The Kanata Networker Winter 2019

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Kanata North welcomes University of Ottawa

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TECH, TALENT AND IMPACT better scale the level of support provided to our members, the association has added to its small and mighty team. In October, Alycia Douglass – our new digital media and community coordinator – joined Deborah Lovegrove, lead for events and marketing, and Vanessa Baillie in administration, to support KNBA’s members and strengthen our role as a unifying voice for Kanata North.


Over the summer, the KNBA board established a set of strategic priorities that will reinforce the organization’s mission in “phase two” of Kanata North’s evolution and inform KNBA’s work plans for the next three

Veronica Farmer Director of Operations, Kanata North Business Association


am always amazed how fast time flies when you are having fun! At the end of October, I started a new role as director of operations at the Kanata North Business Association. Hugely humbling, it has been a wonderfully thrilling, fast-paced and productive start. Last year was filled with transformation, momentum and growth for the KNBA and the Kanata North business community. Success really does happen here. Jamie Petten – who is currently on maternity leave and enjoying her role as a mom – joined as KNBA’s president and executive director in May. Alongside our dynamic team and board, Jamie set in place a new vision for our Kanata North community to thrive. To implement this vision and to

to five years. Anchored by three pillars – talent, tech and impact – the strategic and work plans focus the association’s efforts to ensure “by 2022, Kanata North is recognized as the destination of choice for technical and business talent seeking world-class work with world-class companies.” Signs of continued economic growth and business success are everywhere in Kanata North. The results of our recently released 2018 Economic Impact Analysis report, completed by Doyletech, are impressive and solidify Kanata North as an integral part of the economic growth and innovation agenda of the economies of Ottawa, Ontario and Canada. As Canada’s largest technology park, Kanata North is now home to more companies and more people working in and around the park every day. This includes more than 23,000 employees and 543 companies, collectively contributing $13 billion to Canada’s GDP and making Kanata North Canada’s capital of technology and innovation! But this unprecedented growth and economic impact could not have happened without the amazing efforts of the Kanata North businesses, leaders and their teams. These positive results are attributed to your efforts and should be shared and celebrated! Thank you! 2019 will be another busy year working with our strategic and community partners. Several initiatives in collaboration with Invest Ottawa, Ottawa Tourism and others focus on the unified goal of attracting businesses, talent and investment to Ottawa to generate economic growth and opportunities for our city. I look forward to the continued work with each of the educational partners and others in our community to advance how the bright minds of the future connect to the opportunities that are abundant in the Technology Park. The recent announcement of the close partnership with the University of Ottawa creates a stronger connection between academia and industry in the Kanata North community. We look forward to the opening of its new presence in February 2019! The future is very bright for Kanata North and I am honoured to work with an active board, passionate team and engaged group of partners to cultivate further opportunities for businesses in Kanata North. Together in 2019, we will continue to strengthen existing pride, build national and international recognition of this thriving tech hub and attract diverse talent to the region as a part of phase two of the KNBA’s next chapter!


what’s inside

“He showed up at my door with a box of business cards that said ‘Dale Gantous, President, InGenius.’ I told him at the time, ‘Buzz off, I’m going on vacation.’” – Dale Gantous, recalling her reaction to her future employer’s initial overture. Read the full profile on page eight.


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


BEHIND THE NUMBERS Kanata North’s economic impact

10 WHERE WE WORK University of Ottawa comes to Kanata North 12 WHAT WE’RE GEEKING OUT ON Capitalizing on cannabis 14 WHERE WE LIVE Kanata North’s growing crop of craft breweries 16 BUSINESS BRIEFING News from Canada’s largest tech park 18 AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES New institute launched in Kanata North 19 AWARDS Celebrating Kanata North’s top performers





Kanata North welcomes University of Ottawa

The Kanata Networker is the official publication of the Kanata North Business Association. Learn more at All reporting by Rosa Saba

Sponsored Content

A HOME BETWEEN HOMES: How Premiere Suites helps Kanata companies attract top talent to the city Along with making a new hire’s move less stressful, studies show that a smooth relocation is also good for business As businesses in Kanata North continue to boom, so too does their need to hire top-tier talent. And for many companies, particularly those in tech, that often means looking beyond Ottawa to find the best person for the job. Moving within a city can be difficult enough, but relocating from another place – whether a different city, province or even country – creates a whole new set of challenges. As a strategic partner of Kanata North’s business community, Premiere Suites is positioned to address those challenges head on. “We are here for people who need more than a hotel room,” says Alex Cumminger, the firm’s director of business development. Premiere Suites has more than 30 short-term rental properties in Kanata, with more scattered throughout the rest of Ottawa. With a variety of townhomes and condos to choose from, the company is set up to host anyone from single professionals to those with families and even pets. “Pets are a major part of people’s lives,” says Cumminger. “If they had to make secondary arrangements for their pets that would just be another cause of stress, particularly if they’re travelling with kids.” More than a property management company, Premiere Suites offers fully furnished short term rentals

