Techopia-EY Insights 2024

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A new lens on Ottawa’s tech ecosystem


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PERSPECTIVES A new lens on Ottawa’s tech ecosystem OTTAWA BUSINESS JOURNAL
“Everything you need to build a company exists in Ottawa — it’s the best place to live.”
Aydin Mirzaee, co-founder and CEO, Fellow.
35 25 VENTURE CAPITAL — HOW DOES OTTAWA FARE? 28 NEW VOICES IN TECH Newcomers, graduates, founders — what’s their view on Ottawa? 14 OTTAWA TECH EXECS ABROAD 18 The Ottawa tech ecosystem as seen from the outside in. SERIAL ENTREPRENEURS 22 There’s somthing about Ottawa that keeps these tech entrepreneurs here. CHARTING OTTAWA’S TECH ECOSYSTEM 30 A listing of the major players in Ottawa’s tech ecosystem. TECH SECTOR LISTINGS 48 Invest Ottawa and Techopia team up to present local companies in various tech sub-sectors. THE PITCH FOR OTTAWA’S TECH ECOSYSTEM PERSPECTIVE Five ‘no regret’ actions companies can take to unlock GenAI Technology: The ‘new gold’ and a driver of growth 46 47
6 TECHOPIA-EY INSIGHTS 2024 OTTAWA BUSINESS JOURNAL 613-238-2022 The brightest legal advice.

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New voices, fresh perspectives put our tech ecosystem into focus

What a fascinating project this has been.

In last year’s inaugural issue of Techopia Insights, we endeavoured to lay the groundwork for a discussion of Ottawa’s tech ecosystem. We profiled exciting up-and-comers alongside established companies. We examined foundational issues such as the availability of talent and capital and, of course, the ever-evolving relationship between the tech sector and the federal government. We looked back, and we looked forward.

With this year’s edition, we’ve taken many of those same themes and looked at them through a different and multifaceted lens.

For our feature story, tech writer and commentator Luc Lalande conducted multiple interviews with a variety of stakeholders to arrive at a listing of key ingredients for a successful tech ecosystem. Not only did Lalande speak with established players, he also introduces us to many newcomers to the discussion, including immigrants to Canada who are keen to add value to our tech community and recent graduates looking to find their place in the ecosystem. How fantastic to welcome these fresh and extremely important perspectives.

We’ve also spent some time looking at Ottawa from the outside in. Imagine being an executive of an Ottawa tech company, working in an international market or global metropolis where some may not even be familiar with our city’s name. Techopia’s David Sali asked a few of those execs for their views and they did not disappoint. Equally, writer Jeff Buckstein

doggedly tracked down three tech execs with deep roots in the nation’s capital who now live and work in the U.S. Their reflections make for another great read.

We also felt it was important to talk to serial entrepreneurs who have stayed in Ottawa and started not one, but multiple enterprises. Obviously, there’s something about our city that keeps them living and working here.

In this issue we wanted to give voice to one of the largest players in the local tech ecosystem: the federal government. With varying degrees of success, the government’s programs and initiatives have left an indelible mark on our city’s innovation landscape. And so we hear from our current Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

Finally, we couldn’t resist having a bit of fun. If one of our senior ecosystem leaders found themselves in an elevator with a high-powered tech exec in Silicon Valley or somewhere in Europe, what would they say? How would they “pitch” Ottawa?

All combined, I hope you’ll agree that we’ve put together a publication that not only presents unique and varied perspectives, but also welcomes new faces and new voices to the table. Surely these diverse skills, viewpoints and lived experiences can only add to our success and push all of us to be the best we can be.


When 1+1+1+1+1 = More?

Iwas recently in a discussion about the technology ecosystem in the region and it devolved into a debate on Ottawa’s top-dog position as a global competitor and the city’s continued supremacy as “Silicon Valley North.”

Many wondered whether our technology and innovation core had become less formidable — or even still relevant. The answer was not a resounding “no,” but instead more of a “no, but …”. It left us all feeling a little uncomfortable.

We know that the strength of our workforce, our appetite for home-spun innovation, and the availability of venture funding to deliver value from vision all enable Ottawa to never be anything less than booming tech.

Then there’s the lingering “but.” Individually, we may stand above. But collectively, we shine. There’s no doubt we’re better together. If we’re to sport the heavyweight belt, collaboration will be the secret to our success in the ring.

Because 1+1+1+1+1 can equal two, or can equal more. More has to be the answer — the more accelerators, the greater our success.

Our ecosystem sometimes feels like an array of independent nodes inadvertently competing against each other. When we leverage what connects us and exploit synergies, we position Ottawa to compete beyond our innovation corridor and other Canadian hubs to play with the Silicon Valley we’ve modelled ourselves after. We can compete with the other “bigs” — Berlin, Zurich, Bangalore, Singapore.

As links in a chain, we can level up and earn respect as a global tech hub, as Claire Rychlewski, global executive vice-president of Kinaxis, explains in the article on page 19. But we need to be efficient to effectively navigate the complex web — not just of accelerators, but also incubators, funders and ideation entities.

But that’s only half the challenge — it requires a strategy. It requires a plan. That is why we are happy to be sponsoring Techopia.

A great partner and friend, Aaron Smith, recently returned from a trip to Walt Disney World with his family. He loved it — and he hated it. The crowds were overwhelming, spending hours waiting for rides was frustrating, and realizing that the food his kids were interested in was half a park away was exhausting.

The next day, they picked up a map. Not because it directed them how to get to Space Mountain, but because it allowed the family to plan their day most efficiently. Seeing where the restaurants they hoped to visit were located allowed them to anticipate where to be at mealtimes. Now imagine Ottawa is that same theme park — but for innovation. How to visit the most relevant attractions and leverage and combine multiple areas to create a world-class experience.

So, circling back, does 1+1+1+1+1 = more? Yes, I think it does.

This year’s report is a beginning — a map to help entrepreneurs and innovators grow, hyperscale and avoid obstacles. We encourage you to engage further with our Techopia community, as this answer continues to evolve. Be open, share, join community events — and partner. Let’s work to connect the dots in new and magical ways.

We hope you enjoy this edition and consider it your fast pass to success. We’re along for the ride and look forward to sharing it with you. (Please keep your seatbelt fastened and arms inside the capsule.)



Techopia asked a variety of stakeholders in the local ecosystem for their views and several key themes emerged

As Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe wound up a friendly fireside chat with Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne at an Ottawa Board of Trade event in late February 2024, he asked the minister for advice on what it takes to grow the local economy.

Without hesitation, Minister Champagne listed what he believed were the three key ingredients for success: talent, livable cities and telling our stories. There were few in the

audience who seemed to disagree.

At face value, this recipe for success seems simple. Mix talent with a livable city and add some effective marketing and voilà!

A thriving and growing city. But while there seems to be little disagreement about what constitutes the right ingredients for a city’s ability to thrive, perhaps what truly matters is how to ensure we have those ingredients so that we can “set the table” for success. This applies not only to the city’s overall

economy, but also to its tech ecosystem.

Over the past few months,Techopia has heard from a diversity of voices at the Ottawa tech table, including recent immigrants, graduates from local post-secondary institutions, and under-represented groups in the innovation ecosystem.

These interviews revealed a number of themes that capture the state of the local tech ecosystem and whether we’ve got the right ingredients on hand for success.

Newcomers to the tech table: Tuan Tu Tran, Ashwathy Nair, Akshara Muraleedharan, Patrick Odita, Natalie Chanble with Luc Lalande. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON.


A recurring theme expressed by the new voices at the Ottawa tech table was a sense of underutilization of their specialized talents in fields as diverse as software engineering, product management and data analysis.

Newcomers affiliated with a community-based IT-for-charity program at the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre shared their concern that a lack of opportunities to gain Canadian work experience has severely hindered their ability to find jobs that align with their skills and previous work experience.

Several expressed discouragement following intensive job searching in the Ottawa tech industry that resulted in few, if any, followup interviews.

opportunities, including co-op placements. One respondent noted that there is a surprisingly limited number of tech-related co-op positions available in the tech sector.

Ultimately, limited employment opportunities for talented newcomers — either immigrants or graduates — represents a loss of potential new ideas, ventures and future growth possibilities for the Ottawa tech sector.

There is also the risk of an outflow of talented newcomers from Ottawa to other cities (or countries) that are perceived as having more careerrelated or venture-creation opportunities.

The underutilization of talent was particularly prevalent in the immigrant community and was echoed by Eric Agyemang, co-founder of Maple Bridge Ventures, which specializes in investing in science and technology sector companies founded by Canadian immigrants.

Agyemang shared his views on the untapped capabilities and skills of many newcomers to Canada and said that the cities that are “going to win” will be those that can best harness this potential.

“Canada does an amazing job attracting some of the best talent and well-educated people, but there is a vast underutilization of this talent in the immigrant community,” he said.

For entrepreneurial newcomers with no established networks, the challenge of raising early-stage funding is yet another barrier to launching or growing promising new ventures. Agyemang hopes that Maple Bridge Ventures, founded in 2022, will help address this funding gap.

For international students either studying at or recently graduated from local higher education institutions, the issue is a lack of relevant employment

This was validated in a recent Statistics Canada study, where it was reported that many immigrants leave Canada within years of arriving. According to the study, more than 15 per cent of immigrants admitted to Canada from 1982 to 2017 emigrated within 20 years of admission.


As mentioned by Minister Champagne at the Mayor’s Breakfast, another key ingredient for success is “livable cities.”

For the new voices at the Ottawa tech table, the concept of a livable city means affordability, amenities, vibrancy and connectivity. For young and mobile graduates in particular, these components are a significant factor in determining where they intend to create their futures.

Young graduates and professionals expressed their desire for affordable lodging, reliable and efficient public transportation, a city that offers vibrant and exciting cultural experiences, and amenities that foster a healthy work-life balance (recreational activities, public spaces, quality health care and education).

Cities that offer this “complete package” plus work opportunities are magnets for the attraction and retention of young and highly mobile talent.

Continued on next page



A lack of opportunities to gain Canadian work experience can severely hinder the ability of newcomers to find jobs aligned with their experience.



A “livable” city has affordability, amenities, vibrancy and connectivity.



Limited long-term access to specialized facilities and capital is a barrier for research-based startups.



A “swing for the fences” attitude attracts more startups.



Post-secondary institutions can be key enablers of the tech ecosystem.



Grassroots dynamism is needed to build connections and reinforce links between multiple stakeholders.

Eric Agyemang

Continued from previous page


One unexpected finding that arose from the interviews concerned the scarcity of specialized facilities for R&D in the city, especially in disciplines outside of Ottawa’s historical strengths in telecom and related communications technologies.

For new ventures in fields such as nanotechnology, life sciences, biotechnology and clean energy, where the commercialization of new and higher-risk technologies can take a decade or more, several of the interviewees expressed concerns about securing long-term access to spaces such as certified wet labs or highly specialized facilities that are typically found in universities or government research labs.

The lack of such spaces represents a considerable barrier for R&D-intensive startups (sometimes referred to as “deeptech” companies) seeking to bridge the “valley of death” from idea to commercialization.

the lab to breakthrough technologies with demonstrated commercial applications.

For a city such as Ottawa, where R&D has often emerged as the cornerstone of innovation and the driving force behind the rise of technology entrepreneurship and talent attraction, both the scarcity of accessible and relevant R&D infrastructure and risk capital for research-based startups represent a risk of losing out on the next generation of deeptech ventures.


Several of the new voices at the Ottawa tech table expressed the importance of having a stronger culture of experimentation, where new ideas can gain traction, visibility and willingness to be adopted.

For Carleton University student Max Peacock, co-founder of Sphere Technologies, this adversity to risk represents a formidable barrier for a startup that seeks to implement a novel platform for the next generation of online communities.

Compounding the shortage of R&D infrastructure is the city’s lack of investors experienced in commercializing researchbased discoveries from lab to market.

Ella Korets-Smith, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Virica Biotech, a biotech startup headquartered in Ottawa, acknowledged the importance of specialized labs for performing critical early-stage work in the field of small molecule viral enhancers pioneered by Jean-Simon Diallo at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute’s Centre for Cancer Therapeutics.

Peacock noted that a city’s willingness to “try things out” is a significant factor influencing his startup’s future direction and longterm plans to remain in Ottawa.

The need to support innovative entrepreneurs and promising yet unconventional ideas such as those exemplified by Sphere Technologies is echoed by John Nelson, director of Carleton University’s Innovation Hub. The Innovation Hub promotes a culture of risk-taking that helps young founders dream big, while offering valuable coaching support in the sometimes topsyturvy world of the startup journey.

less risk averse to change,” he said.

As Ottawa’s tech industry enters a new era beyond its roots in communications technologies, this openness to “new and different ideas” would encourage more “swing for the fences” founders and emerging startups to launch and grow in the city.


Among the voices at the Ottawa tech table was Guy Levesque, associate vicepresident of innovation, partnerships and entrepreneurship at the University of Ottawa and chair of the Kanata North Business Association.

Levesque continues to be a passionate ambassador and promoter of innovation and entrepreneurship for Ottawa since assuming his position in 2018.

