networker THE KANATA
GETTING TO KNOW K ANATA NORTH SUPERSTARS
AMAZON IN THE HOUSE!
OTTAWA IS A TECH HUB - DEAL WITHÂ IT
L-SPARK WELCOMES NEW COHORT
SERIOUS TECH TRULY DOES LIVE HERE
AND MUCH MORE!
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I S M A R K E T I N G T H E A N S W ER TO B U S I N E S S G ROW T H ?
G E T T I N G TO K N OW K A N ATA N O R T H S U PER S TA R S
G O I N G B E YO N D T H E CLI CH É : W H Y G R E AT C U LT U R E C A N ’ T B E FA K ED
OT TAWA I S A T EC H H U B — D E A L W I T H I T
S ER I O U S T EC H T RU LY D O E S LI V E H ER E
A M A ZO N I N T H E H O U S E!
S ER I O U S T EC H I E S 2 .1
L-S PA R K W ELCO M E S N E W CO H O R T
B U I L D I N G A N AU TO N O M O U S V EH I C L E S ECO S YS T EM I N OT TAWA
U N L E A S H I N G T H E P OT EN T I A L O F O P EN S M A R T CI T Y S ERV I C E S O N D EM A N D
EN T R EPR EN EU R S P OT LI G H T: ELI FAT H I
I N T ER N AT I O N A L TO U R A N D D I N N ER
U P CO M I N G CO N FER EN C E S N OT TO M I S S I N OT TAWA
MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE KANATA NORTH BUSINESS ASSOCIATION JENNA SUDDS From rounds of financing to green light projects and from mentorship to awards, this fall has been a time of continued excitement and growth.
SHOWCASING OUR SERIOUS TECH We were pleased to collaborate with the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and the Ottawa Business Journal to create two Best Ottawa Business awards (The BOBs) to showcase the excellent talent in Kanata North. Congratulations to March Networks (Company of the Year) and You.i TV (Team of the Year) on receiving the first ever Kanata North #SeriousTechLivesHere awards. In total, eight Kanata North companies were honoured this year with BOB awards. Congrats to everyone! Read more about The BOBs and this year’s winners.
DRIVING INNOVATION – KANATA NORTH, A CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES I am pleased to announce the City of Ottawa has approved the motion to stand behind our bid and work on the application to the province for autonomous vehicles, one of the greatest opportunities we have for growth and collaboration here in Kanata. Find out more about this initiative.
DESIGN AND LAYOUT BY COMMUNICARIUM
MOVERS AND SHAKERS Fusebill announced it received $6 million in funding to bolster product development, accelerate global expansion in sales, and scale ahead of increasing demand. Time Warner Investments has led a $12M Series B funding for You.i TV to respond to the increased demand for its multi-screen video app platform, enhance workflow, and grow partner channels. The Better Software Company has been accepted into the prestigious Lazaridis Institute program. L-SPARK announced six new companies that will make up its Fall 2016 Accelerator Program. I am happy to welcome these companies as they start their journey with L-SPARK. Read more about the new cohort.
MENTORING THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS This fall 1,300 youth from more than 190 countries came to Ottawa to participate in the One Young World Summit 2016. Terry Matthews (Wesley Clover), Jason Flick (You.i TV), and Jack Gulas (Eclipsys Solutions) facilitated a session with 40 youth delegates where they shared their unique experiences, lessons learned, and provided inspiration on how to navigate tough times and create opportunities.
J EN N A S U D D S
TIME TO REFLECT AND LOOK FORWARD Finally, I would like to invite everyone to the Kanata North Business Association AGM on December 15 from 5:30-7:30 pm at the Marshes. This will be a great opportunity to network with your community, share your views, and learn more about our plans for 2017. These are just a few of our Kanata North highlights. I encourage you to read through the rest of the magazine to learn more about the recent successes in our community. I would like to wish you, your families, and your businesses a joyous and festive holiday season and I look forward to sharing with you even more growth and prosperity in 2017. Sincerely,
Jenna Sudds EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, KANATA NORTH BUSINESS ASSOCIATION
new W H AT ’ S
S TART UP OPEN HOUSE NOV EMBER 29 2:3 0 — 8: 0 0 PM Ever wonder what its like inside a startup? Now is your chance to find out. For the first time Ottawa startups are opening their doors to the public, offering a peek inside the innovative work places redefining Canadian entrepreneurship. Read more and register now!
5G C A N A DA NOV EMBER 29 9: 0 0 A M —7: 0 0 PM A single-day event focused on setting Canada’s 5G agenda and hosted by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association. The program leverages knowledge and expertise from key industry players who are paving the way and marking a course for Canada’s adoption of this new technology. For more details on the event program see our events calendar.
S A A S NORT H NOV EMBER 3 0 TO DECEMBER 1 L-SPARK presents Canada’s first ever SaaS North Conference taking place in Ottawa at the Shaw Centre. Join 70+ speakers and 1,000+ SaaS executives and investors from across Canada all under one roof. Only a few tickets remain so grab yours today on the website saasnorth.com!
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next W H AT ’ S
CENGN SUMMIT DECEMBER 7 8:30 AM—7:00 PM
T EDXK A N ATA 2017 M ARCH 9, 2017 3:3 0 —9: 0 0 PM
CENGN’s Premiere Summit on the Next Generation of Smart Networks is December 7, 2016. This one-day event is dedicated to the commercialization of technologies that will underpin the next generation of converged fixed and mobile global communication networks. Create new contacts and network with the brightest minds in communication technology. Visit our event calendar for more information and to register!
Join us on March 9, 2017 for the third annual TEDxKanata. An evening of inspiring talks and ideas worth sharing. Our theme for TEDxKanata 2017: “The Next 150: Driving Change” is in support of Canada celebrating 150 years as a nation. Together with our speakers, we will explore what the next 150 years will bring.
K A N ATA NORTH BUSINES S A S S O CIATION AGM A ND WINE & CHEESE D ECEMBER 15 5:3 0 PM —7:3 0 PM Join us for an evening that brings together our tech community for a little business, and time to catch up over some awesome wine and cheese. Come have your say, provide some feedback on our activities, and hear what we’ve been up to for the past year. Attendance is free for members and $20 for non-members. For more info and to register visit our event calendar.
The new SET DESIGN CONTEST for TEDxKanata has been announced and is open to all creative minds willing to design their vision of the new theme. On a mission to showcase the best of Ottawa’s creators, thinkers, and innovators, TEDxKanata will be selecting one winner (team or individual) to design and build next year’s conference stage. For full details visit the TEDxKanata website.
DIS COV ER TECHN ATA M ARCH 28 , 2017 11: 0 0 A M - 6: 0 0 PM SAVE THE DATE for Kanata’s largest career and tech expo, held right in the heart of Canada’s largest technology park. With close to 2,000 attendants and growing each year, don’t miss your chance to meet with some of Ottawa’s best talent, students and exhibitors, all under one roof. Kanata North is a vibrant tech hub, with more than 500 businesses and plenty of job opportunities. Come and experience the growth and success of Kanata North at Discover TECHNATA! For more info see our events calendar.
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TEDxKanata.com firstname.lastname@example.org 3
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experience brookstreet 276 four-diamond guestrooms Modern conference & business meeting facilities Inspired cuisine at Perspectives Restaurant Options Jazz Lounge with live jazz every evening Au Natural Spa Flex Fitness Studio Indoor and outdoor saltwater pools Zone 525 interactive games room B CafĂŠ serving Starbucks coffee
Five Twenty Five Legget Drive | Ottawa Ontario K2K 2W2 613.271.1800 | brookstreet.com
experience the marshes The Marshes 18-hole championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. & Sr. European PGA approved 9-hole short course, Marchwood Modern meeting facilities Eclectic dining at Ironstone Grill Jones Lounge for social gatherings Enjoy Thirsty Thursdays with the Dueling Pianos
Three Twenty Terry Fox Drive | Ottawa Ontario K2K 3L1 613.271.3370 | themarshesgolfclub.com /MarshesGolfClub @MarshesGolfClubt
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MARKETING THE ANSWER TO BUSINESS GROWTH?
WRITTEN BY: ESHA ABROL
Letâ€™s see what you said... #SurveyFeedback
In September 2016, we sent out a survey to Kanata North organizations with an intention to better understand the perceptions of marketing and how organizations are using marketing within their companies.
