Author Archives: mrktspecialist

Sep 14, 2021

5 mins | 1000 wordslogo of invest ottawa and encqor

The 5G train is leaving the station and it’s time to get on board. Is your sensor system, IoT or mobile-based app ready? Here are five reasons WHY you must test your 5G compatibility today.

1 – 5G Networks are being deployed

FACT: Do you know T-Mobile now covers 287 million people with Extended Range 5G? Similarly, AT&T announced its 5G network now covers 250 million US citizens. That’s the majority of USA that can access 5G service.

From a regional perspective, Asia has taken the lead with 5G coverage in 528 cities; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) is now in second place with 459 cities; and the Americas region remains in third place with 5G available across 349 cities. In China, the number of cities with 5G grew six-fold in one year,while coverage in the U.S. increased by a factor of five.

WHY: For IoT devices, AR/VR, and remotely connected products, 5G represents a market opportunity that is growing quickly. Given the penetration and coverage with 5G, you must test your 5G compatibility. Your enterprise clients need to know you are ready and your consumer clients have more 5G options today than ever before.

2 – 5G Phones are shipping

5G compatible phones like the Apple iPhone 12 and Samsung S21 are shipping around the globe.

FACT: Approximately 700 million 5G compatible phones will ship in 2021.

WHY: While phones aren’t the dominant business case for 5G networks, if your application operates on a mobile device, you’ll need to know how 5G networks and 5G compatible phones affect your deployment.

What is the impact of 5G networks on your application? Can you deploy on the very low-cost narrow-band IoT spectrum? Does your application blast data up to 5Gbps? What about edge computing to reduce latency? Are there elements of your application that should be deployed at the edge to provide users with a seamless experience?

The best way to answer these questions is to get onto a pre-commercial 5G network with dedicated customer support. Experiment, play around, find your niche.

3 – 5G Networks are creating new business models

FACT: For devices that create a small amount of data (100kbps), 5G networks will support up to one million devices per square kilometer and operate on a battery for up to ten-years. Think about the impact a more connected world will have on everything from smart farms to healthcare. But that’s not all.

If you’re a gamer, you’ll call it lag. In business, latency appears as lacking responsivity. Slow network speeds, insufficient bandwidth, or peak-traffic bottlenecks will be a thing of the past as 5G’s speed and capacity overcomes all these problems, cutting response time down from 50 milliseconds (with 4G networks) to just one millisecond.

WHY: Powering industrial AR, VR IoT sensors and robotics, 5G enables virtual connections and new ways to manage operations, stay ahead of the competition and never miss a beat.

The best way to understand how 5G networks will impact your business model is to get on the network and test it and talk to experts.

4 – 5G Networks provide five 9’s reliability

FACT: Five 9’s reliability means the system works 99.999% of the time – the kind of reliability we expect from our devices and applications. Just as cloud computing moved most enterprise computer rooms into the cloud, 5G networks will move most enterprise switch/router closets into the network.

Just like cloud computing relies on a third party to have processing power on demand and always maintain the latest (security-patched) OS, so too will 5G networks move network maintenance into the network.

This means dedicated third party providers will manage connectivity wherever you are in the world. You’ll be able to instantly respond to anyone, anywhere, – whether you’re at home, the airport or on the commute, and access the benefits of bandwidth-hungry tech like AR and VR in new and exciting ways.

WHY: This changing business model creates opportunity. Businesses need to know their internal networks are secure. Outsourcing intranet connections to 5G network providers supports end-to-end network security. Furthermore, enterprises can’t always provide network access to support other services, like HVAC. These providers can operate on their own private 5G network giving the purchasing organization peace of mind and the provider reliable connectivity.

5 – 5G Devices can ship globally with easy provisioning

FACT: Compared to the number of IoT devices and machine-to-machine communications, the 700-million phones expected to ship in 2021 are a drop in the bucket. Rather than the traditional plastic SIM card, next generation devices will use embedded eSIM (electronic subscriber identity module). ESIMS allows a device to be shipped anywhere in the world and automatically connect to a preferred network. This significantly reduces deployment and provisioning costs.

WHY: As a business, 5G will enable you to track the status of all your provisioned devices across any network. You’re won’t necessarily be able to see what they’re doing (that’s your customer’s data), but you will be able to see how they’re doing. Is your client using your product? Are they operating correctly? With eSIM enabled 5G devices you’ll know and respond, perhaps before your client even knows they have a problem.


Find out More

Businesses operating in Ontario and Quebec have unique access to the ENCQOR network. This small-scale 5G network is identical to the networks currently being deployed globally. It operates over low, medium and high frequency spectrums. Each deployment also has significant edge processing capability. Best of all, the ENCQOR network includes dedicated support who can answer your provisioning and debug questions.

Time is running out! The ENCQOR 5G test facility and associated support are funded through March 2022. There are less than six-months remaining to take advantage of the current offer – free access to a commercial 5G network for test purposes. Connect with Invest Ottawa to find out more.