For the city to level up as a globally recognized tech hub, he espouses the essential role of post-secondary institutions as key enablers in the innovation ecosystem and of developing partnerships among industry, government and academia. He led the establishment of the University of Ottawa’s presence in the Kanata Technology Park, paving the way for other post-secondary institutions to follow suit.

Kyle Briggs, co-founder and former CEO of Northern Nanopore Instruments (acquired by Oxford Nanopore Technologies in the fall of 2023), re-affirmed that deeptech startups face a dearth of funding to successfully take promising research in Pierce

Pierce Ujjainwalla, co-founder and CEO of Knak, agreed. “It would be great if the overall mindset of Ottawa became more embracing of new and different ideas and

This movement towards greater collaboration between academia, government and industry in Ottawa is also advocated by RJ Obhi, head of business development at Enurgen, a promising deeptech startup based out of the SUNLAB Research Group at the University of Ottawa. Obhi sees tremendous potential for research-based ventures in the growing cleantech space and said Ottawa has all of the ingredients to nurture startups in this domain. The challenge, according to Obhi, will be when Enurgen scales up its technology to a point where talent recruitment from within the city will be strained.

Ella Korets-Smith
If there is a recipe for success, talent, livable cities and making sure we tell our story … Those are certainly the three key ingredients.


What was especially inspirational was the determination expressed by many interviewees to revitalize Ottawa’s innovation ecosystem from the ground up. New meetups for AI enthusiasts. Hackathons for students. Paying it forward for women founders. Startup weekends for young professionals and students. These were just a few of the ideas.

Hai Nghiem arrived in Ottawa in July 2023 and soon realized that the city had not yet created a thriving meetup group for AI practitioners and builders. Within months of settling in the city, he established AI Tinkerers Ottawa, a local chapter of the global AI Tinkerers movement. Local meetups of the AI Tinkerers are held at Bayview Yards thanks to the support of Invest Ottawa. Attendance at the monthly events regularly exceeds 100 participants. Carleton University student Mumtahin

Farabi is yet another newcomer to Ottawa who, upon realizing that the frequency of hackathons in the city was sporadic and virtually nonexistent for students, set about to establish Hack the Hill. Hack the Hill is a three-day event where students from different disciplines come together to create innovative solutions for real-world problems. Such hackathons not only provide local students with real-world problem-solving challenges, but also help them connect to local tech companies.

Audrey Bond, founder and CEO of Vaultt, is paying it forward for women founders. As a participant in SheBoot (a program originally built by the Capital Angel Network and Invest Ottawa), Bond mentors women entrepreneurs in the various stages of a founder’s journey, including accessing capital. As an ecosystem builder, Bond exemplifies the

grassroots dynamism needed to make the city a vibrant hub of technology entrepreneurship for women.

Seva Losev, founder and CEO of DreamLinked, created the DreamLaunch Startup Weekend from scratch to support innovative young professionals, recent graduates and students and help them form teams, develop startup ideas and pitch to local VCs, angel investors and tech executives. In doing so, Losev has created a platform to build connections within the city’s tech ecosystem and reinforce links between next generation founders, service providers and investors.


The evolving landscape of Ottawa’s tech sector presents a unique opportunity to redefine our collective future by welcoming fresh ideas and insights from new voices. By continuously making space for more and diverse participants, we can ensure that the city’s innovation ecosystem will both regenerate and fuel the innovation engine of Ottawa, driving growth, job creation and economic prosperity.

Audrey Bond


These tech execs work for Ottawa-based firms in some of the biggest cities in the world

Rachel Kirkham would be the first to tell you that when she began her career in technology a decade ago, she never would have imagined herself working for a company based in Ottawa. That’s partly because Kirkham, the vicepresident of AI and product at MindBridge Analytics, lives in the southeastern English

county of Essex, an ocean away from MindBridge headquarters off Preston Street.

But even if someone had asked the London native what came to mind when she thought of Canada’s capital, artificialintelligence-powered technology like the kind MindBridge produces definitely would not have been at the top of the list — or anywhere on the list, for that matter.

“Before I joined MindBridge, I wouldn’t have even been aware that Ottawa had a tech scene, to be honest with you,” Kirkham says with a chuckle. “I think (branding) is something they could definitely work on.”

Now, more than four years after joining MindBridge to lead the development of its platform that helps auditors detect irregularities and errors in accounting documents, Kirkham’s mindset when it comes to Ottawa has changed dramatically.

She visits the city at least a couple of times a year and has come to appreciate the depth

and breadth of the region’s tech expertise.

“One of the things I would say is it does seem to be pretty vibrant,” Kirkham remarks of the city’s tech scene. “There’s a good pool of talent in Ottawa. I’m always impressed with the quality of candidates that we get.”

Kirkham, an auditor by trade who spent two years as head of data analytics research at the United Kingdom’s National Audit Office in London before joining MindBridge, is among a growing number of foreign-based executives who work for tech enterprises headquartered in Ottawa.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the trend seems to have really taken hold since the pandemic transformed remote work from a novelty into an everyday occurrence. The idea of someone managing a team of data scientists in Canada from an office thousands of kilometres away in Europe is no longer the stuff of science fiction, but a reality that is becoming more and more common.


When Claire Rychlewski, who grew up in northern England and now makes her home in the Paris region, joined Kanata-based software firm Kinaxis in 2018 to help expand the firm’s European sales team, Kinaxis had only about 10 employees on the other side of the Atlantic.

Today, the company’s headcount in Europe tops 400. Rychlewski, now Kinaxis’s global executive vice-president, is in charge of about 150 employees around the world and travels to Ottawa regularly to meet with the supply chain management software maker’s executive team.

Like Kirkham, Rychlewski says she was initially surprised to find out a city she thought of strictly as a “government town” had such an “active and dynamic” technology industry.

After dozens of trips to the National Capital Region, she’s come to believe that Ottawa doesn’t get the respect it deserves as a global tech hub.

“The amount of talent in Ottawa for tech is

much more than maybe you expect looking from the outside in,” says Rychlewski, whose resume includes a decade-long stint as a sales executive at software giant Oracle.

Both Kirkham and Rychlewski praise the city’s post-secondary institutions as well as organizations such as Invest Ottawa for educating and nurturing a local sector that now employs more than 60,000 people.

Surveying the Ottawa landscape from across the Atlantic, Rychlewski says it has “some amazingly smart people who are actually industry leaders in their knowledge and understanding of AI and technology development.”

“It takes a long time to get that level of talent in the marketplace,” she adds. “It’s something that needs ongoing support and development.”

John Cullen, who leads Calian Group’s European operations, brings a unique perspective to the capital’s tech industry.

A former engineer in the Canadian

It takes a long time to get that level of talent in the marketplace. It’s something that needs ongoing support and development.

Army, Cullen retired in 2011 after a 26-year career as a soldier that ultimately stationed him in Norway.

He and his family decided to stay in the Scandinavian country, where his wife had a job. Cullen soon became part-owner of Comprehensive Training Solutions International, a small firm that provides crisis management and emergency response training to customers such as NATO’s Joint Warfare Centre.

When Calian acquired the company in 2020, Cullen joined the Kanata firm’s executive team. He became managing director of Calian Europe two years later and leads the company’s growing operations on the continent, which now include offices in the U.K. and Belgium.

Cullen, who spends half the year in Norway and the other half just a couple of hours’ drive from Ottawa in Kingston, says Calian is gaining a growing reputation in Europe as a leader in defence training technology. And as more customers on the continent discover Calian, their eyes are opening to what the firm’s other Ottawabased partners can offer as well.

“I think that’s caused people to look at not just Calian, but where Calian is coming from and Ottawa in general,” he says. “It’s causing people to stand up and take notice.

“In 2020, if somebody mentioned Calian in Europe, there would be a blank stare. I don’t think anybody is not going to know who Calian is in two or three years in NATO and the NATO nations space. We have three entities in Europe, all gaining in momentum and market share.”

Cullen believes Canadian tech enterprises in general are often modest to a fault, and those in Ottawa are no exception.

“I think we’re all starting to realize now that we need to be more vocal about what we can offer,” he says. “The market right now is starting to recognize what we can offer, and I think it’s shaking it up a bit in some of the NATO nations right now.”

Kirkham agrees. Asked to offer her assessment of Ottawa, she says the region and its tech community have much to be proud of.

“There’s a lot of attractive qualities about Ottawa,” Kirkham says. “I wish I could come to Canada a bit more.”


LOOKING BACK: Three tech execs who started in Ottawa, but now call Silicon Valley home

Whether it’s to be closer to customers, other tech companies or investors, many Ottawa tech leaders have made the move south of the border to pursue their entrepreneurial careers. And most would agree that, while Ottawa and Silicon Valley share some traits, there is much to be learned from what is happening in other tech ecosystems.

Techopia interviewed three tech veterans, each of whom began their careers in Ottawa but have since made the move to the U.S., to find out how they think “Silicon Valley North” matches up with the original.

Raed Masri

Raed Masri is the founder of Transform VC, an early-stage venture capital investment and advisory firm based in San Francisco. He has extensive entrepreneurial experience in both the Ottawa and Silicon Valley tech ecosystems.

“I think Ottawa is a fantastic place, filled with talent that is sometimes completely under the radar. Ottawa has the same amount of pure talent as Silicon Valley,” he says.

But that’s where the similarities end. An entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, Masri says, is of such a “high stature” that investors are

chasing them.

“That is the complete opposite of Ottawa, where there are too few investors and too few entrepreneurs,” he adds.

Masri says that during his early days in Ottawa he took advantage of government support available to entrepreneurs, such as the self-employment benefits program. In Silicon Valley, instead of government support, there is a sheer critical mass of investors and talent, he says.

His entrepreneurial ambitions began while attending Carleton University, where he developed software for a website through which consumers could book an appointment with any service provider.

That eventually led Masri to found Eday Corporation, a software company, in 2001 with $20,000 in startup capital. Eday initially focused on management tasks, including items like bookings and client database, for hair salon clients.

“Later we invented, a website strictly for salons and spas, that exists to this day,” says Masri.

Eday subsequently expanded into telecommunications services, providing strategic and operational solutions to international clients, including large telecom operators.

Masri also founded a wireless telecom operator, SkySurf Communications in 2009, that became the exclusive national telecom operator for inflight Internet access across Canada.

Then Masri moved to San Francisco in 2016.

After investing directly in several tech companies in the San Francisco Bay area, Masri founded Transform VC in 2019 to invest in early-stage startups from all over Canada and the U.S.

“As a venture capitalist, being situated here means I can identify, nurture and invest in many other companies, who each could have an impact and make a lot of money. We are building bridges where we identify entrepreneurs and investors from Ottawa and across Canada and the U.S., to help them crack into Silicon Valley and start up new companies here,” says Masri.

That same bridge has been successfully extended to tech executives, developers and other business people.

Raed Masri, founder, Transform VC.

Masri also co-founded aiXplain in 2020. That company provides a low-code or nocode integrated development environment with an attached marketplace that enables domain experts, including those with no AI expertise, to architect, build and deploy AI solutions in minutes.

Although the headquarters of aiXplain is in San Francisco, most of the company’s software is built in Ottawa, providing the company with strong connections to both of the tech ecosystems with which Masri is familiar.

Charles Chi

Charles Chi remembers the early days of Ottawa’s tech ecosystem well.

“It was a very conservative environment. I think today it has improved dramatically to become much more entrepreneurial and attract entrepreneurial thinking,” he says.

Ottawa also offers excellent educational opportunities in addition to the hands-on experience in engineering and computer science that many local companies have provided over the years, he says.

“There’s a good technology base,” adds Chi, who retains ties to Ottawa, where he was honourary chancellor of Carleton University between 2012 and 2017.

Chi began his career in Ottawa with Bell Canada before going to Unitel/AT&T Canada in systems engineering and sales engineering.

After moving briefly to Toronto, he joined StrataCom in San Jose, in the heart of Silicon Valley, as a customs systems engineer in 1995, then became marketing group manager after StrataCom was acquired by Cisco the following year.

“The opportunity I saw to move to an area with a very high density of startup big tech companies at StrataCom was really compelling. Everything you can think of about starting and running a company, including human, legal and accounting resources, is available in the San Francisco Bay area,” says Chi, who adds that there are also many venture capitalists and mentors for tech entrepreneurs to draw on.

He says one unique feature of the San Francisco Bay area is that commercial real estate experts understand that startups won’t have any revenue.

“They don’t require a one year deposit of rent, which would take away so much capital,

and they’re willing to take the risk with the startups. A lot of places outside of Silicon Valley will require one year rent because you have no revenue, and that’s just so onerous,” says Chi.

Chi co-founded Lightera Networks in 1997. “It was a communications networking equipment company that did fibre optics switching that resulted in a very successful outcome,” he says.

Lightera was acquired by Ciena, where Chi stayed for one year as vice-president of marketing before joining Greylock Partners, a venture capital firm, in 2000 as a general partner. He remained with Greylock for 10 years, then served as executive chairman with Lytro, which developed light field cameras and was later sold to Google.

Chi notes that, unlike the Ottawa tech

which features a platform that provides AI assistance to university students.

“Essentially myUniMate is an AI assistant that is hyper-personalized,” explains Ahmed. “It understands which program students are in, what their interests are, what their campus looks like, and what events they should be interested in.”