with full-sized kitchens, in suite laundry and all the other amenities needed to feel at home. Cumminger and his team work with HR departments, executive assistants and relocation managers to find the best location and unit for an incoming hire and their family in terms of number of bedrooms, accessibility and for families, proximity to local schools and activities. As a short-term rental provider with a typical stay length of more than 30 days, Premiere Suites offers a healthier and more cost-effective alternative to a hotel or home sharing service. Though they are less common, the company is also equipped to host guests for stays of seven nights or more. Units come equipped with a full kitchen, so guests can do groceries and enjoy home cooked meals rather than relying on take out or room service. “It’s a really turnkey operation,” he says. Guests benefit from full service in the units, which includes all utilities, unlimited internet access, VIP Rogers Cable, linens and towels and housekeeping. And for hiring companies footing the bill for a new hire’s relocation, Premiere Suites offers competitive rates, with stays of 30 days or more exempt from all taxes. Additionally, the company is fully insured and accredited, so hiring firms can rest easy knowing their newfound talent is in good hands with Premiere Suites.

WHY DOES A SMOOTH RELOCATION MATTER? For businesses hoping to attract top talent to Ottawa, a successful relocation can be the first step to a long, happy career with the hiring company. Along with making a new hire’s move less stressful, studies show that a smooth relocation is also good for business. In a recent study conducted by the Canadian Employee Relocation Council, selecting a neighbourhood and securing a residence were ranked as the top two causes for lost productivity among relocated employees.

Those companies that offer relocation decision assistance see an increase in acceptance from first-choice candidates. Overall, they also see a decrease in refusal.

When polled, 37 per cent of respondents cited concerns over housing or a mortgage as a reason for refusing a role in a new city.

You can read CERC’s report at

Learn more at Questions? Contact or call 613-695-6510.


After being offered relocation decision assistance, 81 per cent of respondents accepted a new role, a stark contrast to the 50 per cent that agreed to move without it.



The Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) has launched the Digital Main Street program and is rolling it out across the province. The program provides $2,500 to qualifying small main street Ontario businesses to purchase and adopt digital tools and technologies. There is also a Digital Service Squad Grant Program that provides $10,000 to qualifying municipal and business associations to set up Digital Service Squads to provide one-on-one assistance to small main street businesses in communities across Ontario. For more details on the programs visit:

Jan. 18-20, 2019 from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A regional three-day conference for undergraduate physics majors, the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) helps undergraduate women continue in physics by providing them with an opportunity to experience a professional conference, information about graduate school and professions in physics, as well as access to other women of all ages in physics with whom they can share experiences, advice and ideas. For more information on the event, please visit our events calendar or get in touch with the University of Ottawa Department of Physics.



The Government of Canada is looking to advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment as well as support women entrepreneurs through the new Women Entrepreneurship Strategy that was announced in the 2018 federal budget. The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy aims to double the number of majority women-owned businesses by 2025. The $20-million Women Entrepreneurship Fund provides up to $100,000 in non-repayable contribution funding for 12 months to women entrepreneurs with the objective to grow their businesses and facilitate their pursuit of opportunities in markets abroad. You


Kanata North’s tech hub can benefit from the quality and quantity of air services for shorter and quicker flights. Do you

can find more information about the Women Entrepreneurship Fund on the Government of Canada website. need to attend a meeting in Waterloo or other areas of Toronto? Charter Air Services from Carp Airport (YRP) is only 14 minutes from Legget Drive in Kanata. Save up to four hours by avoiding Toronto’s Pearson Airport and take a ride in a quiet, high-performance turboprop aircraft with on-board privacy and departure times to suit your own schedule. Contact Omer Majeed: omer.


Feb. 28, 2019 from 3:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Speakers have been announced for the upcoming TEDxKanata event under the theme “IMAGINE.” Check the TEDxKanata website for bios on each of the speakers. We look forward to welcoming you to the fifth edition of this annual event. Enjoy the inspirational talks of eight new speakers who will encourage attendees to dream, to question, to be vulnerable and to gain new perspectives as they hear ideas worth spreading.



Net value-add of Kanata North to Canada’s GDP



Average net contribution per employee in Kanata North Note: $90,000 is the average contribution per employee in Canada


+53% since 2015


Tech/export sector


National average

(includes jobs in Kanata North only)

+18% compared with 16,513 in 2015

increase over $7.8 billion in 2015


$ C



Total tech/ export sector (includes jobs in Kanata North and acrossthe region) Note: 10,000+ indirect and induced jobs have been generated in Ottawa/Eastern Ontario region due to the Kanata North success.

New study shows Kanata North’s growing economic impact, highlights need for investments in talent and transportation


Veronica Farmer, KNBA’s operations manager, attributed this in part to Clearford Water Systems, which boosted revenues and employment numbers in 2018 due to a series of acquisitions. Business leaders say that growth can be felt in day-to-day life in the park. “We can feel it. We can see it,” said Farmer. “We see more companies announcing themselves.” However, it’s also felt in ways that present new challenges. With close to 3,000 new employees in the park since 2015, traffic congestion on streets such as March Road has never been so bad, the KNBA said. Addressing traffic congestion and improving public transit service is an area that Sudds, who was recently sworn in as the area’s city councillor, has pledged to tackle. The report also calculated the amount of taxes generated by Kanata North for all levels of government. Thanks in part to the area’s dramatic growth, it’s risen 16 per cent municipally, 40 per cent provincially and 47 per cent federally over the past three years.