Being curious about 5G is a good first step. Turn curiosity into action and test your 5G compatibility today.

Posted in Blog, Work In Ottawa
Aug 30, 2021

Brooke Harrison profile picture

6 mins | 1100 words
By: Brooke Harrison

Join some of the booming Tech businesses in Ottawa this September. Positions range from sales, business development, engineer, internships, and IT. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by, your dream job might just be waiting for you!


1. Avanade

What it does:

A joint venture between Microsoft Corporation and Accenture LLP, Avanade aims to help businesses transition to the digital era through providing services in digital and cloud. Avanade has been recognized as an IT employer of choice by Computerworld’s 100 Best Places to Work in IT three years in a row from 2018 to 2020. The company works with clients in 24 countries with more than US$2 billion in sales annually.

The Perks:

Avanade provides its employees with an extended benefits program that includes everything from gym memberships, personal travel, laundry service and tablet devices. The organization also supports many charitable causes and promotes a friendly workplace culture.

Current Job Openings:

CRM Solution Development ConsultantBusiness Development ExecutiveAdvisory ConsultantPowerBI ConsultantAnalytics Architect and more!  

2. Click Armor

What it does:

With cyber risks on the rise, Click Armor works directly with organizations and their employees to manage cyber and compliance risks through gamified simulations. Click Armor’s clients engage in these simulations to learn how to avoid breaches and create a strong security culture in their organizations.

The Perks:

As an employee of Click Armor you will be joining a dynamic and ambitious team that is ready to grow Click Armors client base. You will also benefit from competitive salaries, vacation time and health care benefits.

Current Job Openings:

Senior Web Developer  

3. Evidence Partners

What it does:

Evidence Partners is a software-as-a-service startup that is passionate about helping researchers. Its technology, DistillerSR, is the world’s leading review software. Through AI, DistillerSR empowers researchers with the automation of literature collection, triage and assessment. Evidence Partners’ expansive clientele includes more than 250 of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, universities, and governments.

The Perks:

Evidence Partners believes in providing the best for its team. As an employee, you will get flexible work hours, remote work, benefits from day one, three week vacation plus holidays between Christmas and New Year’s, fitness reimbursement, education reimbursement, and career growth opportunities.

Current Job Openings:

Tier 1 Support Specialist, Account Executive, Product Owner, Quality Control Engineer, Quality System Administrator, Senior Software Developer, Site Reliability Engineer 

4. Fundmore.ai

What it does:

Fundmore.ai makes accessing a loan a much smoother process for its clients. Powered by AI technology, Fundmore’s fully customizable loan servicing software and automated systems make lenders more accurate and efficient for its clients. FundMore.ai was recently chosen as a finalist for the “Industry Service Provider of The Year Award 2021”, a part of the annual Canadian Mortgage Awards recognizing outstanding achievements, best practices and leadership in the mortgage business.

The Perks:

As a Fundmore.ai employee you will have the ability to work from anywhere in the world with a group of fun and dedicated colleagues. Employees also benefit from flexible hours while experiencing the fast-paced startup culture.

Current Job Openings:

Full-stack Software DeveloperJunior/Student Full Stack DeveloperIntermediate Data ScientistAccount Manager 

5. GameStrat

What it does:

If you’re a sports fanatic, working with GameStrat might be your calling. This flourishing Ottawa Sportstech startup provides coaches with the technology for them to record their games and have instant replay on the sidelines. GameStrat works with top athletic teams from Carleton University, University of Alberta and CJFL Ottawa Sooners.

The Perks:

Employees of GameStrat benefit from a competitive salary, monumental room to grow, and a tight knit team of 8 other employees.

Current Job Openings:

Business Development Representative  

6. Gbatteries

What it does:

GBatteries is a technology company that is advancing the way batteries are charged. With game changing technology, Gbatteries is enabling electric vehicles to be charged in minutes rather than hours. The company is supported and funded by some of the world’s leading Silicon Valley investors like SVAngel and other organizations like Sustainable Development Technology Canada and the Government of Ontario.

The Perks:

The team at GBatteries benefits from a minimum of two weeks paid time off, 100% insurance coverage, company closure for the holidays, no counting of sick days, and offsite retreats.

Current Job Openings:

Battery Test Technician, Electronics Engineering Technician, Battery Test Specialist, Project Manager, Software Architect, and Firmware Developer Internship 

7. InDro Robotics

What it does:

Have you always been interested in working with robots and drones? Now’s your chance, InDro Robotics creates robots and drones to be used in land, water and aerial situations like fire and rescue services. Having accumulated thousands of flight hours, InDro Robotics has a track record of collaborating with leading business and government organizations such as Transport Canada, Canadian Space Agency, NASA, Rogers Communications, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The Perks:

As an employee of InDro Robotics, you will have the freedom to grow professionally, receive generous paid time off, a competitive salary plus profit sharing, and health benefits.