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At a networking event, I once heard someone say cleverly, “Ah, a marketing professional is merely someone who failed in sales.” Ouch. The secret, which is not so much a secret among Kanata North organizations, is that marketing and sales go hand-in-hand. Effective marketing can create a pull strategy, working together with the sales team to reach objectives. There are, however, a number of challenges in marketing. Here is a list of the top three: 1) Sales and marketing working in silos. Quite often in large organizations, marketing and sales staff work on different floors. There should be a regular exchange between these two business functions in order to ensure that efforts are being pushed towards the same goal. For example, if marketing research illustrates the greatest opportunity lies among millennials, why is the sales team wasting time cold calling the 50+ demographic? #TeamWork 2) Marketing tactics expected to create immediate results. KPIs and analytics are important; however, marketing can affect business results for many years. Marketing efforts are not always tangible and may require some experimentation. Internet marketing is becoming one of the most effective marketing tactics. It’s still quite new and we all continue to learn. #Patience #Experiment 3) No dedicated marketing person or investment in marketing. Rather, sales staff or other internal staff untrained in marketing are carrying out the marketing function. Would you feel comfortable asking your dentist to fix a plumbing problem in your kitchen, or a marketing professional to perform acupuncture? #EnoughSaid
In September 2016, we sent out a survey to Kanata North organizations with the intention of better understanding the perceptions of marketing and how organizations are using marketing within their companies. First, let’s look into the organizations who responded. Ninety-three respondents provided their insights on behalf of their organization within the Kanata North area. Upon collection, the data was analyzed by Esha Abrol, Head Marketing Consultant at BrandsRole and Business Development Manager at CENGN. Sixty-three percent of respondents have been in business for more than 10 years, 13% have been in business from six to 10 years, while the remaining companies are five years or younger. Not surprisingly, a majority of respondents, at 36%, are in the technology industry, followed by professional services companies at 20%, nonprofit organizations at 8%, and healthcare at 6%. A majority of respondents cater to more than one type of customer (or vertical) when given the choice among business, consumer, and government with 81% focusing on businesses, 31% on consumers, and 28% on government. Now that we have a profile of our respondents’ organizations, let’s look at what they said about marketing within their organizations.
nition for startups, we see positive outcomes like revenue growth and attracting top talent and investors.”
HOW MANY PEOPLE IN YOUR COMPANY ?
NO [35%] NO [35%]
YES [65%] YES [65%]
DO YOU HAVE A DEDICATED
MARKETING PERSON we conduct formal market research [7%] ? IN THE COMPANY we conduct formal we purchase we rarely market research [7%] market we purchase receive research other we rarely market [6%] It is common to assume marketingupdates[8%] [16%] receive research other investment would be higher for updates[8%] [6%] [16%]
a consumer business; however, Martello Technologies, a B2B Kanata North company, appreciates the value marketing brings to the table. As Tracy King, Director of Marketing at Martello Technologies explains, “There’s an opportunity in growing B2B tech companies for marketing to have a direct impact on key success metrics. By generating demand for products and building brand recog-
we gather market intelligence through sales channels/initiatives we gather market [63%] intelligence through sales channels/initiatives [63%]
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“Effective marketing is essential for growing companies to achieve scale. It adds demand generation efficiency that maximizes the return on sales investment. Most Ottawa companies begin their investment in marketing far too late in their growth cycle which prevents them from becoming cash flow positive and limits their ability to penetrate global markets.” - Doug Michaelides, Stratford Managers Corporation 50% of their sales in international markets. Responding organizations with international sales also invested more in marketing with 71% of these organizations having at least one dedicated marketing person, with 65% investing in trade shows. #MarketingInvestmentEqualsGrowth
stand their target audience. Overall, organizations were fairly confident in how well they understand their target market and they stay connected with the changing needs of their audience by gathering intel through sales channels/initiatives as the chart to the right illustrates. #TalkToYourClients
Of the respondents from smaller technology companies (under 16 people) none have a dedicated marketing person. Often, once a technology company reaches 31 staff members, they hire a dedicated marketing person. Our survey shows that 72% of the companies with 31 – 100 staff have at least one dedicated marketing person. This illustrates clear opportunity for companies to start investing in marketing sooner to pave way for growth earlier on. A survey respondent, Doug Michaelides of Stratford Managers Corporation, says, “Effective marketing is essential for growing companies to achieve scale. It adds demand generation efficiency that maximizes the return on sales investment. Most Ottawa companies begin their investment in marketing far too late in their growth cycle which prevents them from becoming cash flow positive and limits their ability to penetrate global markets.”
Of those who did not have a dedicated marketing person, 53% of respondents said that the marketing functions were performed internally, mainly by sales staff or in the case of smaller companies, the owner. Ten percent said that they outsource to marketing agencies and another 10% said that they do not do any marketing. This was not particularly surprising and it has remained a challenge within organizations. In organizations with no or very little marketing investment, initiatives tend to focus on tactics and lack a marketing strategy or objectives, thus never fully experiencing the full benefits. This insight about organizations without marketing support sheds light on a clear growth opportunity. Even when targeting a niche market, marketing can catapult business growth. One of the respondents, Steve Langford, VP of Marketing at Wesley Clover states how marketing serves his organization, “Brand awareness and business facilitation, but among a very targeted audience, is critical to us. Marketing owns and supports these initiatives.”
It’s all about the internet! Responding organizations have adapted to internet marketing as we see almost one third of companies effectively using their websites as a top marketing tactic, followed by social media. With companies effectively using websites and social media, there seems be more opportunity for online advertising and search engine optimization to further capitalize on these efforts. Kanata North respondents seem to see the opportunity in more traditional tactics as well. Marketing tactics involving more personal engagement with their target market also ranked high. Events and seminars are being used successfully by almost half of the organizations and trade shows and cold calling also brought marketing success to organizations. #OldSchoolMarketingWorksToo
Thirty-nine percent of respondents have no international sales, while the remaining 61% have made some inroads in international markets. One third of organizations have more than
When we asked respondents how well they understood their target audience, 89% said that they understand their market well and 11% said they “somewhat or slightly” under-
Sixty-five percent of respondents said they have at least one dedicated marketing person. One hundred percent of responding companies with more than 100 staff said they have at least one dedicated marketing person. Looking at the smaller organizations (with less than 16 people), only 38% had a dedicated marketing person and digging deeper into this group, none of these organizations belonged to the technology industry.
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The survey results are clear: Kanata North organizations understand the importance of marketing. Many have invested in marketing and have seen results through sales growth, both domestically and internationally. How can we learn and grow?
We need to continue the conversation around marketing, whether it is events or seminars and also within
we conduct formal market research [7%] we rarely receive updates[8%]
our organizations. This includes creating a culture where sales and marketing work together.
we purchase market research [6%]
#MarketingIsAnInvestment Understand the value marketing can bring to your organization when looking to grow, domestically and internationally.
we gather market intelligence through sales channels/initiatives [63%]
HOW DO YOU STAY CONNEC TED WITH THE CHANGING NEEDS OF YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE?
Know about the various government funding opportunities that may apply to help invest in marketing. You can connect with an advisor who can provide one-on-one assistance in connecting you to suitable programs. #HaveAnAnnualMarketingPlan
When there is little or no investment in marketing, organizations tends to place focus on marketing tactics, forgetting about their strategic marketing objectives. Creating a plan will bring focus on priorities and build efficiency as tactics align with objectives. Starting with your objectives will force you to look at the big picture and ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing. Follow that with a supporting strategy, defined goals, and the tactics you will use to meet those goals, including decisions such as posting on social media on a daily basis.
SOCIAL MEDIA EVENTS/SEMINARS EMAIL NEWSLETTERS TRADE SHOWS COLD CALLING ONLINE ADVERTISING SEO MEDIA SPONSORSHIPS
THE SURVEY WAS CONDUCTED AND WRITTEN BY ESHA ABROL, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER AT CENGN AND HEAD MARKETING CONSULTANT AT BRANDSROLE.
PRINT ADVERTISING MARKETING RESEARCH
CONNECT WITH ESHA ON TWITTER OR LINKEDIN.
DIRECT MAIL RUNNING CONTENTS O% 10%
WHICH MARKETING TAC TICS HA S YOUR ORGANIZ ATION SUCCESSFULLY UTILIZED IN THE PA ST YE AR?