TOTAL JOBS 33,236 = 29,376 Total Tech/Export Sector + 3,860 Total Local Sector

with 26,325 in 2015

+9% compared

with 30,679 in 2015

“We need a little bit of it back,” said Amy MacLeod, KNBA’s board chair and Mitel’s corporate diversity officer and vice-president of strategic communications, at a December presentation. “We need infrastructure. We need investment in our transportation.” As well, the need for tech talent is stronger than ever, Farmer said. She said traffic and talent will be key to continuing the growth highlighted in the study, adding she sees a strong argument for the provincial and federal governments to fund improvements such as traffic infrastructure. “If we don’t do this, we’re going to lose … momentum,” said Farmer.


ompanies in Kanata North are outposts for many multinational firms. growing rapidly and scaling up These offices typically do not generate revenues, but traffic congestion and revenues directly, so Doyletech counted competition for talented staff threaten the budget allocated to these local to hinder that growth if left unchecked, operations to account for the value according to a new report. generated by the R&D work done in The study, performed by OttawaKanata North. based Doyletech Corp., found “These are big companies, and that the park’s total economic the research that Kanata North impact on Canada’s GDP is doing is vital to those was $13 billion, a 66 per companies’ interest,” said cent increase over the Doyletech partner Rick $7.8 billion reported Clayton. Visit impact2018. in 2015 when Jenna The report found a Sudds, then the executive nine per cent increase to see more findings. director of the Kanata in jobs in Kanata North, North Business Association, as well as 30 per cent spearheaded the first review of revenue growth and 13 per Kanata North’s economic impact. cent more companies, over the Doyletech used a database of past three years. The park’s anchor companies in the park and interviews sectors – telecommunications, wireless with 40 companies to complete the and photonics – collectively saw study, gathering information such as revenues jump 95 per cent. Elsewhere, employment numbers, product offerings cleantech – a sector comprised of just and a broadly defined measurement of nine companies, according to Doyletech “revenue.” – saw revenues increase 146 per cent and Kanata North is home to R&D employee numbers climb 119 per cent.

+12% compared

The company’s relationship with Mitel proved fruitful. When the firm asked InGenius to take over its custom application development, Gantous saw it as an opportunity to find out what customers were missing and how InGenius could fill the gap.


Dale Gantous is the CEO of InGenius Software. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

‘I have never looked back’ CEO Dale Gantous steers InGenius Software through tech bust to Growth 500



n Dale Gantous’ own words, the story of how she became the CEO of rapidlygrowing tech firm InGenius Software is a great one. Equally great is the Kanata North company’s trajectory, from a high-growth beginning to a shrewd tech-bubble-burst survival story to another period of high growth that saw InGenius on the Growth 500 list in 2018 with a five-year revenue jump of 446 per cent. But before all that, InGenius was essentially one person – founder Rich Loen, who met Gantous through her role at Telesat Canada. Gantous, who studied math and computer science at McGill University, worked at Telesat for 14 years in satellite communications and later business management. InGenius – then a software developer and R&D provider – was hired to help

Telesat build a system for an Aboriginal TV network, a challenging project that required giving equal weight to each of the communities involved. Loen’s solution was to build a token-passing system, which impressed Gantous. “I thought, ‘This is the best engineer I’d ever worked with in my life,’” she says. Over the years, Loen worked with Gantous on several more projects. In 1992, the federal government sold its shares in Telesat to Alouette Communications, a company majorityowned by Bell, which would outright buy Telesat in 1998. Bell was looking to shut down any divisions competitive to its own services. Word spread that the Telesat higher-ups would be leaving, and Gantous knew she would soon be out of a job. Unfazed, she planned a driving vacation to California. Then Loen came knocking.