Current Job Openings:

Software Systems Engineer, Senior Engineer, Junior Engineer, Network and Telecommunications Technologist, Electronics Technologist, Business Development Manager 

8. RedLore 

What it does:

RedLore has made a name for itself as a leader in supply chain management technology. Billions of dollars worth of goods get damaged in transit every year so RedLore’s founder Niek Van Dierdonck decided to do something about it. Through patented IOT and machine learning solutions, RedLore helps businesses cut down on these supply chain losses.

The Perks:

The team at RedLore enjoys a fast-paced and exciting work environment. Innovation and new ideas are always welcome. This Ottawa rising startup takes pride in its ‘growth environment’, where any employee can take their ambitions to the next level. It also offers competitive compensations and prioritizes a culture of diversity and inclusion within the company.

Current Job Openings:

Business Development Associate, DSP and ML Engineer, Full Stack Engineer 

9. Rewind

What it does:

As a fast-growing startup in Ottawa, Rewind focuses on protecting its client’s data with their backup-as-a-service technology. It works with merchants who have platforms on Shopify, BigCommerce or QuickBooks. Taking 2021 by storm Rewind received US $15M in funding and its first acquisition through BackHub.

The Perks:

Rewind employees enjoy amazing healthcare benefits from day one, 3 weeks paid vacation, Christmas to New Year’s off, paid 4 weeks sabbatical after 4 years, every other Friday off in the summer and competitive salaries and employee stock plan and much more!

Current Job Openings:

Office Operations Manager, People & Culture Coordinator, Senior Financial Analyst, Cloud Security Specialist, DevOps Engineer, Devops Manager, Full Stack Developer, IT Support Specialist and more!  

10. T-Base

What it does:

T-Base provides companies with accessible methods to communicate with individuals with visual disabilities through PDF, e-Text, audio, braille, and reflowed large print. As the number one choice for multiple Fortune 500 companies, T-Base has secured this niche market since its inception in 1998.

The Perks:

Employees at T-Base enjoy paid time off, generous vacation days, and a positive workplace culture.

Current Job Openings:

Print Production Specialist, Test Automation Specialist, RFP Response Writer, Customer Success Manager, Accessible Auditor, Associate Auditor, Web Application Developer 

Posted in Blog
Aug 25, 2021

4 mins | 1,061 words

by: Lei Liu

The UN climate change report published on August 9, 2021 issued grim warnings of the potentially catastrophic impacts of climate change, once again highlighting urgent need for innovative climate technologies to reduce carbon emissions across all sectors of the world economy. This is not news in Canada where the government has invested over $2.3 billion since 2017 to support the innovation, commercialization and adoption of climate technology.

More recently, the Canadian government launched the Innovative Asset Collective to assist small and medium climate technology enterprises with access to critical support to develop, protect, and leverage intellectual property (IP) for commercialization. Furthermore, measures put in place by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) and many other national IP offices to fast-track “green” patent applications reflect the increasing importance attributed to this sector of the economy.

With the investment and necessary IP strategies in place, the future of climate technology in Canada is looking bright. It is no surprise that Canada has moved from 7th spot in 2014 to 2nd spot in 2021 on the Global Cleantech Innovation Index.

 

Canadian IP funding and support for climate technology is paying off

Since at least 2009, Canada has ranked as a top ten country for patent filings related to climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies. Key findings in CIPO’s 2016 IP Canada Report show that Canadian innovators are active in virtually every area of climate change mitigation. CIPO’s report quantified Canada’s relative specialization in various climate change mitigation areas through a so-called “technological advantage index”, which identified carbon capture as a key area for Canadian innovation.

The Canadian government continues to power climate technology innovators. In 2017, the Government of Canada allocated $2.3 billion to help companies in the climate technology sector to scale-up. Since then, the Canadian government has continued to offer funding to the sector. Earlier this year, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, announced an investment of $55.1 million in 20 transformative Canadian climate technology companies through Sustainable Development Technology Canada.

The Federal government has also offered strategic support to climate tech companies for IP through The Clean Growth Hub, established in 2018 as part of the initial $2.3 billion investment. The Hub is a free service which helps climate technology producers and adopters identify and access federal programs and services to advance climate technology projects. The Canadian government also maintains an active list of funding opportunities for climate technologies via the Hub’s website.

These investments are paying off with Canadian climate tech companies providing tangible results. One Canadian success story in the carbon capture space is CarbonCure which has commercialized a technology to introduce recycled carbon dioxide into fresh concrete, reducing the carbon footprint of the concrete industry. CarbonCure was recently announced as a winner of the $20 million NRG COSIA Carbon X-Prize.

To build on this the momentum in December 2020, the Canadian government also launched the Innovation Asset Collective (IAC). The IAC assists small and medium climate technology enterprise members in better leveraging their IP to scale up through education, advisory services, and access to licensing programs for IP. The IAC is in its early days, and its effectiveness at helping Canadian climate technology companies leverage IP for commercialization and growth will be interesting to follow.