The connection is multi-modal, allowing access to myUniMate through SMS, WhatsApp or a mobile app, he adds.

Ahmed says he decided to start the company in Silicon Valley because “most of our customers for this particular product that we are going to target are U.S.-based universities and colleges.”

“But, more importantly, when we were starting to talk about what we were going to build, we found a lot more like-minded VCs in the Bay area very quickly.”

... we found a lot more likeminded VCs in the Bay area very quickly.

ecosystem where government has been a major player, government hasn’t played as big a role in helping develop modern Silicon Valley. The best niche for government, he believes, is to “lower the obstacles for companies to get started.”

Obaid Ahmed

Although Obaid Ahmed had already achieved success as an entrepreneur and tech executive in Ottawa, three years ago he set out to seek new challenges in Silicon Valley.

After working with Walmart Global Tech as a distinguished software engineer, Ahmed became an adviser to and investor in StyleOf, a San Francisco-based AI company that is creating personalized AI image models for artists.

In May 2023, Ahmed co-founded myUniMate, also based in San Francisco,

Both Ottawa and Silicon Valley have access to good talent, says Ahmed, citing the number of successful tech companies that have been built in the nation’s capital, including two that he co-founded, OAK Computing and Botmock.

OAK Computing, founded in 2007, is a boutique web design and software development company that specializes in custom software solutions, interactive websites and portals, content management systems, social media tools and mobile applications.

Botmock, founded in 2017, developed a voice technology software product that allowed users to create conversational flows and interactive prototypes from a drag and drop editor.

“That was more of a software as a service product that we would license to other companies. That enabled anybody who was building a chatbot or conversational agent to use our software to design that,” explains Ahmed.

Botmock was purchased by Walmart in 2021.

Ahmed now divides his time between Ottawa and San Francisco and says that one of the key differences between the two ecosystems is a higher concentration of both angel investors and venture capitalists to provide connections that help companies in the Silicon Valley ecosystem “go fast, grow faster and learn faster.”


Serial entrepreneurs who love Ottawa — what keeps them here?

Ottawa has long been recognized as fertile ground for tech startups. Often referred to as “Silicon Valley North” because of its concentration of successful startups and established tech businesses, it is known for attracting talented people with an

entrepreneurial spirit.

Techopia interviewed three serial tech entrepreneurs, who have each had more than one local startup success, to find out why they chose to stay in Ottawa rather than seek new tech ecosystems to apply their expertise.

Mike Weider

“There is a great culture here of very loyal people that enjoy working for startups.”

That’s the view of Mike Weider, a partner and co-founder of Ottawa-based Fundfire, a seed funding venture that invests in early stage tech startups.

“They hang in there. I think people here have a greater sense of commitment and loyalty to the projects they’re working on than in other tech ecosystems, which is a unique feature of our market.”

Weider has ample experience as a local entrepreneur, having co-founded his first start-up, Watchfire, a software security company, in 1996.

“(Watchfire) developed tools to automate the detection of security vulnerabilities in applications. It was acquired by IBM and integrated into a larger software development tooling offering that they had,” he explains.

In 2010, Weider co-founded Blaze Software, a web performance optimization business that developed software to make websites faster. Blaze was subsequently acquired by Akamai Technologies, a large content delivery and Internet infrastructure company.

Weider also co-founded Fundfire in 2010. “Our partners were doing individual angel investing, so we decided to form a partnership together to invest as one entity, versus as separate individual angels. We finance using our own internal capital. We pool the funds and invest in startups together,” Weider says.

In addition to local tech entrepreneurs having a strong base of technical talent to draw on, Weider notes that Ottawa

We raised our children here. It’s been a great place to live as well as to work.
Mike Weider, partner and co-founder, Fundfire.

provides a strong market for the other specialists necessary to build a successful tech startup, including sales and marketing professionals and finance and legal people, among others.

Weider, who sits on the board of Invest Ottawa to help coach startups, praises that organization for its work in assisting many local companies through all stages of their respective business life cycles.

Furthermore, “A lot of people in the community share that ethos. They want Ottawa companies to succeed, and so when someone reaches out for assistance, they are extremely generous with their time,” he says.

When Weider started out, he recalls, “The principal ecosystem was around telecommunications. When that took a downturn, there was, maybe, a bit of a dip in the overall strength of our community, but then it came back strongly and much more diversified.”

Today, he notes, there are many excellent companies in many different disciplines, including software, life sciences, cybersecurity, cleantech, e-commerce, and smart mobility.

Like many other entrepreneurs who have chosen to remain in Ottawa, Weider is bullish on the lifestyle the city offers.

“We raised our three children here. It’s been a great place to live as well as to work,” he says.

Marc Gingras

Ask Marc Gingras, and he’ll tell you that Ottawa offers “all the amenities that you want for a really good lifestyle.”

The co-founder and CEO of Bloks says, “It is just the right size of city. You’re close to nature, there is Gatineau Park. When you have a family, Ottawa is a great place to be.”

Founded in 2021, Bloks has developed software designed to brief and prepare employees for upcoming meetings, and even tailor that briefing depending on who the interaction is with.

“For example, if it’s a first-time meeting, we’ll give more information on the people you’re about to meet, including their background. If it’s with

people you meet often, it will be more about giving you context about your last few conversations, the action items and what you should be talking about in this conversation,” says Gingras.

Gingras previously co-founded Foko Retail in 2014, which developed software for retailers.

“If you’re a retailer managing multiple stores, you need a tool to help communicate with all the store associates for the things you need to get done, whether it’s changing merchandising displays, changing pricing, or for recurring tasks that need to happen. So we brought in this two-way real-time communication between the store associates and the headquarters,” he says.

In addition to the local lifestyle attractions, Gingras says he remains in Ottawa to pursue his entrepreneurial endeavours because of the quality of talent available.

Employees are technically savvy and the city has good universities that train students well on different technology stacks, Gingras says, noting that he has hired students from the University of Ottawa’s co-op program. This affords him the opportunity to vet potential future

It is just the right size of city. You’re close to nature, there is Gatineau Park.
When you have a family, Ottawa is a great place to be.

employees that he might hire full-time upon graduation.

The local entrepreneurial spirit also thrives, he says, noting how some of that originated from the large tech companies of the past, such as Mitel and Nortel, as well as from those of the present, like Shopify, with former employees of those companies contributing to the growth of Ottawa’s tech ecosystem by “spinning out several great companies.”

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Marc Gingras, co-founder and CEO, Bloks.

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That talent and spirit are fuelled by community support, says Gingras, who praises the efforts of Invest Ottawa. He says its experienced staff members have an immediate and positive impact on helping technology startups.

Aydin Mirzaee

“Everything that you need to build a company exists in Ottawa,” says Aydin Mirzaee, the co-founder and CEO of, “I also think it’s the best place to live. That combination is, I think, the magic that you need to thrive.

“My co-founders and I love living here and so this is the headquarters of the company. You get really good bang for your buck in terms of the quality of life that you can have living in Ottawa,” adds Mirzaee.

Founded in 2017, Fellow has developed a software product that works alongside Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet.

“It does everything from helping people prepare for meetings, taking action items and decisions during meetings, and managing workflows coming out of meetings,” explains Mirzaee.

“Our mission is to help companies

Everything you need to build a company exists in Ottawa — it’s the best place to live.

everywhere spend less time in meetings and make meeting times productive and effective,” he adds.

Mirzaee was also the co-founder and CEO of Fluidware. That company, founded in 2008, developed a product to create online surveys, then distribute them and analyze the results. Fluidware was subsequently acquired by SurveyMonkey, a leading global online survey platform.

Ottawa has a lot going for it as a tech ecosystem, says Mirzaee, who notes that success stories like Shopify have “really put Ottawa on the map” and provided confidence to local entrepreneurs that they can also succeed here.

Furthermore, as a result of recent technological advancements, particularly those emanating from the COVID pandemic as people were forced to work remotely, geography is no longer the barrier it once was. Local entrepreneurs have been able to raise a lot of money and also hire people both in and outside of Ottawa, he adds.

“We started in Ottawa as an in-person company, but now we have employees throughout Canada,” says Mirzaee.

A community willing to lend a helping hand is another positive attribute propelling Ottawa’s tech ecosystem. Many local entrepreneurs who have enjoyed success are giving back, providing sage advice and also contributing on the financing side as angel investors, says Mirzaee.

He praises Invest Ottawa as “an incredible resource” that serves as a hub to bring people together and ensure that founders and CEOs are able to build relationships and continue to help each other locally.

“As long as we make Ottawa a great place to live we’re going to attract people who will do what they love here. For entrepreneurs it will be building businesses,” Mirzaee says.

Aydin Mirzaee, co-founder and CEO, Fellow.


From tax credits and funding to incubators and procurement, Innovation,

Science and Economic Development Canada is a key portfolio for Ottawa tech companies

As federal cabinet portfolios go, François-Philippe Champagne’s is among the most challenging. The Quebec Liberal MP has been in charge of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada since 2021, leading a department that is confronting an array of issues, from rising grocery prices to Canada’s persistent productivity deficit.

In a wide-ranging Q&A, officials from ISED and Finance Canada answer Techopia’s questions about a number of key topics of interest to Ottawa’s tech entrepreneurs, from the federal government’s review of the Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credit program to how the National Research Council supports SMEs in their drive to create cutting-edge innovations.

Here is an edited transcript of their responses.

QAre there opportunities where federal institutions such as the National Research Council can do more to help incubate promising made-inOttawa innovations?

The government is driving innovation through initiatives such as the Global Innovation Clusters and the Strategic Innovation Fund. These programs are not just funding mechanisms; they are also incubators for transformative projects in promising areas, such as artificial intelligence and quantum technology. Canada’s investments are also bridging the gap between conceptual AI research and market-ready innovations.

Furthermore, the government is investing in clean technology and creating green jobs to grow a sustainable and competitive economy while meeting climate goals. Canadian companies are global leaders in such areas as hydrogen, battery technology, small modular reactors, biofuels, and carbon capture, utilization and storage.

In addition, the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) provides advice, connections and funding to help Canadian small and medium-sized businesses increase their innovation capacity and take their ideas to market. Last year, the program assisted more than

9,000 Canadian small and medium-sized businesses through advisory services, referrals and funding.

This support is delivered by a network of more than 269 Industrial Technology Advisors (ITAs) located in more than 116 communities across the country, including 11 ITAs in the Ottawa region. ITAs are mid- to late-career private sector professionals with engineering or science backgrounds and business experience with SMEs. They work one-on-one with businesses as trusted mentors, providing advice, connections and funding to help transform their ideas into commercial success.

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Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe in conversation with Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne.

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In the last five fiscal years (2019-2023), NRC IRAP provided 1,210 companies with advisory services in the National Capital Region. Among these companies, 494 received research and development funding totalling $139 million. The largest sector supported by NRC IRAP in the National Capital Region was the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, in which 283 companies received a combined $96 million in funding for research and development projects. The second-largest sector supported was manufacturing, in which 61 companies received a combined $14 million in funding for research and development projects.

More specifically, to support Canada’s ICT sector, NRC IRAP has established an ICT Sector Team to engage with firms in the industry. ICT sector team members act as go-to experts on ICT for NRC

IRAP, the NRC and other government departments, by keeping up-to-date on the latest trends, innovations and advancements for the benefit of SMEs.

Also, through its Collaborative Science, Technology and Innovation Platform program, the NRC facilitates collaboration between NRC researchers, academic researchers and SMEs to bring together the best minds to deliver important breakthroughs across the innovation continuum.

QMany Ottawa tech companies decry the difficulty in getting access to government procurement contracts. How are programs like Innovative Solutions Canada trying to address the issue? What do you say to critics who argue such measures are falling short of their goals? Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC)

leverages Government of Canada procurement to help Canadian small businesses develop and commercialize new products and services. ISC provides support to Canadian small businesses through the funding of early-stage research and development, testing of their prototypes in real-world settings, and support for commercial procurement contracts for those Canadian businesses who have successfully commercialized a product or service through the ISC program.

As of fiscal year 2022-23, the ISC program has funded over 1,000 projects worth more than $520 million across Canada.

ISC remains committed to working with federal departments and agencies and supporting the development, testing and commercialization of innovative products and services from Canadian businesses to help advance governmentwide priorities in areas such as quantum,

Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne (centre) with (from left) Michael Curran, publisher of the Ottawa Business Journal; Melissa Reeves, COO of Linebox Studio; Julie Lupinacci, chief customer officer at Hydro Ottawa; Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe; Sueling Ching, president and CEO of the Ottawa Board of Trade; and Matthew Wilson, senior adviser at Enbridge Gas.

health, military, and clean technology and climate change.

By participating in ISC, Canadian companies see success in commercializing their technologies and scaling their operations. For example, Chesterville-based IDP Group participated in ISC to test its modular construction innovation with the Navy.

Since the initial test, IDP Group landed a second contract with the Navy, and has taken major strides to grow its team and expand the application of its innovations.

Q Critics say the delay in the implementation of the Canada Innovation Corp. is a step back for the Canadian tech sector as it strives to compete more effectively on the world stage. Why was the program delayed and how can you assuage fears that the organization will never come to fruition in the way it was intended?

