids and her clients, said her cancer coach taught her how to put more focus on herself. She learned to make time for yoga, meditation and exercise – all healthy habits she’d always encouraged her clients to pursue but had never made priorities for herself. “Something she helped me consider was the idea that it was OK to think about my own needs,” said MacCharles.
“My coach helped me put together a wellness plan … to slow down and achieve more balance so that I could get well, before I could again be that solid foundation for others.” The process wasn’t always easy, she added. “The physical and emotional effects of surgery, radiation, chemo made for some challenging days, both for me and for the ones who love me.” MacCharles, who is now cancer-free, ended with a quote from Albert Einstein to describe her journey with cancer: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – firstname.lastname@example.org
Soloway Wright LLP proudly celebrates Canada’s 150th birthday
Happy Birthday Canada! Bonne fête Canada !
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IN THE ROLE OF LOUIS RIEL
MONDAY, MAY 22, 2017
LOUIS RIEL JUNE 15 & 17 – 8 PM • TICKETS FROM $25 Part of the Mark Motors Audi Signature Series
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Stories and photos by Caroline Phillips
Interior designers Jason Bellaire and Denise Hulaj from StyleHaus Interiors came to check out the styles of the new 1451 Wellington luxury condo residence at its grand opening party.
Glebe residents Alicja Isaac and her husband, Richard Isaac, president and CEO of RealDecoy, were curious enough about the new 1451 Wellington boutique luxury condo residence to check out the party.
Ted Fobert (left), partner at FoTenn Consultants, with Henry Burstyn, associate director of Page + Steele/IBI Group Architects, at the grand opening party for the 1451 Wellington boutique luxury condo residence.
Condo purchasers Ken McCormack and Gail Lowe with Brian Gluckstein, principal of Gluckstein Design, at the grand opening party for the 1451 Wellington boutique luxury condo residence.
Micki Mizrahi and her husband, developer Sam Mizrahi, and Jayne Watson at the grand opening party for Mizrahi Developments’ 1451 Wellington boutique luxury condo residence on May 11.
MONDAY, MAY 22, 2017
Toronto developer building a buzz with ‘landmark’ Wellington West condo
The shovel hasn’t even hit the ground and already Mizrahi Developments has been making its mark on Ottawa with its new luxury boutique condominium, 1451 Wellington. More than 250 guests flocked to a presentation gallery on the future site of the building May 11, where valet parking, champagne and cocktails and canapés awaited. The building was filled with the jazzy sounds of Brian Browne on keyboard and Kelly Craig on trumpet, with catering provided by DISH (it’s just hired awardwinning chef René Rodriguez). The gallery, located at Wellington Street West and Island Park Drive, gave guests a sense of what the finished product will look like, from elegant crown mouldings and baseboards to marble countertops and high-end appliances. “I couldn’t be more proud tonight to display and showcase what we’ve done here and what we’re doing,” Sam Mizrahi, president and founder of Toronto-based Mizrahi Developments, told a plethora of purchasers and potential purchasers at the event. Mizrahi was joined by architect Henry Burstyn, associate director of Page + Steele/IBI Group Architects, and renowned interior designer Brian Gluckstein, principal of Gluckstein Design. Both firms are also based in Toronto. Attendees included Ted Fobert from
Ottawa’s biggest planning consultancy, FoTenn, and such local designers as Jason Bellaire and Denise Hulaj, who were curious to see Gluckstein’s work. The audience heard how the building design is a reflection of the extensive collaboration that took place between the developer, the city’s planning department and surrounding neighbours. City councillors initially rejected the building’s proposal over height concerns, but the developer appealed the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board, where it received the green light. In reviewing the design, the OMB required that in order for the condominium to stay at 12 storeys tall, the design needed a more “landmark” appearance. 1451 Wellington, slated to be completed in June 2021, has officially been designated a landmark building by the Urban Design Review Panel in Ottawa. The condo will have a distinctive copper mansard roof and pale limestone exterior, the crowd was told. The site will also have a parkette with a playground. “When I came into Ottawa, I knew my smile and great hair would be a great asset, but I clearly needed a little bit more than that to bring this project through,” joked Burstyn. “We had a fairly rigorous process and I got bit of an education in Ottawa politics bringing this project to fruition.” Interested buyers included empty-
entertainment suite and other five-star features. That’s not to mention the shops, restaurants, cultural destinations and waterfront green space located within walking distance of the building, which straddles Westboro and Wellington West. “This is a destination,” Baum told obj. social. “It seems like the kind of place you move to because you want to.” The company did a soft launch a couple of months before its official opening and sold more than 30 per cent of its 93 units. “That is highly unusual,” said Mizrahi. Criminal defence lawyer Doug Baum and his wife, Ülle Baum, at the grand opening party “That sales velocity is something that for the 1451 Wellington boutique luxury we’ve never seen, not even in Toronto. It’s a condo residence. re-affirmation of what we knew the Ottawa market wanted, this type of unique luxury building, that you can customize.” nester Michelle Bégin, from the family-run Fair enough, but what if sales stall business Valley Flowers. She said she’s because the Ottawa market just isn’t deep ready to downsize from her house in posh enough or is hit by a housing slowdown? Rockcliffe Park, now that her four kids have “Is it possible? Yes. Is it likely? No,” grown. Condo living would also suit her responded Mizrahi. “There’s no building like travel lifestyle. this going up. This is a very unique building, “It’s probably the most beautiful a niche building.” building I’ve ever seen in Ottawa,” she told He’s confident there will be at least 90 obj.social. buyers. The condo won’t even require that For criminal lawyer Doug Baum and many in the end, as some purchasers are his wife, Ülle, such a purchase would combining units, reducing availability down be a lifestyle decision; one that offers to about 60 or 70. such services and amenities as 24-hour Units range in price from the high concierge, an indoor lap pool, on-site car $400,000s to more than $3 million. wash, pet service station, kitchen-equipped – email@example.com
From left, Graham Macmillan with Colleen Mooney and Stephen Beckta at the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa Breakfast on May 4.
Graham Macmillan, outgoing chair of the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, was joined by his family, including his wife, Katie, and their three sons at the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa Breakfast at the Ron Kolbus Clubhouse.
From left, architect Barry Hobin with Jeff Parkes, vice president of development with Taggart Investments, and Sandy Davis, a partner at Barry J. Hobin and Associates Architects, at the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa Breakfast.
Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa board member Gary Zed, seen with his daughter, Olivia, offered to personally match special gifts made in honour of Graham Macmillan at the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa Breakfast.
VOLUNTEER EXTRAORDINAIRE MACMILLAN SALUTED AT BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB FUNDRAISER
From left, Maureen Cunningham with Fiona McKean and Harley Finkelstein at the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa Breakfast.
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MONDAY, MAY 22, 2017
The club has also experienced phenomenal growth over the past decade. The number of children and youth who are part of the BGC of Ottawa family has nearly doubled to 4,500, and the number of annual visits by kids has grown from 10,000 in 2009 to 114,000 in 2016. As well, Macmillan was part of the rebranding process that came up with the organization’s new tagline: Belong, believe, achieve. Macmillan, who’s been the head of the board for the past nine years, will pass the baton at the end of this month to one of our city’s most prominent restaurateurs, Stephen Beckta. He, too, is a passionate supporter of the Boys and Girls Club, having benefitted from its support and programs while growing up in Centretown. – firstname.lastname@example.org
From left, Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa alumnus and former CFL player Ken Evraire with table captain David Gourlay and BGC of Ottawa board member and retired deputy police chief Ed Keeley, with his daughter, Jamie Petten, at the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa Breakfast.
