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Scrapping paper

Inside Ottawa’s galas, fundraisers and networking events

Law firms ditch old-school files in favour of time- and spacesaving digital systems > PAGES 12-13

September 11, 2017 Vol. 20, NO. 23

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Eyes on Europe

Shaw Centre’s marketing mission to London and Paris has helped raise convention facility’s profile with overseas delegations, CEO says. > PAGE 3

MDS Aero Support chief executive John Jastremski says he wouldn’t trade Ottawa’s engineering talent for any other city’s. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

Firm’s fortunes expand at jet speed Ottawa company’s aircraft engine testing facilities are now found in countries worldwide Access to trade experts, embassies and major research centres all part of MDS Aero Support’s successful global strategy > PAGES 4-5

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City Hall’s main man

Why Ottawa’s new head of planning and economic development might be the most important person working in the capital. > PAGES 6-7


It looks like Canada Day in Ottawa caught some attention But Ottawa’s 150th celebrations aren’t over yet Canada Day may be over, but the fun continues as Ottawa plays host through the fall to a number of high-profile events and unique attractions. “While the summer of 2017 was a big deal, it wasn’t the final act,” said Michael Crockatt, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “Quite the contrary. Having drawn the world’s attention to the nation’s capital, our opportunity now is to keep that momentum going.”

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What momentum? Just look at the social media buzz tracked by Ottawa Tourism from June 30 to July 30, compared with the same period a year ago: • Traffic to www.ottawatourism.ca roughly doubled. • Twitter impressions jumped by 628 per cent and total engagement by a whopping 2,406 per cent. • Facebook saw increases in impressions and overall engagement of 678 per cent and 291 per cent, respectively. • Instagram engagement rose 74 per cent, with a 105 per cent jump in #MyOttawa posts. Now that’s what you call impact.

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SO WHAT’S NEXT? La Machine took over downtown with a giant roving spider and a dragon-horse. Kontinuum has dazzled visitors with a subterranean odyssey through time. But there is more to come, starting with the sports trifecta: • The Canadian Football League’s 2017 Grey Cup game takes place Nov. 26 at TD Place. Starting Nov. 21, Ottawa will host the 105th Grey Cup Festival. The festival will showcase the city across Canada with events, performances, live music and activities that build a sense of pride and unity by showcasing Canada’s culture. • The 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings hits the ice at the Canadian Tire Centre, Dec. 2-10. See the best men’s and women’s curling teams from across the country compete to represent Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

• The 2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic comes to TD Place on Dec. 16. Come see our Ottawa Senators take on the Montreal Canadiens on outdoor ice. As part of the NHL’s centennial, the game will be a re-match of one of the league’s first regular-season games. ADD TO THAT: • The Canadian Science and Technology Museum reopens in November after three years of renovation. The museum will feature about 80,000 square feet of new exhibition space in five main galleries, and include old favourites like the Crazy Kitchen. • Chaudière Falls in all its magnificence will be reopened to the public for the first time in over a century by early November. Discover one of our most important landmarks and immerse yourself in First Nations culture through a vivid display of colourful lights that will elevate the natural beauty of Chaudière Falls.

• Until Oct. 15, you can still enjoy MosaïCanada 150, an impressive free horticulture event in Jacques Cartier Park, Gatineau, featuring sculptures, paintings and a one-kilometre stroll through fantastic plants. • Ottawa Welcomes the World also continues, with more than 75 high commissions, embassies and international partners highlighting their culture in a series of free cultural events at the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne. For more information, please visit www.ottawatourism.ca or follow on Twitter, @Ottawa_Tourism.


TOURISM European connections paying off for Shaw Centre Percentage of international delegates to downtown convention facility on the rise thanks to aggressive marketing efforts with Ottawa Tourism, CEO says BY DAVID SALI david@obj.ca

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Shaw Centre CEO Nina Kressler says 2017 will be a banner year for the facility. FILE PHOTO

“We’re in the people business. Marketing is incredibly important. When you go into these cities and you meet people face to face, I think it changes the whole experience of the relationship.” – SHAW CENTRE CEO NINA KRESSLER, ON THE FACILITY’S RECENT SALES MISSION TO LONDON AND PARIS

clients who bring it up directly,” said Ms. Kressler, who became chief executive of the six-year-old convention centre in mid-2015. “They’re reconsidering the U.S. because many of their speakers or delegates are from the (six) countries that the administration has pointed out could have challenges entering the country.” Ottawa is an increasingly cosmopolitan city that still manages to retain a smalltown feel, she added – a quality that can work in its favour in the global competition

for convention business. “You bring a major event to Ottawa and you own the city,” Ms. Kressler said. “In comparison to a very, very large city such as Toronto, for example, you might be one of 10 or 20 other conventions in the city that week – whereas here the store owners, the retailers, the restaurateurs, the cab drivers, the airport authority, they recognize it when a major event is in the city and they get to know (delegates) personally. I think that’s a huge selling feature for us.”

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FOUR SITE VISITS Those face-to-face meetings prompted four European-based organizations to travel to the capital to check out the Shaw Centre’s operations, Ms. Kressler said. Earlier this month, for example, the facility hosted a delegate from the Parisbased International Urban Development Association, which has put the building on its list of potential convention sites. “We’re in the people business,” Ms. Kressler said. “Marketing is incredibly important. When you go into these cities and you meet people face to face, I think it changes the whole experience of the relationship. “They need to come and experience the destination, they need to determine if the Shaw Centre can accommodate the group, the logistics of the hotels. The greatest step is getting them here. Once we have them here, we know the city can sell itself.” In addition, U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order barring visitors from six Muslim-majority countries – Syria, Sudan, Iran, Yemen, Libya and Somalia – from getting visas to enter the United States has led some overseas delegations to take a closer look at Canada’s capital as an alternative to destinations south of the border, she added. “We don’t lead with that when we’re in a sales pitch, but it’s the prospective

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n the midst of what’s looking like a banner year for Ottawa’s largest downtown convention facility, the Shaw Centre is already stepping up its efforts to ward off a Canada 150 hangover in 2018 and beyond. The city’s second-largest location for major meetings is hosting a total of 50 conventions this year, up more than 50 per cent from the 33 it welcomed in 2016. The Shaw Centre typically sees between 500,000 and 600,000 convention delegates pass through its doors each year, and they pump more than $80 million in direct spending into the local economy. Like many tourism-related businesses in the nation’s capital, the facility has received a nice boost from the full slate of activities celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday. “It’s been one event after another,” CEO Nina Kressler told OBJ, noting the Shaw Centre enjoyed its busiest June ever this year when it played host to six conventions. “(Canada) 150 certainly has had a lot to do with it.” But the influx of visitors hoping to combine industry meetings and presentations with events such as the Kontinuum exhibit and other Canada 150 attractions is only part of the reason for the momentum that’s been building at the Shaw Centre this year, she added. Ms. Kressler said a growing number of corporate delegations have begun looking to Ottawa when choosing a site for their annual meetings. When Loblaws brought the largest corporate convention in the city’s history to the Shaw Centre in 2015, that sent a message to others in Canada’s business community that Ottawa could deliver as a meeting host, Ms. Kressler said. “I think that was really the springboard for opening corporate Canada’s eyes that Ottawa really is a destination that can execute well on corporate meetings,” she said. This summer alone, the facility hosted gatherings for two major companies, Pet Valu and Sun Life Financial, keeping things buzzing during what can often be a slow time of year on the convention circuit. “Typically, summer is a quiet time for us, so we’ve got a lot of great things happening,” Ms. Kressler said. The Shaw Centre is also casting its glace farther afield in an effort to attract more

foreign delegations. Organizations from outside Canada represent about 20 per cent of this year’s convention total, a ratio the facility is aiming to grow. The building’s marketing team is specifically targeting three European cities that are home to a host of international organizations – European Union capital Brussels, London and Paris. Officials from the Shaw Centre joined their counterparts from Ottawa Tourism on a sales mission to London and Paris this spring that included meet-and-greet dinners with representatives from a number of major professional groups. The two Ottawa groups set their sights on organizations that have the capacity to move their events around the world and have board members with a strong local connection. “There is a great deal of research that (happens) prior to issuing the invites and executing the events because we don’t want to waste anybody’s time or money by doing things that aren’t (feasible),” Ms. Kressler explained.


GO GLOBAL

MDS Aero Support chief executive John Jastremski says the company loves being headquartered just down the road from the National Research Council. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

Aircraft engine testing firm firing on all cylinders Ottawa-based MDS Aero Support has no local customers, but that’s no problem – its reputation for cutting-edge engineering has gained it clients in all corners of the world BY DAVID SALI MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

david@obj.ca

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ttawa is not known as a hub for global air traffic, but that hasn’t stopped a south-end aerospace firm from becoming a household name in the aircraft industry. MDS Aero Support designs and builds facilities that test aircraft engines, and it counts the world’s major manufacturers such as Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney, General Electric and Siemens among its biggest clients. Its other customers include Air France and Royal Air Morac, the national airline of Morocco. The company’s cutting-edge testing centres can be found in more than

20 countries, but it does no business here in the capital and little in Canada. So why Ottawa? It’s a question MDS chief executive John Jastremski has heard more than once. “People often look at us and say, ‘Gee, a world-class company working for so many prominent (engine manufacturers), none of them based here in Ottawa,’” he says. “‘What could MDS possibly be doing in a location like this?’” The answer, he says, comes down to a number of factors. As the nation’s capital, the city is home to institutions such as the National Research Council that have helped the firm develop world-class technologies. In addition, Ottawa offers the company easy access to Global Affairs Canada’s international

trade experts, staff from 130 embassies and organizations such as Export Development Canada and the Canadian Commercial Corporation, a crown corporation that helps exporters such as MDS land foreign government procurement contracts. ‘INCREDIBLE LOCATION’ “Ottawa really is an incredible location for a company that is focused on exports,” Mr. Jastremski says. “If you’re going to export, these organizations for us certainly play an integral part of the equation. In our space in particular, with the NRC literally … just down the road, we’ve got access to, I think, one of the absolute best research institutes in our industry here in Ottawa.” Many of MDS’s 250 employees cut their engineering teeth just a few kilometres

to the west at Carleton University. Mr. Jastremski praises the school’s co-op program that allows engineering students to work for terms of up to 18 months, giving them time to learn the on-the-job skills necessary to be productive hires once they graduate. “We see tremendous advantages in that program,” he says. “We do a lot of training. We always hire for attitude and values first and then we look at skills.” But Ottawa’s status as a second-tier airline hub does present a few hurdles for a global company that prides itself on sitting down with customers face-to-face. With direct flights from the city to only two European centres, London and Frankfurt, international travel requires a bit of planning.