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ETTING TO KNOW KANATA NORTH SUPERSTARS
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WRITTEN BY AMANDA GORDON
You have probably seen the stats and articles. According to consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, “Superstars” produce up to 12 times more than the average employee. With that in mind, I set out to learn more about the top talent in Kanata North. What makes Kanata North Superstars tick? What are the secrets to their success? What are their habits? And most importantly, what are their gadgets of choice? JA S O N F LI CK
Jason Flick is one of Ottawa’s most acclaimed serial entrepreneurs. He’s co-founder and president of You.i TV and the product visionary behind the company’s TV app experience platform for major media companies. You.i TV has doubled in size every year for the past six years, and most recently quadrupled. Even if you think you’ve got his story down, Google Jason because there’s sure to be a number of surprising initiatives and accomplishments to uncover. I caught up with him at his office on a beautiful fall morning in the middle of another day full of meetings. Here’s how our meeting went:
Jason, let’s start with the big picture. What is your mantra, the “royal jelly” that is in your core? I passionately believe that the era of the geek is over. It’s no longer good enough just to have masterful tech as your invention. I believe that to compete and win on a global scale, executives need to push the envelope on creativity, innovation, and design. In other words, it’s about a meaningful blend of arts and science. You can’t be a Swiss Army knife and survive anymore. I remind myself of this all the time so that it is now part of how I work.
How does that translate into your business? There are a couple of ways that immediately come to mind: 1. I make sure our staff at You.i TV connects with customers – the folks who are going to buy our products,
use our products, and evangelize about our products. Not only does it help get our people excited and engaged in what they are doing, it brings out their creativity. Interacting with customers helps remind everyone involved we are here to solve problems and see things in a whole new light. They stop thinking like engineers and start thinking in a new way. 2. I push our staff to take risks. I believe that when you let people take risks, exciting new things happen. This is when you get real change and artistry. It should come as no surprise one our core values is “Challenge Everything.”
How did it all start for you? Jason points at a shadow box with a computer in it sitting on his desk. My dad built this for me as a reminder of where I came from. When I was 11 years old, I built one like this myself. It was a four kilobyte box of magic. Early on I defined myself as a certifiable geek. Even my family called me this. It was clear to my parents that school wasn’t really my thing because it didn’t let me be entrepreneurial or experi-
“I believe that when you let people take risks, exciting new things happen. This is when you get real change and artistry.”
mental. I did take electronics courses in high school and loved them. In fact, I found school painful unless I was in an engineering course. I built my own computers and took apart anything that was busted (and some things that weren’t)! I explored my “take things apart” side at home. It all took off from there. My first jobs were as a tobacco harvester for summer breaks and at Canadian Tire. I spent three years at Canadian Tire, which really taught me a lot about business and hardware. It was a great learning experience. When I graduated it was tough to find a job but I had a natural fit with startups. I spent 10 years in small entrepreneurial environments, though I always had something else going on the side. I ran a business with a roommate where we bought computers then resold them. We made lots of money fixing things then reselling them. It was fun and a perfect fit for me.
What were the lessons from your early jobs? What I learned most, was how I didn’t want to do things. I saw how toxic founders influenced a culture and shut down high functioning teams. I also learned that you can add a lot of value if you’re willing to step up and do things when others won’t – to jump in when things are broken and get them fixed.
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Lastly I learned that who you hang out with matters. I tended to hang out with like-minded people with an entrepreneurial spirit. We had tons of conversations that inspired me and made me want to do what I’m doing now.
You mentioned toxic founders. What helps you to be a more effective leader? There are a couple of things that impact my performance as a leader. I constantly think about my role and how I am doing. Holding myself accountable is important. I belong to a group of CEOs who meet regularly. It is collaborative, informal, mentoring at its best. We have similar profiles so we “get” each other and the problems we are facing. Professional athletes need coaches to help them perform at the top of their game so to me it just makes sense that CEOs and business professionals should have coaches too. It is a chance to stop and really think about what you are doing and how you can push yourself and your company to the next level. You have to think that you’ve never really arrived.
We all want to know how you balance work, life, and play. Is it possible? Yes, it is possible. My view is that you need to be present wherever you are. So when I’m at home, my focus is home. I have been with my spouse for 10 years and we have two children. Our time together is precious so I make sure I am an active, “present” partner and parent. Vacation time is important too. It is all about putting things back into perspective for me.
You’re a geek, so what gadgets/ technologies are your faves? I love technology so my favourites are always changing. Right now I am into drones, 3D printing, and virtual reality. Transformational technology excites me and I can’t get enough of it. I am constantly online doing research and talking to people so that I can learn more.
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I am also a gamer at heart. It’s a great stress reliever and distraction for me. Right now I am into World of Tanks, Pokémon with my kids, and Adventure Capital. You like Pokémon, don’t you? My favourite apps are e-mail, Tripit for travel, and Trello. I love Trello and have been using it for over a year. It’s nice, simple, and unstructured which works for me. We also love Slack at our office. It’s definitely a go-to for team communications. Of course our teams love Agile. We are fans of Agile for all parts of our business and are even using it now in marketing and sales. It has made a difference to how we work on a daily basis.
What’s that on your wrist? I am really into smart wearables. I love the idea of collecting useful data as part of my routine. I am wearing a Pebble today but I switch it out with a Fitbit regularly.
Coffee, Juice, Water? I always have a thermos and it has coffee in it. Love my coffee black.
Tell me about your office layout? I have designed my office with three distinct areas. My desk is my quiet space where I concentrate and get stuff done. If I am having a meeting at my desk I consider it a roll-upour-sleeves event. I have four comfy chairs in a circle in the middle of my office. This is my casual space where conversation happens. I also have a sitting area with a high table by the window for creative thinking. I call it my “big picture” space. Each of these spaces has its own energy and serves a very different purpose.
If you could change one thing in your life right now, what would it be? That’s easy. I would like more control over my schedule. It can get pretty jammed some days.
You stressed the importance of creativity when we first started talking. How do you encourage your own creativity in such a busy world? I try to find simple elegance in my day-to-day life. This is very important to me so I make sure to acknowledge it and seek it out. For example, I notice that people are willing to pay a bit more to go to Starbucks for their coffee. When I go on a vacation with my family I want that next-level experience. Our generation will seek out experience with their purchases. It’s a differentiator. I think about this from a business perspective and challenge myself to take experiences to a new level. It is especially true for me because I live in a science-centric world where art and creativity can sometimes get lost. So I challenge myself to think about how to bring in the creative side of life, artistry. About how to turn things into experiences that people remember, seek out, and want. That is my passion and I think about it a lot. I guess creativity comes from letting yourself be open to differences whether they are good or bad, keeping an open mind and choosing to include creative input in your thinking.
AMANDA GORDON IS A VICE PRESIDENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES CONSULTING AT STRATFORD MANAGERS. WORKING OUT OF KANATA NORTH SHE IS PASSIONATE ABOUT HELPING SUPERSTARS ACHIEVE THEIR POTENTIAL. CONNECT WITH AMANDA ON TWITTER AND LINKEDIN.