INSPIRED EVENTS, STYLISH SETTINGS, THE PERFECT
For the past 10 years, Graham Macmillan has dedicated his time and energy to giving all kids in our community equal access to opportunities through his leadership as chair of the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa. His valuable contributions to the nonprofit organization were recognized at its eighth annual fundraising breakfast held in early May at its Ron Kolbus Clubhouse in the city’s west end. It brought more than 250 business leaders and supporters together and raised more than $175,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa. Macmillan, who was managing director at RBC Capital Markets for the majority of his career, followed by several years as president of Walton Asset Management, has raised millions of dollars and led three capital campaigns for the cause.
From left, Environment Minister and Ottawa MP Catherine McKenna with Dan Goldberg, CEO of Telesat, and his wife, community volunteer Whitney Fox at the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa Breakfast.
DEFENCE & SECURITY INDUSTRY GROUPS PRAISE FEDS’ ITB POLICY
The staff at Ottawa-based Gastops have been developing cutting-edge aircraft maintenace products for decades. PHOTOS BY MARK HOLLERON
Gastops gaining altitude with high-tech aircraft maintenance tools $4.7M investment from aerospace giant Lockheed Martin latest win for industry-leading Ottawa firm BY DAVID SALI email@example.com
MONDAY, MAY 22, 2017
or nearly four decades, engineers at a nondescript office in an east-end industrial park have been doing their part to serve their country in a unique way: by building cutting-edge diagnostic tools that help keep engines running smoothly in everything from military search-andrescue helicopters to fighter jets. They don’t get much fanfare, and they don’t seek it out either. Their company, Gastops, has been doing just fine despite garnering much less publicity than many of its fellow Ottawa tech trailblazers. Founded in 1979 by a group of Carleton University engineering grads led by former CEO Bernie MacIsaac, Gastops has quietly built a fervently loyal base of customers ranging from the Canadian and U.S.
militaries to manufacturers such as Pratt & Whitney, which makes engines for a host of military and commercial clients around the world. The 130-employee firm specializes in sensors that detect and measure metallic contaminants in engine oil – a sort of aviation “blood test” that allows technicians to spot an array of potential problems and stop them before they happen. As current chief executive Dave Muir explains, vital engine parts such as ball bearings eventually start to grind down and wear out, even with the presence of oil as a lubricant. His company’s products function like an early warning system that alerts mechanics to what parts of the engine are most at risk of failure. “What we’re trying to do is pick up the wear at a very early (stage) and prevent
the breakdown of the machine,” says the aerospace engineer, who graduated from Carleton and joined the company in 1981. Keeping aircraft engines humming is a dirty job, so to speak, but the folks at Gastops are happy to do it. “We’re kind of like a hidden success story within Ottawa,” says Mr. Muir, whose quiet, unruffled demeanor epitomizes the firm’s low-key approach. “We’ve been very successful.” Besides its Polytek Road headquarters, Gastops also has offices in Halifax and St. John’s as well as a partner firm, Gastops USA, based in Huntsville, Ala., to serve U.S. customers. About 100 people work at its main plant in Ottawa, where the firm conducts most of its market-leading research and development. The products they’ve created are turning heads throughout the aerospace industry, says Iain Christie, executive vice-president of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada. “This is global-leading technology,” he
The federal government took a lot of heat earlier this year for its decision to strip billions of dollars in near-term spending out of the national defence budget. But defence industry observers are also willing to give credit to the feds where it’s due, pointing to local firms such as Gastops as examples of Canadian military equipment suppliers that are thriving thanks to an initiative instituted by the previous Conservative regime in 2014 – the Industrial and Technological Benefits policy. In a nutshell, the program encourages clients of the Department of National Defence – aerospace firms such as Lockheed Martin, for example – to seek out made-in-Canada technology for major projects. Procurement proposals are scored partly on their Canadian content, including how bidders plan to incorporate smaller Canadian technology suppliers into the mix. Lockheed Martin’s relationship with Ottawa-based Gastops, which supplies sensors and maintenance equipment for the Canadian military’s C130-J Super Hercules aircraft, is a prime example of a local firm benefiting from the policy, experts say. Lockheed Martin recently announced it was investing nearly $5 million in Gastops under the ITB program to help its smaller partner continue to develop cutting-edge products. “It’s a Canadian company winning this investment on its own merits, but Lockheed Martin is being encouraged to look for companies to make this kind of investment in by the government’s policy,” said Iain Christie, executive vice-president of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada. Christyn Cianfarani, president of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries, echoes those sentiments. “The Industrial and Technological Benefits program is one of the more powerful tools the government has available to incent business leaders to drive innovation in the defence industry,” she said in an e-mail to OBJ. “We are hearing from members that in recent contract awards, the amount of innovation and Canadian content – jobs in Canada – has increased from previous versions of submitted bids.” However, Ms. Cianfarani is less pleased with the Liberals’ recent decision to defer billions of dollars in capital expenditures for defence. “The constant shifts, whether re-profiling or lapsing funding, is harmful for the Canadian Armed Forces, industry and the government,” she said. “It adversely affects industry’s ability to plan and make investment and partnering decisions related to procurements; it makes Canada a riskier market than it needs to be.” Mr. Christie said he’s taking a wait-and-see approach to the feds’ spending plans, noting the government is still going through a review of its defence policy. “Defence spending is a bit of a moving target right now,” he said. “I think it’s a little bit premature to make a lot of pronouncements about government spending on defence until we’ve seen the policy review, because they have promised that will come with a plan for how spending is going to evolve over the next few years.”
“This is global-leading technology. This is technology that nobody else has. It really is the epitome of what the government talks about when they talk about the innovation agenda.” — IAIN CHRISTIE, EXECUTIVE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION OF CANADA
says. “This is technology that nobody else has. It really is the epitome of what the government talks about when they talk about the innovation agenda.” Gastops’ latest innovation, known as ChipCheck, debuted at the end of 2016 and has already landed a couple of blue-chip airlines as clients. “It’s getting a lot of interest in both the military and commercial aviation markets,” says Mr. Muir. ChipCheck is a computerized system that determines the contents of debris found in oil in just minutes. The system scans the debris – which can often be thinner than a human hair – and displays what alloys it contains and how serious a threat it poses. Prior to ChipCheck, such fragments needed to be sent to laboratories for analysis, a process that could take days and cost aircraft operators millions of dollars in lost revenue, says product manager Ryan Miller. “What ChipCheck does is it brings that laboratory capability right where they need the answers,” he explains, noting the U.S. army and air force have both expressed interest in the technology. Among the other aerospace industry giants that have been bowled over by Gastops’ technical wizardry is
Gastops’ Polytek Road headquarters hosts groundbreaking research. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON
Lockheed Martin. Earlier this month, the Maryland-based multinational agreed to invest $4.7 million in the Ottawa firm as part of Lockheed Martin’s contract to maintain Canada’s fleet of C130-J Super Hercules military transport planes. In the announcement, Lockheed Martin Canada CEO Charles Bouchard hailed Gastops as a “local small business
in the Ottawa Valley
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that is making a name for itself on the world stage.” Mr. Muir says the new funding will help Gastops fine-tune its technology to allow even more detailed analysis of oil and its contaminants. “The project with Lockheed takes that basic capability to another level,” he says. Self-financed and employee-owned,
Gastops has an expanding list of customers in the wind turbine and oil and gas industries, which both rely heavily on aircraft-type engines to run their operations. Mr. Muir concedes the oil industry’s downturn has stunted the firm’s prospects in that sector, but overall he says he’s happy with Gastops’ growth trajectory, which he called “steady and upward.” The company’s revenues, which reach well into eight figures, are continuing to rise, he adds. Calling Gastops the proverbial “overnight success that’s been 20 years in the making,” Mr. Christie says the firm’s staunch commitment to research – it invests nearly 10 per cent of its annual revenues in R&D, which he says is three or four times what many tech companies its size spend – is paying off. “I think they have put their money where their mouth is and spent their profits on generating a better product,” he says. “They’re behaving in all of the ways that an innovative company does, and they’ve been doing it successfully for a long time, which is even more impressive. “They’re not a one-hit wonder or a one-trick pony. I’m really pleased to see this kind of success, because if there’s anybody in this industry that’s earned it, it’s the guys at Gastops.”