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“You have to appreciate that you do lose a lot when you’re not physically sitting face to face and looking at people’s expressions and demonstrating your genuine interest by taking the time and energy to sit with them. If I get on a plane and I travel for 20 hours to spend two days with somebody, it could take years to accomplish the same with (teleconferencing) tools.” – MDS AERO SUPPORT CEO JOHN JASTREMSKI

“If you were in Montreal or Toronto, you’d have an easier travel schedule, but it would never even cross my mind to move to one of those cities simply to make travel a little easier,” Mr. Jastremski says. “There’s just far too much (good about being headquartered) in Ottawa to even consider something like that.” Founded in 1985 as an offshoot of a Montreal construction firm, MDS has revenues of $80 million a year, a number that is growing at a double-digit clip. About

John Jastremski’s tips for going global: Trust is the foundation of any successful relationship: “We spend a lot of time helping our staff appreciate how in their particular space they could go about building trust.” Build a team of like-minded people who share the same core values: “A really big focus for us is people – the right person in the right role behaving the right way.” Invest quality time to understand your market and customers: “For us, that really means travel. I think that just pays dividends that are hard to put numbers against.”

Include your supply chain and community as business stakeholders: “With every decision we make, we’re really looking for a win-win for all stakeholders.”

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s climate change brings unexpected and often sudden changes in weather, the impact on airports, airlines and ultimately air travellers can be significant. Lightning Rain may dampen travel plans, but thunderstorms can disrupt them. Metal, people and lightning can be a deadly combination; to safeguard passengers and employees, the airport uses a sophisticated lightning warning system. When activated, the system sends alerts to the airport campus advising of the risk level. A “ground stop” is the highest level, temporarily halting all airside activity until safe conditions return. Recent storms Ottawa has seen its fair share of storms this summer. In addition to an incredible 108 rain days by the end of August, a violent storm mid-month caused downed trees, golf ball-sized hail, backed up sewers and debris over airport property. Thankfully, it was shortlived, and it did not impact YOW flight schedules. Numerous storms in other major cities throughout the summer, however, resulted in numerous flight disruptions and diverted flights to Ottawa. Diversions Over the past several years, severe summer and winter storms have caused irregular operations at airports across the continent. Airports and airlines work closely to maximize aviation safety and security; however, each has its own role to play during irregular operations and diversions. The Airport Authority is responsible for providing major infrastructure to facilitate air carrier movement and passenger processing, namely runways, taxiways, aprons and terminals. Airlines, and by extension, their third-party contracted ground agents, are responsible for passenger processing, baggage services, aircraft marshalling and refuelling, among other activities. The airlines and/or their agents are

DIVERTED AIRCRAFT AT YOW JULY 31, 2017. PHOTO BY JAN JASINSKI also responsible for providing all ground service equipment such as air stairs, ground power units, airside baggage equipment, and aircraft pushback/tow vehicles. A key airline responsibility is determining whether an aircraft will “gas and go”, which is weather permitting, or deplane passengers at the divert location. There are many factors that must be considered in these decisions such as flight origin and crew work-time limits. For instance, international arriving flights have Canada Customs requirements. The Airport Authority will always do what it can to help facilitate an airline’s decided course of action. Looking ahead If current weather trends continue, more disruptions can be expected. Because YOW sits between two major international hubs, it will likely be on the receiving end of more diversions in the future. While it’s impossible to predict when or how many unexpected flights may be diverted, the Authority will continue to work with its partners to make sure it provides the support needed by all airlines, whether scheduled or unexpected. Safety first Mark Laroche, Ottawa International Airport Authority President and CEO, sums it up best: “Safety is always the airport’s first priority. Whether ensuring that airport employees are safe during severe weather events, or facilitating smooth operations during irregular operations, the Authority is committed to providing every guest with the best possible experience.”

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It takes hard work to be successful: “Work ethic is a big part of what we look for in our staff. Anything worthwhile takes effort, and we surround ourselves with those that are ready to put in the effort. We know if we put in the effort and we do all those other things above well, good things will happen.”

Ottawa Airport’s chief priority is always safety first

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Ensure alignment among staff regarding your vision and priorities: “You can have an amazing team, but if half of your staff are rowing in one direction and they’re great rowers, and the other half is rowing in the other direction, there’s a net gain of zero.”

30 of its employees work outside Ottawa at offices in the United States, Great Britain and Russia, and the firm is opening another outpost in Shanghai before the end of the year to serve the rapidly growing Chinese market. The facilities its workers build are major feats of engineering designed to replicate the same environmental strains and stresses aircraft engines face in the real world, from gale-force winds to temperatures that can plummet below minus-50 C at high altitude. Often stretching the length of a football field and soaring more than five stories high, they take years to build at a typical cost of between $50 million and $100 million. Staying a step ahead of the competition is a constant worry, Mr. Jastremski concedes. One of the firm’s newest innovations is a system that uses turbines to convert a jet engine’s powerful exhaust stream into electricity. The technology is now being tested to see if it is marketable. “We believe this is going to be a gamechanger in our industry,” the CEO says. “All of the facilities to date basically just let (an engine’s exhaust) go up as hot air. It’s a necessary evil, but to be able to harness that energy would make many of these facilities reduce their carbon footprint.” The biggest lesson he’s learned about doing business on the global stage? Teleconferencing tools such as Skype are no match for good, old-fashioned face time with clients. “I imagine it’s equally important even for a domestic business, but I think it just gets amplified when you’re dealing with different languages and cultures,” says Mr. Jastremski. “I see many (companies) that learn the hard way by trying to use tools. I’m not saying there’s no place for tools – there certainly is. But you have to appreciate that you do lose a lot when you’re not physically sitting face to face and looking at people’s expressions and demonstrating your genuine interest by taking the time and energy to sit with them. If I get on a plane and I travel for 20 hours to spend two days with somebody, it could take years to accomplish the same with special tools.”

Extreme weather the new normal? What this means for air travel


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Before joining City Hall, Steve Willis helped oversee the NCC’s bidding competition for the LeBreton Flats redevelopment project. FILE PHOTO

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Meet City Hall’s most important person

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OBJ columnist Bruce Firestone recently sat down with the man he believes will have a bigger impact on the city’s future growth than anyone else: Ottawa’s new GM of planning and economic development Steve Willis

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Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series.

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met with Steve Willis in his office at City Hall after everyone else’s workday seemed to be over except his. He’s the City of Ottawa’s new general manager of planning, infrastructure and economic development, a crucial 700-person department in a 16,000-employee organization. In fact, he’s arguably the most important person not only working for the city but in all of Ottawa – at least in terms of his impact on the capital’s future economic prospects, its culture and brand. He’ll have more influence, directly and indirectly, on Ottawa’s ability to attract and retain the city’s most important resources – its entrepreneurs and young people – than anyone else,

including tech titans such as Terry Matthews. Born in Ottawa in the 1950s, Mr. Willis is just old enough to remember the awful planning decision to rip out the city’s streetcars at the end of that decade and replace them with noisy, smelly, lumbering diesel buses that everyone hates and can’t wait to see replaced or, at a minimum, augmented by light rail. He also recalls being forced to look for a job outside the city earlier in his life because of a lack of opportunities in his hometown, a condition he would prefer not to see repeated. Especially if a midsize city like Ottawa hopes to compete and win in a tough global environment where many futurists see a world in which megacities – those with a population of more than 10 million – will be unstoppable engines of growth, leaving smaller centres in their dust. And

Canada doesn’t have even one of those. Mr. Willis graduated from Queen’s University in 1992 with a master’s degree in planning, urban and regional planning. Before that, he studied at the University of Toronto, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science and economic history. He’s going to need all the political savvy he can muster to deal with what he acknowledges is his direct boss and final decider – Ottawa city council. You may also recognize Mr. Willis’s name from his time at the NCC, where, among other things, he guided the competition between the Ottawa Senators’ RendezVous LeBreton bid and DevCore’s proposal to redevelop LeBreton Flats. A towering figure at six feet five inches, he slouches to make other, shall we say, height-challenged people more

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“Look, we need good balance in our local economy; economic sustainability cannot be taken for granted. The key is attracting new talent and retaining existing talent.” – STEVE WILLIS, GENERAL MANAGER OF PLANNING, INFRASTRUCTURE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AT THE CITY OF OTTAWA

comfortable. He’s a good listener, and he parses his answers carefully so as to not only make himself clear but also so as not to give offence to either anyone present or someone who might someday learn of his pronouncements via, for example, a newspaper column. I asked Mr. Willis what his top priority is. He answered right away: “I want Ottawa to be the most livable midsize North American city.” So what does that actually mean? “That Ottawa is a safe, sustainable and welcoming place along with three plentiful things – jobs, jobs, jobs, especially for our children.” It’s a theme he returned to over and over again in our interview, and it’s consistent with my view that nothing is sustainable unless it’s economically sustainable. Just look at Ontario’s costly FIT (feed-in-tariff) clean energy program – an unsustainable fiasco, especially for consumers and industry. But I digress. “Look, we need good balance in our local economy; economic sustainability cannot be taken for granted,” he continued. “The key is attracting new talent and retaining existing talent. One of my department’s other strategic priorities is to focus on lean process design.”

Heritage Impact Statement,” she answered unhelpfully. “Huh?” both Dom and I said at the same time. Showing some frustration at our obtuseness, she said, “Look, Little Italy has a heritage overlay, so Dom will need to hire a consultant to make sure his renovation project is consistent with it.” “But Dom and his dad won’t be making any changes to the outside of their building, none. That building already has two separate doors, err, entrances,” I replied. “Sorry, it’s still a required study,” she answered sternly. “Ah, hmm, excuse me, but do you know how much all of this will cost?” Dom asked. $34,000 EXPENSE “Well, with all studies and fees about … uh, let me see, yeah, right, approximately $34,000!” she answered. Needless to say, Dom didn’t get his building permit, he and his spouse didn’t receive any extra income from their one and only asset, and Little Italy didn’t get another affordable rental unit, a loss for the city of Ottawa. Mr. Willis reacted to my retelling of this pitiful tale by saying, “That’s exactly why we want more delegated authority. This should have been kicked upstairs to one of our area managers to deal with using common sense.” Bravo. This is what the former city of Nepean under planning guru Bill Leathem used to do – take it upon itself, at the city’s own cost, to bring these kinds of travesties to planning committee and council to create exemptions when warranted. Mr. Leathem would never have concerned himself with “setting a precedent” as long it was a good one. Next issue, Mr. Firestone and Mr. Willis will discuss how city planning has changed in the digital world.

But some basic questions can be a mystery for managers going through the process for the first time. How much space do you need? How much will it cost? According to real estate services firm Colliers International, Canadian businesses typically require roughly 120 to 180 square feet of space per employee. Here’s another reference point: The average federal bureaucrat occupied 198 square feet of space in 2012-13, according to government figures, down from 232.5 square feet in 2006.

Rent

Gross rental rates in Ottawa can run from approximately $45 per square foot, per year, for class-A downtown space to $26 per square foot for suburban space in older buildings, according to Colliers. On the retail front, downtown is once again the most expensive option at $54 a square foot, according to a 2016 report by another real estate firm, Cushman & Wakefield. The most affordable area is just outside the core. The average price of retail space in east Ottawa – excluding Gloucester and Orleans – is just $25.27 per square foot. The Quartier Vanier BIA has prepared several tools to help entrepreneurs across the city find the right home for their businesses. These include a step-by-step guide to finding a location in Ottawa as well as a commercial space directory. Visit www.investinqv.com to access these resources and learn more.