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T H I N K W R A P CO M M O N A R E A
OING BEYOND THE CLICHÉ: WHY GREAT CULTURE CAN’T BE FAKED WRI T T EN BY A LYS S A H A NS ON , T HINK WR AP COMMERCE
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“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Cliché, right? Attributable to the late business management expert, Peter Drucker, it’s a concept that’s no longer new or disruptive. It’s a mantra that’s been hailed by high tech companies for years, and is now the status quo for many organizations. It’s also something that’s easier said than done, because as anyone who’s spent time within a fast-growing company will tell you, great culture isn’t something that can be faked. At Thinkwrap Commerce, we help leading retailers and B2B companies strategize, develop, and implement leading-edge eCommerce solutions. eCommerce is a hot industry and our company has grown quickly over the last 18 months (including an international expansion to Valencia, Spain), so we thought it made sense to take a step back and examine what it takes to build and maintain a great culture within one of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies, and how other organizations can too. It starts with recognizing the impact corporate culture has on the success of your organization. At Thinkwrap, we’re committed to providing a collaborative environment for employees that’s as challenging as it is rewarding. Each day, colleagues look forward to coming together and learning from each other. It’s a place where you’re inspired to do your best work, and where your contributions are recognized. Culture starts and ends with the people. We’re a 100% employee-owned company, and the same is true of our philosophy on culture. Employees own it, it’s not just something rolled out by the social committee and you won’t find it in an HR folder. It’s a responsibility all of us have to ourselves, to each other, and to our customers to create an environment that makes us proud to come to work every day. We encourage ourselves to be the
best we can, which means we hold ourselves, and each other, to high standards and we reap the rewards. Whether you’re an employee-owned company, a publicly traded international enterprise, or a bootstrap startup, we all share one common thread – we’re all made up of people. The people are the culture, and we’re not all cut from the same cloth (it’s our differences that make us awesome). At Thinkwrap, we recognize every employee as a unique person, and think that different work styles, individual preferences, and schedules are opportunities to break the traditional mould. We have a flexible work environment that gives employees the option of working from home when needed, the office games room, or the Starbucks down the street. But we also believe our best work happens when we come together and participate in the conversation. Being present, physically and mentally, helps keep the momentum going. One of the most important things we’ve learned is that culture doesn’t happen by chance. It takes dedication and hard work to build and maintain. Giving employees access to the tools they need to succeed is a big part of what goes on behind the scenes. Because, guess what? It’s not all about Nerf gun wars and foosball tables. Sure, shiny toys and a fun atmosphere are great, but those are by-products of the culture,
they don’t define it. With the walls between personal and work life quickly diminishing, it’s now more about community, connection, and alignment of goals. A commitment to professional development can be one of the most rewarding things employers can offer. At Thinkwrap, a genuine desire to work together, opportunities to ask for guidance and provide mentorship, and an open door attitude help employees to define and reach both personal and professional goals. Everyone is committed to driving the business forward in a way that supports longevity, performance, and scalability. Every engagement is viewed as an opportunity to contribute to our long-term plan – because when our customers exceed their goals, we all celebrate. We accomplish this through creative solution-finding techniques and a dedication to innovation that is practiced company wide. Part of creating a great culture is having access to a physical environment that inspires innovation. Late last year, we made the move to a brand new office space located in the heart of Kanata North – close to great restaurants, green space, and an easy commute from Ottawa’s downtown core. We’re part of a community of leading tech companies in the area, and benefit from regular neighbourhood events like Food Truck Thursdays, Yoga in the Park,
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and Ice Cream Truck Fridays (our personal fave), initiated by the Kanata North Business Association. Plus, we’re only a road trip away from other major hubs like Toronto, Montreal, and New York City. eCommerce is an exciting industry that’s exploding in both size and complexity; quickly integrating into virtually every aspect of lives. The Thinkwrap team is at the forefront of cutting-edge retail and B2B technology and we’re looking for impassioned professionals to be part of this fast-growing industry. We recruit talented professionals with a wide range of experience and diverse skill sets. Check out our career page to view all current openings. T H I N K W R A P K I TC H EN
ALYSSA IS THE DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER AT THINKWRAP COMMERCE. SHE HAS MORE THAN 10 YEARS’ EXPERIENCE DEVELOPING INTEGRATED MARKETING CAMPAIGNS FOR LEADING BRANDS AND HAS A PASSION FOR ECOMMERCE AND TECHNOLOGY. CONNECT WITH ALYSSA ON TWITTER AND LINKEDIN.
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TRANSFORMING YOUR ORGANIZATION THROUGH INFORMATION GOVERNANCE
Presenters, School of Information Management
This session will discuss the steps needed to establish an information governance program in an organization: · Definition of Information governance · Value of Information governance
DR. LOUISE SPITERI
· Principles of Information governance · Information governance models · Information governance council · Best practices DR. SANDRA TOZE
Your choice of 3 sessions: Tuesday, December 6, 2016 | 8:00 – 9:00 am Thursday, December 8, 2016 | 8:00 – 9:00 am Thursday, December 8, 2016 | 5:00 – 6:00 pm Brookstreet Hotel, 525 Legget Drive, Kanata RSVP to email@example.com
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TTAWA IS A TECH HUB — DEAL WITH IT
W R I T T EN BY RYA N G I B S O N , I N V E S T OT TAWA
A few weeks ago, the firm Expert Market published a fantastic piece, the “World’s Best Tech Hubs To Live and Work In.” It had lots of great data, great visuals and had two great Canadian cities on the list. A spotlight on Canada’s innovation economy is always a good thing.
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I see these lists week after week, month after month — whether it is “emerging hubs” or “top tech cities” or “where VC lives” or “top innovation cities your grandparents approve of.” Each list always leaves me wanting. People keep bypassing Ottawa’s rich tech history and exciting future. So I’m going to break down the data and show you where the city stacks up. A TECH STAR IS BORN
DOWN BUT NOT OUT. However, all that technology, infrastructure, and most importantly top-level talent, didn’t just vanish. Nortel’s products were snapped up by firms like Ciena, which now rakes in $2.6 billion a year. Many people joined new companies or started their own. And finally, that thing that Ottawa had a hand in building (called the “internet”) well it’s pretty
darn important in today’s economy. Ottawa tech didn’t disappear, it matured. GET TO THE POINT… Like I said there are many lists. So let’s focus on one in particular, “The Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER).” It is highly respected and often quoted. Here is the 2015 list:
In the mid-nineties Ottawa was a global epicenter of high tech. Companies like JDS Uniphase, Cognos, Mitel, and dozens more were riding the wave of the internet boom. It was led by Nortel, the crowning jewel of Ottawa’s tech landscape. At its peak, 11% of the local workforce had a job in technology. Innovation flourished, expensive cars took over the streets, and newly cemented billionaires hosted lavish parties. At the time, Ottawa was crowned “Silicon Valley North.” SILICON VALLEY NORTH IS DEAD. LONG LIVE SILICON VALLEY NORTH. Around the year 2000 the dot-com bubble burst. Some large players like Mitel survived but many multi-billion dollar companies were bought at pennies on the dollar or simply hung a “closed” sign on the front door. As Globe and Mail reporter Sean Silicoff wrote recently, “That era is long gone and, for many here, best forgotten. Most of the city’s flagship tech companies of that time have downsized, disappeared or sold to foreign multinationals. Nortel is no more. There’s no direct flight from Ottawa to San Francisco.” It sucked. Now the phrase “Silicon Valley North” has faded from people’s vocabulary when referencing Ottawa. Since then, cities across the country have been trying to lay claim to the throne.
I’m going to highlight some of the categories Compass uses to build its case and compare them to data points in Ottawa’s ecosystem. CAVEAT: It won’t be a perfect applesto-apples comparison but I’m making the case Ottawa is part of the global tech hub conversation. PERFORMANCE GSER: “The Performance Index is based on the Value of the Ecosystem, made of the sum of all valuations of startups at exits and at funding events (80%) and Startup Output, the number of startups (20%).”
Since 2012, Invest Ottawa has worked with approximately 1,100 startups and our knowledge-based industry database says there are around 580 companies with less than four people. (Note that today the definition of a startup is very broad. Shopify is still called a startup and they were founded in 2004). The GSER defines a startup as “(having) raised at least $10,000 USD in financing, and/or hired at least one employee.”
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So let’s run with 580 active startups in Ottawa. With a population of 1.2 million, that’s a density of 0.45; on par with Seattle, Berlin, Montreal, and greater than Paris.
As for ecosystem value, if Ottawa is on par with Montreal and attracting more IT VC investment than Waterloo (more on that in a bit) than it could be argued the value of our startup community is around $3–5 billion.
FUNDING According to Pitchbook, here is the amount of VC money that has flowed through Ottawa IT companies since 2013:
And here is the number of venture capital deals over $10 million in the last three years:
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Finally here are the exits of IT companies in Canada over the last few years:
Is Ottawa at the top? Nope. Is there a significant amount of capital being invested into Ottawa tech companies? Yep. And for the record, Ottawa tech companies had raised more money through IPO’s than every other Canadian city COMBINED. MARKET REACH GSER: “Access to customers allowing the startup to scale rapidly, based on its local and cultural markets, and its ability to scale globally to markets with different languages and needs.” Depending on the source, the annual GDP of Ottawa-Gatineau is somewhere between $58-$64 billion (USD). How much is driven by the innovation economy? Well, it’s not easy to get at but if you isolate our technology park (Canada’s biggest btw), it accounts for just over $7 Billion in GDP. And that park houses JUST HALF of Ottawa’s tech sector.
So tech in Ottawa is a significant economic driver. And as a predominately B2B town — most of the customers are outside Canada. In fact, since 2012, we have helped nearly 500 companies grow globally. A big deal when you are voted the most business friendly, mid-sized city, in the WESTERN HEMISPHERE. TALENT 68,000 people working in tech and counting. We are also home to the second largest concentration of scientists and engineers in North America – just behind Silicon Valley.