DEFENCE & SECURITY Calian’s $8M acquisition puts safety first Ottawa professional services firm says deal for smaller local competitor will shore up training offerings in nuclear sector and expand geographic reach BY DAVID SALI firstname.lastname@example.org
alian Group’s latest acquisition will open up markets for the Ottawabased company in the nuclear safety and emergency preparedness sectors, its CEO predicts. Calian announced earlier this month it had acquired International Safety Research, a local firm that specializes in providing
amortization. For Calian – a firm that earns nearly half its revenues from offering services such as training and health care to the Department of National Defence – bringing its smaller Ottawa cousin into the fold will help broaden its market reach and boost its credibility in the nuclear safety space, chief executive Kevin Ford says. “They clearly have more subject matter expertise,” he says. “It’s really going to expand our emergency management capabilities. I think Calian is known as a training company. We probably are not known as a company with deep roots in nuclear, so this definitely gives us that pedigree, for sure.”
EUROPEAN PRESENCE Calian’s fourth acquisition in the last radiation and nuclear safety engineering four years, ISR is dwarfed by its new owner, and emergency preparedness training to which employs more than 2,700 people and governments and commercial customers. is forecasting revenues of between $265 Founded in 1998, ISR employs about 25 full- million and $285 million in fiscal 2017. time workers at its Colonnade Road facility. However, analysts say the deal could Calian did not reveal how much it paid pay off handsomely for Calian by giving for ISR, but a Toronto-based securities it a key foothold in new territories, both firm pegged the price at $8.2 million – geographically and in terms of services. ISR roughly equal to the company’s annual has offices in the Netherlands and Dubai, revenues and about five times its earnings providing Calian a springboard to growth in before interest, taxes, depreciation and Europe and the Middle East.
“Under the leadership of (Mr. Ford), Calian is pivoting towards higher sustainable profitable growth by expanding its product lines and market reach via acquisitions,” the Toronto firm’s briefing note says. “We believe this will increase valuation and deliver attractive growth and dividends for investors.” The acquisition of ISR also gives Calian clients instant access to the smaller firm’s cutting-edge disaster simulation tools. Customers such as nuclear power companies use the technology to replicate real-life emergency situations during training exercises – for example, its software can project where toxic clouds of radioactive material would blow based on prevailing winds, while its web-based platform can simulate the panicked spread of misinformation on social media triggered by a traumatic event. Mr. Ford says those tools and others are increasingly valuable in helping clients prepare to deal with potential catastrophes of all kinds, from terrorist attacks to natural disasters such as the recent flooding along the Ottawa River. While training first responders to deal with emergencies already makes up “a significant part” of Calian’s business, he says the new deal significantly adds to the
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“It’s really going to expand our emergency management capabilities. I think Calian is known as a training company. We probably are not known as a company with deep roots in nuclear, so this definitely gives us that pedigree, for sure.” — CALIAN CEO KEVIN FORD, ON FIRM’S RECENT ACQUISITION OF INTERNATIONAL SAFETY RESEARCH
says. “Mr. Ford is expanding product and service capabilities, geographic reach and diversifying Calian’s dependence on the Canadian government.”
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For more information, contact Victoria Stewart email@example.com or call 613.238.1818 ext 226
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acquiring smaller competitors and peers that target specific regions and capabilities, but lack the capital to grow and scale to compete effectively with Calian,” its note
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One of Calian’s main sources of revenue is providing training to Canada’s military. FILE PHOTO
ISR chief executive Michael McCall did not respond to a request for comment. Mr. Ford says Calian hopes to retain ISR’s entire senior management group. He called the deal a win-win for both sides, saying Calian gets access to new services and markets while ISR receives a much-needed injection of capital. The result is a combined firm with the muscle and the know-how to pursue major contracts around the globe. “There were opportunities we likely couldn’t chase with Calian just because we didn’t have that specific nuclear pedigree,” Mr. Ford explains. “For ISR, there have been opportunities they haven’t been able to pursue just because the size of the opportunity was beyond their capability.” The Toronto equities firm agrees. “We see a good opportunity for Calian to drive growth and diversification by
firm’s already well-stocked tool kit. “Those things, as you know, are global,” Mr. Ford says. “And we believe now with our pedigree that we’ve got, both with Calian and ISR, we can continue to go after that marketplace.” Surveying the international marketplace, Calian’s CEO sees a world of potential customers who could benefit from ISR’s expertise, from oil and gas firms to airports and defence agencies. “You start thinking about NATO, you start thinking about other European opportunities that could leverage these skillsets,” Mr. Ford says. “I always say one plus one equals three (in acquisitions). Well, we really feel that one plus one equals five here on this one because there’s just so many ways it lines up to what we’ve been trying to do both tactically and strategically.”
THE LIST 1 2
No. of commercial properties managed locally 32
Key local No. of local executive(s)/ employees Year est. locally 50 Jeff Gould senior vice-president 1958
Notable properties managed 1105 Carling Ave.; 141 Colonnade Rd.; 100 Colonnade Rd.; 130 Colonnade Rd.; 1550 Carling Ave.; 200 Catherine St.; 1725 Woodward Dr.; 1737 Woodward Dr.; 415 Legett Dr.; 2090 Robertson Rd.; 2194 Robertson Rd.; 261 Montreal Rd.; 214 Montreal Rd.; 100801024 Wellington St.; 200-208 Dalhousie St.; 240 Michael Cowpland Dr.; 27 Capital Dr.
Greg Johnston vice-president of property management Hugh Gorman CEO 1985 Bernard Myers vice-president of office/industrial for eastern Canada Mary Knapp general manager, St. Laurent Centre 1975 Terry Young director of property management 1987
250 Tremblay R.; 66 Slater St.; 1101 Polytek St.; 315-319 McRae Ave.; 275 Slater St.; Holland Cross
KRP Properties 206-555 Legget Dr. Ottawa, ON K2K 2X3 613-591-0594 / 613-591-0018 krpdevelopmentgroup.com Minto Properties 200-180 Kent St. Ottawa, ON K1P 0B6 613-230-7051 / 613-788-2758 minto.com Arnon 1801 Woodward Dr. Ottawa, ON K2C 0R3 613-226-2000 / 613-225-0391 arnon.ca
JP St-Amand director of operations 1955
Minto Place and 180 Kent; Lansdowne Building I and Annex; Fifth+Bank Building; Orleans Central and Pad; Klondike Crossings; 3091 and 3101 Strandherd; 73 Leikin Dr.
2 and 100 Constellation Cres.; 60 Queen St.; 180 Elgin St.; 56 Sparks St.
Apollo Property Management 1200 Prince of Wales Dr., Suite D Ottawa, ON K2C 3Y4 613-225-7969 / 613-727-0378 apollomgt.com Brookfield 480-112 Kent St. Ottawa, ON K1P 5P2 613-783-0930 / 613-563-9694 www.brookfield.com Manulife Real Estate 1490-55 Metcalfe St. Ottawa, ON K1P 6L5 613-238-6611 / 613-235-9283 manulife.com Metcalfe Realty 210-130 Albert St. Ottawa, ON K1P 5G4 613-563-4442 / 613-232-3491 metcalfe.ca Epic Realty Partners* 100-473 Albert St. Ottawa, ON K1R 5B4 613-274-3742 / 613-274-3558 epicrealtypartners.com District Realty 50 Bayswater Ave. Ottawa, ON K1Y 2E9 613-759-8383 / 613-759-8448 districtrealty.com
Michael Casey vice-president of management and development Gilad Vered 1960 Patrick Charbonneau president 1995
John McKenna vice-president 1949
75, 85, 116 and 130 Albert St.; 123 and 151 Slater St.; 150 Isabella St.; 2650 and 2680 Queensview Dr.; 1385 Bank St.; 161 Greenbank Rd.; 7 Hinton Ave.; 700 Industrial Ave.; 1926 Merivale Rd.; 2339 Ogilvie Rd.; 255 City Centre Ave.; 1517, 1519 and 1523 Laperierre Ave.; 119 and 121 Slater St.