The federal government is committed to supporting Canada’s innovators and businesses and is moving forward with the Canada Innovation Corp. In the interim, the government is ensuring the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program can continue to seamlessly provide essential support to the thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises it works with each year.

Q The federal government recently launched consultations on potential changes to the Scientific

Research and Experimental Development tax credit program to boost the creation and retention of intellectual property among Canadian tech firms. How could overhauling SR&ED help address Canada’s productivity woes, as well as improve our international ranking in R&D spending and IP generation?

The government launched consultations this year on a cost-neutral modernization of the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax incentive program. This is to hear directly from Canadian businesses, including smaller businesses and innovators, about how to better target SR&ED to these firms. Our objective is for Canada to be a leader in R&D, innovation and commercialization.

Q The Ottawa region is home to many fledgling cleantech startups. What is happening with the review of Sustainable Development Technology Canada?

On Sept. 29, 2023, the Government of Canada provided the Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) board with a management response and action plan that lays out specific actions that SDTC was to take by Dec. 31, 2023.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is now in the process of assessing the completeness of SDTC’s response and ensuring that the appropriate measures are in place. Pending satisfactory implementation

of these actions, any new funding of projects has been suspended by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

Q Will there be alternative grant programs available for young companies with promising technology that might have gotten funding from SDTC?

Canadian clean technology companies are crucial to ensuring Canada and the world meet their 2030 and 2050 climate commitments.

To accelerate the transition to clean growth, the 2023 federal budget included a new federal toolkit for supporting companies, with a set of clear and predictable investment tax credits, low-cost strategic financing and targeted investments and programming to respond to the unique needs of sectors or projects of national economic significance.

The Government of Canada established the Clean Growth Hub in 2018. This focal point for clean technology helps firms of all sizes identify cleantech programs and supports most relevant to their needs as they continue to innovate and grow.

Companies can get advice from the hub’s team of experts, who can help them find and understand what programs and services may be right for their projects.

Whether companies are in the early stages of research, conducting technology demonstration or growing their business and exporting, the Clean Growth Hub can point them to the support that fits their needs.

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How does Ottawa stack up?

An interview with Christopher Gillam, vice-president, operations and strategic initiatives, BDC Capital

QHow does Ottawa’s tech ecosystem compare to others in Canada and abroad? Has it changed for the better/worse over time?

Ottawa’s technology ecosystem has evolved in recent years and some incredible success stories of companies receiving global

interest have emerged. Notable examples include: GaN Systems, a cleantech company that was recently acquired by Germany-based Infineon Technologies; Ranovus, another cleantech company that attracted U.S. investment; as well as Solink, a SaaS provider that secured capital from global investors.

Christopher Gillam

Additionally, the city has seen several runaway successes that have gotten global recognition, including Shopify, Kinaxis, Assent Compliance and Halogen Software.

As Canada’s most active venture capital investor, with activities spanning all provinces, BDC Capital has seen the evolution of Ottawa to become the sixthlargest VC ecosystem in the country, based on the past five years of cumulative VC investment, and noticed some positive trends in the city’s technology ecosystem in recent years.

Ottawa is the third-largest VC ecosystem in Ontario, with a share of eight per cent, after Toronto and Kitchener. Its technology companies have raised $1.7 billion across 87 deals over the past five years, reflecting a share of four per cent of the total amount invested in Canadian VC for that period.

During the market boom in 2021, Ottawa experienced an impressive surge in average transaction size, positioning it among the highest in the country for that year.

However, outside of that peak period, the city typically sees an average deal size of $9.4 million, making it the city with the fifth-highest transaction size after Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Kitchener.

According to a recent PitchBook analysis, Ottawa made its way to the Top 100 global VC ecosystems, positioned 82nd when considering the city’s VC market, including its activity levels and the rate at which it has expanded over a six-year period, from 2017 to 2023. It’s been very positive to witness Ottawa’s VC ecosystem gaining ground, reflecting the dynamism of its technology ecosystem, and encouraging to have the city join other prominent Canadian cities in this ranking, specifically Toronto in 27th position, Montreal at 59th, Vancouver at 70th, and Calgary at 74th.

BDC Capital is extremely privileged to collaborate with a remarkable network of VC investors such as Mistral Venture Partners and others based in Ottawa, whose contributions enhance the city’s global standing and continuously fuel the

growth of its technology market. Ottawa has a rich network of ecosystem enablers like L-SPARK, SheBoot and Capital Angel Network, whose contributions augment the dynamism of the industry. L-SPARK is a leading accelerator for the connected cars (AV) industry, SheBoot helps promote inclusivity in the VC ecosystem by aiming to narrow the funding gap faced by women founders, while Capital Angel Network is one of Canada’s most active angel groups.

QHow do Ottawa tech companies fare when it comes to attracting foreign/ U.S. investment? What are some of the reasons for this performance?

Ottawa technology companies have fared well over the past few years when it comes to attracting U.S. investment. If we look at overall trends, we notice that interest from U.S. investors in Ottawa has remained relatively stable, with early- and later-stage companies operating in information technology (IT) and health-care sectors as main areas of interest. We’ve also observed the increasing interest of U.S. investors in the cleantech sector, mirroring a positive trend we’re observing across the country. On average, according to a PitchBook analysis, Ottawa accounts for three per cent of all the Canadian VC transactions that include a U.S. investor, and this level has remained relatively stable over the past five years, except in 2023, when Ottawa’s share increased to 4.1 per cent, while cities like Toronto and Vancouver saw a contraction.

If we examine closely, Ottawa primarily attracts U.S. investors interested in early- as well as late-stage deals. Seed-stage deal participation by U.S. investors in Ottawa is the lowest compared to other cities, at 18 per cent. Other cities across Canada where U.S. investors are active have a more evenly distributed span of transactions across all stages. This could be attributed to a lower share of participation by U.S.

accelerators in Ottawa-based VC deals, which is contributing to limited overall participation of U.S. investors in seed deals. Attracting more U.S. accelerators to the city’s technology ecosystem would increase the exposure of Ottawa-based companies to U.S. investors, consequently bringing some additional sources of capital for these companies to mature from seed to early stages and so on.

QFrom your experience, how are Ottawa tech companies and the Ottawa tech ecosystem perceived internationally? What can Ottawa tech leaders do better/more of?

Ottawa is recognized for its impressive technology talent pool, high presence of knowledge-based businesses, strong research capabilities, and deep-tech expertise, as well as its strong network of business incubators and accelerators.

Throughout the years, the city has built a strong reputation and stands out as a globally recognized technology hub and is well-regarded by investors, both internationally and domestically.

What sets the city apart from other markets is mainly its remarkably high concentration of technology talent. Per CBRE’s recent Scoring Tech Talent 2023 report, which ranks each city’s ability to attract and grow technology talent, Ottawa ranks 11th in North America. Interestingly, the concentration of technology talent within Ottawa is the highest across all 50 North American markets that were ranked, comprising 13.3 per cent of total employment. This is more than double the market average of 5.6 per cent.

Considering its geographical proximity to other Canadian technology hubs, the city’s ability to create new synergies and collaboration, bring in new strategic actors in its technology and VC ecosystem, as well as retain and leverage its highly skilled talent pool will determine its competitiveness in the years to come.


THE OTTAWA-GATINEAU ecosystem technology

As Ottawa has shifted from its traditional telecom roots to a more diverse technology sector, the number of economic development players in the National Capital Region has also increased. More groups than ever before are actively working to develop the local tech sector.

In the west end, Kanata North Business Association, along with its Hub350, has emerged to advocate for its members and tackle common challenges, such as marketing and human resources. Just a few doors down from Hub350, L-Spark has gained local and national recognition as the destination of choice for market-ready SaaS and cloud companies.

All post-secondary institutions have launched entrepreneurship and innovation programs, notably uOttawa’s Startup Garage and Carleton University’s long-standing Lead to Win program. The universities and colleges are also putting more resources toward research partnerships with technology firms.

At the same time, the city’s main economic development agency, Invest Ottawa, continues to evolve beyond its traditional roots, launching multiple accelerator programs as well as specific programs such as SheBoot.

The long list of tech groups doesn’t end there. It also includes Fresh Founders, the Capital Angel Network, and the Ottawa Board of Trade.

This is largely good news, as many organizations address specific niches. However, as the number of players increases, it can also cause confusion and raise questions about the level of coordination. Some CEOs have asked: How can Ottawa’s tech sector speak with one voice when it comes to external marketing or attracting outside investment?

The answer to that question will be high on a list of priorities as Invest Ottawa recruits its next leader. How can the sum of the parts be greater than the whole?

Invest Ottawa Algonquin College School of Advanced Technology OTTAWA WEST GATINEAU Kanata North Business Association / Hub350 L-Spark Wesley Clover International Capital Angel Network KANATA

University of Ottawa Telfer School of Management

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED)

Celtic House Venture Partners


Fresh Founders Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

Mistral Venture Partners


Carleton University Faculty of Engineering and Design


Invest Ottawa / Bayview Yards

7 Bayview Station Rd., Ottawa

Invest Ottawa is a leading economic development agency and Regional Innovation Centre that supports tech founders, startups and Ottawa’s scaling tech firms. It is also a Small Business Enterprise Centre, supporting main street entrepreneurs. IO fosters an entrepreneurial spirit through initiatives designed to enhance entrepreneurial momentum, wealth and job creation in the City of Ottawa and surrounding region.

Sonya Shorey, Interim President and CEO

Kanata North Business Association / Hub350

350 Legget Dr., Kanata

The Kanata North Business Association is a non-profit group dedicated to representing and promoting the growth of tech companies located in Kanata.

Guy Levesque, Interim Executive Director

Ottawa Board of Trade

150 Elgin St. 10th Floor, Ottawa

The Ottawa Board of Trade is a non-profit organization that advocates for the economic prosperity of Ottawa’s businesses and communities, and provides valuable programs and resources for its members.

Sueling Ching, President & CEO


Alacrity Technology & Business Incubator

401 Corkstown Rd., Nepean

Alacrity Ottawa equips entrepreneurs across industries with the skills, knowledge, networks and capital to launch and grow transformational businesses across Canada.

Richard Egli, CEO

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101 Rue Saint-Jean-Bosco Bureaux A-1330, Gatineau, QC

Cilex is a non-profit organization that helps startups and companies achieve their technological innovation goals by offering a suite of services in incubation, acceleration, and research and development.

Impact Hub Ottawa

123 Slater St. 6th Floor, Ottawa

Impact Hub Ottawa is a community coworking space and centre of innovation located in downtown Ottawa for non-profits, entrepreneurs, and grassroots leaders to connect, collaborate, and change the world.

Elizabeth Cleland, Managing Director

Innovation Hub, Carleton University

1125 Colonel By Dr. 2020 Nicol Building, Ottawa

The Innovation Hub transforms visions and ideas into tangible solutions, promoting entrepreneurship on campus through experiential learning opportunities and by providing connections to industry placements, resources and investors.

John Nelson, Acting Director

Institut Innovation Gatineau

455 Blvd. de la Gappe, Gatineau, QC

Institut Innovation Gatineau is a startup accelerator and incubator that guides founders to key resources such as experienced coaches, non-dilutive funding, an extensive network of venture capital, and tailored programs designed to support their growth and success.

IO Accelerator Program

7 Bayview Station Rd., Ottawa

IO Accelerator is an intensive program helping earlystage startups fast-track to product-market fit and funding.

Nick Quain, Vice President

IO Flex Program

7 Bayview Station Rd., Ottawa

IO Flex Program is designed to provide founders and business leaders access to early-stage advisers, costsaving start-up perks, and a network of like-minded peers.

Nick Quain, Vice President

IO Ignition Program

7 Bayview Station Rd., Ottawa

IO Ignition (previously known as the IO Pre-Accelerator) is a 10-week bootcamp created for entrepreneurs in the ideation stage of a startup.

Nick Quain, Vice President

IO ScaleUp Program

7 Bayview Station Rd., Ottawa

IO ScaleUp is a program designed to help rapidly expanding tech companies shorten the leadership learning curve, achieve rapid growth, and compete globally, targeting $100 million.

Nick Quain, Vice President, Michelle Younes, Director, Venture Programs

Lead To Win

1125 Colonel By Dr., Ottawa

Lead To Win is a business development program with the objective of establishing and growing businesses in the National Capital Region.

Tony Bailetti, Executive Director


340 Legget Dr, Kanata

L-SPARK is the destination for Canada’s startup and tech ecosystem to learn, share, plan, execute, measure, adjust, scale and succeed.

Leo Lax, Executive Managing Director

Ottawa Health Innovation Hub

7 Bayview Station Rd., Ottawa

The Ottawa Health Innovation Hub strengthens the health research community in the National Capital Region by fostering a dynamic health and life sciences ecosystem. It encourages research collaboration, commercializes innovations, and assists entrepreneurs in launching and expanding cutting-edge firms.

Ken Lawless, Senior Director

Startup Garage

75 Laurier Ave. E, Ottawa Startup Garage offers a year-round accelerator program that provides entrepreneurs with access to networks, mentorship, advisory services, capital, and resources. It supports entrepreneurs in evolving their ideas from conception, through launch, to growth.