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Bruce M. Firestone is a founder of the Ottawa Senators, a Century 21 Explorer Realty broker, real estate investor and business coach. Follow him on Twitter @ProfBruce or e-mail him at bruce.firestone@ century21.ca.

Moving into a proper office, storefront or studio is a major milestone for many entrepreneurs and business owners.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

COMMON-SENSE APPROACH When I asked him to further explain the concept of “lean process design,” he clarified it this way: “It’s like a business process review – we want to knock out steps in things like subdivision applications, site plans and engineering reviews. You know, find efficiencies … shorten up and simplify city processes.” He also mentioned he would like to address any overlap between what Invest Ottawa – the city’s arm’s-length economic development agency – does and what his department is responsible for. “Invest Ottawa is more of a clientfacing operation; we’re more of a policy shop,” Mr. Willis said. It remains to be seen what the full implications of his ongoing review of departmental activities will be. But it was a good lead-in to my next topic. In a 2016 study commissioned by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Ottawa ranked 82nd out of 121 cities for business-friendly policies, well below neighbouring Gatineau’s position at No. 49. Seventy per cent of Ottawa

respondents felt the city’s regulations were a barrier to business, up from 60 per cent the year before. “I am not familiar with that study,” Mr. Willis said. “But one of the things we are doing is asking city council for more delegated authority for me and especially for our four area managers to introduce more flexibility and pragmatism into our processes.” This sounds like bureaucratese, but it isn’t. It’s a crucial new stance, one that attempts to reintroduce common sense to a city with a huge and widely feared group of apparatchiks. I told Mr. Willis I’m not surprised at the study’s findings. I hear all the time from developers, homeowners and entrepreneurs that they are truly frightened to tangle with city employees about anything. I asked him what clients hate hearing most from the city. Maybe he’s thinking of Ronald Reagan’s nine most-feared words in the English language, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help,” but he was too polite to say anything, so he just shrugged. “We have concerns,” I said. We both laughed. I then told him a story about a client of mine who came to visit a young Ottawa planner last year. Dom (not his real name) and his wife own a triplex in Little Italy. They have a big, two-bedroom flat on the ground floor. Their plan? To divide the big unit that rents for about $1,400 a month into a pair of one-bedroom units that’ll rent for around $850 each. They have to add a wall, one micro-kitchen and one bathroom to make this happen. Total cost for renovations? About $15,000, which Dom and his dad planned to carry out as soon as they could get a building permit. The young planner, referring to her zoning code (a manual the size and heft of Oregon), said, “Well, first you’ll need to prepare and file a site plan. The Planning Act suggests it’ll take six months to complete it, but you’d better budget for a year. Then you’ll also need a traffic study and a streetscape heritage overlay study and ...” “Wait, hold on a sec,” I interrupted her. “I’ve never heard of a streetscape heritage overlay study. What is that?” “Well, it’s sometimes called a Cultural

HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR BUSINESS SPACE NEEDS AND BUDGET


ECONOMIC GROWTH Kanata North BIA boss Jenna Sudds bidding organization adieu BY CRAIG LORD craig@obj.ca

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he person at the heart of the Kanata North Business Association since its launch four years ago is leaving to pursue a new opportunity. Jenna Sudds announced to friends and colleagues in a social media post late last month that she will be stepping down as executive director of the Kanata North BIA. She wrote that she’ll be building a new organization “that will help business leaders across the country address the rapid pace of digital transformation and the challenges that this presents to Canadian business.” Ms. Sudds told OBJ she can’t give any more details right now, but she talked about her bittersweet feelings leaving the organization she helped to launch. “The BIA, I really considered it my startup,” she said. Before the organization was formed

in 2013, Ms. Sudds was a public servant, working as an economist for the federal government. She had never formally worked in the tech industry, but nonetheless found herself curious when she would drive by the technology park every day on her commute to work. When she read in a local newspaper about the formation of a Kanata North BIA, she decided it was time for a change of pace. “I had never done anything like this before,” she said. “It was so uncomfortable that it was awesome.” Ms. Sudds said that from the outset, she knew the BIA would be a unique beast. The memberships of most BIAs in Ottawa are made up of retail shops and restaurants. Kanata North’s members are largely hightech firms, with little need for festivals or marketing campaigns to attract foot traffic to the area. “It was very apparent that the programs and initiatives that you would put into place

Kanata North BIA’s Jenna Sudds. FILE PHOTO

for a typical BIA weren’t what were needed in this circumstance,” she said. Instead, she sought out to tell the stories of Kanata firms, celebrating their successes and connecting them to one another. Her goal, she said, was to build a community that would make the more than 20,000 employees who work in the area happy to come to work, turning them into

ambassadors for Kanata North. “Personally, I am so thrilled to have been able to create that and be part of that.” The BIA’s departure from the retailand-dining norms has caught on, with the Kanata Central BIA officially forming earlier this year. Ms. Sudds was on hand to provide input at meetings considering how nontraditional areas can benefit from a BIA. Observers have held the Kanata North BIA as an example of a successful economic development organization and a booster to its tech community. It’s currently the city’s third-largest BIA, behind the ByWard Market and Downtown Rideau organizations, with 558 members. Her tenure as executive director included many gratifying projects, but Ms. Sudds said there are a few “gold stars” that she looks back on with particular pride. One of the earliest and most important projects, she said, was the economic impact study the organization undertook. The study told the organization and the

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community “who and what they were” and was an important tool in branding and defining exactly what Kanata North was about. Ensuing marketing campaigns would draw on these early foundations. One of the more innocuous successes was a map of Kanata North that Ms. Sudds and her team published and printed in December. It’s a colourful depiction of the area with a calendar as well as the logos and locations of the numerous high-tech firms in the BIA.

“I had never done anything like this before. It was so uncomfortable that it was awesome.” – KANATA NORTH BIA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JENNA SUDDS, ON HELPING LAUNCH THE ORGANIZATION IN 2013

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Ms. Sudds said she made a post about the map on LinkedIn and was shocked by the level of attention it received. She said it had a positive impact on the sense of community in Kanata, and she has heard from commercial real estate brokers as far away as Vancouver who want a copy. “Everybody loves this map. It took on a life of its own.” More recently, Ms. Sudds said, she’s been proud of the work the organization has done in branding Kanata North as a hub for autonomous vehicles. She was on-hand earlier this summer as Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne toured BlackBerry QNX and took a ride in a self-driving car. Since announcing her departure, Ms. Sudds said she’s been touched by the outpouring of support from friends, colleagues and members of her community. It puts in perspective what day after day of work has meant in the bigger picture. “It’s hard to get a sense of how impactful the work you’re doing really is. So it’s been lovely to get such incredible feedback over the past few days.” Her final day isn’t until Oct. 20, but one of Ms. Sudds’ biggest priorities before that date is to find her own replacement. The job has been posted, but there’s no timeframe on finding the right person to take the reins. An entrepreneurial mindset might benefit the next executive director, whomever that may be. The characteristics that Ms. Sudds said she’s looking for in a new leader are remarkably similar to what you might find in the CEO of any startup: passion and adaptability. “You never know what’s going to show up at your office, in your inbox, on your voicemail. You just have to have that desire to really strive to make Kanata North and this technology community as robust and strong as you can.”


FINANCE Ottawa’s Marie Boivin removed from U.S. sanctions list Competing currency exchange shop takes Accu-Rate’s Carling Avenue location BY CRAIG LORD craig@obj.ca

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ocal businesswoman and former chair of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce Marie Boivin has been removed from the United States Treasury Department’s sanctions list. An update filed in late August to the list of individuals and entities currently facing U.S. sanctions specifically mentions the removal of Ms. Boivin from the list of sanctioned individuals, though no explanation was given. Ottawa-based foreign exchange firm Accu-Rate, its president Paul Davis and managing director Ms. Boivin were named among 12 individuals and 24 entities sanctioned last September. They

were labelled a “subsidiary or affiliate” of the Vancouver-based PacNet group, an organization accused of fraud and facilitating illicit transactions. Accu-Rate and Mr. Davis remain sanctioned by the Treasury Department. The designation prohibits U.S. individuals from having any business dealings with sanctioned companies and individuals. Additionally, property belonging to sanctioned entities or people that’s subject to U.S. jurisdiction is frozen. Ms. Boivin declined to comment on any outstanding issues regarding the firm or her own status. “I am simply happy to have been delisted by (the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control) and am looking forward to moving on with my life. It has been a very difficult year to say the least,”

she said in an emailed statement through her lawyer, Iwona Albrecht. On her LinkedIn page, Ms. Boivin currently lists herself as a consultant in areas such as change management and business strategies. FORMER CHAMBER CHAIR Businesswoman Marie Boivin. FILE PHOTO An OBJ Forty Under 40 award recipient in 2009, Ms. Boivin was the chair of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce when the Since the firm was placed on the sanctions were announced roughly a year sanctions list, Accu-Rate’s Ottawa locations ago. In January, the chamber confirmed she have closed. Its presence in the World was no longer in the role and named EY’s Exchange Plaza was shuttered, and in May Ian Sherman as acting chair in February. its Carling Avenue location was taken over The chamber still lists Mr. Sherman as the by another foreign exchange firm, Ultimate acting chair on its website. Currency Exchange. The U.S. Treasury Department did not Accu-Rate’s website has also gone offline return a request for comment on Ms. Boivin and now redirects to Ultimate Currency or Accu-Rate’s status. Exchange.

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mazon is looking for a city to build its second headquarters – a $5-billion project that will bring roughly 50,000 jobs to the successful applicant – and local officials are eagerly putting Ottawa’s name forward. “I’ve been in this business for 25 years. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bid this big. Fifty thousand people in one city. This is an economic development managing director’s dream,” said Blair Patacairk, Invest Ottawa’s managing director of investment and trade. The tech juggernaut released its ambitious request for proposals on Sept. 7, asking cities and regions across North America to make the case for hosting and sustaining a campus comparable to its current Seattle headquarters. Amazon has touted the economic benefits of its first HQ as a selling point for cities and economic development agencies to apply for “HQ2.” Among them, an estimated $38 billion in indirect economic benefit over the past six years in Seattle, as well as $3.7 billion of capital investments and infrastructure, $43 million paid into the city’s public transportation system through employee benefits and 233,000 annual hotel visits by visiting Amazon workers and their guests. Atlanta, Chicago, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Brooklyn, Austin, Memphis and Los Angeles are among the cities that Bloomberg predicts will be among the main contenders.

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However, Mr. Patacairk said Canada’s capital has several advantages. Amazon set up shop in Kanata a bit more than a year ago. At last report, 30 people now work in that office, largely on the company’s voice-activated Alexa home assistant. Mr. Patacairk said he and Invest Ottawa were working with Amazon for the past two years to make that move happen, and he’s confident in that relationship. “They’ve recognized that Ottawa has the talent base to grow part of their business,” he said. Amazon listed a number of requirements in its RFP that Mr. Patacairk said Ottawa is well-suited to fill.

