AccelerateOTT: Startups at the Speed of Unicorns – Tales of Serendipity and Success 

Posted in AccelerateOTT, Blog
By: Invest Ottawa | Jun 22, 2018

This blog is part of our AccelerateOTT: Scale or Fail Speaker Series. View the full series here


Andrew Waitman, President and CEO, Assent Compliance and Franco Varriano, Fresh Founders, RareLogic Inc, Hack To Start

Speakers: Andrew Waitman, CEO of Assent Compliance Inc‘s interviewed by Franco Varriano, Executive Director of Fresh Founders, Business Development, Partnerships & Growth executive; and Founder, Host and Producer of Hack To Start.

Title: Startups at the Speed of Unicorns – Tales of Serendipity and Success

Starting our program bright and early, Andrew and Franco woke up the crowd of 500+ with inspirational tales of serendipity and success. There was so much quality content it was a challenge to isolate our favourite top take aways, but we did it. Here’s our top five from our first fireside chat, the spark that ignited AccelerateOTT 2018:

  1. Networking is key. Learn who to keep in touch with and get to know who it is you can trust.
  2. Over-engineer your leadership team in anticipation of where you want your company to go.
  3. Correct decisions when you know you’ve made a mistake. Art is not science, you can’t be perfect. And when it comes to your team, be willing to let people go.
  4. Culture is not words on a poster, it’s found in the day-to-day. Try your version of “coffee with the CEO”. Ask you employees, especially new hires to describe the company and work environment. In this exchange, that is where the truth is.

Following their talk, Andrew took the time to sit with Techopia, who had a backstage pass at AccelerateOTT. The topic of conversation? Intensity, integrity and avoiding the “fail” by achieving in “scale”. Hear how Assent Compliance Inc‘s CEO has to lead their company to success is a Series B funding round and beyond:

Thank you Andrew and Franco for your time and valuable insights!


AccelerateOTT brings together the city’s innovators, creators and inventors. Work in tech? Starting a business? Just want to dip your toes in the proverbial entrepreneurial waters? You’ll be surrounded by founders, mentors and venture capitalists (some from as far as Silicon Valley) providing strategic and sage advice.

Since 2012, Invest Ottawa has ignited the Accelerate series in Ottawa, providing a conference that truly fuels the entrepreneurial fire. The day is packed with world-class speakers, power networking breaks and an epic after party!

Stay on top of all the latest AccelerateOTT and Invest Ottawa news by subscribing to our newsletter, or by visiting our website, www.accelerateott.ca

Back to Blog