 

Fast-tracking climate technology patents and protection in Canada and abroad

To foster investment and expedite commercialization of climate technologies, CIPO and other national IP offices have put measures in place to prioritize the prosecution of “green” patent applications. As a result, innovators may have options for fast-tracking their applications through to grant at little or no extra cost. These measures are proving to be very effective with fast-track examination outpacing ordinary examination by between 42% and 75% across participating IP offices.

Canada is widely considered to be a favourable jurisdiction for fast-tracking patent applications directed to environmentally friendly technologies, thanks to relatively liberal eligibility rules and minimal formal requirements. With respect to eligibility, Canada’s Patent Rules simply require that applicants submit a declaration stating that their application relates to a technology where “the commercialization of which would help to resolve or mitigate environmental impacts or conserve the natural environment and resources”. There is no fee for expediting examination in this manner, and there are no limits on the number or types of claims allowed.

Internationally, the national IP offices of many other jurisdictions have implemented comparable “green” patent fast-track programs. However, while the potential for expedited prosecution across multiple jurisdictions can provide considerable benefits for climate change mitigation technology-innovators, taking advantage of them is not always straightforward due to a lack of harmonization. Indeed, program eligibility rules vary considerably between offices, with little consensus as to what qualifies as a “green” technology.

At one end of the spectrum, the IP offices of Australia and the UK have relatively liberal eligibility requirements similar to those touched on above with respect to CIPO. On the other end of the spectrum is the Republic of Korea, which limits eligibility for their fast-track program to renewable energy technologies that are either government funded/accredited or that have received “green certification” under local environmental laws. Brazil, China, Japan and Israel fall somewhere in the middle in terms of the restrictions placed on the technology classes permitted. The US has not had a “green” patent fast-track in place since the end of its Green Technology Pilot Program in 2012. Instead, applicants can request accelerated examination as they would for patents not in the “green” space.

In addition to various eligibility rules, fast track-programs have various cost structures and formal requirements including limits on the number and type of claims permitted. The Japanese Patent Office is notable in this respect, as it charges fees on a per-claim basis and requires that applicants conduct prior art searches and submit comparisons between claimed inventions and the closest prior art. It is important to note that each fast-track program is unique often requires the preparation of jurisdiction-specific claim sets and remarks.

 

Work with IP advisor to access the right support and protection for your climate technology

Navigating the myriad options and programs for IP funding and the various eligibility rules and formal requirements of multiple fast-track programs for patent prosecution can be complex. An experienced IP advisor can help you develop a coherent IP strategy to suit the needs of your company’s commercialization and growth plan from the outset.

The content provided here is informational only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. To obtain such advice, consult with an IP lawyer, patent or trademark agent at Smart & Biggar LLP.

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About Smart & Biggar

Smart & Biggar helps the world’s leading tech companies protect and leverage their IP and advises them on how to use IP Strategy to secure growth around the world.  Headquartered in Ottawa with a national presence, Smart & Biggar has a consistent track record and reputation as the leaders for IP and tech law in Canada.

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About the Author

Lei Liu is a patent agent and partner at Smart & Biggar. Lei works with companies of all sizes from local start-ups to multinational corporations and across all industries to develop strong patent portfolios that are aligned to their business objectives and guard against competitors.

Posted in Blog, Work In Ottawa
Jul 27, 2021

Brooke Harrison profile picture

8 mins | 1160 words
By: Brooke Harrison

Tech businesses in Ottawa are looking for star hires this August. Positions range from sales, software development, internships, and IT.

Whether you’re a seasoned tech professional or a tech beginner there’s a job for you! Read on to learn which position might be right for you and apply to fast-track your career in tech.  


1. 1Valet   

What it does: 

1Valet combines hardware, software and services to change residential living as we know it. Through an app for residents and a portal for building management, this booming Ottawa scaleup is streamlining security, delivery, parking and property management with a click of a button. 1Valet’s technology came to the rescue for many buildings during the Covid-19 pandemic and is poised to scale as more condominium managers are looking to add digital solutions to their building operating and resident management practices. 

The Perks: 

The team at 1Valet benefits from a hefty package of perks like work from home, health and dental, pet-friendly offices and career growth opportunities. 

Current Job Openings: 

Technical Project Manager, Senior Web Graphic Designer, Network Specialist, Director of Sales, Full-Stack Developer and more. 

Learn more and apply today! 

2. Avanade 

What it does: 

Avande transforms businesses for the digital era by providing digital and cloud services. Founded as a joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture LLP, it is a 16-time winner of Microsoft Partner of the year, with 100+ Microsoft partner awards and 32,000 certifications in Microsoft technology. 

The Perks: 

Working at Avanade is fast paced and exciting, employees of the organization enjoy dental and health benefits, a passionate workplace culture and generous PTO. 