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TECHNOLOGY Law firms turning the page on paper Driven by client demand, old-fashioned legal files are going the way of the typewriter – a move that could have a significant impact on the legal industry’s bottom line BY DAVID SALI david@obj.ca

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

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lliott Simcoe is one of Ottawa’s busiest patent agents, though you’d never know it by looking at his office inbox. Where you’d expect to find a stack of files stuffed with legal documents and urgent correspondence, there is nothing but an empty tray gathering dust. The outbox next to it is equally devoid of paper. Mr. Simcoe, a partner at Ottawa intellectual property firm Smart & Biggar, isn’t going on vacation or getting ready to retire. In fact, as a senior member of an organization that files more patent and trademark applications than any other firm in Canada, he’s probably got more on his proverbial tray than ever. But in a literal sense, that tray is now a museum piece. Like the rest of the lawyers at Smart & Biggar, Mr. Simcoe doesn’t do much business in paper form anymore, instead using an electronic file management system designed specifically for the company. “It is a quantum leap in terms of the ability to serve your clients,” he tells a reporter from OBJ during a tour of the firm’s downtown office on Metcalfe Street. Before Smart & Biggar ditched its paper file system earlier this year, Mr. Simcoe explains, it relied on “an army of people” to ferry documents back and forth between agents’ offices and its

Smart & Biggar’s Elliott Simcoe shows some of the thousands of paper case files the firm once consulted on a daily basis. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

mailroom, where the bulging files were catalogued and stored. At any given time, up to 8,000 of the bulky cardboard folders would be circulating throughout the office, says director of operations Mike Gore. In an industry where missing a deadline by a minute could theoretically cost a client the rights to a multimillion-dollar patent, time is truly money, and mailroom employees had carte blanche to enter any office at any time to deliver or retrieve sensitive documents. “You have to treat every file like it’s the Viagra file,” says Mr. Simcoe referring to client Pfizer’s most famous pharmaceutical product. “We live under that kind of time pressure. It’s part of our day.” A mailroom that once employed more than 30 people who scurried amid the din of constantly ringing phones and fax machines is now silent and deserted. In Mr. Gore’s words, it’s gone from “Grand Central Station” to “tumbleweeds and crickets.” Thanks to the new technology, Mr. Simcoe and his colleagues no longer have to wait for mailroom staffers to sift through shelves to locate a folder. All the data they need for any given case is available at the click of a mouse.

For an organization with clients on every continent, being able to quickly respond to their requests and inquiries is vital, Mr. Simcoe says. He’ll often answer e-mails he received from overseas during the night while enjoying his morning coffee at breakfast. “It was abundantly clear that going forward, we had to take a leap in terms of how we managed our files to match them with clients’ expectations and bringing our responsiveness up from what was an acceptable level in the ’90s and 2000s but just wasn’t going to cut it today in a 24-7, Twitter world,” he says. KEEPING PACE WITH CLIENTS Robert Sheahan, a partner at the Ottawa office of Gowling WLG, agrees. He began shifting his health law practice almost exclusively toward digital correspondence several years ago. “No question, our clients seem to want this,” he says. “I think a lot of our business clients, they are moving in this direction in their own businesses and they look to us to keep pace with that. “Business in general is becoming more and more mobile. The ability to access your files anywhere and everywhere with a fair degree of ease … is something we’ve never been able to do with a paper file

before – unless you want to carry around a huge barrister’s bag full of briefs.” Less paper also means less demand for mailroom workers, but most firms say cutting payroll isn’t the driving force behind going file-less. All of Smart & Biggar’s former mailroom employees have found jobs in other departments, Mr. Gore says, where they are learning new skills tailored to an electronic world. “The focus was never on reduction in that way,” he says. “It was more about client services, speed, efficiency.” Mr. Simcoe points to Hurricane Harvey and the swath of devastation it left behind in southern Texas to demonstrate the new technology’s worth. In the past, staffers would have had to rifle through hundreds of rows of folders to find each Houston-area client’s file and determine if any crucial deadlines were in danger of being missed. Instead, once Harvey’s impact became obvious, it took only a few clicks to know the status of every affected client’s file. “The patent office doesn’t care,” Mr. Simcoe says. “The law is clear. If we don’t file something on time, there is no way to save the case just because there was a 50-year flood in Houston. It doesn’t work that way.”


Doing away with physical files is boosting Smart & Biggar’s bottom line in other ways as well. The firm expects to see hefty cost savings on paper – many of the firm’s 35,000 active files contain hundreds of pages. It also no longer needs to purchase reams of specially designed, extra-thick cardboard folders to hold those documents. The shift away from paper also has the potential to dramatically alter the way firms use their office space – and how much of it they need. Smart & Biggar’s current 54,000-squarefoot office at 55 Metcalfe includes 5,000 square feet dedicated to mailroom and file storage uses. “You free up the file room space and now you have collaborative space where people can work together,” Mr. Gore says. Eventually, the firm plans to scan the paper files it still maintains and destroy the physical copies. When that day comes, it will likely relocate to smaller digs. Smart & Biggar’s Toronto office, for example, cut its footprint from 26,000 to 19,000 square feet after going file-less about a year ago. “It just allows you to use your space more smartly, more efficiently, than you did before,” Mr. Sheahan says. “There’s few more wasted spaces than a big file room.”

“You have to treat every file like it’s the Viagra file. We live under that kind of time pressure. It’s part of our day ... It was abundantly clear that going forward, we had to take a leap in terms of how we managed our files to match them with clients’ expectations.” – ELLIOTT SIMCOE, PARTNER AT SMART & BIGGAR

Still, most lawyers say paper won’t become entirely a thing of the past any time soon. Sean Bawden, a partner at Ottawa firm Kelly Santini LLP who specializes in employment law, says most courts still require documents to be filed the oldschool way. “The logistics of the courtroom make it challenging, I think most would say, to do anything but paper if we’re going to trial,” he says. “We’re getting there, but I think the real barrier is if the judge feels comfortable doing that.” Mr. Sheahan, who heads up Gowling’s health law practice in Ottawa, explains

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do we take those same safeguards that were the reason behind why we had to sign a document and move that into the digital age?” Going digital also requires rethinking the way people work, a process that takes time, he says. “Change is gradual because we have to make sure that every step we take along that road doesn’t compromise the integrity of the process and the reliability of those documents,” Mr. Sheahan says. “In many ways, the decision to reduce paper, that’s the easy part. The more difficult part is, OK, how do we go about doing it and then what’s our digital practice going to look like? How are those files going to be organized? You can’t put sticky notes on the edge of your paper and call that a filing system anymore.” Still, the move to a paperless world is gaining momentum at law firms everywhere, and it’s not likely to slow down. “I can only imagine a year from now what this place is going to be like in terms of our ability to meet our clients’ expectations,” Mr. Elliott says. “When they say it’s a 24-7 world, they’re not kidding.”


THE LIST 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 13 MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

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Company/Address Phone/Fax/Web Commissionaires Ottawa 24 Colonnade Rd. Ottawa, ON K2E 7J6 613-231-6462 / 613-567-1517 commissionaires-ottawa.on.ca Iron Horse Security & Investigations 884 Churchill Ave. Ottawa, ON K1Z 5H2 613-228-2813 / 613-228-9812 ironhorsesecurity.com Securitas Canada* 500-1335 Carling Ave. Ottawa, ON K1Z 8N8 613-745-7554 / 613-745-6483 securitas.ca GardaWorld 2250 Gladwin Cr. Ottawa, ON K1G 3V4 613-563-0685 / 613-563-4106 garda.com TOERSA Security 20C Cleopatra Dr. Ottawa, ON K2G 0B3 613-695-9371 toersa.com Capital Security & Investigations 9-2559 Innes Rd. Ottawa, ON K1B 3K1 613-744-1194 / 613-741-7919 capitalsecurity.ca G4S Secure Solutions (Canada) 201-720 Belfast Rd. Ottawa, ON K1G 0Z5 888-717-4447 g4s.ca FCi (Fleming Communications Inc.) 101-920 Belfast Rd. Ottawa, ON K1G 0Z6 613-244-6770 fci.ca Response Safety Security & Investigations 300-1732 Woodward Dr. Ottawa, ON K2C 0P9 613-567-2737 response-security.com Harris Security Agency* 1140-2720 Queensview Dr. Ottawa, ON K2B 1A5 613-726-6713 / 613-726-2607 harrissecurity.ca Defron Security Services* 700-1 Rideau St. Ottawa, ON K1N 8S7 613-800-9067 / 1-888-611-5878 defron.ca Henderson Security 200G-356 Woodroffe Ave. Ottawa, ON K2A 3V6 613-728-6467 / 613-728-6477 hendersonsecurity.com Canadian Security Team* H-18 Enterprise Ave. Ottawa, ON K2G 0A6 613-725-9939 / 613-725-1067 canadiansecurityteam.ca Inkas Security Services 11 Precision Dr. Kemptville, ON K0G 1J0 416-744-3322 / 416-744-3535 security.inkas.ca Signal 88 Security 421 Richmond Rd. P.O. 67109 Ottawa, ON K2A4E4 613-801-3466 / 613-801-1055 signal88.com Red Flag Security 215-1690 Woodward Dr. Ottawa, ON K2C 3R8 613-667-2287 redflagsecurity.ca BAAR Security 39 Bearbrook Rd. Ottawa, ON K1B 3H4 613-841-7265 baarsecurity.com Barnes Protection Services* 28 Merner Ave. Ottawa, ON K2J 4A6 613-726-6349 barnesprotection.com

LARGEST SECURITY SERVICES FIRMS (RANKED BY NUMBER OF LOCAL EMPLOYEES)

No. of local offices/ No. of national offices

Key localexecutive(s)/ Year established in Ottawa Major clients

No. of local employees

No. local contract staff

3,700

0

3 1

Paul A. Guindon CEO 1939

WND

Private security; digital fingerprinting; non-core policing; criminal background checks; pre-employment screening; threat risk assessments; workplace investigations; mobile alarm response

1,776

0

1 2

Robin St. Martin president 1994

WND

Security guards; concierge services; mobile patrols; alarm response; private investigations

1,300

0

1 24

Gina Napolitano area vice-president 2001

WND

Security services, including specialized guarding, mobile security services, alarm response, technology solutions; remote video monitoring, inspections, consulting and investigation services.

600

0

1 37

Andrew Wilkinson regional director 2002

Health care; retail; educational; mining

Provides business solutions and security services around the world in natural resources, retail, construction, telecommunications and manufacturing.