Brian Roberts managing partner 2007
473 Albert St.; 340 Laurier Ave. W.; 80 Aberdeen St.; 9 Gurdwara Rd.; 729 Ridgewood Ave.; 1-9 Brewer Hunt Way; 1260 Teron Rd.; 1250 Main St. Stittsville; 400 Maple Grove Rd.; 245 Stafford Dr.; Cornwall Square Mall; Quinte Crossroads
177 Nepean St.; 177-179 Colonnade Rd.; 248, 1270-1272, 1549-1571 Bank St.; 126-130 York St.; 2505 St. Laurent Blvd.; 1327-1335 Wellington; 2 Woodfiled; 320 McArthur Ave.; 68 Chamberlain; 375 Des Epinettes; One Nicholas; 17-18-20 and 37 Enterprise Ave.; 1301 Ages Dr.; 261 Somerset St.; 2211, 2249-2255 and 1675-1679 Carling Ave.; 20 James St.; 21 Florence; 2353-2368 Carling Ave.; 880 Lady Ellen Pl.
QuadReal Property Group 300-45 O’Connor St. Ottawa, ON K1P 1A4 613-690-7400 / 613-563-3217 quadreal.com GWL Realty Advisors 502-255 Albert St. Ottawa, ON K1P 6A9 613-238-2333 / 613-238-2006 gwlra.com Richcraft Group 201-2280 St. Laurent Blvd. Ottawa, ON K1G 4K1 613-739-7111 / 613-739-7102 richcraft.com Waterford Property Group 100-333 Preston St. Ottawa, ON K1S 5N4 613-230-3434 / 613-230-2635 waterfordpg.com Oxford Properties Group 200-350 Albert St. Ottawa, ON K1R 1A4 613-594-0238 / 613-594-0112 oxfordproperties.com
Kelly Kerrigan vice-president of operations Jason Shinder broker and vice-president 1987 Dan Gray vice-president of leasing 2000
Michael Zanon 90 Elgin St.; 200 Kent St.; 269 Laurier Ave.; 255 Albert St. director for the National Capital Region 2001
Ben Sherman director of leasing 1985
1377 Triole St.; 2370 Walkley Rd.; 1480 Michael St.; 1350 Leeds Ave.; 2495 Lancaster Rd.; 2239 and 2287 Gladwin Cres.; 6, 14 and 20 Bexley Pl.; 30 Stafford Rd.; 200 Terence Matthews Cres.; 2270 and 2280 St. Laurent Blvd.; 2630 Sheffield Rd.; 2171 Thurston Dr.
H&R REIT* 3625 Dufferin St. Toronto, ON M3K 1N4 416-635-7520 / 416-635-9921 hr-reit.com
Steve Moffatt vice-president Brian Murray director of leasing 1983 Peter Rychlik general manager Cheryl Barrett Constitution Square property manager 1963 Elmar Janssen manager 1996
7 7 9 10 11 12 13 13 13 MONDAY, MAY 22, 2017
Size of local commercial portfolio (in sq. ft.) 6,000,000
Morguard 402-350 Sparks St. Ottawa, ON K1R 7S8 613-237-6373 / 613-237-0007 morguard.com
(RANKED BY SIZE OF LOCAL COMMERCIAL PORTFOLIO)
Company/Address Phone/Fax/Web The Regional Group 1737 Woodward Dr. Ottawa, ON K2C 0P9 613-230-2100 / 613-230-9880 regionalgroup.com Colonnade BridgePort 200-16 Concourse Gate Ottawa, ON K2E 7S8 613-225-8118 / 613-225-3898 colonnadebridgeport.ca
LARGEST PROPERTY MANAGERS
16 17 18
Michael Swan regional director of leasing and property management 2005 Stephen Nicoletti managing director of eastern Canada 1974
150 Elgin/Grant House; 215 Slater St.; 131/155/181 Queen St.; 99 Metcalfe St.; St. Laurent Centre office/retail; 280 Slater St./333 Laurier Ave.; 301 Laurier; 350 Sparks St.; 361 Queen; 1601 Telesat Crt.; 365/450 March Rd.; 1001 Farrar Rd.
307, 309, 340, 350, 360, 411, 515, 535 and 555 Legget Dr.; 303, 320, 340, 349, 350, 359, 360 and 362 Terry Fox Dr.; 100 Helmsdale Dr.; 2500 Solandt Rd.; 390, 300, 320, 340, 400, 495 and 505 March Rd.
1111 Prince of Wales Dr.; 1200 Prince of Wales Dr.; 1560-1580 Merivale Rd.; 3030 Conroy Rd.; 361 Elgin St.; 80 Elgin St.; 1233 Wellington St.; Les Suites Hotel; 2949 Carling Ave.; 150 Woodroffe Ave.; 1200 Ogilvie Rd.; 315 McCleod St.; 2285 St. Laurent Blvd.; 46 Antares Dr.; 65 Bentley Ave.; 261 Centrepointe Dr.; 430 Hazeldean Rd.; WelcomInns Hotel; 460 West Hunt Club Rd.; 1487 Cyrville Rd.; 9 Gurdwara; 1463-1495 Richmond Rd.; 359-373 Poulin Ave.; 2648-2664 Priscilla St. Place de Ville; Jean Edmonds Towers
55 Metcalfe St.; 55 Murray St.; 150 Slater St.; 220 Laurier Ave. W.; 1600 Carling Ave.; 2932 Baseline Rd.; 2934 Baseline Rd; 2936 Baseline Rd.; 301 Moodie Dr.; 303 Moodie Dr.; 2300 St-Laurent; 85 Bellehumeur; 2020 Walkley; 2935 Conroy; 5705 Hazeldean Rd.
World Exchange Plaza; Park of Commerce, Carling Executive Park; City Park Place
Constitution Square; 340-350 and 360 Albert St.
160 Elgin St.
WND = Would not disclose. *Did not respond to 2017 survey – using data from previous years. Should your company be on this list? If so, please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org This list is current as of May 18 2017. © 2017 by Ottawa Business Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced by any method in whole or in part without written permission by Ottawa Business Journal. While every attempt is made to ensure the thoroughness and accuracy of the list, omissions and errors sometimes occur. Please send any corrections or additions by e-mail to email@example.com. OBJ lists are primarily compiled using information provided voluntarily by the organizations named. Some firms that may qualify for the list are not included because the company either failed to respond to requests for information by press time, because the company declined to take part in the survey or because of space constraints. Categories are drawn up in attempt to gather information of relevance to the Ottawa market. Research by Patti Moran. Please send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR THE RECORD People on the move
Stan Humphreys has joined Colonnade Bridgeport Realty as a leasing manager. He previously served as leasing director for Cominar REIT, GE Capital Real Estate and Dundee Realty. Saba announced the expansion of its executive team to include key leaders of Halogen Software. Pete Low, former chief financial officer at Halogen, has been named Saba’s CFO, and Karen Williams, previously chief product officer at Halogen, has been appointed Saba’s executive vice-president of customer advocacy. The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health has appointed Dr. Harindra Wijeysundera as vicepresident of medical devices and clinical interventions. Dr. Wijeysundera is a practising physician and scientist. He’s also an interventional cardiologist and clinician scientist at the Schulich Heart Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and associate professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Wijeysundera will divide his time between CADTH’s Ottawa and Toronto offices.