Current Job Openings: 

CRM Solution Development Consultant, General Internship, Business Analyst Consultant and Delivery Management Consultant and more! 

Learn more and apply today! 

3. Canimmunize 

What it does: 

Canimmunize keeps a digital record of vaccinations for government, employers, health care workers and Canadians. This fast-growing Ottawa startup built the first digital vaccination tracking tool in 2012 and is internationally recognized by Heath Standards Organization and WHO’s Vaccine Safety Net. 

The Perks: 

Employees of Canimmunize benefit from a work where your most productive policy, high-energy, fast-paced environment, while working with cutting edge technology! 

Current Job Openings: 

Quality Assurance Lead 

Learn more and apply today!  

4. Ciena  

What it does: 

If you describe yourself as a tech innovator or thought disruptor, a career at Ciena might be what you’re looking for. A global telecommunications leader, Ciena provides services and products to help power its clients’ digital interactions such as calling, video chatting and text. 

Ciena was also recently recognized as Company of the Year in the 2020 Leading Lights Award, recognizing its innovative work in telecommunications. 

The Perks: 

As an employee of Ciena, you can enjoy a diverse workplace that takes a people-centred approach first. Employees are also offered extensive health and dental benefits, competitive PTO, flexible hours, global wellbeing programs and a competitive salary.  

Current Job Openings:   

Senior DPS Engineer, ASIC Verification Engineer, ASIC Design Engineer, Software Solutions Architect, and more! 

Learn more and apply today! 

5. DataKinetics  

What it does: 

DataKinetics is a global leader in mainframe performance and optimization through a suite of tailored solutions such as mainframe modernization, and digital transformation. The company works with the world’s largest banks, credit card, brokerage, insurance, healthcare, retail and telecommunication businesses. Team up with DataKinetics and you will be working with fortune 500 companies from around the globe and playing a leading role in saving them billions of dollars.  

The Perks: 

Employees of DataKinetics enjoy full health and dental benefits, a relaxed work environment, team lunches, and substantial paid time off. 

Current Job Openings: 

Senior Software Engineer, Senior Technical Writing Consultant, Dev Ops, Finance Director.  

Learn more and apply today! 

6. Kivuto  

What it does: 

Passionate about education? Kivuto is too! It takes great pride in paving the way to make digital resources easily accessible for educators and their students. Kivuto is trusted by 7,500+ school partners such as Harvard University, Stanford University and the University of Oxford in 60 countries. Last fall, Kivuto landed nearly $8 million equity from the US and Canadian investors.  

The Perks: 

The team at Kivuto enjoys the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of educators and students around the globe. They also benefit from health and dental coverage along with a dynamic work environment. 

Current Job Openings: 

Full Stack UI Developer, Senior IT Infrastructure Specialist, Enterprise Sales Account Executive, Back-End BI Engineer. 

Learn more and apply today!

7. Lightship 

What it does: 

Enhancing safety and efficiency on industrial worksites is the goal of Lightship’s tech platform. Its state-of-the-art technology provides comprehensive incident response, in-field data collection and asset management solutions to large industries, local government and emergency management organizations, all through user-friendly web interfaces and mobile apps. Lightship is used for industrial manufacturing and mining sites, events, and emergency response and is trusted by IBM, Government of Canada, and Port of Tampa Bay. 

The Perks: 

As a Lightship employee, you will enjoy premium medical, dental and vision coverage for you and the whole family, a remote-friendly workspace, flexible hours, and generous PTO. 

Current Job Openings: 

Front End Developer, Business Development Representative and Senior Account Executive. 

Learn more and apply today! 

8. Mechatronic Design Solutions 

What it does: 

Mechatronic Design Solutions is an engineering automation firm that creates robotic systems which streamline sanitary automation for food processing, robotic work cells to reduce labour dependency and general automation for production manufacturing. Want to learn more? Take a look at some of their exciting and innovative projects here. 

The Perks: 

Mechatronic Design Solutions employees are offered competitive salaries, 4 weeks paid holiday, flexible work hours, and a company culture conductive to a positive work-life balance. 

Current Job Openings: 

Intermediate/ Senior Engineer: Robotics and Industrial Automation 

Learn more and apply today! 

9. TechInsights  

What it does: 

TechInsights is leading the world in microelectronic reverse engineering. It digs into the latest technology and reverse-engineers it to understand how the products function. The organization offers competitive technology intelligence monitoring, platforms for the semiconductor industry and assistance for patent owners to develop manage and use their patent portfolios. TechInsights provides solutions to over 200 global tech, semiconductor and electronics companies. 

The Perks: 

The team at TechInsights enjoys bountiful health and wellness coverage, competitive salaries, flexible vacation and constant support for learning and development. 

Current Job Openings: 

UX Design intern, Director Costing Operations, Senior Product Manager, Technical Project Manager and more. 

Learn more and apply today! 