If you want info about our fantastic city, then head over to whyottawa.ca for a smorgasbord of data and pretty pictures.
RYAN PAUL GIBSON IS LEAD MARKETING STRATEGIST AT INVEST OTTAWA, AND IS A CONSULTANT FOR TWO OF OTTAWA’S MOST ALLURING CREATIVE AGENCIES. CONNECT WITH RYAN ON TWITTER AND LINKEDIN
YADA, YADA, YADA…. We also enjoy one of the lowest costs of living in Canada, government support for entrepreneurs is strong, there are hundreds of networking events, nearly two dozen incubators and co-working spaces, and so on. So does Ottawa deserve a shout out when we are talking global tech hubs? AB-SO-LUTELY. THE KANATA NETWORKER
ERIOUS TECH TRULY DOES LIVE HERE
Recently eight Kanata North companies were honoured with a 2016 Best Ottawa Business Award (The BOBs), including two of the first Kanata North #SeriousTechLivesHere Awards
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On November 10 the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, the Ottawa Business Journal, and the Ottawa business community celebrated 26 companies and two individuals for their contributions to the innovation and entrepreneurship of the National Capital Region. Eight Kanata North companies came home with hardware including: March Networks – Kanata North #SeriousTechLivesHere Company of the Year You.i TV – Kanata North #SeriousTechLivesHere Team of the Year Calian Group Ltd. – Best Business ProntoForms – Best Business RBR Global – Best Business KRP Properties – Best Performance Sustainability Chipworks & TechInsights – Deal of the Year Technology Nokia – Best Performance Co-op This was the first year for the Kanata North #SeriousTechLivesHere awards which were established to further recognized and highlight Kanata North’s strong and innovative tech community and the significant contributions it has for the city, the National Capital Region, and beyond. “The BOBs is an excellent awards program that showcases the amazing talent we have here in Ottawa and we are happy to have collaborated with the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and Ottawa Business Journal to further showcase the Kanata North community,” said Jenna Sudds, Executive Director, Kanata North Business Association. “When we say Serious Tech Lives Here, we aren’t kidding and this year’s award winners truly exemplify that statement.”
MEET THE KANATA NORTH #SERIOUSTECHLIVESHERE AWARD WINNERS March Networks – Company of the Year March Networks is a recognized leader in the delivery of highly reliable, enterprise-class solutions for several of the world’s largest banks, retail organizations, and transportation agencies. March Networks develops and delivers video-based solutions that help customers solve business challenges that extend well beyond security requirements. By video-enabling other, critical sources of data, March Networks business intelligence software allows financial institutions, retailers, public transportation providers, and other organizations to gather valuable information on their operations and use it to increase profitability.
You.i TV – Team of the Year You.i TV services TV and media companies worldwide with a multi-screen video app platform that creates fans, engages users, and converts consumers. The platform, You.i Engine, lets brand owners build personalized, profitable experiences quickly on all platforms – mobile devices, set-top boxes, consoles, and streaming devices – from a single code base. You.i TV products power some of the most popular TV applications in market today for Sony Crackle, Turner Broadcasting, and Corus Entertainment, and You.i Engine has been licensed in all industry sub-segments: entertainment, kids, sports, and news. Read more about the BOBs and the 2016 winners.
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MAZON IN THE HOUSE!
MOBIL E ENGINEERING T E AM TO BE DE VELOPED IN K ANATAÂ
On September 28, 2016 the Kanata North Business Association held a networking event at the Marshes Golf Club that attracted over 260 people to hear about the plans and job opportunities being offered by tech giant Amazon, who moved into the Kanata North Technology Park earlier this year. 23
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Amazon is looking to hire several engineers to work on building the solutions and applications behind Amazon Echo, Alexa, and other Amazon products. Francois Boisvert, Manager of Software Development, at Amazon was at the event to tell us about some of the products they are developing.
personnel worldwide, Amazon’s presence in Kanata North provides an excellent opportunity to attract and retain more talent to the area. If the growth of the Toronto office is any indication of the potential, having grown from 15 employees to more than 300, it spotlights an excellent opportunity for the area.
Francois mentioned that when the company was looking for a place to set up a software development team their eyes quickly turned to Kanata North, a place they saw as a growing technology environment with a large talent pool.
Visit the www.amazon.jobs website for a current list of jobs and type “Ottawa” in the search bar. You can also connect with Francois Boisvert on LinkedIn.
“I am looking forward to partner with some of the smartest brains on this globe who not only knows how to build great mobile products but also understands what it takes to innovate and build products customers love to use,” Francois wrote in a post on LinkedIn. The company is now working on building a mobile development team here in Kanata. The Amazon Echo and Alexa voice service has been a hit in the consumer market, with options that help you order a pizza, ask questions, or call an Uber. The interactive voice service can connect to all devices and allow customers to talk to Alexa from anywhere. According to Francois, the company has plans to disrupt the next wave of mobile technology and introduce a richer customer experience, smarter architecture, and a cutting-edge mobile product that can be used every day. An exciting addition to the Kanata North business community, Amazon has set up shop at 555 Legget Dr. and is actively recruiting for people to join its Alexa team. “We’re looking for very talented engineers, and we have the capital to grow and innovate,” said Francois. The team will be helping Amazon develop new features for the next generation of the Alexa platform. With more than 250,000
At the networking event, a large job board displaying additional positions from local companies was also made available for attendees. For anyone who did not get a chance to attend the event, you can view the jobs on our website in our job board.
FR A N ÇO I S B O I S V ER T
E V EN T AT T EN D EE S
Other guests at the networking event included Michele Lajeunesse, the Executive Director of GTEC, who told the audience about the technology conference and expo that took place at the Shaw Centre from November 1—3. We also invited Albert Wong, Director, JA Ottawa for The Ottawa Network for Education (ONFE), to present him and other members of the organization with a cheque for $2,500 as a donation to the ONFE programs. ONFE works with education, business, government and community partners to develop programs that enrich public education in Ottawa. Their programs harness the resources of the community to help students succeed and reach their full potential.
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ERIOUS TECHIES 2.1
WE BRING YOU T WO MORE COMPEL L ING PROFIL ES OF T ECH T R AIL BL A ZER S .
W R I T T EN BY A L FR ED J . G I L L E T T E , N O K I A
Kanata North has a rich history in technology with a notable heritage of significant milestones and historic tech innovators. This series continues to recognize some of those trailblazers and the contributions they made to our vibrant and thriving ecosystem. 25
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In last month’s edition, we featured an article titled Serious Tech Lives Here about two veterans in the industry, how they got their start, and the passion they share about technology.
analog world. For people, not familiar with old school telephony, line circuits connect to legacy telephones and trunk circuits connect to other phone systems.
This month we take a look at two other compelling profiles of Kanata’s “behind the scenes” technology leaders. When it comes to technology companies we often read about the companies and their CEO’s but many times, it’s the hardcore technology enthusiasts in the trenches that provide the vision and breakthroughs that lead to success. This series highlights the unsung heroes that continue to contribute because of their love of technology and the people they have met on their journey.
Before the advent of the phone system and the internet for that matter, people around the world kept their communication to a minimum. Part of that was because of cost, part was for national security, and part was just plain necessity. Sharing information was frowned upon and difficult. This lack of communication resulted in a global reinvention of the wheel that resulted in unique phone hardware designs. With deregulation of that industry, John, and many others like him, faced the challenge of making the system work on a global scale. Many hours were spent playing with various impendence termination models, simulating AC crosses and lightning strikes. The Mitel lab at that time actually had a lighting simulator.
JOHN BARSELOTTI Current status: Retired Years in industry: 50+ Companies: Mitel, Newbridge, WestEnd, PowerTrunk, Mitel Knowledge, MKC, Magor John arrived on the Kanata tech scene in the early 80s having already spent time in the UK and USA. John’s primary focus had been telecom and Kanata was the place to be at that time. Deregulation had created a new private sector industry and companies like Mitel were breaking into that space. John’s specialty at the time was line and trunk design, which for the most part involved analog hardware. Even though most of today’s hardware jobs involve digital designs, we can’t escape the fact that we live in an
The design process involved reading foreign design docs, translating and documenting requirements, building a prototype, testing the prototype, making design changes, finalizing the design, and then blowing it up and hope it didn’t catch fire! During his time at Mitel, John was responsible for developing the first key phone system that operated on two wires. It doesn’t sound like a big deal in today’s wireless world but at the time it meant doubling the ability for a system to support remote extensions. When the first personal computers arrived, John was first in line to get one and he started the transition
J O H N B A R S ELOT T I
from hardware to software designer. Unfortunately for John, that was a long, hard transition because his hardware design skills were in high demand. He finally made the shift and has moved into areas like network engineering. He spends his days redesigning his private server farm and network, tweaking his firewall rules, and leveraging all that the connected world has to offer. John’s inventions have resulted in multiple patents. He is still in tune with the telecom world and its transition to VoIP/SIP telephony. John has not had a legacy phone line since 2006. He has a “Freeswitch” open source phone system that provides many of the advanced features of a business phone system. He runs his Freeswitch on a VM (virtual machine). Virtualizing network functionality is one of the next big things for the internet and John has been experimenting with it for years. Some people would abandon what they did for a living when they enter retirement, but serious techies just change gears and start working for themselves on projects that might not have commercial value, but provide outlets for creativity.