Kathleen Kemp, Manager


Backbone Angels

Backbone Angels is a collective of angel investors who come together to invest in women and nonbinary founders with a focus on investments in Black, Indigenous and women of colour-led companies.

Capital Angel Network

340 Legget Drive, Kanata

Capital Angel Network is a Canadian angel group and the largest network of early-stage investors in Ottawa and Gatineau with a goal of lifting the region’s entrepreneurial potential and facilitating access to quality investment opportunities.

Suzanne Grant, Executive Director

Celtic House Venture Partners

239 Argyle Ave. Suite 100, Ottawa

With a strong track record and a data-driven mindset, Celtic House Venture Partners is one of Canada’s most active technology and innovation investors, applying new cloud-based technologies to meet the evolving needs of businesses.

David Adderley and Tom Valis, Managing Partners

Fresh Founders

709 Laurier Ave. West, Ottawa

Fresh Founders helps launch startups by providing early-stage capital investments, advisory services, and access to elite partners who help them scale.

Solon Angel, Managing Partner


Mistral Venture Partners

854 Bank St. #201, Ottawa

Mistral Venture Partners is a seed-stage venture capital firm that invests in early-stage technology companies that solve critical business problems across various business models.

Code Cubitt, Managing Director

Wesley Clover International

390 March Rd. Suite 110, Kanata

Wesley Clover is a private, global investment management firm and holding company with a track record in building businesses. It has active interests in innovative new cloud and SaaS technology companies.

Sir Terry Mathews, Chairman


Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

50 O’Connor St. Suite 1100, Ottawa

BDC is the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs, supporting the creation and development of strong Canadian businesses through financing, advisory services, and capital, focusing on small and mediumsized enterprises.

Isabelle Hudon, President & CEO

Export Development Canada (EDC)

150 Slater St., Ottawa

EDC is a Crown corporation committed to assisting Canadian companies of all sizes in succeeding by providing them with the trade knowledge, financial solutions, equity, insurance, and connections they need.

Mairead Lavery, President & CEO

NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)

1200 Montréal Rd., Ottawa

NRC-IRAP is Canada’s nnovation assistance program for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Kari Harvey, CEO

Ontario Centre for Innovation

7 Bayview Station Rd, Ottawa

OCI brings industry, academic, and government partners together to invest in collaborative R&D, technology development, and commercialization opportunities that generate the highest return on innovation for Ontarians.

Dr. Claudia Krywiak, President and CEO

Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED)

The Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax incentive program lets Canadian businesses receive tax incentives that can reduce their payable income tax. Corporations, individuals, trusts, and partnerships conducting eligible work may be able to claim SR&ED tax incentives for the year. There are two types of tax incentives available: claiming a deduction against income or earning an investment tax credit.

Sustainable Development Technology Canada

45 R. O’Connor St. #1850, Ottawa SDTC is a foundation established by the Government of Canada to invest in technologies that will generate economic and environmental prosperity for all Canadians. It is the single largest investor in Canadian sustainability entrepreneurs.

Ziyad Rahme, CEO


Area X.O

1740 Woodroffe Ave. Building 400, Nepean

Area X.O is a technology-rich, secure research and development complex created for all-weather experimentation.

Susanne Cork, Business Development Director


555 Legget Dr., Kanata

CENGN, Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks, drives technology innovation and industry growth through its technical expertise, talent development, and partner ecosystem.

Jean-Charles Fahmy, President and CEO

Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI)

1053 Carling Ave., Ottawa

The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, formerly Ottawa Health Research Institute, is a non-profit academic health research institute.

Dr. Duncan Stewart, CEO and Scientific Director


Algonquin College School of Advanced Technology

1385 Woodroffe Ave. Ottawa

Algonquin College’s School of Advanced Technology is an educational institution that believes in pushing the boundaries of education and fostering a dynamic environment that empowers students to embrace their full potential.

Adam Shane, Academic Chair

Carleton University Faculty of Engineering and Design

3010 Minto Centre, Ottawa

Carleton University’s Faculty of Engineering cultivates future engineering and design leaders who are ready to make significant contributions to society.

Dr. Larry Kostiuk, Dean

Carleton University Sprott School of Business

125 Colonel By Dr., 7007 Nicol Building, Ottawa

The Sprott School of Business is dedicated to nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit within its students to foster shared prosperity and to advance equity and justice for all.

Howard Nemiroff, Dean

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La Cité

801 Aviation Pkwy., Ottawa

LA Cite is the largest French-language college of applied arts and technology in Ontario, dedicated to offering innovative programs, quality learning experiences, and improving the overall quality of its services.

Lise Bourgeois, President & CEO

University of Ottawa Faculty of Engineering

800 King Edward Ave., Ottawa

The University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Engineering is committed to fostering the next generation of innovative thinkers by offering a range of hands-on programs that will shape the future of engineering.

Michel Labrosse, Interim Dean

University of Ottawa Telfer School of Management

55 Laurier Ave. E, Ottawa

The Telfer School of Management is a business school that supports students, educators and researchers who are passionate about business and who are dedicated to using their knowledge and abilities to build a better Canada.

Stephane Brutus, Dean


Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED)

235 Queen St., Ottawa

ISED collaborates with Canadians to enhance investment conditions, boost innovation, expand global trade share, and cultivate a fair and competitive marketplace.

Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister

Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

The Ministry of Economic Development is committed to providing policies, programs, and services that help businesses of all sizes and in every region to start, grow, invest, trade, create jobs and to attract investment in Ontario.

Victor Fedeli, Minister

National Research Council of Canada (NRC)

1200 Montreal Rd. Ottawa

The NRC is a federal research and development organization dedicated to advancing knowledge, innovation, and providing scientific and technical expertise in various fields.

Mitch Davies, President


Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI)

251 Laurier Ave. W #300, Ottawa

The Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) helps bridge the gap between government and industry, working in the best interests of Canada’s defence, security, and cybersecurity technology companies.

Christyn Cianfarani, President & CEO

Canadian Chamber of Commerce

275 Slater St. #1700, Ottawa

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the largest business association in Canada, representing businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy.

Perrin Beatty, President & CEO

Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)

979 Bank St. #400, Ottawa

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority helps Canadians bring their ideas to life in the online world by managing the .ca domain and increasing cybersecurity. Byron Holland, President & CEO

Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA)

180 Elgin St. Suite 1100, Ottawa

The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association highlights the contributions of the telecommunications sector to Canada’s growth, innovation, social well-being and sustainability. It acts as an advocate and supporter of industry initiatives, and is involved in research and educational initiatives.

Robert Ghiz, President & CEO

Startup Canada

56 Sparks St. Unit #300, Ottawa Startup Canada connects entrepreneurs with support organizations and peers across the country with industry expertise, regional knowledge, and funding to help start and build successful businesses.

Kayla Isabelle, CEO

Tech Nation Canada

220 Laurier Ave. W., Suite 1120. Ottawa Tech Nation Canada brings together Canada’s technology sector, government and communities. Its mission is to leverage the latest technologies to drive collaboration, growth and advance Canada’s technological future.

Angela Mondou, President & CEO

Women in Communications and Technology (WCT)

7 Bayview Road, Ottawa

WCT is the sole national organization dedicated to advancing women in digital workplaces. It connects them to a vast network and equips businesses with the necessary tools to create inclusive environments and develop female leaders.

Rebecca Bailey, CEO




Imagine you’re somewhere in the world in an elevator. You see a high-flying tech exec. You want to sell them on Ottawa. What would you say? We asked some local senior leaders for their best pitch.

David Gaylord John Sicard James Nguyen Sonya Shorey Suzanne Grant Solon Angel Terry Matthews Alida Burke and Corey Ellis AND EDITED BY ANNE HOWLAND


Ottawa is a place that’s full of incredible talent that’s often misunderstood. By building in Ottawa, you get access to a tremendous amount of talented professionals who are looking for creative startups to join. This is one of the reasons Shopify was able to become a runaway success. It quickly became a star company with a great mission and brought in a lot of local talent to help build the company. At Bushbalm, we straddle being a beauty company and a tech-enabled marketing company. This has helped us attract so many amazing folks who aren’t interested in government jobs and want an outlet for creativity. Show the creativity you can provide to the market and Ottawa will reward you with excellent and skilled tech talent.

CEO and co-founder of Bushbalm
David Gaylord


Ottawa is a great place to invest and back founders. It has a long history of successfully scaling enterprises, which sets the bar for the current generation. As previous leaders succeeded, every founder in town knows that it is possible to build a Newbridge, Shopify, Kinaxis, Cognos, Rewind or MindBridge. It is a town with one degree of separation, with many successful founders leading the way.

Ottawa does not like to be known as the “former” Silicon Valley North. People here were on top of the tech world two decades ago and did not take well to being relegated to a secondary position, despite having many large tech companies and tens of thousands of employees. It means appetite, ambition and willingness to dive back into the action. Combine that with an incredibly loyal, family-oriented and, dare I say, more conservative approach to investing, you have a detonating DNA of people willing to do the work needed to succeed. They avoid hype; they like real business anchored in sound business models where they will grind super hard and be extremely loyal until success occurs.

It really is an awesome feeling to be underestimated and prevail. So many Ottawa folks have that pride of having been in a venture everyone overlooked because it was from Ottawa, and they are not afraid to compete with bigger cities, better-financed companies and win again and again. That inner confidence radiates really hard and I love working with people that act with courage, integrity and determination.

managing partner at Fresh Founders Solon Angel



I’m not afraid to say it: Ottawa can go toe to toe with the bigger, more expensive cities in Canada or beyond, any day of the week. We have world-class talent, a vibrant arts and cultural scene, cutting-edge infrastructure, three of the country’s most outstanding post-secondary institutes, and are nestled among a beautiful natural landscape with easy access to recreation.

With the highest-educated workforce in Canada, Ottawa has more engineers, scientists and PhDs per capita than any other city in the country. Being a bilingual city, we have access to a diverse consumer base and can facilitate entry into international markets. Supportive government policies and incentives create a favourable business environment, encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship.

This creates an incredible talent pool for business in the region. But our talent isn’t confined to the business world; it extends to the arts and culture scene and much of the community is not part of only one or the other, they are truly intersectional. We believe the work of business – innovating, entering new markets, outwitting your competition — requires creative thinking. In fact, we believe business can be better – and do better – with more creativity. In Ottawa, our creative community is robust and our depth of talent is extraordinary. Commerce simply doesn’t exist without culture and vice versa, and these types of collaborations hold out the promise of significant progress in improving long-term economic growth, resilience and quality of life.

Ottawa is still a place where there is room for organizations to leave a mark, to meaningfully contribute to the business community and the culture that feeds this city. The people are welcoming and they truly want others to succeed. Ottawa is a beacon for investors because we offer a harmonious blend of stability, innovation, talent and opportunity within a dynamic and prosperous environment.



Ottawa stands at the forefront of technological innovation and the next big global tech wave. Our world-class city boasts a unique blend of talent, including the largest concentration of knowledge workers, drawing from leading academic and research institutions. The collaborative spirit is strong, fostering an environment where groundbreaking ideas flourish.

The city’s strategic location, nestled in the heart of a G7 capital city, provides a stable and supportive business environment. From 5G standalone to edge computing to IoT devices and cutting-edge AI, Ottawa’s tech ecosystem is dynamic and ready to scale. Home-grown tech giants, including Mitel, Nortel Networks, Newbridge Networks and others, laid the foundation for many innovations and paved the way for many of the tech stars of today: Shopify, Solink, Kinaxis, Solace and Ross Video. Global multinationals including Ericsson, Dell, Nokia, Syntronic and many others have set up in Ottawa to take advantage of the right conditions for business success. We have depth in semiconductors as well, with a robust ecosystem including NRC, the Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre, Infineon Technologies, Marvell and many other semiconductor design and fabrication companies.

Ottawa is where innovation meets opportunity, attracting companies and people from around the world. I invite you to invest in a centre of tech excellence that is fuelling innovations that will shape our future.

founder and chairman, Wesley Clover International Terry Matthews


Located in the heart of Canada, Ottawa is a unique and thriving hub of innovation, talent and opportunity for tech companies. It is one of the most diverse tech hubs in North America and is home to over 1,700 tech companies with expertise in SaaS, AI, autonomous vehicles, next-gen networks, 5G, cybersecurity, digital media, biotech, clean technology and more. In 2021, Ottawa was ranked No. 1 in North America for tech employment concentration.

Did you know that Ottawa is also ranked as the most educated city in Canada? This intellectual firepower fuels our tech scene, providing a rich pool of skilled professionals. Furthermore, Ottawa has witnessed tremendous growth in tech employment over the past five years, with more than 39,000 high-tech workers, representing 27.5 per cent of office employment, a testament to the sector’s vitality in the city.

Our city has consistently been a leader in research and development investment, which has led to the federal government investing $5.4 million in the Ottawa R&D complex.

The collaboration between top-tier research institutions, such as Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, and the thriving private sector creates a dynamic environment that fosters innovation and drives technological advancements. Established innovation hubs like Hub350 and Bayview Yards are the catalysts for growth, supporting startups and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship.

A great part of our tech companies’ success has been the Ottawa tech ecosystem of founders, business groups, investors and talent. Our tech companies are able to build upon foundations built by tech giants such as Mitel, Nortel Networks, Newbridge Networks, Shopify, Calian and Kinaxis, just to name a few.