RBC Bluesfest; CityFolk; RCMP; Cirque du soleil; Ottawa2017; Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market; Ottawa Westin; Shaw Centre; Shopify; TD Ottawa Jazzfest; Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival; Glow Fair Festival; Kemptville Live; Westfest; Beaus Oktoberfest; War Museum; Museum of History; Wesley Clover Parks; Pickering Markets

Professional security guard services; mobile patrol; alarm response; close protection specialists; private investigations; OSG training; first aid/ CPR/AED training; event management and consultation; stage security and artist protection; concierge services

WND

Uniformed guards; investigators; burglar alarm systems; patrols; mobile patrols

450

60

1 0

Chris Ibey president and CEO 2008

275

0

1 1

Georges Lalande president and owner 1990

150

1 21

135

0

1 0

Mike Fleming CEO Geoff Oakes president 1995

125

WND

1 0

100

45

45

255

Jake Wardill general manager Public service institutions; public safety; Kyle Wightman health care regional general manager 1997

Services offered

Security personnel services; corporate security and investigations; detainee transportation; emergency preparedness and disaster response; event security; executive protection; key holding; labour dispute management; loss prevention; alarm response; guarding; electronic system design

Health care; government; technology; private sector and financial institutions

Provides design, integration and training of IP-based security solutions, including access control, video surveillance and intrusion detection.

Denis Condie president and founder 1994

WND

Guard services; alarm response; mobile patrols

2 0

James Harris President and CEO 2002

WND

Security guard training

20

1 4

Craig Pierre account sales manager 2013

WND

Security guards; concierge; loss prevention agents; mobile patrols; building caretakers; executive protection; surveillance operators

12

3

1 0

Troy Brake president 1959

WND

Residential security; commercial security; medical emergency; video surveillance; intercome systems; access control; fire monitoring

10

0

1 0

Thomas Smetana president 1997

WND

Guard services; video surveillance; security systems; home automation; home theatre

10

0

1 9

Jeff McNeil 2015

RBC; Canadian Tire; Shoppers Drug Mart; TTC; STM; City of Toronto; Malca Amit; Cardtronics; Loomis

Provides full-spectrum security services, including armed security, cash in transit, coin processing, shipment liability coverage, ATM management and vault storage.

10

0

1 2

Andrew Ralph 2015

Condonuminums; construction; events

Security guards, mobile patrols, alarm response

4

1

1 0

George Fahd director 2008

Residential; commercial; small-to-midsize businesses

Alarm and surveillance; access control; wiring

2

7

1 0

Ken Nelson president 1993

WND

Intrusion alarm systems; video surveillance; access control; monitoring

2

30

1 0

Bruce Barnes owner/president 1986

WND

Burglar alarm; camera installation; monitoring; medical and environmental alarms; access control; home automation

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 research@obj.ca This list is current as of August 9, 2017. Š 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 research@obj.ca. 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 research@obj.ca.


FOR THE RECORD Contracts The following contains information about recent contracts, standing offers and supply arrangements awarded to local firms.

Williams Scotsman Canada Inc. 3455 Hawthorne Rd. Description: Office trailer rental Buyer: PWGSC $15,000,000 M. Sullivan & Son Ltd. 236 Madawaska Blvd. Arnprior Description: M38 – Construction management Buyer: National Research Council $4,763,856 Magal-S3 Canada Inc. 900 Greenbank Rd. Description: CCTV Equipment Buyer: Correctional Service of Canada $2,295,672 Alliance Engineering & Construction Ltd. 348 Patricia Ave. Description: Mechanical and electrical work – radiation building Buyer: PWGSC $1,770,000 Robertson Martin Architects Inc. 216 Pretoria Ave. Description: Architectural consultant, Phase III Province House (PEI) Buyer: PWGSC $1,704,300

Neptec Design Group Ltd. 302 Legget Dr. Description: Astronautics (R&D) Buyer: Canadian Space Agency $1,120,998 Haworth Ltd. 2355 St. Laurent Blvd. Description: Furniture – McDonald Building Buyer: PWGSC $975,767 CGI Information Systems and Management Consultants Inc. 1410 Blair Pl. Description: Software support and development for electrooptical system performance study Buyer: DND $965,790 Michael Wager Consulting Inc. 173 Dalhousie St. Description: IM/IT professional services – Tier 2 Buyer: DND $956,643 NAV Canada 77 Metcalfe St. Description: Self-contained training facility Buyer: DND $870,799 Ameresco Canada Inc. 106 Colonnade Rd. N. Description: FBI project – CFS alert Buyer: PWGSC $581,001

The Masha Krupp Translation Group Ltd. 1547 Merivale Rd. Description: Translation – general and administrative texts Buyer: PWGSC $431,156 Frequentis Canada Ltd. 1400 Blair Pl. Description: ADP input-output and storage devices Buyer: DND $386,236 General Contractors Raymond & Assoc. Inc. 3091 Albion Rd. N. Description: Barn restoration at 3160 Ramsayville Rd. for the NCC in Ottawa Buyer: National Capital Commission $354,820 TMR3 Couvreur Inc. 1800 Chemin Pink Description: Building 2E roof replacement Buyer: Industry Canada $338,412

KSAR 2026 Lanthier Dr. Description: NCC professional services for the ombudsman responsibilities, National Capital Region Buyer: National Capital Commission $254,250 J.J.M. Meloche Construction 56 de Beauvallon St. Description: NCA bridges – maintenance patrols Buyer: PWGSC $244,107 Tricrest Services PO Box 17, Cumberland Description: M-54 roof sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 Buyer: National Research Council $226,660 Altruistic Informatics Consulting Inc. 2487 Kaladar Ave. Description: Change management consultant Buyer: Elections Canada $226,385

D-TA Systems Inc. 2500 Lancaster Rd. Description: Radio and television communications equipment, except airborne Buyer: DND $206,810 Entrust Ltd. 1000 Innovation Dr. Description: Informatics professional services Buyer: Canada Border Services Agency $197,703 International Safety Research 38 Colonnade Rd. Description: Radon survey technical support Buyer: DND $193,327 Nelson Water Inc. 248 Westbrook Rd. Description: Water quality monitoring services for the NCC in Ottawa and Gatineau Buyer: National Capital Commission $185,273

ESRI Canada Ltd. 1600 Carling Ave. Description: ADP software Buyer: DND $102,212

Magal-S3 Canada Inc. 900 Greenbank Rd. Description: PA system replacement – Grande Cache Buyer: Correctional Service of Canada $288,301

L U N C H

S E R I E S

served as chair of the human resources and compensation committee. Jordan Danger Kent has been named marketing director of Rainbow Foods Canada. A 2017 Forty Under 40 recipient, Ms. Danger Kent is the creative director at DANGER Communications and was previously the marketing, communications and UX lead at Invest Ottawa. Nolan Beanlands has been named the new executive director of the Capital Angel Network. He replaces Jane Baird in the role. Mr. Beanlands departs as the program manager at the University of Ottawa’s Statrtup Garage after three years and remains associate director of the Founder Institute’s Ottawa chapter.

Featuring: Mark Freel Telfer School of Management Mark Freel

Panelists: Brennan Turner FarmLead Andrew Waitman Assent Compliance More to come!

When: Thursday, September 28, 2017 5 pm - 7:30 pm Where: Telfer School of Management Camille Villeneuve Room (DMS 4101) 55 Laurier Avenue East Individual Tickets: $30.00 (Ottawa Chamber Members) $40.00 (Non-members)

Brennan Turner Sponsored by:

Andrew Waitman

Email info@ottawabusinessevents.ca to receive weekly updates on all our events.

15 OBJ.CA

BluMetric Environmental announced the appointment of Jane Pagel as chair of its board of directors. Ms Pagel has been acting as interim chair since March. She has been an independent director for several years, and has

Tricrest Services PO Box 17, Cumberland Description: M-54 roof sections 5A and 5B Buyer: National Research Council $116,660

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

Hydropothecary appointed Pierre Killeen as the company’s vicepresident of corporate communications and government relations. He was previously a vice-president at Hill+Knowlton, a public relations and public affairs firm.

Laplante Builders Ltd. 3021 Tenth Line Rd. Description: U-66 new telecommunication rooms Buyer: National Research Council $119,850

Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology 1385 Woodroffe Ave. Description: ESU technical training Buyer: DND $300,000

Topic: Ottawa’s Hottest Startups

People on the move

University of Ottawa Faculty of Arts 75 Laurier Ave. E. Description: Informatics professional services Buyer: Canada Border Services Agency $135,000


THE 2017 BOOK OF LISTS HAS ARRIVED

Available in print at OBJ box and stand locations and online at obj.ca/BOL *Distribution begins September 18, 2017

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BEYOND BITCOIN VISION FOR THE ONE OTTAWA STARTUP’S BOLD OF BLOCKCHAIN

CONNECTING TECH

IN OTTAWA

VOL. 3, ISSUE 2

BANKING ON A BLOCKCHAIN FUTURE PAGE 2

FUTURE

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

10 YEARS OF TIM REVIEW

, “I remember people saying4 ‘Ottawa can’t do this’” Page

BEYOND BITCOIN ONE OTTAWA STARTUP’S BOLD VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF BLOCKCHAIN

LEAD ME ON

Michael Bell seeks leadership6 lessons from local CEOs Page

SURVEY SAYS

News on SurveyMonkey’s future in Ottawa Page 8

CONNECTING TECH IN OTTAWA

BANKING ON A BLOCKCHAIN FUTURE PAGE 2

VOL. 3, ISSUE 2

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

10 YEARS OF TIM REVIEW

“I remember people saying, ‘Ottawa can’t do this’” Page 4

LEAD ME ON

Michael Bell seeks leadership lessons from local CEOs Page 7

SURVEY SAYS

News on SurveyMonkey’s future in Ottawa Page 9


SYSTEM UPDATE

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Smarter Alloys tackles global markets with Perley Robertson, Hill & McDougall. As a PhD student, Ibraheem Khan was for months frustrated by what he believed to be a fatal flaw in his thesis work to weld shape-memory alloys to other materials. Until he realized that he had in fact discovered something entirely new that could be worth billions of dollars.

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s a PhD student, Ibraheem Khan was for months frustrated by what he believed to be a fatal flaw in his thesis work to weld shape-memory alloys to other materials. Until he realized that he had in fact discovered something entirely new that could be worth billions of dollars. That’s when Khan decided to become an entrepreneur. He launched his own company, Smarter Alloys, in 2011. A shape-memory alloy is a material that “remembers” its previous shape. When it is deformed, it will hold its new shape until subjected to some external force or change in temperature. Then it will spring back to its original form. Khan had inadvertently created a material that could hold the memory of two different shapes, not just one, and be tuned to change its shape with a precision of just 0.05 millimeters.

Getting to market, without losing control Despite such a wealth of opportunity and access to funding, there have been several bumps in the road for Smarter Alloys to finally have its first product – SmartArch – in the market. “Everything takes longer than you would anticipate,” said Khan. “From a business standpoint there is always a burn rate, costs – time is money. Something I have learned is always be well funded, because the last thing you want is to be looking for funds when you don’t have funds. I’ve witnessed a lot of my peers look for funding at the wrong time and pay a heavy price.” Khan’s trusted legal advisor throughout has been Tim McCunn, Partner and lawyer with the Business Law Group at PerleyRobertson, Hill & McDougall LLP/s.r.l. “I really have fun working with young companies,” McCunn said. “That’s what makes my job exciting and colourful – the clients. It’s a dream to work with someone like Ibraheem.” McCunn has worked with Khan to assemble a trusted advisory board of seasoned high-tech executives, secure financing on the best terms for the company founders, protect the company’s intellectual property, and develop a corporate structure that reduces financial risk, by establishing subsidiaries and industry partnerships to

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

Reshaping global industries Where is this useful? Take the various types of actuators used in your car or SUV to control valves, door locks and so forth. A unit that weighs 100 grams can be replaced with a shape-memory wire that weighs just three grams. The same drastic reduction in weight, bulk and materials is possible with other systems, such as the adjustable lumbar support system in the driver’s seat.