Some people would abandon what they did for a living when they enter retirement, but serious techies just change gears and start working for themselves on projects that might not have commercial value, but provide outlets for creativity. THE KANATA NETWORKER
“The Internet of Things is interesting, but the advances in AI are more interesting,” - Allan Beaudette. ALLAN BEAUDETTE Current Status: Semi-Retired Years in industry: 37 Companies: Mitel, Newbridge, Dragonwave, Stratex, Gridpoint Allan arrived as a new grad at Mitel in 1979, accepting a job in production. Allan was never one to have a single job focus, however he fit right into the team. The average age of the workforce was 23 and the newly minted telecom market was a blank canvas with the promise of great things to come. He developed designs from people like John Barsellotti and Pat Beirne and turned them into products that could be manufactured and tested with repeatable results. In the early 80s there were no personal computers, so if you wanted one, you had to build it. Allan built one of the first Motorola 6809 computers running a custom operating system based on a variant of the language called “Forth.” The Mitel version was called “Alice” and was, for the most part, unique to each designer. Some people called it a “write only” language, because each designer extended the core with their own commands. Realizing in the mid 80s that networking was an area that was going to be a key element in machine-to-machine communications, he and a number of colleagues built their own acoustically coupled 300 baud modems. The modems were connected to terminals and computers that gave them access to Mitel’s network of VAX-11780’s.
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Technology was moving at a frantic pace in the early- to mid-80s and companies like Apple and Microsoft were starting to make their mark. Using a heat gun, Allan pioneered a unique way to recycle memory from faulty system cards. This resulted in the creation of several Apple 2-E clones. He also had one of the first Hyperion portable personal computers, equipped with one 5.25” floppy drive for the operating system and a second drive for data disks. He used that computer to discover the power of spreadsheets and second generation programming languages. Allan always had an interest in home automation that has continued to this day. The first 6809 based computers built in the early 80s was upgraded to a 68000-based version that eventually morphed to the Arduino version that monitors a number of homes in the Ottawa area today. Over the course of his career, Allan has held senior positions in many companies, and worked as a designer, product manager, sales engineer, and sales director. His job title may have changed but his love of technology kept him close to the microprocessors that sparked his interest in the late 70s and early 80s. The series Halt and Catch Fire does a pretty good job of describing what it was like back then,” said Allan at a recent lunch meeting. We spent a little bit of time talking about how the companies in Kanata have migrated from predominately hardware focused to software-focused enterprises. I asked him what he thought about that and he pointed out that the declining cost of hardware was responsible for the change. I asked him if he thought that innovation would be enough to spark a second
A L L A N B E AU D E T T E
wave of hardware companies and what he thought about the “Internet of Things.” He suggested that I read a book called The Second Machine Age a New York Times bestseller, which talks about the continuing development of artificial intelligence. “The Internet of Things is interesting, but the advances in AI are more interesting,” said Allan. With a keen sense of tech trends, Allan has demonstrated an uncanny ability to predict the future of technology over the years, and embraced every change with enthusiasm and excitement. I’m not suggesting that you should drop everything that you are doing and start working on AI, but you might want to take his advice and read the book if you haven’t already done so.
Getting to know my residents is a privilege. My job is their happiness. PETER, ADMINISTRATOR WORKING AT CHARTWELL SINCE 2013. CHARTWELL.COM
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L-S PA R K CO H O R T
-SPARK WELCOMES NEW COHORT SEL EC TS SIX B2B SA A S AND CLOUD SOF T WARE S TART UPS TO JOIN T HE FAL L 2016 ACCEL ER ATOR PROGR AM
This past October, six B2B SaaS and cloud software startups were chosen to join L-SPARKâ€™s Fall 2016 Accelerator program.
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Following a three-week boot camp, 11 companies from Montreal, Waterloo, Toronto, and Ottawa were selected to participate in a Pitchfest held at the end of September. A selection committee including representatives from OMERS, Inovia Capital, Information Venture Partners, MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund, Mistral Venture Partners, Microsoft Canada, Wesley Clover International, Mitel, Capital Angels Network, and Whitecap Venture Partners chose the winning applicants. The selected companies have moved into L-SPARK’s office space for nine months with the objective of propelling their companies to 10x revenue growth. Through one-on-one mentorship, intensive SaaS workshops from subject matter experts, and interaction with successful SaaS entrepreneurs, the selected companies will focus on scaling customer traction and revenue. Following in the footsteps of the L-SPARK alumni, this newly minted cohort will immediately focus on scaling sales. As an alumnus, Chris Perram, CEO of Filefacets reflects on his recent experience in the L-SPARK program: “With an optimized channel strategy, we grew our revenue from $7k MRR to over $100k MRR over the course of the nine month program.
MEET THE FALL 2016 L-SPARK ACCELERATOR COHORT: Bluink provides an Enterprise Identity and Access Management (IAM) platform that uses smartphones as the authentication token to deliver unprecedented ease of use, security, and control of access to enterprise systems and applications. Hangry is the fastest way for students to get food on campus. Cafeterias must serve thousands of students all within a short window between classes. Hangry eliminates waiting by enabling students to order and pay in advance, so that their food is ready when they arrive. Lurniture is an intelligent, video SaaS platform that LevelJumps employees. Modern sales teams reduce onboarding time, accelerate performance ramp, and increase win rates with Lurniture’s mobile capture, smart curation, and ondemand delivery of bite-size, peerto-peer videos in CRM. Member365 is an all-in-one membership management platform that provides organizations with a modern cloud-based solution to run their operations, drive membership engagement, and increase revenue.
Optimity is a data-driven B2B SaaS business that helps organizations dramatically improve employee engagement and wellness. They have achieved and sustained the industry’s highest participation and engagement: 54-98%. Its award-winning tech platform uses customizable mobile apps and wearables to aggregate data and retarget high-risk segments to reduce risk of heart disease, diabetes, and depression. WORX Inc. provides the Productiv hybrid cloud platform that allows manufacturers of complex products to maximize the financial return of a product over its lifetime by enabling the effective, rapid, and low-cost collaboration between all resources whether they are internal or contractors. The L-SPARK Accelerator is the destination for market-ready SaaS and cloud companies to connect with Canada’s experts. The L-SPARK acceleration positions companies to propel their revenues to $100k MRR. With a network of established relationships with key venture capital firms, angel investors, and the investment community at large, L-SPARK’s goal is to scale Canada’s best in SaaS to 10x revenue growth. Deadline for applications to the early-stage winter 2017 program is December 9, 2016.
“Entrepreneurs entering the program should be prepared to work intensely together with the L-SPARK team to accelerate revenue, infrastructure, market reach, and opportunities,” continued Perram. L-SPARK will work with each company to create a custom plan and develop an aggressive but realistic strategy to generate month-overmonth growth. Each company will be paired with a mentor to work hands-on, side by side for two days a week throughout the duration of the program to help execute on the plan – not just advise from a distance.
H T T P S : // V I M EO.CO M /18 6 41785 8
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UILDING AN AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES ECO SYSTEM IN OTTAWA The Internet of Things is disrupting the world we live in today. It is expected that by 2025, more than 200 billion physical objects will communicate and interact with one another. With this level of connectivity, major disruptions are in the near future. One such disruption exists with autonomous vehicles, which are already here in some form or another, and will dramatically change both public and private sectors with a rapid rollout anticipated.
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Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are rapidly making their way on to the market. Special purpose, fully-autonomous vehicles are commercially available and AVs for personal use are expected to be in showrooms by about 2020, dramatically changing our lives, our cities, and the world. Over the next few years, the technology component of cars is expected to increase from 5% of a car’s value to 40-60%. The province estimates that there are nearly 100 Ontario companies and institutions involved in the autonomous and connected vehicle industry and a large number of them call Kanata North home.