Quantropi is a beneficiary of Ottawa’s tech ecosystem. Quantropi is enabling enterprises to transition immediately to quantum-grade safety, with minimal investment in new hardware or infrastructure. Quantropi’s goal is to deliver on its mission and become a leader in the quantum security category. Want to learn more? Come to Ottawa!

CEO of Quantropi James Nguyen


Ottawa boasts a vibrant ecosystem with a strong network and business community that actively support startups and scale-ups like ours. We are where we are today because of the strength and support of Ottawa’s business community.

What sets Ottawa apart is its access to diverse talent pools from top-notch colleges and universities in the area, providing a rich pool of skilled individuals eager to contribute to innovative ventures. Moreover, our city is experiencing a surge in entrepreneurial activity, with a growing tech ecosystem brimming with untapped potential.

Our city is not just a place for startups; it’s a dynamic hub where ideas flourish, collaborations thrive, and possibilities are limitless. This unique combination of community support, talent diversity, and entrepreneurial spirit makes Ottawa a destination for tech innovation.

founders of The Growcer Alida Burke and Corey Ellis

interim president, Invest Ottawa


In the heart of Canada lies a powerhouse of innovation: Ottawa.

Here, tech talent is in our DNA. We have North America’s highest tech talent concentration at 13.3 per cent. Our innovation playground? It’s vast and diverse, with 94,000 tech founders and titans, and 1,800-plus companies creating solutions that impact our lives. Our strengths span software, AI, smart mobility, cyber, 5G, digital health and more.

Global giants like Nokia and Ericsson share our streets with homegrown heroes Kinaxis, Shopify, Ross Video, Fullscript and Mitel, startups and scaleups like Assent, Solink and MindBridge.

Home to 168,000 students, including 28,000-plus STEM pioneers, we are Canada’s most educated city. With the nation’s largest tech park and an unrivaled quality of life, we aren’t simply Canada’s Capital. We are a global tech capital. And our true magic lies in our diverse, collaborative community.

Join us in Ottawa. We’re not just imagining our future, we’re building it.



Ottawa is a friendly big little city with a strong community of multi-generational unicorn tech leaders and entrepreneurial spirit; birthplace of Shopify, Rewind and Tough Commerce and home to Kanata North, Canada’s largest tech park; neighbour to an outdoor playground, Gatineau Park; and host to BluesFest, one of North America’s most important music events.

One of Canada’s best angel groups, Capital Angel Network, and renowned Ange Quebec Capital 2, MaRS IAF, and VC firms such as Graphite Ventures and Mistral Venture Partners operate within the National Capital Region.

Ottawa has a growing live music scene birthing stars like the iconic Alanis Morisette, Talk and memyself&vi. As the nation’s capital, it hosts spirited protests on the daily.

The future is bold, envisioned collaboration.

executive director, Capital Angel Network Suzanne Grant

Kanata North is ‘building together’ towards 2030

Kanata North continues to build on its pedigree and reputation as a critical technology innovation cluster and a major contributor to Canada and Ottawa’s respective economies. Many globally important local and international technology companies call Canada’s largest research and technology hub home.

Within approximately six square kilometers there are over 500+ companies and 30,000 staff that contribute to an economic output equal to the total economic output of the Canadian aerospace industry!

There has never been a more exciting future in the history of Kanata North.

We are excited to witness the development of a new innovation ecosystem in Kanata North that will see new technology partners and projects such as autonomous shuttles located alongside restaurants, specialty retail stores, breweries, grocery stores and cultural spaces.

This truly is a time of change and growth for Kanata North.

As part of that story, the Kanata North Business Association is focusing on three distinct areas

to support the tech park: talent, technology and community.

By developing each of these verticals, and building robust strategies around them, the KNBA is ensuring Kanata North is a destination of choice for innovation and business success, where world class talent seeks to live, work, play, learn and innovate with world class companies.


GOAL: Engage, attract, and retain the best technical and business


talent to support business success in Kanata North.

We know talent comes to our region given the job opportunities. And we know that businesses come here because of these rich, highly skilled and highly productive talent pools.

This is why live, work, play, learn and innovate in Kanata North will continue to be the focus of the KNBA’s ever-growing programming to attract and retain talent and businesses.

“We can’t overstate the importance of talent as a key source in developing a competitive edge for Kanata North,” says Guy Levesque, associate vice-president, innovation, partnerships and entrepreneurship at the University of Ottawa and chair of the KNBA board of directors.

By focusing on developing affordable living options and increased transit access to the tech park, connecting directly with job seekers through programs like Discover Technata, as well as academic, government and media partners to elevate the status of the community, Kanata North will continue to be one of the world’s leading technology hubs for innovation and talent.


GOAL: To grow our reputation as a world-class destination for innovation and technology business building, research, and collaboration, a connected community with strong partnerships to support long-term success.

5G represents one of the most significant new advances in communications technologies to date, making the 5G Innovation Zone ideal for conceptualizing, developing, testing, and now, commercializing 5G – and the KNBA’s work with the TELUS 5G Innovation Zone has only just begun.

The team has now welcomed two cohorts of innovators and entrepreneurs to the Telus 5G Innovation Zone through its Living Lab project, in partnership with L-Spark.

We can’t overstate the importance of talent as a key source in developing a competitive edge for Kanata North.


“We will continue to develop programming to support the success of projects like the Living Lab Accelerator as we believe they allow Canada to showcase what we already do well, but also invite opportunities to create, attract, and nurture new kinds of companies here,” adds Levesque.

But, the innovation doesn’t stop there. The association is also looking to identify other clusters/verticals in the park – such as autonomous vehicles – to further develop and connect with academia, talent and government investment.

The KNBA is committed to continuing to expand its partnership with Area X.0, with pilot test deployments such as the POD Shuttle Pilot at the Brookstreet Hotel and the Drone Pilot at the Marshes Golf Course being recent success stories.

“Kanata North as a public test center is a hidden superpower of this region that needs to be further developed,” says Ben Morris, vicepresident of corporate development and technology strategies at Wesley Clover, and vice-chair of the KNBA board of directors.

Community leaders have also heard from stakeholders about the many challenges they face in going to market in Canada versus internationally. The KNBA will continue to work with local government and partners to explore new ways to ‘shop local’ when it comes to technology.


GOAL: To become a vibrant community where the talent of today and tomorrow live, work, play, learn, and innovate.

The next five years will be a time of transformation for the tech park as new mixed-use buildings take shape and amenities come to life. KNBA sees an opportunity to support these developments such that this five-year planning cycle ends with a stronger, more connected, inclusive, accessible, sustainable, and smart urban hub for Kanata North.

While Kanata North has sustained growth since its inception, in order to maintain its competitiveness in a global economy, planning solutions require improvement including connectivity, opportunity for mixed use, enhanced urban design, all of which contribute to the quality of life for those who live, work, play, learn, and innovate in Kanata North.

With the designation of Special Economic Zone for Kanata North, the association values the chance to be at the table with the City as they create zoning and building requirements for the future of the tech park.

And with major projects such as Nokia’s R&D expansion and main+main’s future development in the works, there is a growing opportunity to attract further festivals, restaurants, events, art shows, coffee shops and entertainment that will bring the park further to life.


Five ‘no regret’ actions companies can take to unlock GenAI

As the world of generative AI (GenAI) takes shape, technology, media and entertainment and telecommunications (TMT) companies will play a crucial role in introducing GenAI into service portfolios and digitalization roadmaps.

With technology providers harnessing GenAI to deliver innovative solutions and with usage expected to climb with continued investment, TMT companies with higher-than-average adoption rates of GenAI solutions are poised to capitalize.

It’s important to keep in mind that GenAI technologies are likely to trigger both innovation and disruption. AI augmentation can help empower employees, improve information accessibility and break down silos, but TMT organizations will also be among the first to experience its challenges.

An EY report shows that 68 per cent of TMT companies believe they’re not doing enough to manage the unintended consequences of AI. Regulators are recognizing ethical challenges. Constrained budgets may restrict the ability of TMT companies to invest in AI, demanding greater reliance on partners to deliver GenAI capabilities. And they may find it difficult to absorb GenAIbased partnerships or address conflicting priorities.

Use cases will be helpful in driving customer experience excellence. They also can help unlock new business models, enhance product development and distribution, curate B2B2X customer journeys and improve “ecosystem satisfaction.”

But, employees are unnerved by its potential to reduce human involvement. And with 48 per cent of consumers worried about website algorithms, privacy concerns may hinder the public’s acceptance of AIbased interactions.


The following are five ”no-regret” actions TMT leaders can take today to convert GenAI’s promise into long-term value.


Thirty per cent of TMT companies have a group dedicated to AI adoption and use. Establishing an AI control tower can help move beyond use-case experimentation to reimagine business models.

• Designate a C-suite AI leader and ensure control tower activities are aligned to business strategies.

• Develop a portfolio of targeted GenAI opportunities, with a mix of “quick wins” and more complex use cases.

• Identify skill gaps and train teams in the business and technical aspects of GenAI.


Realizing GenAI’s potential to increase productivity and overhaul business models hinges on new ways of working. GenAI will enable more seamless interactions between business functions.

• Launch small-scale pilots with enterprise data to test solutions and mitigate resistance.

• Ensure the AI control tower works closely with other parts of the business, with critical internal feedback loops.

• Have leadership communicate workflow changes, share progress and future plans.


TMT companies are established ecosystem orchestrators. That experience can provide an advantage, but also require them to adapt ecosystem structures.

• Begin by assessing capability gaps, ensuring ecosystem strategy caters

to evolving AI opportunities.

• Assess GenAI readiness across the business, from infrastructure, model or applications development, identifying the role partnerships can play.

• Prioritize AI discussions with existing partner ecosystems and monitor the landscape for startups, industry peers or academic institutions to enhance future initiatives.


TMT companies should address stakeholder concerns about AIgenerated content such as IP and copyright issues, fake content, security and data privacy, and ensure regular dialogue with policymakers as the landscape evolves.

• Identify new risks from GenAI and implement tools to mitigate them.

• Be transparent and address concerns about data privacy.

• Explore current solutions such as labelling AI-generated content and consider ethical AI training.


GenAI technology is evolving fast. Understanding how best to harness it within broader technology programs and amid emerging technologies will help accelerate transformation.

• Ensure your technology roadmap is in sync with GenAI pilots.

• Consider how GenAI will integrate with your existing technology stack, including CRM and ERP systems.

• Prepare datasets for identified use cases in specific domains.

With a commanding lead in GenAI adoption, TMT companies are wellpositioned to drive value. Partnering to pursue innovation while ensuring integrity will be critical to maximizing value and establishing their role as the leaders helping GenAI change the world.

Warren Tomlin is a managing partner at EY; Aryn Holness is senior consultant.


Technology: The ‘new gold’ and a driver of growth

Entrepreneurial businesses are investing in new digital capabilities as they navigate uncertainty and volatility. Analyzing more than 1,000 growth plans from private company leaders worldwide, the EY CEO Outlook Survey January 2023 found technology to be a priority as organizations pursue growth.

With nearly three-quarters of participating CEOs confirming plans to increase investment in digital and technology capabilities, the survey identified five technology-related priorities for entrepreneurial businesses.


Providing real-time intelligence, data is empowering private businesses to make better decisions, run more efficient operations and serve customers more effectively, allowing them to analyze performance and make insightful predictions about future trends.

As private businesses become aware of the value of data, they’re enhancing capabilities to capture, store, analyze and exploit data to track customer behaviour and improve decision-making. They’re introducing data management, quality processes and improving governance to share data across the organization while complying with privacy regulations.


EY research shows that technology roadmaps, or planning schedules for adoption, are influenced by a number of factors, such as the desire to interact more effectively and provide a differentiated experience for customers, employees and stakeholders. Economic circumstances such as increased energy costs, supply chain disruption and rising inflation demand new technologies to help organizations become resilient and efficient.

As ecosystem adoption continues at pace, there’s investment required in overcoming key technology challenges.

While 91 per cent of CEOs surveyed by EY for “The CEO Imperative: How mastering ecosystems transforms performance” agree that ecosystems have increased the resilience of their business, critical challenges such as data integration, interoperability and having a common platform and cybersecurity for the entire ecosystem require additional investment.

Finally, more entrepreneurs are looking at technology to disrupt existing business models and enable new ones in pursuit of growth and to achieve first-mover status.


Here are 10 questions that can help capitalize on technology as a driver of future growth:

• Should you be the one that disrupts, or the one that is disrupted?

• Is technology fuelling your strategy, or the sand in your engine?

• Does your organization have a clear technology roadmap for the next few years?

• Are you agile enough today when it comes to adopting new technologies for the future?

• Do you have a data-driven culture?

• Could ecosystem collaborations help achieve your technology ambitions?

• Do you know what your most critical digital assets are? Are they secure?

• Does your organization encourage digital innovation and experimentation? Would your employees agree?

• Do employees and stakeholders feel they’re at the centre of technology transformation?

• Does your IT function have a seat in the C-suite?


The importance of cybersecurity has been heightened by entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on data as ”the new gold.” Ranked as the greatest risk to business after supply

chain disruption, geopolitical tensions, climate change and inflation, cybersecurity is making its way onto the agenda and into the boardrooms of private enterprises.