The common need InGenius identified was a connection between phones and customer-relationship management programs such as SalesForce, often used in call centres and customer service departments. FUN FACT “We helped them develop Gantous also has her own specifications that made it easier tech-bubble-burst survival story: and easier to tie phone systems into after working together for seven SalesForce,” explains Gantous. But years, she and Loen started to after finding out just how useful date. They’re now married, with that capability proved, InGenius 15-year-old twin boys. took the solution a step further. InGenius also had a relationship with SalesForce and was helping the company develop its new application interface program. So when SalesForce released OpenCTI in September 2012, InGenius had a release of its own: Connected Enterprise, a program that integrated phone systems with SalesForce. “We’ve got customers that say their “He showed up at my door with a box agents are able to handle twice the number of business cards that said ‘Dale Gantous, of calls,” explains Gantous. President, InGenius,’” she says. “I told The company had 19 employees in him at the time, ‘Buzz off, I’m going on 2012. Now, they’re at 65, and are moving vacation.’” in January from the Mitel building into But when Gantous returned, the offer Calian’s old space at 340 Legget Dr., which was still there. After seeing her management can hold up to 120. Its list of enterprise style, Loen wanted Gantous to help him customers keeps growing, including grow InGenius. Expedia, LinkedIn and The Gap. “He had told me, ‘Come and work for As the company scales up, Gantous yourself. You’ll never look back,’” Gantous says the workplace culture she and Loen says. “That was 25 years ago. And I have set out to uphold years ago is still top of never looked back.” mind. Loen greets every new hire in person, She and Loen set about growing and Gantous holds town-hall-style lunch the firm, starting with its three core meetings regularly. competencies: software development, What does Gantous look for in new telecommunications systems and multihires? “The light behind the eyes,” she says. vendor computer networking. At the time, Skill is important, but Gantous says the Nortel was the biggest player around, and changing nature of technology means a they quickly became preferred consultants drive to learn is equally important. She’s for the firm – at one point, Gantous says also looking for people who care about InGenius had approximately 50 people making customers happy. working exclusively on the Nortel file. Gantous adds that InGenius wouldn’t be When Nortel imploded, InGenius where it is without the strong relationships shrank down to around seven people. “We the firm has built with its customers and went back to our roots,” says Gantous. The partners. company built up its relationship with “We work together with them. And Mitel, mostly on research and development together we provide better solutions than products. either of us do on their own.”


Upcoming Sens Soirée a must-attend on Ottawa’s social calendar


any of the region’s business and community leaders – as well as Ottawa’s top professional athletes – are dusting off their jumpsuits, flared pants and platform shoes in preparation for one of the biggest fundraising events of the year. The annual Ferguslea Properties Ltd. Senators Soirée, presented by Bell, will attract 600 plus attendees and will give guests the opportunity to rub shoulders with the city’s NHL stars while supporting programs and initiatives focused on children and youth. One of those programs aimed at youth mental wellness and funded by the Ottawa Senators Foundation is the new Well-Being Program to benefit oncology patients at CHEO. When a family hears the devastating news that their child has cancer, there are many things to consider. Children may be coping with the stress of treatment, anxiety about their future or worries about missing school or the sports they enjoy. This was the pressing issue facing young patients at CHEO. Children suffering from a cancer diagnosis didn’t have timely access to a much needed service mental health counselling. To meet the need, the CHEO Foundation set up the Well-Being Program to offer free mental health resources to cancer patients. “We know that cancer treatments can affect cognition or physical ability,” says Jacqueline Belsito, Vice President, Philanthropy and Community Engagement at the CHEO Foundation. “As soon as someone is diagnosed, the whole family is affected. The psychological impact is profound.”

Launched in 2017, the Well-Being Program has given more than 900 free counselling hours to families. The Ottawa Senators Foundation donated $50,000 to the program to ensure kids in 2019 would continue to have access to counselling. Support for programs such as the Well-Being program is generated by events like the Senators Soirée. Scheduled for Feb. 9, 2019, the “Saturday Night Fever”- themed event will transform the Westin Hotel into the city’s hottest nightclub complete with live music, velvet ropes, a disco ball and plenty of sequins. But in addition to good-natured fun and networking, the Sens Soirée has a serious goal. “The funds raised at this event will help us further our mission to empower children and youth

by investing in social recreation and education programs focused on physical and mental wellness,” says Danielle Robinson, President and CEO of Ottawa Senators Foundation. “By investing into programs like the Well Being Program we will provide support to families in our community when they need it most.” You can help the Ottawa Senators Foundation be Game Changers for Youth by joining them on February 9 for the one-of-a-kind Ferguslea Properties Limited Senators Soirée, presented by Bell. For tickets and event information please visit

— Danielle Robinson, President and CEO of Ottawa Senators Foundation.


“The funds raised at this event will help us further our mission to empower children and youth by investing in social recreation and education programs focused on physical and mental wellness”

where we work


From left, Hanan Anis, a professor at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Engineering, with Sylvain Charbonneau, the school’s vice-president of research, and Faculty of Engineering Dean Jacques Beauvais. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

University of Ottawa T sets up shop in Kanata North Closer ties between academy, businesses expected to accelerate innovation

he University of Ottawa is poised to be the first post-secondary institution with a physical presence in Canada’s largest technology park, filling a gap that Kanata North industry leaders say will increase access to cutting-edge research and highly skilled graduates. In early 2018, Sylvain Charbonneau – the school’s vice-president of research – commissioned a consultation of companies in the tech park. He says three needs came back loud and clear: a need for talent, a need for retraining and lifelong learning, and a need for access to research.