THE OPPORTUNITY FOR OTTAWA On January 1, 2016, Ontario became the first jurisdiction in Canada to allow testing of AVs on public roads. It followed this achievement with a mandate for the province to set up a Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Vehicles by 2018. In the spring, the Ottawa community came together for the Autonomous Vehicles Ecosystem Breakfast, hosted by the Kanata North Business Association, the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre for Excellence (CAVCOE), and Invest Ottawa. The breakfast brought together the large number of companies working on AV technology in Ottawa and identified opportunities for collaboration. “We have the software strength, talent, and capacity right here in Kanata North so it is important to foster opportunities for collaboration and growth between these companies,” said Jenna Sudds, Executive Director, Kanata North Business Association. “Done right, this presents a major opportunity for Ottawa to be recognized as a world leader in AV technology.”
“This is an important initiative because a lot of work is already being done on the software going into AVs right in Kanata,” Councillor Marianne Wilkinson.
In October a motion by Councillor Marianne Wilkinson was passed with the objective of creating a national software hub for AVs within the City of Ottawa and to request the province of Ontario to approve the testing of autonomous and driverless cars on public roads in the Kanata North Business Park. “This is an important initiative because a lot of work is already being done on the software going into AVs right in Kanata,” said Councillor Wilkinson. “It makes sense for Ontario to have a Centre of Excellence where the software is being developed.” Other components of AV technology is being developed in cities across Ontario and Councillor Wilkinson sees opportunity for the program to extend to the areas where the expertise is stating, “We should have the research facilities where the research and economic development is going on.”
With the motion passing, a number of activities are well underway to make the Centre of Excellence a reality. The next step is to establish a roundtable discussion for the end of November with representatives from government, education, and the private sector to draft a whitepaper outlining the framework and letters of support to be presented to the province. “Sometimes we can be overlooked and people forget what great work we do here. This project would show the support of the development industry in Kanata,” concluded Councillor Wilkinson. Visit CAVCOE to learn more about autonomous vehicle development in Canada.
Sudds agrees, “It doesn’t start and stop in Ottawa. We have to take the responsibility to lead the charge and look at the value of collaborating with other Ontario cities – from Windsor to Waterloo to Stratford – all places that have companies building on AV technology and bringing their own capacity to the project.”
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NLEASHING THE POTENTIAL OF OPEN SMART CITY SERVICES ON DEMAND CENGN, Juniper Networks, and Inocybe Technologies showcase the first live demo of its Open Smart City Infrastructure and Services proof-of-concept project in Germany.
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At the 2016 OPNFV Summit in Berlin, Germany, CENGN, Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (NGN), Juniper Networks, and Inocybe Technologies conducted the first live demonstration of its Open Smart City Infrastructure and Services proof-of-concept (PoC) project. Smart cities put information and communications technologies (ICT) to work in novel and secure ways to manage municipal assets and services, increasing the efficiency of city operations, improving the quality of life for its citizens, and growing the local economy. Leveraging critical financial and technical support from CENGN, Inocybe, and Juniper Networks demonstrated new Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) shared, end-to-end smart infrastructure with on-demand service provider and end-user self-provisioning portals. Combining technology from Juniper Networks and Inocybe Technologies, this new solution is highly differentiated from the traditional approach to network management. “Juniper has built an architecture for ‘smart cities’ and the Internet of Things that allows application developers to harness the raw power of the underlying network through programmable APIs,” said Mike Marcellin, CMO of Juniper Networks. “The solution utilizes the Juniper Networks Contrail SDN Controller and Contrail Service Orchestrator for automated and operationally simplified orchestration of virtualized network functions. We’re looking forward to further collaborating with CENGN and Inocybe to enable cities to build smart infrastructure and improve the quality of life of their citizens.”
ware, and puts new capabilities directly in the hands of network managers and their customers. “This comprehensive solution emerged from years of Inocybe R&D on open access networks enabling the delivery of smarter, more efficient, and costeffective city services to citizens,” said Mathieu Lemay, President and CEO of Inocybe Technologies. “Inocybe’s OpenDaylight-powered Data Utility Controller creates ‘virtual network elements’ that allow multiple service providers to independently operate and manage their individual slice of the network through a service provider provisioning portal. The end-user self-provisioning portal allows users to request and obtain on-demand Smart City services. It creates a winning value proposition for network managers, their customers, and municipalities.”
[This project] promises to improve the management of community services from schools to transportation systems, hospitals, power, water and waste management, and law enforcement. It will deliver long-term economic and social benefits to regions that employ this technology.
“This project directly supports CENGN’s mandate by leveraging novel SDN and NFV technologies from two Canadian NGN leaders to address key societal challenges,” said Ritch Dusome, President and CEO of CENGN. “Together with CENGN, Inocybe Technologies, and Juniper Networks have created a commercial solution that will help make smart cities a reality. It promises to improve the management of community services from schools to transportation systems, hospitals, power, water and waste management, and law enforcement. It will deliver long-term economic and social benefits to regions that employ this technology.” To learn more, read the project overview.
Employing infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud computing services, SDN, and NFV technologies, the platform creates ‘network slices’ that guarantee isolation from the underlying hardTHE KANATA NETWORKER
NTREPRENEUR SPOTLIGHT: ELI FATHI, CEO MINDBRIDGE AI WRITTEN BY: DANIELLE ROBITAILLE
A serial tech entrepreneur, Eli has founded and co-founded a number of startups that have gone on to be quite successful. He contributes his time as a mentor and has been recognized by the academic and business community with several awards. This year Eli received the Algonquin College Alumnus of the Year award and the 2016 Startup Canada Senior Entrepreneur for Ontario, having been recognized for his achievements and contributions to Canadian entrepreneurship and the economy. The companies he’s founded employ more than 350 people and have generated over $500 million in salaries. EL I FAT H I
Today, Eli is the CEO of MindBridge AI, a new startup focused on leveraging machine learning to help organizations save time and money in human fraud detection. Built on a SaaS platform, the core components utilizes data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to streamline data analysis, combat financial crimes, and enhance human capacities to detect fraud. We contacted Eli to learn how he got his start, his steps to success, and what it is that keeps driving him to innovate and develop new ideas and businesses.
Q1. Could you give a us a brief history on how you first got your start in the online space? In terms of the Fluidware genesis it’s a long history. The first time I met my cofounder in Fluidware was at a University of Ottawa event. I was part of the Distinguished Alumni of the Engineering Department at the University of Ottawa and each year
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the graduating class would have a keynote speech from the Dean who would also invite many alumni to attend. Michael Hughes, also known as the Networking Guru, gave a wonderful speech and at the end of it, he asked everyone to stand up and meet a person that they don’t know. A young man came and introduced himself to me and I gave him my card. This would be the first time I met Aydin Mirzaee. I heard from him in September via email in which he asked me to read his business plan. I wanted to mentor him properly so I asked that I first sign an NDA document and then we would meet. It turned out his apartment and our offices were connected via a parking lot. So, we met, and I became his mentor, and very soon became good friends. He was at Nortel and was doing his startup on the side, which ended up not succeeding. We continued to interact and after a while we decided that it would be a good idea to start a new company together.
Q2. Where did the idea for FluidSurveys come from? We just looked at solving problems by talking to different people, that’s how the product ideas evolved. We talked to many people around the city and one of the companies that was doing work with the City of Ottawa had an online surveys requirement. This was the genesis of the FluidSurveys product. The other product evolved thanks to the relationship we had with Carleton University. They managed a government program that provided initial small seed financing to start the company, which at that time was called Chide.it. We had four co-founders in the company. Aydin and I were co-CEO and co-founders and Amin Mirzaee and Samuel Cormier-Iijima were the other co-founders. They were students working part-time, nights, and weekends at the early stages of the company evolution.
Our first product was FluidSurveys, but during the first year we started looking at solving additional problems. We approached Carleton University and they had a problem around scholarship applications. They gave us a contract to build the interface so that students could apply online. Later on, this became FluidReview. We actually had two products in year one. About a year later, we decided to change the name of the company from Chide.it to Fluidware.