To combat cyber-risk, private enterprises are looking at how data is shared — to meet privacy regulations — and investing in expertise. They’re prioritizing systematic technology risk analyses across people, processes, systems and organizational design to define an “active defence” approach. And they’re building a security culture, with tone from the top, where cybersecurity is embedded in risk strategies and architecture investments to minimize the impact of breaches — in some cases breaching their own systems to flag weaknesses.


Private enterprises are strengthening digital capabilities by recruiting new talent and training and upskilling their workforce to handle new technologies. More than half are investing in innovation and R&D, deploying technologies in an agile way and ensuring multidimensional mandates for chief technology officers (CTO), who have a prominent seat in the C-suite.


Harnessing the benefits of their entrepreneurial spirit, the digital innovation agenda of private enterprises is demanding an agile and data-driven culture, rewarding an analytical approach to experimentation.

Leading organizations understand that these priorities work best hand-in-hand and adopting new technologies cannot be seen as a one-off exercise. It requires an innovation “muscle”; a long-term commitment to experimentation to reframe the business and enable it to adapt quickly.

Private enterprises that put humans at the centre deploy technology at speed and innovate at scale to create value through technology transformation programs, developing the digital and technological capabilities to successfully navigate even the most challenging times.

Aaron Smith is a partner at EY; Eddie Edward is senior consultant.


Techopia and Invest Ottawa have worked together to present a high-level perspective on more than 90 local tech companies across 12 sectoral categories.

Within each category, we identify the top ScaleUp companies, which have achieved product market fit and are growing fast, as well as the Next Gen companies, which are the rising stars that are gaining traction and recognition in their sector.

For some categories, we also indicate the leading Anchor companies, which are paving the way with more than $100 million in annual recurring revenues.


Artificial intelligence is thought to be the most disruptive technology to emerge in decades. The global race to harness and integrate AI includes several local companies, notably MindBridge, which is working on AI analysis of financial statements, and, which is bringing AI to manufacturing.

Research by Invest Ottawa. * Female founder or female co-founder


Stephen DeWitt, CEO

Martin Cloake


MindBridge delivers a comprehensive approach to serve the human need for understanding business-critical data. is an Industry 4.0 technology platform and partner for continuous improvement across frontline operations on the shop floor and beyond.


Marcelo Bursztein

Chris Grimes

Braiyt AI*

Tamey McIntosh, Co-Founder and COO

Warsamé Ahmed, Co-Founder and CEO

Brainware AI*

Gwyneth Ross & Clara Karton

Niraj Bhargava

Advanced Symbolics*

Erin Kelly

NovaceneAI helps organizations harness the full potential of AI by transforming unstructured raw data into business critical insights. is an automated underwriting system that uses machine learning to streamline the Pre-Funding process for loans. Our platform lets you leverage customizable automation, enhance the borrower experience through analytics, reduce risk using AI, and improve your cycle times for new accounts.

Braiyt AI helps businesses unlock the full potential of their data and drive growth through the power of AI. Its solutions allow businesses to quickly and easily integrate advanced AI computer vision capabilities into existing systems and workflows.

Brainware AI calculates and tracks acute and chronic brain trauma levels in real-time to ensure athletes, parents, sideline staff, and medical professionals have the information they need to keep their athletes safe. is a Canadian Artificial Intelligence management software and professional services firm that helps build guardrails for organizations that develop or deploy AI to mitigate risk and maintain trust.

Advanced Symbolics Inc. (ASI) uses Artificial Intelligence to accurately predict human behaviour for use in polling, market research and behavioural research. Polly – ASI’s patented AI – has successfully predicted more than 20 elections and referendums.



As the seat of the federal government and home to many security agencies, Ottawa is poised to develop a robust cybersecurity sector. Already firms such as Field Effect, Corsa and Crypto4A are attracting investment and gaining momentum.

Research by Invest Ottawa. * Female founder or female co-founder


Field Effect

Matt Holland, CEO and Founder

Corsa Security*

Carolyn Raab, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer

Eduardo Cervantes, Co-Founder and CEO

Tom Kum Co-Founder and CTO


Bruno Couillard, Co-Founder and CEO

Field Effect is revolutionizing the industry by bringing advanced cybersecurity solutions and services to businesses of all sizes. Field Effect works to improve its customers cybersecurity operations with better technology, operational processes, and human capability.

Corsa Security helps large enterprises, service providers, managed security service providers (MSSPs) and any large network owner who is struggling with scaling network security and their private network firewalls getting in the way of business agility. It eliminates the deployment and maintenance pains of physical firewalls with the Corsa Security solution by integrating virtualization with intelligent orchestration and automation to deploy, scale and optimize on-premise virtual firewalls.

Crypto4A is a cybersecurity technology company providing industry leading, next-generation Quantum-Safe Hardware Security Modules (HSM) and Security Platforms.



James Nguyen, Co-Founder and CEO

Ryan Peatt, Co-Founder and CEO

Valencia Risk

Aron Feuer, CEO

Vigilant AI

John Craig, CEO


Sem Ponnambalam, Co-Founder and President

Rogue Data

John Mihailov, Founder and President

Bluink Ltd

Steve Borza, President and CEO

Quantropi provides quantum-secure encryption and quantum key generation and distribution services to enterprises, governments, product manufacturers, and the IoT space, through its flagship QiSpace™ platform. QiSpace is the only offering that provides all three prerequisites for end-to-end quantum security — Trust, Uncertainty, and Entropy – TrUE. helps merchants engage with students, faculty, and military personnel to turn them into lifelong customers through personalized and unique offers or content. It’s easy for merchants to get setup and instantly verify users to eliminate abuse and fraud.

Valencia Risk provides custom cybersecurity, compliance and risk consulting, and real-time tracking and reporting. Custom for any potential affront to its customer’s digital universe.

Vigilant AI is a data analysis platform provider, founded by an experienced group of supply chain operators, international accountants, and big data storage and security experts, who came together to solve high-value analysis issues facing large supply chain operators today.

Xahive is a Cyber Security company founded to fulfill the need to provide safe, secure cybersecurity solutions on the internet-based communications space. xahive enables organizations to save on cybersecurity insurance premiums by reducing their overall risk indicator through better cybersecurity governance.

Rogue Data specializes in workflow automation for both the public and private sectors with an emphasis on police checks, social assistance, financial, and supply chain systems developed by the Company. It offers solutions based on a new type of generic application development platform developed by RDC, allowing the production of highly secure end-user interfaces and integration capabilities based on specific business rules and workflow.

Bluink specializes in identity verification and digital ID as a service (eIDaaS), using a mobile device as a strong authenticator and secure digital wallet.



The pandemic caused havoc with global supply chains, underlining the need for technology innovation. Kinaxis, an anchor in Ottawa’s supply chain sector, seized the opportunity and gained customers. Meanwhile, Assent tapped demand for ESG and other compliance regulations to scale up.

Research by Invest Ottawa. * Female founder or female co-founder



John Sicard, CEO


Andrew Waitman, CEO


Martin Sendyk, CEO and President


Dillon McDonald, CEO


Alok Ahuja, CEO and Founder

Kinaxis is a global leader in modern supply chain management. We serve supply chains and the people who manage them in service of humanity. Our software is trusted by renowned global brands to provide the agility and predictability needed to navigate today’s volatility and disruption. We combine our patented concurrency technique with a human-centered approach to AI to empower businesses of all sizes to orchestrate their end-to-end supply chain network, from multi-year strategic planning through down-to-the-second execution and last-mile delivery.


Assent provides a leading supply chain sustainability management solution that supports manufacturers across the globe in addressing their product compliance and ESG needs. Founded in 2010, the company helps manufacturers collect and manage the supply chain data needed to meet environmentally and socially responsible product standards. With advanced technology and deep regulatory expertise, Assent enables companies to collect data that is aligned with regulations and industry standards to manage risks, accelerate market access, and foster sustainable practices.

Lytica provides customers with the data, insight, and analysis they need to improve their procurement and build better, stronger, more resilient supply chains

GoFor provides reliable carbon free delivery through innovative real time logistic innovations, personalized service provided by GoFor’s dedicated team and professional drivers, and a renewable delivery™ model that offers reliability with a carbon free last mile.

Trexity is a same-day on-demand local delivery technology platform for online and bricks & mortar businesses. The Trexity platform enables businesses of all sizes to deliver physical products in near real-time to their customers by harnessing the collective of an independent courier community.



Niek Van Dierdonck, CEO and Founder

GetIt Ryan Hardy, Co-Founder and CEO

Supplyrisk AI Technologies

Faraj Lagum, Co-Founder

RedLore changes how we keep track of material flows in the world of manufacturing and logistics. With IoT devices that track the physical location and condition of assets in real-time, RedLore’s patented solution eliminates the need for barcode and RFID scanning, avoids line stoppage, spoilage, inventory inaccuracy, and avoids stock-outs.

Getit is an innovative mobile application development company that empowers brands with mobile ordering, payment, and loyalty rewards technology.

SupplyRiskAI is an innovative AI-powered platform that helps companies stay resilient in today’s dynamic supply chain environment. Using advanced machine learning algorithms to monitor and analyze real-time data from various sources it detects and predicts potential disruptions or events that could impact the supply chain, allowing companies to take proactive measures to mitigate risks and ensure continuity of operations.



Shopify not only put Ottawa on the map when it comes to e-commerce, but it encouraged other players to embrace the potential of this increasingly popular form of commerce. Rewind, for example, emerged to help Shopify clients back up essential e-commerce data while Noibu focused on identifying e-commerce errors.

Research by Invest Ottawa. * Female founder or female co-founder



Tobias Lütke, CEO


Robert Boukine, Co-Founder and CEO


Mike Potter, Co-Founder and CEO


Dave McIlhagga, Founder and CEO


Fahim Sheikh, Co-Founder and CEO


Elias Hage, Co-Founder and CEO


Max Bailey, Co-Founder and CEO


Cassy Aite, CEO


Kurtis Cicalo, Founder and CEO

Shopify is a Canadian multinational e-commerce company. The Shopify platform offers online retailers a suite of services, including payments, marketing, shipping and customer engagement tools.


Noibu is an eCommerce error monitoring platform. The Noibu eCommerce monitoring platform helps eCommerce teams detect, prioritize, and resolve revenue impacting errors on their website.

Rewind helps businesses protect their SaaS and cloud data. The Rewind platform enables companies to back up, restore, and copy the critical data that drives their business.


MapSherpa is an Internet software company focused on delivering maps to consumer markets via the web, mobile and printed forms.

Trellis helps eCommerce sellers grow their business with its eCommerce Merchandising platform built on the 4Ps framework through the lens of Price, Product, Placement, and Promotion.

App8 is a leading omnichannel ordering solution for foodservice brands that enable guests to view digital menus, order dine-in, pickup, or delivery, and pay for their meals, all from their own smartphones.

Spoonity uses artificial intelligence and innovative technology to change the way businesses approach customer loyalty. It provides cutting-edge solutions that help medium and large food and beverage companies accelerate revenue growth and establish a brighter future in the loyalty industry.

Hoppier makes it easy to send employee rewards and client gifts in a few clicks! Users can provide physical experiences to virtual attendees, such as fresh coffee, remote lunches, after-work drinks, and so much more.

Voiceflip is an AI-driven real estate solution. The Virtual Realtor harnesses voice search technology and AI-driven ChatGPT to allow users to search properties via voice commands and receive instant, accurate answers to their questions.



From a historical perspective, telecom is the foundation of Ottawa’s technology sector. Even though much has changed over the decades, most of the telecom research in Canada happens in this region. Local companies are complemented by global giants such as Nokia, Ericsson, Ciena and Cisco.

Research by Invest Ottawa. * Female founder or female co-founder


JSI Telecom

Sacha Gera, CEO


Jim Clark, Interim CEO and CFO


Hamid Arabzadeh, Chairman, President and CEO

JSI is a provider of lawful intelligence and AI-enabled analytics solutions, trusted by law enforcement, intelligence agencies, and security organizations worldwide. JSI’s software is used to expand awareness, surface patterns, and simplify data complexity in support of mission-critical operations.

Martello provides monitoring solutions to optimize the Microsoft Modern Workplace. Its products provide actionable insight on the performance and user experience of cloud business applications, while giving IT teams and service providers control and visibility of their entire IT infrastructure.

RANOVUS develops and manufactures advanced photonics interconnect solutions to support the next generation of AI/ML workloads in data centers and communication networks.



Sharon Lewinson, CEO and President

SMATs Traffic Solutions

Amir Ghods, Founder and CEO

Four DRobotics

Jeremy James, President and CTO

Sensor Cortek

Robert Laganière, President and CEO


Madan Kanala, Founder and CEO

RideShark is a leader in the provision of customized, turnkey Mobility-as-a-Service solutions. Public transit agencies, government organizations, corporations, and campus institutions use the RideShark Unified Mobility platform to promote and encourage sustainable transportation.

SMATS specializes in smart transportation data collection and analysis. The company’s technology includes next-generation IoT sensors and big traffic data, and an AI-powered analytic platform that brings value-add visualization and insights.