Contracts The following contains information about recent contracts, standing offers and supply arrangements awarded to local firms. Pomerleau Inc. 343 Preston St. Description: East Block rehabilitation – construction management Buyer: PWGSC $33,679,128
CGI Information Systems and Management Consultants Inc. 1410 Blair Pl. Description: Integration development Buyer: Citizenship and Immigration Canada $8,885,044
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Hats off Mayor Jim Watson presented Algonquin College with the city’s highest honour – the Key to the City – in acknowledgement of the college’s 50th anniversary and its many contributions to the capital. The college received the honour on May 11. CENX was awarded the Outstanding Digital Enablement Vendor award at the Leading Lights Awards in recognition of its namesake product, which allows service providers end-to-end, realtime visibility into their network in a single pane. Leading Lights is an annual awards program hosted by Light Reading, a publication for the global communications networking and services industry.
ADRM Technology Consulting Group Corp. and Randstad Interim Inc. in joint venture 1052 St. Laurent Blvd. Description: Professional services – integration development Buyer: Citizenship and Immigration Canada $3,922,128 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP 99 Bank St. Description: Internal auditing services Buyer: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada $1,124,775 Orbis Risk Consulting Inc. 1327A Wellington St. W. Description: Internal auditing services Buyer: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada $862,327
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Cleanmatters Janitorial Services Ltd. 6 Craigmohr Crt. Description: Janitorial services – Blocks 2 and 3 Buyer: PWGSC $496,666 Ernst & Young LLP 99 Bank St. Description: Internal auditing services Buyer: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada $449,910 Honeywell Ltd. 400 Maple Grove Rd. Description: Building automation control systems Buyer: PWGSC $350,985
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A Hundred Answers Inc. 340 March Rd. Description: Internal auditing services Buyer: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada $749,850
Samson and Associates CPA/ Consultation Inc. 85 Victoria Description: Internal auditing services Buyer: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada $562,387
MONDAY, MAY 22, 2017
Randstad Interim Inc. 1600 Carling Ave. Description: Integration development Buyer: Citizenship and Immigration Canada $9,624,965
Carleton University’s board of governors announced the appointment of Alastair Summerlee as Carleton’s new interim president and vice-chancellor. Mr. Summerlee served two full terms as president and vice-chancellor at the University of Guelph, where he championed the importance of the student experience and teaching and learning, while also continuing to teach, supervise graduate students and conduct his own research.
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Forty Under 40 Gala Friday, June 16, 2017 @ Hilton Lac-Leamy. Network with the cityâ€™s rising business stars! Get your tickets today at OttawaChamber.ca For ticket info, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 613-236-7029 ext.136 Individual Tickets: $190 Ottawa Chamber Members $210 Non-Members Corporate Tables of 10: $1800 Ottawa Chamber Members $2000 Non-Members
MONDAY, MAY 22, 2017
WHAT IS 5G? AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN
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WHAT IS 5G?
AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR OTTAWA BUSINESSES?
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Advanced Symbolics shaking up opinion polling using customized Artificial Intelligence Ottawa’s Advanced Symbolics is building a brisk business out of taking the pulse of public sentiment, and it’s doing so without ever picking up the phone.
Overcoming the growing pains of early success Advanced Symbolics recently won a contract with the municipal government of Quebec City for origin destination research to optimize public transit routes, and a threeyear standing offer from Destination Canada. Investors have come knocking. So have potential clients from the U.S. and the U.K. The company is already cash-flow positive, but needs additional capital to fund its growth plans. That’s a lot of progress for a company that incorporated less than two years ago. Last summer, Kelly and her team realized they needed professional legal counsel to ensure they were ready to receive investors. “We needed to put a stronger ownership structure in place, to make us as efficient as possible and put us in a good place to grow internationally,” Kelly said. They turned to Dirk Bouwer, Partner in the Business Law Group at full-service Ottawa law firm Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall LLP/s.r.l. “Like any fast-growing company, Advanced Symbolics faced a lot of challenges, both from a business perspective to keep up with the demands of customers, and from a legal perspective to ensure the company’s structure is well thought out and adaptable for growth,” said Bouwer. Securing investors, without sacrificing the vision Crucial for Kelly and her team is securing the growth capital the company needs for its expansion, with appropriate shareholder agreements. The visionaries behind Advanced Symbolics don’t want to lose control to larger investors, or be hampered
MONDAY, MAY 22, 2017
ccording to CEO Erin Kelly and her team, traditional telephone polling is dead. Online polling tools that expect citizens to take the time and accurately self-report are a long-shot, at best. Enter Polly. Polly is Advanced Symbolics’ customized artificial intelligence (AI). Polly is a patented self-learning system that reads and analyzes what people say and do online to get the true measure of what they really think. It’s polling without having to ask anyone a direct question. “With Polly, we can get good representative samples by age, gender, geographical location and other demographics,” said CEO Erin Kelly. “For crisis communications situations, we can turn a request around in 48 hours. It truly is the ‘better, faster, cheaper’ alternative to the status quo.” No subject is too esoteric. Polly has successfully forecast the outcomes of the Canadian federal election, the American presidential election and the Brexit vote. At the other end of the spectrum, it has tracked the sentiments of small business owners and public servants within a single municipality. A new project involves the controversial Netflix show about teen suicide, 13 Reasons Why. Polly is studying the online/social media activities of teens to see what impact the show’s subject matter is having on their perceptions, and intentions, regarding suicide. “We increase democratic engagement,” Kelly said. “Polly allows us to see what
people are truly concerned or frustrated about and get insight into what societal trends are really at work.”
Dirk Bouwer, Partner in the Business Law Group at full-service Ottawa law firm Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall LLP/s.r.l. by a multitude of small investors all trying to have their say in the operation of the business. This requires a complex share structure that allows for different classes of shares. “Dirk and his team are ensuring we have the corporate structure and controls in place to make it easy for investors to work with us,” Kelly said. “Advanced Symbolics needs a law firm with a broad base of knowledge and a broad base of skills,” said Bouwer. “We have the tax, patent, securities and multimillion-dollar financing experience Erin and her team need. It’s exciting to work with a business at this stage and I have every confidence that Advanced Symbolics will continue to take off.” To learn more about how Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall can help grow your business, visit www.perlaw.ca.