Q3. Was it a strategic move to be acquired by Survey Monkey, and considered a major victory for the company? How did you get them to notice you? Simply put, I think it was more strategic for them than it was for us – we were not looking to sell, they were looking to buy. We sold into the enterprise sector and started to gain a lot of traction. SurveyMonkey focused on the do-it-yourself, self-serve sector and was interested in entering the enterprise space. We focused on the enterprise market by going after the government customers, which became very important to our operations. About mid-way in year one, we were introduced to some government personnel who were working on public opinion research. They were looking for Canadian companies that could do online surveys. The main requirement was to keep the data in Canada because of the Patriot Act. That’s really what made us grow quickly — we got focused completely on the federal government and built the product to suit their needs. We made the first five sales to different government departments that we won on a competitive basis. At that point, we knew we were going to make it. The rest is history. We started to sell more products to many government departments which gave us the additional funding to keep developing the product by hiring more people to make the product more comprehensive.
We then started winning customer after customer from around the world. There were a lot of wins and people started to notice when we signed key customers like MIT, Coca Cola, HP and other marquis customers. These wins with key enterprise customers most likely helped to prompt SurveyMonkey to approach us.
Q4. What is your motivation as a serial entrepreneur, is the goal to build the company’s success to the point to be acquired or is it simply the passion of exploration and innovation that drives you? The latter. Definitely the latter. What drives me is the notion that I can make a difference in the world. I really feel that the company is a vehicle to affect change and help people along the way – in some cases people that may not have the opportunity otherwise. The ability to offer the opportunity to people at all – that’s really fantastic and makes me feel great. When I see people that I’ve mentored become successful and I hear them talking about their success, it is very rewarding. Somebody recently called me – a person who I had given an opportunity to work in the company many years ago and said “Everything I’ve done is because of you” and I said, “No! I did not do anything. I just gave you the opportunity. You did all the hard work.” But I also love the idea that people who are working in the company are becoming better for it, especially those who may benefit by making a positive difference. There’s also the innovation. To solve real problems is incredibly motivating. I like to solve real problems for people and to see them enjoying the products that we develop as we are doing now with the new venture. We want to delight the customers.
In today’s environment, you have many tools at your disposal to present and promote the company and its products to the world. Many of these tools are associated with online social media tools. Tools such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, e-books, blogs, webinars, press releases, etc. – are all ammunition used to promote the company. It’s no longer enough to have a good product and assume that people will beat a path to your door. This notion of “let me build it and they will come,” doesn’t work in today’s environment. What is needed is to utilize all of the online tools but also to know how and when to leverage thought leadership to increase the visibility of the products. Of course, you cannot ignore the in-person engagements. These, in some situations, are valuable to forge relationships with customers and partners. In addition, speaking engagements at events and symposiums will also increase the visibility of the company. This will enable you to meet people and listen to them, understand what problems they’re facing, and then evolve your product to solve them. MindBridge has an office in Kanata North at 515 Legget Drive, on the eighth floor, with additional offices in Toronto and New Jersey. One of the Success Factors listed on their website is innovation, where it is written “For our company to endure and grow in a competitive marketplace, it is essential for all functional groups in the company to embrace the “Innovate or Die” approach.” Recently, the company has been selected amoungst 200 nominations to attend this year’s 48Hrs in the Valley program from December 5—7 in San Francisco. The Selection Committee, comprised of investors and C100 members, recognized MindBridge and 21 other companies as Canada’s most promising early startups of 2016.
Q5. We’ve heard the title “Marketing Pro” associated with you and your businesses, could you give us some tips on the best way to market a tech firm in today’s digital landscape? THE KANATA NETWORKER
ANATA NORTH BUSINESS ASSOCIATION HOSTS 2ND INTERNATIONAL TOUR AND DINNER IN CANADA’S LARGEST TECHNOLOGY PARK, KANATA NORTH. On Monday, October 17, 2016 from 2:00 to 8:00 pm, the Kanata North Business Association hosted their 2nd Annual Diplomatic Tour and Dinner Reception at the Brookstreet Hotel. More than 25 representatives from Ottawa’s Canadian embassies, diplomatic community, and economic and foreign affairs representatives attended the event.
Guests included Major Jim Watson, keynote speaker and Associate Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, Kelly Gillis, as well as Ottawa City Councillors, academic leaders, and other provincial and federal government members.
of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. She outlined the program activities of the government bureau and how they are focused on helping to make Canadian industry more productive and competitive in the global economy.
As the nation’s capital, Ottawa is home to approximately 170 diplomatic missions and consulates that can provide local businesses with international connections and services to help them grow their business.
Kanata North features some of the fastest-growing and innovative technology companies in Canada with many being internationally recognized for their game-changing technologies. This event provided an opportunity to spotlight the tremendous success of the region to the diplomatic community.
“The Kanata North technology community has been enjoying impressive growth with many companies being recognized on the global stage as leaders in their fields,” said Jenna Sudds, the Kanata North Business Association Executive Director. “This event provides a wonderful opportunity for our business community to meet with international delegates and strengthen those relationships.” The main goal of the event is to broaden awareness of the Kanata North business community and help facilitate commercial and professional relationships with foreign ambassadors and diplomatic representatives. Representatives of the various embassies and special guests toured three Kanata technology companies, with visits to You.i TV, QNX Software Systems, and Flex. Visitors had the opportunity to view product demos and get an inside look at the company’s products and services. After the tour, delegates and guests were escorted back to the Brookstreet Hotel to join local technology executives for an exclusive networking and cocktail reception, followed by dinner and presentations by Jenna Sudds and a welcome address by Ottawa’s Mayor Jim Watson. During dinner, a keynote address was presented by, Ms. Kelly Gillis, Associate Deputy Minister
PCOMING CONFERENCES NOT TO MISS IN OTTAWA
SAAS NORTH SAAS NORTH is Canada’s first SaaS Conference designed to connect the top SaaS founders, investors, and executives to learn, network, and grow over a two-day event in Ottawa, Canada. This event promises tactical content and actionable conversations delivered by world class thought leaders in SaaS. L-SPARK partnered with Cube Business Media to launch the conference that will take place at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa from November 30 to December 1. Invitations have been extended to both established enterprises and emerging startups looking to grow their businesses. This event will be a key venue for SaaS companies as they look to scale up into globally competitive firms.
The L-SPARK team is committed to establishing Canada’s Centre of Excellence for SaaS. Current plans for SAAS NORTH include four content stages, 70+ speakers, and 36 sessions with 30 hours of learning and networking. Major leaders in the SaaS space will be there sharing their tips and knowledge. Hurry and grab your tickets as there are only a limited number of tickets left!
STARTUP OPEN HOUSE Startup Open House was envisioned in 2013 by a group of Montreal entrepreneurs, LP Maurice (BusBud), Gabriel Sundaram (Real Ventures), and Catherine Ouellet-Dupuis (Stikeman Elliott). They were facing a challenge: attracting bright talent to grow their ventures. Built to fulfill this mission, Startup Open House started as a unique kind of career fair: participants visit startup offices, meet potential colleagues, experience first-hand the work environment, and interact with the product they would be building. Ottawa’s leading startups, meet the teams behind the products, and see where they innovate.
• In April 2016 Startup Open House launched their first international event in London (UK). “Startup Open House is one of the This day will bring together startups most important annual startup events with entrepreneurship enthusiasts in Canada, exposing companies nationeager to discover and contribute to wide to many thousands of new people the startup ecosystem. Professionals each year,” said Satish Kanwar, Director and young talent network for career of Product at Shopify and a Startup opportunities, corporations interact Open House organizer. “The broad with startups, investors reconnect awareness and in-person engagement Since its inception, Startup Open with the companies they support, and the event facilitates is critical to help House has given each community a curious people get a peek at the vibrant homegrown companies find the talent, chance to connect with companies right startup culture. For startups, it is a partners, and customers all around from their headquarters. In collabochance to meet top talent right within them. It’s also simply a celebration ration with Invest Ottawa, L-Spark, their workplace and gain exposure of the diversity and richness of our Kanata North Business Association and among the general public. ecosystem, by opening the doors for Shopify, Startup Open House in Ottawa anyone to learn about startups • The 2015 event gathered 8,000 will open its doors to thousands of in Canada.” participants and 500 startups in people curious about what goes on Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, inside the offices of the companies they Grab your tickets today for this unique Waterloo Region and Quebec City. care about. Get the insides scoop on opportunity! Tickets for the event are available now on the Startup Open House website.
THE KANATA NETWORKER
THE KANATA NETWORKER
The Kanata Networker is an electronic publication which highlights news from the Kanata business community.