Four DRobotics Corp develops the Autonomous Vehicle as a Service solution which is a computer system that can be used to convert a vehicle into an autonomous uncrewed vehicle that is a member of an autonomous team of uncrewed vehicles.

Sensor Cortek develops AI-based perception systems for all applications. Sensor Cortek creates high performance deep neural networks and embeds them in specialized processing units for production deployment.

Stratosfy’s operations platform combines the power of mobility, IoT, and cloud-native computing to drive efficiency in the daily routines of operations leaders, thereby driving profitability and growth of deskless workforce-based businesses.



Health and wellness, both physical and mental, are increasingly a focus of governments and consumers. Local companies have responded, notably Fullscript, which supports integrative health practitioners. Two local scaleups, Trualta and Welbi, are focused on care of seniors, an issue that gained attention during the pandemic.

Research by Invest Ottawa. * Female founder or female co-founder



Kyle Braatz, CEO


Jonathan Davis, Founder and CEO


Peter O’Blenis, CEO


Elizabeth Audette-Bourdeau, Co-Founder and CEO

TryCyle Data Systems

John MacBeth, Founder and CEO


Cameron Bell, Co-Founder and CEO

Constant Health

Lorne Segal, Co-Founder and CEO

Esprit AI

Patrick Tan, CEO

Pocket MD

Jeevan Singh, Co-Founder

Omar Aziz, Co-Founder

Evoke Health*

Varsha Chaugai, Co-Founder & CEO

Phzio Telehealth

Darwin Fogt, CEO

Leynek Medical

William Jones, CEO and Founder

Fullscript is a digital health platform that helps practitioners build better patient relationships through quality supplementation and intuitive tools for treatment adherence.


Trualta is an online platform that provides caregivers with relevant educational content, practical tutorials, and a dependable online community where caregivers can join discussion forums, gain insight from support groups, and ask real questions of industry professionals.

DistillerSR develops an AI-enabled literature review automation software. DistillerSR securely produces transparent, audit-ready, and regulatory compliant literature reviews faster and more accurately than any other method. As a result, healthcare researchers can produce more informed and time-sensitive health policies, clinical practice guidelines, and regulatory submissions.

Welbi helps senior living communities deliver exceptional and unique life experiences with our state-of-the-art recreational platform. Its software automates hours of administrative tasks while helping recreation teams gain a deep and holistic understanding of their residents, increasing quality of life and occupancy rates.

TryCycle bridges the gap between digital software and human connection. TryCycle empowers at-risk communities and vulnerable populations with accessible digital apps, to enhance well-being and build capacity.

CANImmunize specializes in immunization software. It developed the CANImmunize app, a pan-Canadian digital immunization tracking system that helps Canadians keep track of theirvaccinations with a mobile app and web portal.


Constant Health is changing the landscape of obesity management. Their solution creates a feedback loop from clinician to client using behavioral intervention technology.

Esprit-ai helps seniors live longer, healthier, and safer lives. Its Esprit-ai Sense™ product acts as an invisible caregiver, silently observing and protecting your most vulnerable residents

PocketMD is a 24/7 healthcare marketplace designed to empower patients by giving them easy access to doctors and free access to their medical records.

Evoke Health connects families to their loved ones and keeps them informed, while improving efficiency and time management for nurses and Personal Support Workers in Senior Living through its product Engage+.

The Phzio product suite provides employers with the tools needed to support and engage their employees in their physical health journey.

Leynek Medical is designing, developing, and commercializing hardware and software that will improve the Quality of Life for patients managing cancer and cardiovascular disease.



On a political and societal level, few issues dominate more than the environment. Local companies such as Planetary and TerraFixing are working on carbon capture, while Bluewave-ai is using AI to make power grids more efficent. The shift to electric vehicles has GBatteries innovating to create low-cost and fast-charging batteries.


Devashish Paul, CEO and Founder


Mike Kelland, CEO and Co-Founder


BluWave-ai is a cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) company that is revolutionizing the energy industry by optimizing the use of renewable energy sources with its innovative grid energy optimization platform.

Planetary is on a mission to fight climate change by helping the ocean remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.



Vida Gabriel, Co-Founder and CSO

Sean Wilson, Co-Founder and CEO


Andrew Bowen, CEO

Hyperion Global Energy*

Heather Ward, President and Co-Founder


Kostyantyn Khomutov, CEO and Co-Founder

Jorge Pantoja, CEO and Founder

TerraFixing has developed the only Direct Air Carbon Capture (DAC) technology for capturing CO2 in cold dry climates.

SmartCocoon is dedicated to making your home the most energy-efficient place possible. Their “drop and go” smart vent driven by AI allows for room-by-room temperature control, providing users with complete comfort while also helping save on energy costs.

Hyperion Global Energy captures and converts waste CO2 emissions into some of the world’s most sought-after mineral commodities.

GBatteries is creating safe next-generation energy storage products. Operating at the intersection of artificial intelligence, electrochemistry, and signal processing, GBatteries is building the future of intelligent, high-energy-density batteries is dedicated to removing barriers faced by condo residents, providing smart and managed electric vehicle charging solutions. Through its monthly subscription service, empowers individuals with the freedom to embrace electric mobility, driving towards a cleaner and greener tomorrow.

Watch. Listen. Learn.

Corey Ellis and Alida Burke co-founded The Growcer and created a food system solution that allows “anyone anywhere to grow food locally.”

Corey Ellis Alida Burke Research by Invest Ottawa. * Female founder or female co-founder


Digital media is a diverse technology sector that is a catch-all for many types of companies. First on that list is Ross Video, which created an analog video switcher in the 1970s and then grew that one innovation into dozens of software and hardware solutions for television and live events, including sports games and concerts.

Research by Invest Ottawa. * Female founder or female co-founder


Ross Video

David Ross, CEO and Chairman of the Board


Greg Wood, CEO


Scott Simpson, CEO, President and Co-Founder

Ross Video designs and manufactures equipment for live event and video production.


MASV Inc. is a secure cloud software company designed to quickly transfer heavy media files worldwide to meet fast-paced production schedules.

bitHeads has delivered over 500+ successful projects to global fortune 1000 organizations. BitHeads is comprised of two primary divisions: a custom software development team and a Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) team.



Mike King, Founder

Northern Forge Studio

Jason Flick, CEO

Creative Layer

Nazim Ahmed, CEO and Founder


Riaz Sidi, CEO and Founder

Stripe.TV is a graphic solutions and design company specializing in highly interactive, real-time, 3D graphics in live broadcasts. Through consultation, design, visualization, as well as innovative software and hardware solutions, Stripe.TV provides complete, custom systems to broadcasters and webcasters.

Northern Forge Studios has found its place in the mobile games industry by offering an honest and community driven approach to operating its liveops games.

Creative Layer is a web3 company building tools for creators to tap into new revenue streams in the metaverse.

AdPuzl provides the easiest way for you to build Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns for your business.


more regular online news coverage of technology companies, visit and sign up for the Techopia weekly newsletter.



The pandemic not only accelerated e-commerce, it had the same impact on the adoption of e-learning technology. In the years to come, experts believe that education technology solutions will increasingly complement traditional teaching, whether that’s tutoring students, creating custom learning or enabling lifelong learning.

Research by Invest Ottawa. * Female founder or female co-founder



John Findlay, CEO

LemonadeLXP is a digital growth platform that helps FIs and fintechs quickly create effective training and support tools to grow their digital banking business and maximize the ROI on their technology investments.


LearnExperts* Sarah Sedgman, CEO

Tutor Ocean

Will Li, CEO and Co-Founder


Amanda Douglas-Young, President and Co-Founder


Moe Abbas, CEO and Co-Founder

Sprig Learning

Jarrett Laughlin, CEO and Co-Founder


JP Michel, Founder

Generative AI course authoring platform.

TutorOcean is a global tutoring marketplace that enables learners and tutors to connect anytime and anywhere.

KnowledgeNow designs and develops online learning solutions using a flexible system that ensures long-term success.

Acadium’s mission is to accelerate economic mobility by enabling anyone to launch and build a career for free.

Sprig Learning provides early learners, educators and parents with the early years assessments, tools, and resources needed to build a foundation for lifelong learning—both at home and in school.

SparkPath was founded to help students create extraordinary careers by exploring the real-world challenges that inspire them. By changing mindsets through innovative programs, coaching, and career tools, SparkPath helps the next generation discover their values, interests, and talents and visualize how they can make a real and unique contribution to the world.

Techopia is focused on Ottawa’s technology sector. This multimedia project includes regular online news coverage of technology companies, a video and audio podcast, private networking events and quarterly reports.



Today’s modern agricultural businesses rely on technology for increased efficiency and environmental sustainability. Traditional farming businesses are being disrupted by a new crop of startups. The Growcer is on a mission to grow fresh produce in remote communities, while Food Cycle Science is tackling food waste.

Research by Invest Ottawa. * Female founder or female co-founder



Corey Ellis, CEO and Co-Founder

Alida Burke, CFO and Co-Founder

Food Cycle Sciences

Bradley Crepeau, CEO

Industry-leading Canadian agtech firm empowering you to grow fresh, hyper-local produce year-round with modular farms.

FoodCycler™ is all about redefining waste and closing the loop on the entire concept of the word waste.



Alberto Aguilar, CEO

Else Labs

Khalid Aboujassoum, CEO and Founder

Whiteboard Foods

Charles M. Cuerrier, CEO

The Aggressive Good*

Jennifer Look-Hong, CEO and Founder


Jonathan Murray, CEO and Co-Founder

Watch. Listen. Learn. All episodes.

Rejuvenate by Plantaform is the world’s first smart indoor garden growing plants with fogpnics technology.

Else Labs is building the future of autonomous cooking in every kitchen. Else Labs invented Oliver by else, a robot chef that replicates stovetop cooking, and The Oliver Fleet, a kitchen solution that is versatile and compact, making your process smooth, efficient, and streamlined.

Whiteboard Foods is focused on creating a world where nutritious food choices are aligned with building a sustainable future for all of us.

A cleantech engineering company that provides innovative dispensing and delivery solutions that enable positive changes in the way we supply and purchase food.

Heartee cultivates unique mushroom varieties grown in its vertical farms. Heartee delivers its mushrooms sometimes minutes after harvest ensuring that you get the freshest produce possible.

Mary Yazdani Adam Miron



With its many health research institutes and post-secondary institutions, Ottawa is home to a growing life sciences sector. Genomadix has garnered a lot of attention with its cube testing device, which promises 99.9 per cent accurate results in one hour. Spiderwort is building the framework for the future of regenerative medicine.

Research by Invest Ottawa. * Female founder or female co-founder



Steve Edgett, CEO


Charles M. Cuerrier, CEO and Co-Founder

Virica Biotech

Jean-Simon Diallo, CEO and Co-Founder

Genomadix is a pioneer in real-time RT-PCR point of use technology, dedicated to the highest level of customer satisfaction, quality, and support, maintaining ISO 13485 medical device development and manufacturing standards certification.

Spiderwort is a biotechnology company with a transformative platform of cellulose-based biomaterials that will serve as the scaffolds for everything from regenerative medicine to lab-grown meat. Spiderwort’s biomaterials have shown promise in the treatment of spinal cord Injuries and soft tissue regeneration.

Virica Biotech has developed a library of Viral Sensitizers (VSE™) that improve the yield and quality of vaccines and cell and gene therapies, allowing developers to economically deploy their products at scale.


Ekidna Sensing

Nic Boileau, CEO and Co-Founder


Nicholas Calvert, CEO and Co-Founder

Atorvia Health Technologies

Jane Lapon, Founder

Therapeutic Monitoring Systems

Andrew J. Seely, CEO and Founder

PanTHERA CryoSolutions

Jason Acker, President and CEO


Jack Fairbank, CEO

Realize Medical

Justin Sutherland, CEO

Ekidna’s rapid, accurate, and decentralized cannabis testing technology helps licensed producers eliminate production bottlenecks, reduce operational costs, and bring their products to market faster.

Yellowbird Diagnostics, Inc. specializes in biomedical imaging solutions across commonly used clinical imaging technologies. Its imaging solutions aim to empower physicians with actionable diagnostic information earlier in the onset of disease, seamlessly integrating into existing clinical workflows.

Atorvia is pioneering therapies for organ failure by targeting the regulated cell death pathway that causes it, starting with the kidney. Our novel first-in-class therapeutic targets a crucial protein in the regulated cell death pathway to prevent cell death, reduce inflammation and restore kidney function. The first clinical indication we are pursuing is Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), a devastating condition which affects an estimated 70+ million patients worldwide and often leaves surviving patients with Chronic Kidney Disease, End Stage Renal Disease, stroke or myocardial infarction. There is still no effective therapy for AKI other than supportive care, typically dialysis.

Therapeutic Monitoring Systems develops bedside point-of-care clinical decision support software that will materially improve patient care in the hospital ICU and emergency departments.

PanTHERA CryoSolutions designs and manufactures patented ice recrystallization inhibitors for use in the cryopreservation of cells, tissues and organs.

Hylid Diagnostics (HyliDx) is a home testing and remote care platform aimed to help people with kidney disease and heart failure.

Realize Medical is the creator of Elucis, all-in-one virtual reality-based medical modeling, surgical planning, and collaboration platform.

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