“The technologies are changing so rapidly now that reskilling is extremely important,” says Charbonneau. “We wanted to be right in the middle of it.” Charbonneau says the world’s leading tech parks all have something in common: a post-secondary presence, such as Stanford University in Silicon Valley. “You live, work and play in Kanata. And now you’re going to start learning,” says Charbonneau, echoing the theme he introduced at the official announcement during November’s Tech Tuesday: “Live, work, play, learn.” “Learn” is a piece that’s been missing

from Kanata North, Charbonneau says, and business leaders in the park agree. A governance committee comprised of directors and deans from the university as well as representatives from the Kanata North Technology Park, including Veronica Farmer and Jamie Petten of the Kanata North Business Association, has been meeting for months to plan the initiative. The committee meetings served a basic but important purpose: “Getting to know each other,” says Amy MacLeod, a Mitel vice-president and KNBA board chair. “It seems silly,” she says. “They’re only 25 minutes down the highway. But there’s a basic introduction that needs to happen.” Until she joined the committee, MacLeod says she wasn’t aware of just how many U of O alumni work in Kanata – some 5,000, according to the university. “The partnership has proven valuable even before the presence has been established,” she says. “It’s always been part of the community.” MacLeod says establishing a university presence in the tech park will help more people realize just how much of the talent there today is homegrown. “This is a great time to really start to think about who we are and where innovation comes from,” she says. “A big part of it is already coming from uOttawa alumni.”


The initial physical space in Tower C at 535 Legget Dr. will have an office and classroom, with an open, coworkingstyle feel, says Charbonneau, adding that he envisions a full Kanata North campus

in the future. Though the space isn’t open yet, the university has already made its mark on Kanata North – in early December, the school held a co-op fair at You.i TV. Heather Tyrie, You.i TV’s vicepresident of employee experience, says holding the fair in Kanata North gives students a chance to see that the tech park is more than just a collection of office buildings.

“WE WANT MORE THAN OUR FAIR SHARE OF UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA GRADUATES.” — KNBA board chair Amy MacLeod. “It’s a great opportunity for them to see what Kanata’s all about, and to see that it’s probably a little different than what they thought,” she says. There were 178 University of Ottawa co-op students working in Kanata during the fall 2018 semester, according to the school. Tyrie says the university’s physical space in Kanata will also serve as a place for co-op students to meet up, helping

them establish a network in the tech park during their time there. “The social connections are really important for co-op students,” she says. But it’s not just the university’s co-op students that stand to benefit from the initiative. MacLeod says partnerships between researchers and industry experts could bridge the gap between long-term research and the short-term constraints of commercial technology. “Universities are brilliant at longterm, pure research,” she says. “(But businesses) have to deliver a product quickly and get it to market quickly.” Jacques Beauvais, the dean of the university’s Faculty of Engineering, echoes those sentiments, adding that the university’s ability to perform dedicated long-term research could allow them to work on problems identified by industry experts, especially in the constantly evolving fields of autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and cybersecurity. “High-tech companies need to innovate,” says Beauvais. “The only way we’re going to accelerate the process to support them is to get our students working directly with them.” MacLeod hopes the partnership will help solve one of the Kanata tech industry’s biggest challenges. “We need talent,” says MacLeod. “We want more than our fair share of University of Ottawa graduates out here employed in the park, making a career in the park.” MacLeod says she sees the initiative as a catalyst for the tech park’s future growth. “We’ve done really, really well. Imagine what we can do now that we’ve got that missing piece.”

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The fifth annual TEDxKanata event – themed “Imagine” – will highlight technology, leadership, relationships and humanity. Jim Perkins of the Capital City Condors will talk about “finding contentment in unexpected places,” while Shopify’s Anna Lambert will speak about the fundamental things that make us human. Katherine Cooligan of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP Ottawa will be tackling the timely topic of women in leadership, and Dr. Phil Wells of the Ottawa Hospital will talk about predictive analytics in the field of medicine. Mindbridge Analytics CEO Eli Fathi is set to speak about how his childhood dream became his career, and Mitel’s Amy MacLeod will give career advice for teenagers. Connor LaRocque, an author and CEO of SocialRise Revenue Marketing Agency, will talk about the pros and cons of social media, and Martello CEO John Proctor will share how his military career prepared him for the world of business. Tickets for the Feb. 28 event are $20.

FREE beverage! With the purchase of a $9 meal or more, upon presentation of this coupon, receive a free Cora beverage. Your choice: fruit cocktail, smoothie, orange juice, specialty coffee cup or any other beverage on our regular menu. One coupon per customer, per visit. May not be combined with any other offer and has no monetary value. Valid only at the Cora restaurant located at 4055 Carling Avenue, Kanata until February 28, 2019. No reproductions will be accepted. CODE 161


Whether it’s our scrumptious crêpes, delicious French toast, mountains of fresh fruit or our defining egg dishes, you will find something to delight your taste buds!