10. ThinkRF  

What it does: 

ThinkRF is a leading producer of complex software devices which intercept and analyze wireless communications sent from devices such as smartphones. ThinkRF’s products are favourites for regulatory and intelligence monitoring and are used by impressive organizations like Johns Hopkins University, Industry Canada and NIST. 

The Perks: 

Employees of ThinkRF benefit from competitive rewards packages, professional development opportunities and flexible work environments! 

Current Job Openings:   

Senior AI-Machine Learning Engineer, Signal Processing & Analysis Engineer, Controller, Technical Support Engineer, Senior Project Manager, Intermediate Software Developer, Cloud Architect Engineer. 

Learn more and apply today!  

Jun 30, 2021

Randy Gaudreau's headshot

12 mins | 1,900 words
By: Randy Gaudreau

Like many other business owners, the challenges of the past year have made it anything but business-as-usual for Lucie Rosano, Owner of Esthetics by Lucie. Throughout the pandemic, unpredictable conditions and closures restricted her business and forced her to rely on finding support to keep it going.

According to Lucie however, the closures provided her with a bit of breathing room and a rare chance to examine how the in-person business she built could thrive in the digital economy – with the help of the Transformation Team from the Digital Main Street Future Proof program.


Lucie’s story

Esthetics By Lucie Owner Lucie Rosano smiling with Valeria, indoors and leaning on a window ledge at night. Lucie got her first opportunity as part of the first group of graduates of Ottawa’s Versailles Academy in the early 1980s, after the downtown Ottawa Holt Renfrew location reached out to the school looking for the best candidate to help launch the upcoming Prescriptive line of Estée Lauder.

However, after a year of working to build the brand in close proximity to strong fragrances, Lucie developed a medical condition that made her unable to continue in the role that she loved. But despite the setback, it wasn’t long before an entrepreneurial opportunity came her way that would give her another option to get her young career started.

Shortly after walking away from the position she loved, Lucie heard from her former instructor from the academy, Joan Hart. After operating her own esthetics business and building a legacy of her own for 18 years, Joan decided she was going to move back home to Denmark to get married and take care of her father.

To be sure the clientele she’d build was in good hands, Joan reached out to her former student Lucie to see if she had any interest in buying the business and taking over its clientele after she left.

Lucie’s reaction at the time was understandably one of disbelief.

“I basically laughed,” she said.

“She had 18 years of experience and she was amazing. But after laughing at Joan, I decided that maybe it could be the best thing for me,” she added. “And so, she took me under her wing and stayed with me for six weeks and trained me in her techniques.”

Strategically, Joan kept the transition under wraps as to not upset her regular clientele, who both Joan and Lucie felt would simply not stand for a rookie replacement.

“She told all her clients she was going away on a holiday,” Lucie added laughing. “She didn’t tell them that she was going away permanently, because she didn’t feel like they would give me a chance. They were with her for 18 years, and she was in her 50’s. They’re not going to trust somebody that’s 25 years old,” she added.  “She just basically said, ‘I trust Lucie. Lucie is going to look after you.’ So, they stayed with me.”

But according to Lucie, it wasn’t the smoothest of transitions.

“Let me tell you it was brutal for those poor clients,” she said. “It’s one thing to go to school and another when you actually get the practical experience. And those customers were very, very loyal to Joan,” she explained. “Had they thought I’d purchased the business; they would’ve run out that door and never looked back.”

A local favourite despite changing locations and a changing industry

Street level shop window of Esthetics by Lucie - displaying the business logo and the 4 Faces awards for Ottawa's best esthetician

Now, 35 years later, she’s still running her own business, offering facials, waxing and sugaring, as well as nail and eyebrow services.

And after being voted as Best Esthetician in Faces Magazine for the past four years, it’s safe to say Lucie has built a loyal clientele of her own, gaining a reputation for what she describes as the best Brazilians in town.

“We do everything, but we’re famous for our Brazilians,” said Lucie. “I’m the queen of Brazilians. That’s 90 per cent of our business, that’s our specialty and that’s what we’re known for because of our method, our prices, our product, the knowledge we have, and our speed.”

The success comes despite having relocated the business several times – from the original Esthetics by Joan location on the second floor, to the third floor, then to Laurier Avenue and come back full circle, to locate once again in the Sparks Street area, only this time, with a street-level location.

But much more than location has changed over the past 35 years. Gone are the days where if you wanted anything done, you’d have to head downtown to where all the action was. These days, according to Lucie, consumers are opting to make their longer appointments a little closer to home.

“Back in the day, downtown was the happening place,” she said. “So, if you wanted your hair done or massage or esthetics done, you had to come downtown.”

The Esthetics By Lucie Location - at 167 Sparks Street - with red flowers out front of the shop window.

“Today, it’s the reverse,” she explained. “People come in for their quick service at the buildings when they’re downtown. But if they’re going to have anything more than that done, they’re going to have it done in their area in Manotick, Barrhaven, Orleans, or Stittsville – wherever they’re living.”