Or take orthodontics. Patients no longer must suffer through two or more years of treatment with braces, as teeth are adjusted one at a time with arch wires through painful tightening procedures. Smarter Alloys’ SmartArch archwires allow most teeth to be adjusted simultaneously with much more precision. This reduces discomfort, clinical visits and cuts overall treatment time. Other applications range from golf clubs to implantable medical devices.

TECHOPIA.CA

02 www.perlaw.ca

Tim McCunn, Partner, Business Law Group at Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall LLP/s.r.l.

pursue opportunities in different market verticals. Practical advice that builds business “My work is all about providing practical advice, to avoid the mistakes that cause founders to lose control of their companies or spread themselves too thin chasing too many opportunies,” McCunn said. For Khan, that means getting the timely advice he needs, even if it might not be what he wants to hear. “Find a great lawyer who is on the same wavelength and stick with him,” Khan said. “Tim’s time and commitment has given him unmatched insight into who we are and what we need to get where we are going.” To learn more about how PerleyRobertson, Hill & McDougall can help grow your business, visit www.perlaw.ca.


GATINEAU COMMERCE FIRM LAUNCHES MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR ‘SMITH LABS’ TECHOPIA.ca

transaction fees for bitcoin were just a few cents, making it affordable to walk up to an ATM, put five dollars in and get five bitcoin back. “A very easy pitch point for digital currency was, ‘Oh, you should just pay me bitcoin, it’s free,’” Adham says. “It was a great way to just onboard somebody and show them the magic of this new type of currency.” Now, as the frequency of transactions per block (the foundation of the Bitcoin payment network with a set activity capacity) increases, so do the transaction fees. When the exchange rate reaches five dollars to four bitcoin, selling a skeptic on the idea of digital currency is a bit more complicated. The next step for the ATMs is likely to add ether, the digital currency born from the Ethereum network, which is being touted as a strong alternative to the popular incumbent. This presents its own problems, though. The transactions become more complex when the machine has to explain, over the course of a one-minute interaction, what the differences between cryptocurrencies are to a user who has never dabbled in digital currencies before.

SMART CONTRACTS MOE ADHAM, CEO AND CO-FOUNDER OF BITACCESS, NEXT TO A BITCOIN ATM. PHOTO BY CRAIG LORD.

OUR DIGITAL CURRENCY FUTURE

Why one Ottawa startup is betting big on Bitcoin ATMs, smart contracts and all things blockchain

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wallet or take some out, and receive an electronic receipt sent by text message to their smartphone. It’s a simple, familiar transaction that Adham says is meant to onboard new users to the idea of using a digital currency. The first ATM was launched in Toronto’s financial district on New Year’s Day in 2014. The initial site was a hub for blockchain enthusiasts then called Bitcoin Decentral, now just Decentral. It has become an auspicious starting point for digital currencies: Adham says the origins of Ethereum actually spawned from here, too. “The founder of Ethereum (Vitalik Buterin) was the IT guy there that day. He was the one helping us setup the internet for the ATM,” he recalls. While Adham looks back on their first ATM, the efforts of three weeks’ work on the he days of considering cryptocurrencies digital currencies, are already disrupting the project, as a rudimentary product, the global a niche interest – reserved for a few still-fresh sector. Ethereum, for example, response to their innovation was immediate. brilliant but isolated programmers – are allows companies to crowdfund their own “We knew we were on to something over. Whether you’re an early adopter, a cryptocurrencies through an initial coin because we immediately got interest from all recent convert or remain a steadfast skeptic, offering, or ICO, as an alternative to raising around the world for more of these things,” blockchain’s capacity to overhaul fintech can money on a traditional exchange. Adham says. He and his team maxed out no longer be ignored. There are thousands of opportunities their credit cards and got to work mass For the unaware, digital currencies for startups to enter this market and producing their bitcoin ATMs. or cryptocurrencies are intangible, take blockchain in a new, previously Though they’re now manufactured decentralized forms of money. unimagined direction. In fact, that’s exactly through a partner in China, they were first Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, the most what Bitaccess did, an Ottawa-based firm produced out near the Ottawa International common example of digital cash, are built that now has hundreds of bitcoin ATMs Airport. The ATMs quickly spread to on the back of blockchain networks or, operating around the world. Belgium, Switzerland and across the United a series of ledgers maintained across the “I am absolutely convinced that digital States. Today, there are more than 1,000 internet. currencies are here to stay. They’re not going across the world, including a couple in One of the selling points of anywhere. They are going to be a deeper and Ottawa. cryptocurrencies is that they’re not bound deeper part of our lives,” says co-founder by the same restrictions as traditional and CEO Moe Adham. BEYOND BITCOIN currencies. Transactions are borderless, for The rise of competing cryptocurrencies example, making it easier to pay bills or send THE GATEWAY TO DIGITAL CURRENCY provides new opportunities and challenges money internationally with a bitcoin instead Bitcoin ATMs look nearly indistinguishable for Bitaccess. Counterintuitively, the surging of a Canadian dollar. from traditional models, but are connected popularity of bitcoin ATMs has dwindled, But it’s not just bitcoin anymore. Digital to the Bitcoin network instead of a personal Adham says, as bitcoin itself becomes more platforms such as Ethereum, with more bank account. Users can walk up to the mainstream. complex capabilities than acting solely as machine, put a few dollars into their digital When they were just starting out,

Blockchain isn’t limited to digital currency, though, and Bitaccess is pivoting accordingly. “Ethereum, when it was conceived, was not necessarily designed as a payment network… It was designed for what they call smart contracts,” Adham says. The foundation of blockchain is that its ledgers are maintained by a series of concurrent records on nodes (any personal computer linked to the blockchain) around the world. Instead of a centralized body such as a bank or government verifying the validity and value of a currency, these hundreds of thousands of nodes ensure that if a single record is changed on one computer, the others are there to correct it. This same concept can be applied to contracts, and Ethereum’s programming specifically allows for this functionality. Bitaccess builds smart contracts for specific use cases such as options trading and public auditing. Adham says the company is also building a product to help users secure their increasingly-digital asset portfolios. One of the firm’s goals is to add property rights to blockchain, but that may require a concession in terms of decentralization. An authoritative body would have to verify who owns a property on the blockchain in the first place. “Unless we start by putting authoritative data on a blockchain, we might lose the momentum we have now to see smart contracts become what they can truly be,” Adham says. If Bitaccess is successful, and the momentum of blockchain and digital currencies continues, these applications will pervade our lives in as-of-yet unimaginable ways. Beyond holding bitcoin or ether in your wallet, decentralized, digital records may become the norm for all aspects of ownership and public holdings. “I believe that there’s an immense opportunity in that space, and Bitaccess is really well positioned to capture a lot of that value,” Adham says.


“I think as a company, if you can get those two things right — having a clear direction on what you are trying to do and bringing in great people who can execute on Follow TECHOPIA on Twitter @techopiaOTT or like us at Facebook.com/techopiaOTT the stuff — then you can do pretty well.” – MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO OF FACEBOOK

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We’re trying to do something with the rigour of academia but at the pace of business. - CHRIS MCPHEE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, TIM REVIEW

TIM REVIEW’S EVOLUTION FROM LOCAL JOURNAL TO INTERNATIONAL RESOURCE BY: CRAIG LORD

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rom its humble beginnings as the Open Source Business Resource to its status today as an internationally acclaimed journal for academics and businesspeople alike, the Technology Innovation Management Review has made its name on staying ahead of the curve. Tony Bailetti, director of Carleton University’s TIM program, launched the journal back in 2007. At the time, it was an experiment to uncover how business owners might make use of open-source applications. These questions were on the minds of local companies such as Newbridge Networks and Nortel, and Bailetti says he was approached by firms such as these to launch a publication that would provide answers. “We knew what open-source was in terms of the software; we knew how the project worked; we had no idea how it worked economically,” he says. Bailetti didn’t know it then, but the founding of the Open Source Business Resource established a precedent that the TIM Review carries on today as it explores topics such as cybersecurity, living labs and, most recently, machine learning. “The success of the journal has been that we focus on things that are new, that are novel, before they become mainstream.” Chris McPhee, the editor-in-chief of the journal, puts it another way: TIM Review goes to the places where there are more questions than answers.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

FROM LOCAL TO INTERNATIONAL

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The origins of the OSBR focused largely on Ottawa, with academics and authors drawn from the surrounding area. Bailetti says the plan was to start in the city, then expand to Ontario and finally to the rest of the world. The goal, he says, was always to be global. When McPhee joined the journal in 2010, it marked a shift away from opensource and the rebranding of the journal into the TIM Review. By then, the monthly publication had a sizeable following, but it had gone as far as it could on its initial opensource niche. It was time to take off the training wheels and see where it could go. The TIM Review straddles the line between an academic and practical journal.