what we’re geeking out on


Kanata’s cannabis cluster Pot producers, security companies and law firms look to dominate emerging market from base in tech park




mong the Legget Drive towers that house a community of established and growing technology companies, one name stands out: Tweed. Though not a tech company in its own right, Tweed and its parent company Canopy Growth have connections to Kanata North through its founder, local tech entrepreneur Bruce Linton. And while a tech park may seem a strange fit for a cannabis firm, Canopy Growth is actually right among the hardware and software engineers it’s currently leveraging to develop high-tech vaporizing devices and seize on other opportunities as the recreational market prepares for the next wave of legalization in late 2019. The Tweed office is also neighboured by a collection of companies poised to provide for the budding industry. One such company is video

surveillance tech firm March Networks. Best known for its work in helping to secure banks and large retailers, March Networks’s start in the cannabis industry came not in Canada, but in the U.S., where 10 states have legalized the drug for recreational use since 2012. U.S. regulators are highly concerned with compliance when it comes to tracking cannabis plants from seed to sale. To March Networks, this was an opportunity. “We got in early and built a brand around it,” says March Networks CEO Peter Strom, adding that the Kanata company’s strategy is to target microverticals and tailor its products to address the specific needs of those industries. Strom says March Networks identified early on the need for video surveillance tools in the cannabis industry, but soon after realized the technology would need to be more involved than that. Because of the strict regulations in the U.S. arising from the discrepancy in cannabis’ legality between various states, “we realized very quickly that you’re going to need software to track this stuff,” says Strom. March Networks’ software,


Another Kanata North company that’s keeping a close eye on the regulations –

and opportunities – surrounding the cannabis sector is Momentum Law. Founder and CEO Megan Cornell says the firm is offering an online-based training program for those interested in getting into cannabis retail. With 13 modules to begin with at a monthly cost of $100, Cornell says the program targets anyone interested in the upcoming opportunity to sell cannabis in Ontario, applications for which opened in December. The modules will include topics such as the three-step application system, legal and community considerations for picking a location, and point-of-sale technology. It’s a brand-new industry with a lot of moving parts, she says. “Because of the time pressure … we are trying to take all of these little pieces.” For example, when it comes to choosing a location, there’s more to the decision that meets the eye. “They could potentially lose months and a huge investment if they end up signing a lease in a space that ultimately doesn’t get a license because of community opposition,” explains Cornell. “So those are some of the pieces that we’ll be bringing in the external expertise to deal with.” Cornell says the modules will draw upon outside sources, including interviews with various industry experts and producers. “We want to make sure that on the legal side, everyone’s really prepared to be compliant,” says Cornell, adding that her firm is constantly updating itself on the changing legislation. The Canadian recreational cannabis industry may be new, but it offers opportunities for companies who already work in a variety of sectors such as retail, agriculture and security – sectors with which many Kanata North companies are familiar. Strom says though March Networks discussed the optics of getting into cannabis retail at an early stage, they didn’t see any negative implications on the horizon for their business. “At the end of the day, we’re a technology company,” says Strom. “There’s a lot of different technologies that go into a dispensary or grow-op. I don’t think anybody’s going to vilify that.”

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SearchLight, uses video and data analytics to track cannabis from grow facilities to dispensaries using partner Zebra’s RFID tag, an industry-regulated process that requires each plant and package to be tagged from seed to sale. “We’ve actually built a unique application that not only includes our video surveillance system, but also includes software which allows the grower to track that plant as it goes through its growth phase,” explains Strom. “We know exactly where that plant is at all times.” The company has also provided video surveillance to dispensaries in the U.S. Just as in more traditional storefronts – if not more so – security is a top priority for cannabis retailers. Strom says the company is also looking at leveraging that technology using analytics to provide retailers with a better understanding of customer patterns, an offering the firm is already starting to market. For example, March Networks’s technology would gather data on how many customers frequent a store, how long they spend in line, and other metrics common to the retail space. Using data analytics, cannabis retailers could make business decisions about how many points-of-sale to operate, which products people spend the most time perusing, and how they like to shop. In Canada, March Networks is rolling out these video surveillance tools to be used in growing facilities, vehicles transporting cannabis and retail dispensaries now that recreational marijuana is legal nationwide. Seed-to-sale tracking isn’t mandatory in Canada, but the security requirements for cannabis retail are still high, and Strom says March Networks recently signed a deal with a national producer, which he did not name, to supply surveillance technology in both dispensaries and production facilities. “That market keeps growing for us … As other countries legalize recreational use, and as Canadian companies go out and acquire companies around the world, they’re going to be relying on us to continue to provide video surveillance in those locations,” says Strom.

where we live



From big tech to beer tastings Growing number of craft breweries adds new flavour to Kanata North


nce Kanata North’s only craft brewery, the arrival of Big Rig Brewery hearkened the beginning of what’s quickly becoming a destination for beer lovers from Kanata and beyond. Big Rig opened its Kanata North location some four years ago, expanding beyond its original brew pub location to include a larger production facility. What began as a four-person operation now has 44 employees, says owner and founder Lon Ladell.

He wasn’t worried about the location – Ladell says the employees of the tech park seemed like the perfect demographic for his tap room. “To have the tech community right next door is fantastic,” says Ladell. “It’s a great demographic for craft beer.” In fact, it’s a win-win situation for the brewing company, where technology is an important part of the process, and analytical equipment is getting more technical by the year. Everything from the

internal systems to the machinery relies on tech, says Ladell, and having employees from the park around comes in handy when he’s got technical issues. “I’ve got a bunch of tech guys who come in and sit at the bar,” says Ladell. “I’ll hit them up for advice.” Now, Big Rig ships beer across Ontario and even to other provinces. Ladell says the growing industry is fed by beer lovers’ curiosity – essentially, he says, the more the merrier.