Regardless of changes in the industry, according to Lucie, her reputation for quick service and her skillfully delivered services at reasonable prices keeps customers coming back.

“Our technique is amazing,” she said. “We have a great location and have great prices and we use the best products. And I do everything I can to make sure that people who are getting waxed, get the best service that they can.”

Unpredictable pandemic conditions – and a changing game plan

From experiencing the initial lockdown restrictions, it was clear to Lucie that getting people in and out for fast services approach wasn’t going to work, and she needed to adapt her business to stay profitable.

“We had our door locked once we brought a customer in, and then it’s a one-hour process,” she said. “Generally speaking, it’s a 15-minute service. But by the time you sterilize, cash out the customer, they fill out the form, and you do the service, it’s an hour. We are not priced for one-hour service,” she explained. “We’re priced for half an hour at maximum.”

Add in a lack of foot traffic, and a population focused on shopping online, and it’s a perfect storm that she says will continue to adversely affect her business until things fully get back to normal.

“When we go back to work, we have no business because we’re in a downtown location,” she explained. “All the government customers, all the students, everybody’s doing things online, and there’s zero traffic. We depend on the people who work in the building and say, ‘what’s new on Sparks Street?’ And then we also get visitors.”

“Well,” she added, “there’s no visitors because there’s nobody staying at the hotels.  And there’s no people in the buildings.”

Updating and upgrading online – with a little help from the Sparks Street BIA and Invest Ottawa

According to Lucie, the various levels of government and the Sparks Street Business Improvement Area (BIA) have been beacons in the dark times of COVID-19, providing hope through resources and opportunities for small businesses in the area.

One resource forwarded by the Sparks Street BIA introduced Lucie to the services available from the Transformation Teams of the Digital Main Street (DMS) Future Proof program, made available through Invest Ottawa – and she reached out.

“I just reached out, and spoke to a representative,” she said.  “And he said, ‘OK, tell me a bit about yourself, and tell me what you need’ and then they set me up.”

Working with the Transformation Teams of DMS Future Proof

During a two-week period of digital transformation, the Future Proof Transformation Team was able to help create a clear and cohesive brand for Esthetics by Lucie by updating existing logos and graphics, creating marketing materials, and fresh new web-copy, which was also translated to offer corresponding French content on the website.

They also helped Lucie create a new Squarespace website, which would replace their dated existing site with one offering e-commerce and scheduling capabilities.

“They helped us with our website, they did the translations to French, they had somebody to help us with our social media, they just basically helped us put everything together,” she said. “We wouldn’t have ever been able to afford something like that.”

More than just digital tools

Aside from website improvements, Lucie explained that the DMS Transformation Team helped her understand how to reach out to new markets with her core customers of student and government workers working and studying remotely.

“This is what I asked Digital Main Street,” she said. “How do I market? How do I reinvent myself in the downtown core? I’ve never had to worry about downtown because I had my own established clientele. They said, ‘you have to reinvent yourself. This is how you have to do your social media; this is how you do your blogging.’ They re-educated me basically, and now, we’re going to implement something completely new.”

An assortment of items found in the Esthetics By Lucie shop, arranged on three shelves and wrapped in decorative wire lighting.

Putting the digital plan into action

With the right pieces put in place by the Transformation Team, Lucie is hoping that to put everything into action – with help from her family.

“We have to work on it still,” she said. “My husband is still working full-time from home, so he took the time out to sit and down and talk to the team, and my daughter is going to be doing the social media. So now, honestly, it’s just a matter of putting everything together and implementing what they gave us.”

I think by September, we’ll be fine again,” she added. “We can only do our best and hope for the best.”

The results are on the way

With many of the changes just starting to be integrated, Lucie is optimistic that the work done by the team has already put her business in a better position.

“I’m very happy with the work and I’m sure it’s going to change things 100%,” she said. “It’s something that was unaffordable, and something I couldn’t imagine doing – especially in these times when there’s no income coming in at all.”

“I’m very blessed and grateful to have a team of experts like this,” she added. “I have spent tons of money on people working on my website and designing my website. And I didn’t have one-tenth of the service that got from Digital Main Street. I had hired people to do my social media, and paid an exuberant amount of money, signed contracts. And nothing came out of it,” she said. “Zero.”

“And now, I am 100% sure that it’s going to be a 100% turnaround.”

“Moving forward, if a pandemic like this happens again, or if I want to retire, I’ll be able to go online and sell products to be able to survive because of Digital Main Street and how they helped us.”- Lucie Rosano

What’s next?

Along with the strengthened online presence, Lucie plans to take advantage of the e-commerce capabilities of her improved website to venture into retail, giving her, and a bright future.

“I’ve never been in the retail end of it,” Lucie said. “I don’t know what to buy, what’s going to sell, what isn’t. Especially with these economic times, how do you guess? How do you attract them to your website to purchase your products? I didn’t really want to take that leap.”