OTTAWA HEALTH HACKATHON BREAKS DOWN SILOS BETWEEN PHYSICIANS, TECHIES TECHOPIA.ca
OTTAWA TELECOM INDUSTRY GEARING UP FOR HIGH-POTENTIAL 5G
but compete again when they leave the room. Waterhouse says the network technologies of the future will require immense interoperability: “You cannot develop in a vacuum these days.” In order to find out exactly what 5G is, and what the technology might mean for Ottawa businesses, CENGN seems like it might be a good place to start. Boris Mimeur, director of engineering and operations at CENGN, says 5G isn’t just about faster network infrastructure. It’s about smarter, more flexible infrastructure. Picture a 16-lane highway: As our networks stand, eight lanes of traffic probably flow east and eight lanes flow west. Today, using 4G capabilities, networks are unable to easily anticipate high demand, which could leave you stuck in a traffic jam while other lanes move stress-free. Eventually, we could open and close lanes as needed, but it’s far from responsive. With the advent of 5G, the highway BY CRAIG LORD becomes elastic by nature. The network itself can identify, by geography or There’s a buzz in the Capital. Business activity, where bandwidth is needed and leaders from Kanata to Parliament Hill allocate it accordingly. In an instant, 15 – telecom players, especially – have lanes could be opened for eastbound turned their eyes to the future: to nexttraffic. generation networks, and the promise of The potential of an elastic network 5G. The next generation of connectivity is incredible, especially when partnered will deliver bandwidth more than 20 with technologies such as artificial times faster than current speeds, but intelligence and autonomous drive. that’s just the start of what excites Take smart cities, for example: Home industry observers. fire alarms could automatically trigger Ottawa tech magnate Sir Terry an orchestrated response across the Matthews, the founder behind Mitel, city’s traffic lights, guiding emergency Wesley Clover and hundreds of other response teams to a blaze with almost no startups, has stirred plenty of the hype interruptions. around 5G. He and Mayor Jim Watson led “It’s giving control to the a crusade to Queen’s Park in February, infrastructure,” Mimeur says. waving the Ottawa flag and declaring Next-generation networks will serve the capital a high-potential hub for as an enabler for autonomous vehicles, CENGN CHIEF EXECUTIVE RITCH DUSOME, RIGHT, AND BORIS MIMEUR, DIRECTOR OF ENGINEERING AND OPERATIONS. PHOTO BY CRAIG LORD. developing and commercializing 5G in as well. Latency connectivity, a measure Canada. of how rapidly network infrastructure Jenna Sudds, executive director of the makes connections, will be vastly Kanata North Business Association, was a hands-on education. improved on 5G. The importance can’t on that trip. She sees big players in 5G “That no longer exists,” says Richard be understated: You may not even notice every day in her tech park: Mitel, Nokia, Waterhouse, vice president of business if your mobile device skips a half-second Ericsson and Ranzure Networks among development and marketing. when it’s loading a web page, but if your them. The advent of 5G also has the potential self-driving car is detecting an oncoming Huawei, another contender for the to fill another void left by Nortel. While vehicle, a half-second delay is half a 5G throne, announced a $313-million Ottawa is still home to scores of telecom second too long. investment in its Ottawa operations last talent, it lost visibility as a global highIn short, the potential uses – and year, ramping up previously announced tech hub with Nortel’s downfall. The commercializations – of 5G are vast. plans to accelerate its next-gen network locally-based engineering teams working “This is a platform that is going development. Mitel and Kanata on 5G could once again give the nation’s to develop an awful lot of needs,” neighbour DragonWave announced a capital high-tech bragging rights and Waterhouse says. — RICHARD WATERHOUSE, VICE PRESIDENT OF BUSINESS partnership in 5G last year as well. draw more attention – not to mention Many in the city believe that the DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING. For Sudds, a specialization in nextinvestment dollars and skilled workers – work being done in Ottawa and Kanata generation networks is the logical to Ottawa. North, whether inside CENGN or by its progression for a city that grew its tech Networks (CENGN). Development of 5G is increasingly multinational partners, is integral to the sector on the telecom boom of the ’90s. Funded through the federal critical, not only for Ottawa, but for commercial success of the entire nation. “As a city, we need to look at our government’s Centres of Excellence the country. Canada was ranked 14th “The innovation that’s here, and the skills strengths,” she says. “It is digital for Commercialization and Research worldwide last year in the World and level of knowledge, is second to none communications, it is next-generation program, Kanata-based CENGN is Economic Forum’s annual Networked in Canada,” Waterhouse says. networks.” a consortium comprised of Invest Readiness Index, which measures nations’ While Waterhouse says global Governments both provincially Ottawa, Rogers, Cisco, Nokia and other preparedness to capitalize on digital competitors such as South Korea, Silicon and federally seem to be paying close multinational firms. The organization revolutions such as 5G connectivity. Valley and Scandinavian countries are attention to 5G as well. Sudds believes aims to bridge gaps between innovation “The reason that CENGN exists is that excelling in 5G R&D, he believes Canada’s Kanata’s networking expertise makes it a and commercialization in Canada by the telecom industry in Canada is falling capital has the potential to be a world prime candidate for a slice of the federal helping startups validate their project behind,” Waterhouse says. leader, and looks no farther than outside government’s $950-million supercluster ideas and training students with skills CENGN provides its multinational CENGN’s windows for proof. From there, funding announced in its latest budget. suited for the modern telecom industry. partners a forum for what CEO Ritch he can see the parking lot at Nokia, and Just a few weeks ago, the provincial Many of the roles CENGN fills today Dusome calls “co-opetition”: A place says there’s never an empty spot. government put its own stake in 5G, were previously filled by Nortel, an where they can get together to put their “If you go to Silicon Valley, their announcing $63 million in funding for the industry leader that could incubate rivalries aside, discuss ideas and provide parking lots aren’t full. We really are in a Centre of Excellence in Next Generation companies and give hundreds of students input on developing network innovations, growth stage and it’s really exciting.”
Next-gen networks will revolutionize global communications, and Ottawa leaders believe local companies are primed to take advantage
The innovation that’s here, and the skills and level of knowledge, is second to none in Canada.
MONDAY, MAY 22, 2017
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CANADA LAGGING BEHIND ON DIGITAL GOVERNMENT TRANSFORMATION: NEW CIO With a rapidly evolving tech landscape in front of him and public sector IT verging on archaic, Alex Benay has a big to-do list BY CRAIG LORD
CAPTAIN OF THE SHIP: ALEX BENAY IS THE NEW CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON.
MONDAY, MAY 22, 2017
You can’t just turn this thing on a dime. It’s the largest tech operation in the country.
For more than two years, Alex Benay manned the helm of the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation. His role, he says, was largely to bring the artifacts, stories and exhibitions documenting our nation’s technological innovations into the modern era, and make the museum more accessible to today’s digital population. Last month, though, he began a new role as chief information officer of the federal government. Now, Benay has a much bigger task ahead of him: Take the largest technological operation in the country – an aging one, at that – and set it on a course to serve Canadian citizens through the impending digital future. Since he began the role in April, Benay – a 2016 Forty Under 40 award recipient – has been working 15-hour days. When he’s not bouncing between meetings on Parliament Hill and his home base at the nearby Jim Flaherty building on Elgin Street, his LinkedIn feed is filling up with sales pitches for a new piece of tech to streamline the business of government. At the end of the day, the father of two says he either passes right out or, if he’s lucky, plays a little hockey before starting the hectic routine again. In an interview with Techopia (squeezed between two other meetings), Benay says he’s getting used to the schedule. While he admits to underestimating the scope of some parts of the job, he says the enormous scale of his work is the entire reason he took it on. “I think the CIOs of the future in government have a chance to shape how we do government,” he says. The role of the CIO, in both the public and private sector, is changing. At first, it meant being a provider of technology: ensuring fax machines were in every office and infrastructure was in place. Now, Benay says, it’s about being an enabler of business. Today, that means ensuring government can embrace the technology needed to operate in a digital world. “Now it’s about, how do we engage with people, how do we collaborate more, how do we do things faster, how do we make people
OTTAWA EARNINGS WEEK: WHO’S UP, DOWN, FIRING AND ACQUIRING? TECHOPIA.ca mobile, how do we process certain transaction points more quickly … The world is moving towards these things, and blockchain and AI, and then you’ve got government. So I think the role that I’ve inherited is about trying to bring a different lens to the technology landscape of government.”