“Consumers of craft beer … like to experiment and try new things. And that’s really the basis of what craft beer is all about,” says Ladell, adding that he’s happy to see more breweries opening up in Kanata. “There’s room for growth,” he says.


SMALL PONY BARREL WORKS SPECIALIZES IN SOUR BEERS AT ITS BREWERY AND TASTING ROOM ON SCHNEIDER ROAD. organize the October West beer festival in 2018, bringing brewers from all over Ottawa together and taking in donations for the Kanata Food Cupboard’s tornado relief efforts. As for Evergreen, the sour beer collaboration went over so well with Samuel’s customers that he decided to keep offering sours. Coincidentally, he’s also moving from a licensed operation in his own garage into a new commercial space just on the other side of Highway 417 from the Kanata North tech park, next to the Costco and Home Depot.

Like McVeigh, Samuel likes experimenting with beers in small batches. “My specialty so far has been not having a specialty,” he says. “In the two-and-ahalf years we’ve been open, we’ve brewed almost 65 different beers.” Also a former Kanata North tech worker, Samuel says he hopes Evergreen will help add interest to the area, helping to turn it into even more of a destination for craft beer fans. “We’re hoping that this brewery will be this little oasis of authenticity in the middle of all the big-box places,” he says.

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Next to Big Rig, Kanata North’s second brewery opened up in December 2017. Small Pony Barrel Works is owned and operated by Sean McVeigh, who previously spent 10 years working in the tech park, most recently at BlackBerry. Now, McVeigh runs what’s believed to be Canada’s only brewery exclusively dedicated to sour beers. While many breweries are beginning to brew sours – beers made with wild yeast that ferment for months at a time, usually in barrels – Small Pony does nothing but sours, something McVeigh developed a passion for during his time as a home brewer. After collaborating with Chris Samuel of Evergreen Craft Ales on a couple of sour beers to test the waters, McVeigh felt confident there was a market for what he wanted to do. Since opening, he’s had his beer on LCBO shelves, as well as served in several restaurants in Ottawa and Toronto. “The opening was ridiculously busy,” says McVeigh. He says Ottawa’s increasingly diverse and supportive craft beer industry make it possible for such a unique venture to succeed. Next-door neighbours Ladell and McVeigh visit each other’s breweries, he says, often lending each other ingredients or machinery. A stone’s throw away, Calabogie Brewing Co. has chosen Kanata North for its second brewery location, and McVeigh says that having a cluster of breweries will create a craft beer destination for people from Kanata and beyond. Calabogie Brewing’s 7,000-square-foot space includes a 20-barrel brewery and a tap room that seats 85 people, overlooking its operations. Lindsey Osborne of Calabogie Brewing says the company is excited about growing the craft beer cluster in Kanata, and about being closer to their Ottawa clientele. “We’re making our own … little brewery market,” she says. “It draws people into the area, so the more little breweries in the area, the better.” The three breweries collaborated to

Kanata North’s top employers honoured with Employees’ Choice Awards PHOTO SUPPLIED ALL PHOTOS BY MARK HOLLERON

Five Kanata North companies were recognized as some of the city’s top employers – as selected by their own staff – and honoured with Employees’ Choice Awards in December. The 12th annual awards are presented to companies whose employees say they feel engaged in their work and supported by their employers. Martello Technologies, InGenius Software, Crank Software, SOLINK and

Fusebill were among the companies receiving awards. This year, the surveys were conducted by a new partner, Best Companies Group. The firm’s CEO Peter Burke flew all the way from Texas to celebrate the awards. Burke says the average level of engagement of the top 10 companies – 96 per cent – is well above average. “This is really an elite group,” he says. “It’s the best of the best.”





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BlackBerry QNX and L-Spark launch new accelerator BlackBerry QNX and L-Spark have teamed up to create a startup accelerator targeting early stage companies in emerging technology fields such as Internet of Things, autonomous transport and medical devices. With the support of the National Research Council, the six-month program will pair six companies with mentors. BlackBerry QNX’s software is used in many of the tech fields the accelerator is targeting, and the program will give companies access to that expertise and product. Unlike many accelerators, the startups do not give up any equity in their company, according to Leo Lax, executive managing director at L-Spark. “This will actually create a mechanism by which the global capabilities and reach of BlackBerry and the innovation and enthusiasm and passion of early-stage companies can come together,” Lax said. Communications services firm Martello Technologies, cybersecurity company Bluink and automotive software developer Evolved Vehicles Environments will join four other companies from across Canada in the first cohort.

Cybersecurity company Irdeto has teamed up with the African Wildlife Foundation to fight poaching and wildlife crimes online. Using Irdeto’s technology and services, the partners plan to disrupt the sale of illegal animal parts online as well as join forces with local law enforcement partners to locate the criminals performing the sales. According to Kaddu Sebunya, president of AWF, the illegal wildlife industry generates between $7 billion and $23 billion every year. “Together with Irdeto, we have an incredible opportunity to bring about a positive change, disrupt this illicit industry and make a positive impact on wildlife in Africa as well as across the globe,” Sebunya said in a statement. Irdeto CEO Doug Lowther added that his company’s employees were eager to get involved in the cause. “The passion from our team was there, we just needed a like-minded

partner that shared our enthusiasm for this cause,” he said. “I am proud that we can harness our expertise and technology for a good and just cause.” The global company, which has a location on Solandt Road in Kanata

North, has almost five decades of experience in the security industry. Irdeto recently opened a new location in Pontiac, Michigan, positioning itself among a leading cluster of connected vehicle innovation and expertise.