NEW TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Bailetti and McPhee were out for a beer one evening, reflecting on what might be next for the journal. How do they raise their traffic from 25,000 visitors per month to 100,000? “What are we going to be when we grow up?” Bailetti asked. As part of its special anniversary issue, TIM Review undertook a topic modelling analysis of its entire archive. The team used a machine learning tool to read the hundreds of published articles and break down into specific topics what the journal has been covering. Common and connected words are identified by the algorithm, revealing clusters, or topics. Words such as data, security, and vulnerability can be grouped as “cybersecurity,” whereas co-creation, city and stakeholder would fit under “living labs.” The topics are then modelled, and articles are filtered based on how they fit in these groupings, with a few floating between. Topic modelling allows observers to step back and see the overview of an archive as massive as the TIM Review. Some topics don’t come as a surprise: Cybersecurity, for example, is a conscious focus of the journal today. But Bailetti realized firsthand that topic modelling can correct your assumptions and biases. A colleague introduced him to topic modelling by analyzing some of his students’ papers. While he was certain that “growth” was the main thrust of his Technology Entrepreneurship class, topic modelling revealed his students were writing about product features, or incorporating customer feedback – growth was hardly mentioned, and his colleague told him as TONY BAILETTI (LEFT), DIRECTOR OF CARLETON UNVIERSITY’S TIM PROGRAM, AND CHRIS MCPHEE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF TIM REVIEW. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON. much. “If growth is what you’re doing in your course, you better go back and tell your students, because that’s not what they’re and social innovation has earned it writing about,” Bailetti recalls him saying. international acclaim. According to a Not only was it a wake-up call as to the self-analysis on the occasion of its 10-year power of topic modelling, it was a clear sign anniversary, 70 per cent of the TIM Review’s that he needed to double down on growth in readership resides outside of the Americas. his lessons. Additionally, 56 per cent of article authors “I just blasted everybody,” Bailetti says from across its 10-year history are from the with a laugh, recalling the ensuing class with Americas, compared with 85 per cent at the his students. time of the rebrand. Examining the potentials of machine McPhee says the most exciting statistic learning and topic modelling is part of the to him, though, relates to the most popular vision for the future of the TIM Review. While articles in the journal’s history. Seven of the Bailetti says he’s seen academics do analyses 10 most popular articles were written by of journals in this way, the journals have not TIM students, instructors or local Ottawa yet adopted the tools themselves. entrepreneurs. “Let’s try something nobody else will do. “We started something here at Carleton, There’s no other journal in the world that I in our local ecosystem, put it out into the know that is doing this on a recurring basis.” world, and the content that’s rising to the top A decade from now, Bailetti and McPhee - TONY BAILETTI, DIRECTOR OF CARLETON UNIVERSITY’S TIM PROGRAM is the local content,” he says. will probably be having another beer, “I remember the pushback, people reflecting on 20 years of the TIM Review. Authors come from both sides and are saying, ‘Ottawa can’t do this,’” Bailetti recalls. With thousands more articles in the archive, encouraged to support their theories with Ten years on, more than one million topic modelling may show the uncharted lived experiences. people have visited TIM Review online, directions the journal travelled over the “We’re trying to do something with and the journal has 25,000 unique monthly decade. the rigour of academia but at the pace of visitors. It’s clear now that Ottawa can do The question on the table, though, likely business,” McPhee says. this; the questions now are about how far it will not have changed: “What are we going Its work in areas such as cybersecurity can go and how it will get there. to be when we grow up?”

Let’s try something nobody else will do. There’s no other journal in the world that I know that is doing this on a recurring basis.


HOW BRUCE LINTON’S CHAINSAW INSPIRED STEVE CODY’S NEXT VENTURE TECHOPIA.ca

TECHOPIA LIVE

In 2017, Techopia doubled down on its mission to connect you, the audience, to the local tech scene with a weekly broadcast called Techopia Live. Every week, we’ve sat down with entrepreneurs, technology executives and fascinating individuals who are getting it done in Ottawa. Now, we’ve launched a second weekly show. We’re streaming on Techopia’s Facebook page every Monday and Wednesday from Bayview Yards and KRP Properties at 12:15 p.m. If you miss the show it’s always available to watch afterwards, but if you’re not tuning in, you’re missing out on fascinating and real conversations about technology in Ottawa and beyond.

“THEY FOUND THE BEST DAMN PLATFORM TO PUT IN THEIR CARS THEY COULD POINT TO. AND THAT WAS QNX. AND THAT’S IN OTTAWA.” - INVEST OTTAWA PRESIDENT AND CEO MIKE TREMBLAY ON FORD’S INVESTMENT IN OTTAWA’S AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES SECTOR

“THE MONEY IS SECONDARY. THESE ARE PARTNERS. YOU MAY THINK YOU NEED THE MONEY, OR THEY’RE INVESTORS, BUT REALLY AT THE END OF THE DAY, THESE ARE PARTNERS. YOU HAVE TO REALLY VET WHO YOU’RE PARTNERING WITH.” - STEVE CODY, FOUNDER OF BETTER SOFTWARE CO. AND RUCKIFY, ON RAISING FINANCING ROUNDS

“THE OPPORTUNITY WE’RE PURSUING IS HUGE. THIS BUSINESS CAN’T BE A LIFESTYLE BUSINESS … IF WE’RE NOT THE NEXT PAYPAL, IF WE’RE NOT THE NEXT VISA, WE KIND OF FAILED.” - CHANGEJAR FOUNDER TOM CAMPS

“PEOPLE IN OTTAWA WANT TO HELP EACH OTHER… THIS IS A VERY TIGHT BUSINESS COMMUNITY, AND THERE’S A VERY HIGH DEGREE OF WILLINGNESS FOR PEOPLE TO HELP EACH OTHER.” - STRATFORD MANAGERS FOUNDER AND OTTAWA TECH VETERAN JIM ROCHE

- SUSAN RICHARDS, FOUNDER OF GIVOPOLY AND NUMBERCRUNCH, ON WHY YOU CAN’T FORCE GROWTH IN A STARTUP WHEN THE TIMING ISN’T RIGHT

“SOMEONE FIGURED OUT HOW TO MAKE A CHEAP QUADCOPTER… YOU WALK INTO BESTBUY, YOU’RE A PILOT… DRONES SUDDENLY WENT FROM SPY DRONES, KILLER DRONES TO COOL – AND A PRODUCT.” - ING ROBOTIC AVIATION FOUNDER IAN GLENN ON THE COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITIES OF DRONES

05 TECHOPIA.CA

- KANATA NORTH BIA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JENNA SUDDS AT THE DISCOVER TECHNATA TALENT EXPO

“NINE WOMEN CAN’T MAKE A BABY IN ONE MONTH.”

- GIATEC CO-FOUNDER AND CEO AALI ALIZADEH

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

“NEW COMPANIES MOVE IN FROM THE U.S. AND ELSEWHERE, AND I THINK IT’S FABULOUS. THEY ARE CHOOSING OTTAWA, THEY ARE CHOOSING THE KANATA NORTH TECHNOLOGY PARK BECAUSE OF OUR TALENT.”

“WE STARTED WITH VERY, VERY INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND WE WANTED TO CHANGE THE CONCRETE INDUSTRY WITH THOSE TECHNOLOGIES. BUT IT WAS WAY AHEAD OF ITS TIME. SO WE WENT BACK A LITTLE BIT AND WE STARTED PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES AS OPPOSED TO GOING TO SOMETHING BEYOND THE BOUNDARIES OF THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY.”


SHOPIFY CEO TOBI LÜTKE TOPS SNAP, DROPBOX CEOS ON FORTUNE 40 UNDER 40 LIST TECHOPIA.ca SPONSORED CONTENT

From left to right: Chad Holliday, VP, Product Consulting at Stratford Managers; Megan Paterson, VP of Human Resources at Kinaxis; Mike D’Amico, VP & Practice Lead Human Resources at Stratford Managers.

How Kinaxis added instant bench strength to its leadership team Stratford Managers have learned the hard way from success and failure

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

Kinaxis is one of those companies that demonstrates the resilience of Ottawa’s tech sector. This provider of cloud-based supply change management solutions has gone through many iterations over its 33-year history, but its greatest watershed moment came three years ago. Two things happened – Kinaxis went public and it earned a place in the Magic Quadrant for business intelligence and analytics platforms from influential market research firm Gartner. Megan Paterson, VP of Human Resources, remembers well what happened next. “Prospects actually started calling us,” she said. “Considering our history had always been fighting the giants, like SAP and Oracle, this was a big change.” But this newfound market visibility came with some growing pains.

TECHOPIA.CA

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Gearing up for a new phase of growth Kinaxis had a history of promoting from within. Even current President and CEO John Sicard began with the company 24 years ago as a software developer. While that strategy had made for a strong and cohesive team, it revealed a few blind spots as Kinaxis’s business expanded to a dozen countries and annual revenues shot past $100 million. “We realized we hadn’t invested enough in our

leaders, and that our leaders who had made us successful to this point needed some extra tools, training and advice to keep us successful in the future,” Paterson said. Paterson and Sicard decided to lever some outside expertise. But they didn’t want to engage with career consultants. Instead, they sought to pair Kinaxis’s leaders with mentors and coaches who could speak from personal experience – individuals who wear the scars of building and leading successful businesses of their own. That led them to Stratford Managers.

The voice of experience Stratford’s consultants have lived as entrepreneurs, executives and CEOs of both small and multinational enterprises and know what it takes to scale an organization. Two years, ago, Kinaxis began working with Stratford on some human resources initiatives. This engagement has expanded to include more comprehensive engagements that have paired Sicard, Paterson and Kinaxis’s leaders for R&D, marketing and customer experience with various Stratford coaches. One-on-one coaching combines with 360 Reviews to track performance and set goals. “We want to be your trusted business advisor and the sum of these one on ones can become so much more,” said Mike D’Amico, Stratford’s VP & Practice

Lead, HR. “We can lean in and roll up our sleeves because we have all succeeded and failed in these roles. Our philosophy is to add value, not billable hours, and we look at everything we do with a client organization as a collective to see where we can add even more value.” For Chad Holliday, Stratford’s VP, Product Consulting, it’s all about helping leaders look at problems through a fresh lens. “It’s lonely at the top,” he said. “Not every leader or executive is willing to recognize where and how they can be better, but once they open up, they realize how they can benefit. Even just having a sounding board to bounce ideas off can be extremely valuable.”

Tactical and strategic advice Paterson has found great value in how Stratford helps her team develop action plans with clear and easily implemented solutions. “I’ve seen dramatic changes in our team since Stratford became involved,” Paterson said. “It has upped the calibre of leadership. I really appreciate the mix of tactical and strategic advice and counselling. No matter who I am looking for, I can always pair my executive with an ideal Stratford coach.” To learn how you can add instant bench strength to your business with Stratford Managers, visit www.stratfordmanagers.com


OTTAWA NON-PROFIT GIVES GIRLS SKILLS TO JOIN GAMING INDUSTRY TECHOPIA.ca

LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM SIX OTTAWA FOUNDERS

As part of his Telfer EMBA, Michael Bell interviewed some of Ottawa’s most successful entrepreneurs to find out how they motivate and inspire their teams BY MIKE BELL

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t was not too long ago that I had the opportunity to sit down with some of Ottawa’s leading technology entrepreneurs as part of my Telfer Executive MBA at the University of Ottawa. I deliberately set out to explore what makes these individuals “leaders” in their fields and how I can leverage this insight to better prepare myself for my transition from the military to the private sector. The world of innovation, startups and entrepreneurship reminded me of what drew me to the military in the first place: The ability to have a direct and positive impact on the world, to be able to make things happen with my own hands and motivate others to do the same. There were six entrepreneurs who were top of mind, namely Craig Fitzpatrick, the founder and CEO of PageCloud, Allan Wille, co-founder and CEO of Klipfolio, Chris Perram, founder and CEO of FileFacets, Nazim Ahmed, co-founder and CEO of CanvasPop, Jason Flick, founder and CEO of You.i TV, and Aydin Mirzaee, co-founder and co-CEO of Fluidware, which was sold to SurveyMonkey in 2014. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised, but once they heard what I was looking to do they all made the time to sit down with me. I feel I could write a book on the lessons learned in these six interviews alone, but I narrowed it down to these five key ideas.

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KLIPFOLIO CEO ALLAN WILLE

MICHAEL BELL (LEFT) STANDS WITH THE CEO OF CANVASPOP NAZIM AHMED. AHMED WAS ONE OF SIX CEOS MICHAEL BELL INTERVIEWED AS HE RESEARCHED WHAT MAKES A GREAT LEADER.