A TITANIC IT DEPARTMENT As part of his CIO role, Benay works very closely with Shared Services Canada, the government’s tech consolidation arm, to ensure the biggest IT department in the country has the technology it needs to deliver services for Canadians. The feds spend roughly $6 billion annually on IT between Shared Services and other departments, with around 17,000 people working on the tech side of government. Benay says many of these skillsets could “use a polish”: Discussions in government IT today largely revolve around background infrastructure and problems the public sector has been focused on for decades, not the priorities Benay sees the outside world moving towards. “It’s almost like we look at that like it’s a bridge too far. It shouldn’t be.” The challenge in pivoting Shared Services and the rest of government towards digital is immense. Think about it: A department that once focused on buying and maintaining servers across the government must make space for the cloud; the public servants who once had to design fillable forms may soon have to work alongside an artificial intelligence. Benay compares his job to docking a
Alex Benay’s “diverse” background Crown Corporation – Science and Technology Museums Corporation: President and CEO, 2014-2017 Private Sector – OpenText: Vice president, 2011-2014 Director, 2009-2011 Public Sector – Government of Canada (various roles): Canadian International Development Agency, 2003-2009 Natural Resources Canada, 2001-2003 Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, 2000-2001
THE MAN FOR THE JOB ship in space: Even though he’s light-years away from his goal, he has to start lining the shuttle up now to get the trajectory right. Otherwise, he’ll miss his target and sail off into oblivion. “You can’t just turn this thing on a dime. It’s the largest tech operation in the country.” Benay is a staunch believer that the digital world is the real world, with no separation between the two. Society has moved away from hardware and into app-
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and software-based services in our mobile phones or AI assistants. As consumers – especially the millennial generation – we’re not differentiating between where digital ends and physical begins; the government shouldn’t either. “If we don’t change how we do things, we will potentially become more and more obsolete,” Benay says. “It is a big gap, and it is growing.” There are a number of contributors to this gap between the government and digital, Benay says, with institutional culture being a significant one. For example, he says the hesitation to allow for more third-party service delivery, often considered to be a bastion of the public sector, hinders the development of useful service apps. Traditionalists are concerned about what happens when the government takes its hands off the wheel and allows private, more nimble partners to replace its role as a service provider. Benay is concerned about what happens if it doesn’t.
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“I think someone called my background eclectic once. I’d like to consider it more diverse,” Benay says with a laugh. Before his role at the museum, Benay spent nine years in the government working on IT and international trade files. He left after nearly a decade for a spin in the private sector at OpenText, where he worked on the firm’s public sector relations. There, he saw governments around the world that were excelling in digital and he realized how far
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behind his own country was falling. “Canada needs a wake-up call in that space. We can be innovative in the public sector with digital.” His work at the museum saw it become the world’s first open-by-default institution, a complicated process that now sees the organization automatically publish all internal documents for public consumption. The push for openby-default, one Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has outlined in his mandate letters to Liberal ministers, is one that Benay supports. While his background is certainly diverse, the path to his current role seems more clear to Benay. “The goal at the museum, the goal at OpenText, the goal at all the other things, is one space: the physical and the digital,” he says. In the next few months, Benay and his team will lay out a plan for his tenure. It’ll be a mix of discussions from his many meetings, his own experience in digital transformations, and what he sees around him in the digital landscape. The new CIO isn’t naive about the size of the challenge, and he’s not hoping to fix Canada’s entire tech gap in one fell swoop. He’s just hoping to get the ship on course, and a little closer to the target. “It’s always, what’s the next move, what’s the next move, one step ahead, one foot in front of the next and moving things forward,” he says. “If you do it right, the impacts could be really, really cool and meaningful to how we deliver services to Canadians.”
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What’s missing to drive hockey stick performance in your business? Stratford Managers know what it’s like to sit in your chair
im Roche can appreciate if the executive team of a mid-sized company is skeptical about the value an outside consultant can deliver. “When I hear the word ‘consultant,’ even I think of someone who is going to borrow my watch to tell me the time,” he said. “They’ll tell me what I already know, they won’t really understand my business and they certainly will not know what it’s like to sit in my chair.”
“We take a high degree of ownership in anything we do with our clients, to help them overcome the friction points that are limiting their potential.” Jim Roche, President and CEO Stratford Managers JIM ROCHE, PRESIDENT AND CEO STRATFORD MANAGERS (LEFT) AND COLLEEN KELLEY, VP AND PRACTICE LEAD BUSINESS OPERATIONS STRATFORD MANAGERS (RIGHT) DISCUSS HOW SMES CAN LEVERAGE CONSULTANTS TO SCALE THEIR BUSINESS. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY “As a new CEO I was looking for a firm that could provide strategic advice around a number of topics as I looked to grow the company. My decision to go with Stratford was based on the strong diverse capabilities of their team. I have now engaged Stratford on several assignments in areas such as market assessment, enterprise risk management, strategy and communications. I have been very satisfied with all aspects of their work and consider them to be an excellent source of talent to support our growth objectives.” - Kevin Ford, President and CEO Calian Group Ltd.
“Stratford Managers provided actionable recommendations and practical implementation guidance informed by their extensive operational experience. In contrast to some consulting firms we’ve worked with, Stratford’s highly engaged approach ensured that they really understood our business and provided us with a clear path forward as we evolve our product management and go-to-market capabilities.”
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‘embedded executives.’” Stratford has the multidisciplinary expertise to tackle any business challenge, with practices aligned to all the major functions within a growing organization that must be improved to achieve scale. “Clients can retain a consultant for coaching and advisory services up to the executive level, embed them for a specific role within the organization either full or part time, or call on us for a specific project,” said Kelley. “We build long-term relationships with our clients and many come from market verticals beyond high-tech.” “We feel we are ‘a part of,’ versus ‘consulting to,’” Roche added. “Being accountable is cooked into our DNA. We take a high degree of ownership in anything we do with our clients, to help them overcome the friction points that are limiting their potential.” For most SMEs, working with a consultancy isn’t a natural part of the toolbox as it is for multinationals, but it should be, says Roche. “It’s like building a strong hockey team – you need to practice with the help of an A-list player and coach. We are that A-list ingredient.”
MONDAY, MAY 22, 2017
But he and the rest of the team at Stratford Managers are not your typical consultants. They have lived as entrepreneurs, executives and CEOs of both small and multinational enterprises and know what it takes to scale an organization. Roche himself has a long history in Ottawa’s telecom sector. He co-founded Tundra Semiconductor and as CEO, built that company up to a $1.5-billion valuation. During his time at Tundra, Roche came to realize how small to midsized companies (SMEs) just didn’t have access to the kind of external consulting help they needed to scale their businesses. The big consultancies focused on multinationals—a much different dynamic. In one instance, Tundra had before it an excellent opportunity to make an acquisition, but the executive team was too consumed by operational needs at the time to make a proper go of it. “I really felt an opportunity passed us by because we didn’t have a partner like Stratford to help with due diligence,” he said. So, what’s different about Stratford? “We give SMEs the flexibility to benefit from the expertise of a senior executive in whatever way makes sense for them,” said Colleen Kelley, Stratford’s VP and Practice Lead, Business Operations. “Consider us
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OTTAWA GROWN: KLIPFOLIO FOUNDER ALLAN WILLE AND FARMLEAD CO-FOUNDER ALAIN GOUBAU KICKED OFF THE ANNUAL CONFERENCE WITH A FIRESIDE CHAT. PHOTO PROVIDED BY INVEST OTTAWA.
FOUR KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM ACCELERATEOTT BY MARTIN SMITH
The fifth-annual Accelerate Ottawa event offered valuable insights into growth hacking, a marketing and tech hybrid that emphasizes creative, empirical methods to rapidly test and evolve ideas while relying on datadriven metrics to keep what works and cut the rest. Here are Techopia’s top four takeaways to help your startup master the art (or science) of growth hacking.