Wind River honoured Embedded software company Wind River received the Bronze Stevie Award in the 2018 American Business Awards for their product Edge Sync. Wind River Edge Sync is an intelligent over-the-air update and software lifecycle management product used by auto manufacturers. The product helps manufacturers manage and maintain the software that will underpin today’s generation of connected vehicles, as well as those to come. The information also helps manufacturers to analyze data patterns to make bigger, forwardthinking business decisions. In a statement, the company states that “the ability to securely update vehicle systems through the entire life cycle of the car will be more critical than ever before.”

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AV Institute launched in Kanata A

Kanata-based AV consultant is spearheading the creation of the Canadian Autonomous Vehicles Institute (CAVI) to support and promote Canada’s autonomous vehicle capabilities and ready the country for the arrival of AVs. Scheduled to launch in early 2019, the not-for-profit, industry-led organization – modelled after similar institutes in Australia and the Netherlands – will help Canada gain more recognition for its work in AV, says CAVCOE executive director Barrie Kirk. “There’s a lot of really good things happening in Canada in the AV and CV ecosystem,” he says. “We’re not waving the flag enough at an international level.” International recognition aside, he says there’s also a lot to be done to help bring together Canada’s “fragmented” AV hubs. “Through CAVI, we can provide inputs to the policy planning by all levels of government,” says Kirk. “I think we need to

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Kanata North was home to the first autonomous vehicle test on a public road in late 2017. knit together the Canadian autonomous and connected vehicle ecosystem better than it is now and at the same time link it to the rest of the world.” The founding partners of CAVI speak to the national focus of the institute: the Alberta Council of Technologies, CAVCOE, DOT Technology, Kanata North

Business Association, Invest Ottawa, and movmi. With companies like these and the emergence of AV test beds across Canada, Kirk says CAVI does not intend to replicate any of the work already being done. Instead, the institute will perform research and help advance what’s already going on both nationally and internationally.


DISCOVER TECHNATA The 2019 Discover TechNATA expo and career fair will offer companies a chance to display their products and services as well as recruit local talent. The fourth annual fair, sponsored by the Kanata North Business Association, will be held on March 28 at the Brookstreet Hotel, highlighting opportunities available at some of Kanata North’s most exciting firms. Last year’s event saw almost 2,000 attendees and more than 70 exhibitors.

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Several of Kanata North’s top companies and executives were honoured at the Best Ottawa Business Awards including, clockwise from top, representatives from Intouch Insight, the Kanata North Business Association, Purecolo and Martello. ALL PHOTOS BY MARK HOLLERON

Kanata North shines at Best Ottawa Business Awards


firm has established a growing presence in Kanata North, was named CEO of the Year. Matthews, meanwhile, paid tribute to Mitel chief financial officer Steve Spooner, who was named the inaugural CFO of the Year. In his remarks, Spooner recounted how he initially turned Matthews down when the local tech mogul offered him a job. He thanked Matthews and Peter Charbonneau, Matthews’ emissary when it came to recruiting Spooner a second time. “We started as colleagues, they became my mentors and we ultimately became good friends,” said Spooner. “I’m truly blessed. Thank you both for investing in me.” Elsewhere, Swedish design firm Syntronic and customer experience management company Intouch Insight

each won #SeriousTechLivesHere awards, sponsored by the Kanata North Business Association. Syntronic won for Team of the Year and Intouch Insight won for Company of the Year. As well, independent data centre Purecolo won for Best New Business. Its founders, James Mackenzie and Rainer Paduch, were the entrepreneurs behind Granite Networks, an independent data centre that was eventually purchased by Rogers. Network performance management company Martello, which went public this year via a reverse takeover and closed a $7.5-million private placement in June prior to its listing on the TSX, won two awards: Deals of the Year: Private Equity, as well as Best Business. Martello’s new CEO John Proctor was there to receive the awards.


everal Kanata North companies and executives took their place among Ottawa’s top business performers at the 2018 Best Ottawa Business Awards gala, held at the Westin Hotel in midNovember. The awards, presented by the Ottawa Business Journal and the Ottawa Board of Trade, honour a wide variety of local businesses and organizations. The roughly 760 attendees heard words of wisdom from local leaders such as Wesley Clover’s Terry Matthews and Canopy Growth’s Bruce Linton. “Twenty-five years later, I’m still trying to learn,” Linton told the crowd. “One of the people in the company said to me, ‘Bruce, you’re not stupid, you just don’t know anything.’ I think that’s a very good way to approach life.” Linton, whose cannabis production FAMILY AND IMPLANT DENTISTRY



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