Startup leaders are the embodiment of their companies, and they therefore must live their lives in a way that reflects this. Said another way, the attitude of the company reflects that of the leadership; look around and let that sink in for a moment. This is no more important than when navigating the inevitable periods of volatility. Leaders must control their emotions, remain positive, focus and be willing to dig in and get their hands dirty alongside those at all levels. More often than not, the company will, with a strong sense of determination, rally around the leader and do whatever it takes to win.

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PRIORITIZE YOUR TEAM

The most common theme between these lessons is how critical the team is in the success of the company. Leadership’s No. 1 priority needs to be building the team in a way that is most likely to lead to a successful outcome for all. This is often a major challenge as founders transition from manipulating ones and zeroes to influencing people, but it is do-or-die. Founders don’t scale, companies do. Building a company of innovative and intrapreneurial leaders, people who will take stock in the big dream, share the risk and the burden in making it a reality, requires giving them the space to take risks, fai, and learn to challenge you and grow alongside you. Success here is what makes this handful of leaders amongst the best of the best. Michael Bell is a graduate of the Telfer School of Management Executive MBA program and is transitioning from the Canadian Armed Forces to a career in tech.

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Ownership is an incredible motivator, but I don’t necessarily mean an employee stock option pool. I’m talking about ownership of the problem, the opportunity, the dream. When responsibility is shared, and when we have the space to lead, take risks, fail and learn, we end up with a

This is often a major challenge as founders transition from manipulating ones and zeroes to influencing people, but it is do-or-die. Founders don’t scale, companies do.

LEADERS SET THE TONE

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ENSURE SHARED OWNERSHIP

PAGECLOUD FOUNDER CRAIG FITZPATRICK

FACILITATE CREATIVE CONFLICT

When we open ourselves up to the free flow of ideas, conflict is inevitable. Most businesses would seek to reduce any instance of conflict in the workplace, but what is often missed is that conflict can be the greatest source of ingenuity. When ideas are openly challenged, we are forced to consider other positions and reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of our own preconceived notions, resulting in more complete solutions. In such situations, it is often leadership’s role to facilitate healthy dialogue; sometimes that means mediation to cool things down, and sometimes it means adding a little fuel to the fire.

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DREAM BIG! BUT DON’T FORGET TO EXECUTE

Dreaming big has a lot of upside: It can keep a team aligned, inspired and motivated, and it can help companies ride out startup turbulence. But it isn’t the size of the dream alone that matters, rather the willingness to take the risks required to turn dreams into a reality. When management leads this way, they not only build credibility with their employees, but also create an environment where employees feel they have the space to grow. This often results in attracting talented people who are most likely to buy into that vision, and in turn focusing, pushing and developing them into the next generation of leaders and managers.

company of intrapreneurs willing to grind it out. To succeed in establishing such a culture, senior management must be willing to look beyond job titles and positions on an organizational chart to realize that leadership, strategic thought and creativity can be found anywhere in the organization.


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something I jumped at,” he says. Before his stints with the aforementioned tech giants, Javaheri worked for Ottawa-based Cognos, which was acquired by IBM in 2009. The connection between Cognos, which specialized in business intelligence software, and SurveyMonkey, a firm that brands itself as “people-powered data,” was obvious to him. Surveys are what provide nuance to data, Lurie adds.

NEXT QUESTION

PEJ JAVAHERI (LEFT) AND ZANDER LURIE IN SURVEYMONKEY’S OTTAWA OFFICE. PHOTO BY CRAIG LORD.

NO QUESTION: SURVEYMONKEY PLANNING LONGTERM OTTAWA GROWTH

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On July 17th, SurveyMonkey launched a rebrand. FluidReview, a flagship product of Fluidware, became SurveyMonkey Apply, OTTAWA-SILICON VALLEY HYBRID a product that helps scholarship and grant Lurie says the pace of growth in Ottawa will committees select their recipients. likely outstrip growth in the rest of the comThe foundations of SurveyMonkey Appany, which just surpassed 700 employees. ply are firmly entrenched in the work done The vision for the local team is “a much by the Ottawa team, both before and after more strategic investment focus than a the acquisition. back office,” complete with fully-functional “This really is the Ottawa-based busimarketing, sales, design, engineering and ness. SurveyMonkey Apply is built here, it’s legal teams. sold here, it’s serviced here and it has such Lurie’s bullish outlook for Ottawa stems world-class customers,” Lurie says. “It’s from the local team’s unique blend of soup to nuts an Ottawa operation.” startup and large company vibes. Lurie says the company is building up “I think there is an energy and a culture more technology expertise in Ottawa than in this office: It has the same esprit de corps its other locations. That’s not a one-way that a really great startup has, but it has all street, though: Javaheri says SurveyMonkey the resources and capital access of a much is working with Invest Ottawa and partnerbigger company.” ing with other local technology companies That culture is what drew Pej Javaheri, to build up the brand of the city’s tech head of SurveyMonkey’s Ottawa outpost, sector. to the company. The Carleton University SurveyMonkey is not just a California graduate has worked for giants such as IBM company, Lurie and Javaheri say. Its roots as and Microsoft in the city, but found the an Ottawa startup are firmly set, positionstartup grind he was looking for at Surveying it for long-term growth in the Capital. Monkey. “We’re at the cusp of a real leadership “Having the opportunity to work for position here in Ottawa as a company,” a Silicon Valley company in Ottawa was Lurie says.

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It wasn’t the first time a large tech company had come to the Capital to acquire a hree years ago, Silicon Valley came homegrown success, but the story didn’t knocking at Ottawa’s doorstep. Survey- end when the Fluidware’s co-founders Monkey, the Palo Alto-based survey Aydin Mirzaee and Eli Fathi signed over software provider, was calling for Fluidware, their company. a local startup with its own form-building All 75 of the startup’s staff would be applications. retained, including Mirzaee who would BY: CRAIG LORD

NEW BRAND, FAMILIAR FOUNDATIONS

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CEO Zander Lurie tells Techopia that the company’s presence in the Capital will likely double over the next two years

stay on for a transition period. He departed the company he helped to build roughly a year ago, but not before his local team had grown to 90. Now, the team at SurveyMonkey’s York Street office is 110 strong, but when I meet CEO Zander Lurie there, he tells me that number will likely double in the next two years. That investment in the local office will eventually come with a new location as well as an Ottawa-based data centre, due to open in the next few months. SurveyMonkey’s interest in Ottawa did not end with its acquisition of Fluidware three years ago. When that deal closed, the company’s local presence continued to grow – a clear signal from its executives that Ottawa will be a growth engine for the SIlicon Valley powerhouse.

SurveyMonkey was founded in 1999. Surveys have changed since 1999. Filling out quarterly and annual reports with pages and pages of questions is no longer the norm. Today, as is the case with most business and consumer-facing applications, it’s all about mobile. Think about the last time you took a trip with Uber, or ordered food from a delivery app: You’re asked to rate the speed, efficiency and general enjoyment of the ride or delivery in a five-second interaction. Not only have surveys become condensed on the smartphone, they’ve become a critical element of the sharing economy. “Every single time you take a ride, you’re taking a survey. That data feeds the driver’s reputation, and the driver’s taking a survey about you,” Lurie says. That’s the future SurveyMonkey must operate in. Disruption doesn’t end there. SurveyMonkey is hoping to stay ahead of the curve of machine learning and big data with products such as SurveyMonkey Genius. The application evaluates a user’s questionnaire based on data drawn from the millions of surveys filed on its servers. It can tell you whether your first question is likely to intrigue a user into taking the rest of your survey, or how long a respondent might take to complete it. “We’re all about trying to disrupt ourselves,” Lurie says. “The history of innovation in the Valley goes to the folks who are planting seeds for the next few years.”


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INDEPENDENT GAMING STUDIOS TO UNITE IN COMMON SPACE

“The Collective” aims to be the go-to venue for gaming gatherings BY: CRAIG LORD

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MEMBERS OF “THE COLLECTIVE” GATHER IN THEIR SPACE AT 981 WELLINGTON ST. W. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: STEEL CRATE GAMES, THEMEATLY GAMES, JILLIAN MOOD & PARTNERS, SNOWED IN STUDIOS, BREAKFALL. PHOTOS BY CRAIG LORD.

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also finding mainstream success working with brands such as McDonald’s and the Olympic Games. There are also practical benefits to cohabitation, such as sharing resources and expertise. Snowed In has around 40 handsets that it can lend out to other studios to test their apps; Steel Crate has extensive experience in testing new tech such as virtual reality. From a personnel standpoint, there’s room for collaboration as well. Say Snowed In has a big project with a AAA developer, for example. It could contract some work to another studio short on projects. If one company doesn’t need a full-time HR rep, that person could float between the other studios as needed. If there’s enough interest in the idea, Sormany is open to expanding the space to other companies. The two floors below, if leased, would increase the capacity of the space from 60 people to 150. That could be room for a dozen more independent studios, and more than enough room for regular parties or gaming tournaments. “It’s all positive energy I want to create. There’s no space in Ottawa that specializes in gaming,” Sormany says. “Having a vivid industry in town is much more important to me than making money out of studios.”

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ive Ottawa gaming companies are set unite under a single roof later this year with the goal of building a hub for the local sector. “The Collective,” as gaming HR and marketing professional Jillian Mood has dubbed it, consists of her firm, Jillian Mood & Partners, anchor tenant Snowed In Studios, TheMeatly Games, Breakfall and Steel Crate Games. The group will begin moving into the fourth-floor space at 981 Wellington St. W. in early November. Kivuto previously leased the now-barren, 6,000-square-foot space, and renovations will be underway until the studios set up shop. Jean-Sylvain Sormany, founder of Snowed In Studios and one of this year’s Forty Under 40 recipients, says he’s been trying to bring studios together into a space like this for nearly seven years. The last two times his growing firm had to move (Snowed In currently stands at around 25 people), plans fell through with the other firms he was talking with. “There was always something. This time around, it seems to have worked. Everyone is on board, everyone is excited about this idea.” As he says this, he’s standing in a wide, empty space as the other studio heads walk around the building. Everyone is filling the space with their ideas, plotting out where desks, monitors and murals might look best. From the entrance extends a hallway with a series of offices, ending up at a communal kitchen. Beyond that is the expansive space that Snowed In will occupy, as well as a proposed events space. There, local organizations such as Girl Force and the International Game Developers Association would host their gatherings or hold GameJams. Right now, finding space for these events is done on a per-case basis. “The Collective,” its partners hope, could become a hub for the city’s gaming industry: the go-to place to socialize, develop games and spawn new studios. Sormany hopes this space will also increase the visibility of gaming in Ottawa and act as a beacon for graduates of local gaming programs at La Cité and Algonquin College, as well as the universities in town. “There’s something like 200 new grads every year, but the industry is not there to support all of the new grads,” he says. The gaming sector in Ottawa has faced serious setbacks in recent years. Once a champion of the sector, Gigataur recently closed its doors even after landing big deals with Disney. Fuel Industries is the most recent casualty, folding its operations despite


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