THE BEST SALESPEOPLE ARE INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS
Mark Organ, founder and CEO of Influitive, advised entrepreneurs in attendance to practise what he calls “devotion hacking.” truth about what they need. “If you are a founder today and you “The words have to come from their are considering building a company, mouths, from their fingers, not yours,” you should start first and foremost Sheppard said. by thinking about who is your Indeed, speaker after speaker stressed community,” said Organ. Indeed, he the importance of doing background said, your first product is community. research and getting the source to reveal By understanding who they are, when more information – a time-honoured the time comes to build and sell your journalistic method. product, you can mobilize them to help Sheppard put it most eloquently when sell it. he explained why many startups fail Organ has come up with what (Hint: it’s not running out of money): By he says is a systematic way to have not doing the research, “you’re spending customers do your marketing for you, time with the wrong people, having the including cultivating the feeling of wrong conversation at the wrong time, exclusivity amongst your advocates. about the wrong shit.” Make sure to let your advocates know they are making a meaningful FORGET THE PITCH SCRIPT. impact on the growth and success of TELL A STORY your company. Techstars’ Eamonn Carey told the “If someone’s written a guest blog crowd that if you have a great idea, post for you, or created some other don’t keep it to yourself. content (such as a) five-star review, “Tell people your ideas,” he said. “Talk let them know that, yeah, that really about your ideas, talk about the problems worked for us,” he said. you are having, talk about the solutions Above all, to make your advocate that you’ve found.” program work, it needs to be fun. However, he also underlined the “It shouldn’t feel like work,” importance of avoiding what has come to explained Organ.
“Why? Because objectively, their job is to get to the truth,” said Sean Sheppard, founding partner of GrowthX Academy. One mistake startups make is to assume they know what the customer is thinking. An important skill is to encourage potential customers to tell the
GET YOUR CUSTOMERS TO DO YOUR MARKETING FOR YOU
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True to the growth hacking ethos, Klipfolio founder Allan Wille had this to say when asked what he would do differently if he could start over again: “I would have probably experimented more.” “That’s something that we’ve adopted over the past five or six years,” he said. “We experiment like crazy. I don’t think anything goes out the door that we cannot somehow measure. I mean, we’re a dashboard company.” He added that having a culture of experimentation in the early years
would have helped his company grow more rapidly. Fellow Ottawa startup founder Alain Goubau of FarmLead agreed, but emphasized that the low-tech route can be just as efficient. He gave the example of trying out a new marketing idea, but instead of spending the time, money and effort building a complete technical back-end to support it, a quick hack might be to create a simple online signup form for customers. In this scenario, the form emails the information to a staff member who then manually sets up an account. “We can put this up in a day, and within a week we’ll know if this is going to work.”
be the default setting of many first-time entrepreneurs when explaining their idea to other people, especially your fellow entrepreneurs. “It’s not a pitch,” he said. “You’re opening a door, you’re building a relationship.”
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OTTAWA’S ROSS, FLICK AND BOULANGER PUSH FEDS TO HELP TECH FIRMS SCALE TECHOPIA.ca
gaming experience Mood wishes he had when he was growing up.
TRADITIONAL MEETS MODERN
CHARACTERS FROM SNOWED IN STUDIOS’ INDEPENDENT PROJECT MONSTER CHASE.
OTTAWA GAME STUDIOS DISCOVER NOVEL PATHS TO REVENUE Local developers forging indie success through non-traditional streams BY CRAIG LORD
Even if you haven’t played Bendy and the Ink Machine yourself, you may well have seen somebody playing it. Popular YouTube personality Markiplier, one of many online video producers who films himself providing commentary on the games he plays, has racked up more than six million views on his Bendy and the Ink Machine videos. Bendy and the Ink Machine began as a side project for Ottawa’s Mike Mood and his partner. The game imagines a more twisted backstory behind beloved early animations – think early Mickey Mouse short Steamboat Willie meets Five Nights at Freddy’s, a genredefining game for modern horror. Mood develops the game series with his partner, an artist known as “The Meatly.”
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Developers of high-budget, blockbuster games for the Xbox and PlayStation consoles are nowhere to be found in Ottawa. While Ubisoft has found a home down the road in Montreal, for example, triple-A developers (the bigger brands focused primarily on console gaming) haven’t come searching for Ottawa talent. That doesn’t mean it’s not here, though. Independent studios are making games in Ottawa, and making money to boot. Techopia profiled two such companies, The Meatly Games and Snowed In Studios, that are taking two very distinct paths to revenue and redefining what it means to be a successful gaming studio.
Snowed In Studios has not abandoned the traditional console market, but has made a conscious effort to diversify its revenue streams away from the boom and bust cycles of working with triple-A developers. Jean-Sylvain Sormany, founder of Snowed In and one of this year’s Forty Under 40 award recipients, says plainly that Snowed In is a risk-averse company, and he’s not trying to generate astronomical returns with an indie hit. The company’s origins reinforce Sormany’s approach. When Ottawa’s Fuel Industries decided to discontinue its PC and console developer division in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown, Sormany and a number of Fuel’s former employees decided to stay together and form their own studio. Without access to external capital or many creative types to accompany the team’s technical expertise, Snowed In bootstrapped and relied on more inventive ways to stay afloat. “These are good ways for us to keep a well-rounded expertise beyond traditional gaming,” Sormany says. A majority of Snowed In’s revenue He’s not sure what does come from work with console impact the YouTube developers. For example, the firm spectating trend has had provides technical support to Square Enix on his game, but he knows for its Deus Ex series. But Sormany says that an effective marketing while console gaming is a lucrative stream, campaign when he it’s not consistent. sees one. Consoles follow developmental “It basically went cycles: As the PlayStation 3 nears viral, and millions its end of life, for instance, game of eyes were on development hits a standstill until us,” he says. “It’s the PlayStation 4 is released; Xbox essentially free and Nintendo systems follow similar advertising.” patterns. The high revenues at the peak of Bendy and the Ink consoles’ life cycles are offset by the low BENDY, TITLE CHARACTER Machine – much like the valleys between generations. FROM MEATLY GAMES’ BENDY creepy animations at “For us, it’s very important to be AND THE INK MACHINE the heart of it – took on diversified. We never know when a sector a life of its own, and the will go down and we need to be able to two creators made its development their spin off,” Sormany says. full-time jobs. To that end, Snowed In has a number of The computer game, available via online client relationships outside of traditional marketplaces such as Steam, is a story told gaming, many of which draw on the studio over five chapters. The first chapter is free to create games as a means of interactive to play and will always remain so, with each advertising. subsequent chapter costing $6 each to play. There are a variety of ways to do this, Chapter two was released in April, and so from educational apps or games with far more than 300,000 total players have questionnaires in the middle to promote tried the first two chapters. Revenues rolling an associated product. Snowed In Studios in for the second chapter are financing developed an app for marketing agency the production of the next; a creepy teaser Intouch Solutions as a strategy for garnering announcing the development of chapter attention on the exhibition floor. three already has more than 500,000 views “We sold them on the fact that they on YouTube. could attract people to their booth at Mood says the intense fan engagement conferences and trade shows by doing an has influenced the game’s chapter-based interactive camera app,” Sormany says. “It development. As players find bugs or have was an immediate success. The booth had ideas for how they’d like to play, Mood, the lineups.” game’s primary developer, is able to provide Though he doesn’t have an exact patches for existing chapters and build breakdown, Sormany estimates about 10 those features into the new ones. per cent of Snowed In’s revenues come from While Mood says he and his partner non-traditional game development. It’s could easily do a Kickstarter campaign not intended to be the main focus for the to crowdfund the development of all five studio’s developers, who, at their core, just chapters, that would mean waiting a year want to build games. and a half for a game that, in the end, won’t With a team of 25 that Sormany hopes to be the polished version fans want. grow to 40 by the end of next year, Snowed The continual development process In’s diversified revenues allow the studio to Bendy is undergoing is the responsive do just that.
WHAT IS 5G? AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN
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Four key takeaways from AccelerateOTT Page 9
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