“Now we’re going to go online, because of Digital Main Street,” she said.

Lucie holding an award, flanked by Valeria and Hager, smiling and standing in front of a wall of awards.

“When we went on lockdown, a lot of businesses were prepared to sell online, because they were already selling things. But we’re more of a personal business, one-on-one, and we didn’t sell products.”

“Moving forward,” she continued, “if a pandemic like this happens again, or if I want to retire, I’ll be able to go online and sell products to be able to survive because of Digital Main Street and how they helped us.”


Visit the Digital Main Street Future Proof success stories page to find out how to support local businesses and hear from others who’ve been able to get online with the help of Digital Main Street and Invest Ottawa.

Though the Future Proof program is no longer accepting applications, Invest Ottawa has a wide range of programs to help businesses of all levels – whether just getting started or well established. Visit the Invest Ottawa webpage to learn more.

Also, be sure to sign up to Invest Ottawa’s newsletters for updates about small businesses, available programs, and upcoming events.

A special thank you to the Government of Canada and specifically FedDev Ontario for making this program possible and enabling the team at Invest Ottawa to provide critical support to main street businesses when it is needed most.

Posted in Blog, Community News
Jun 29, 2021

Invest Ottawa is proud to partner with Pow Wow Pitch to help empower and support Indigenous entrepreneurs. 

With submission and nomination deadlines coming up for some great opportunities such as Pow Wow Pitch Competition and the Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards, we wanted to share a few important dates and some information below just to be sure nobody misses out on these great opportunities.

There are also more opportunities available in July through the recently introduced Pow Wow Pitch Indigenous Startup Program Learning Series, which gives Indigenous entrepreneurs access to free learning opportunities that can help them start and grow a thriving business. This month is filled with great sessions – find out more about the program and how to register through the links below.


Pow Wow Pitch  – $50,000 in cash prizes! A poster image for Pow Wow Pitch, reminding potential applicants to apply before July 15th. It reads, Pitch to Win $50,000 in prizes. Deadline July 15, 2021 - website powwowpitch.org/pitch and features the image of 2020 winner Lynn-Marie Angus, Owner of Sister's Sage

**Deadline Extended to July 31st

Pow Wow Pitch is a pitch competition for Indigenous entrepreneurs across Turtle Island to shine the spotlight on pow wow vendors, artists, business builders and innovators from all backgrounds and industries, whether just starting or looking to grow to the next level. 

All applicants get access to more than $1,000 in free tools, technology and resources to start and scale their businesses, and 150 will be shortlisted to pitch for their chance to win $50,000 in cash prizes.

Submit your 1-minute pitch to apply.

 

Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards Celebrating Excellence in Indigenous Entrepreneurship

A poster invitation graphic calling for applications for nominees for the Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards celebrating excellence in Indigenous Entrepreneurship. Applications close July 31st. The poster also gives the website address of powwowpitch.org/awards as a destination for those looking for more information

Deadline July 31st

The Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards recognize and celebrate excellence and outstanding impact in Indigenous entrepreneurship.  

Indigenous entrepreneurs and Indigenous-owned businesses across Turtle Island can apply or nominate others for their entrepreneurial perseverance, growth, impact and example as true Indigenous icons of our generation. The deadline for nominations is July 31st.

Nominate someone or apply today. 

 

Pow Wow Pitch Indigenous Startup Program  – Learning Series

Promotional graphic for the Indigenous Startup Program Learning Series highlighting the Pow Wow Pitch website at powwowpitch.org/startup

The Pow Wow Pitch Indigenous Startup Program provides Indigenous entrepreneurs with free access to on-demand and LIVE training and free tools and resources to start and grow thriving businesses.

Each week throughout the Summer, Pow Wow Pitch will release new Learning Sessions, LIVE Learn & Build Sessions, and free tools, technology and resources for Indigenous entrepreneurs.

Learn about upcoming events happening through July.

Anyone looking for more information about these great opportunities is encouraged to email Pow Wow Pitch.

Posted in Blog, Work In Ottawa
Jun 25, 2021

Brooke Harrison profile picture

7 mins | 800 words
By: Brooke Harrison

This summer take the plunge and land your dream job! Tech companies across Ottawa are looking for talented individuals to join their team. If you’re looking to propel your career forward, Ottawa has boundless tech opportunities across multiple industries like clean energy, cybersecurity, or entertainment, to name a few.  


1. BluWave.ai 

What it does: 

Passionate about cleantech? Then get excited! BluWave.ai is helping energy utilities around the world efficiently manage their electricity grids. This scaling Ottawa startup has raised $3.9 million in a seed fund round in 2020 to accelerate its growth.  

The Perks: 

BlueWave.ai’s culture is built on passion for the job. Its team is empowered day in day out, around the greater purpose of climate change mitigation. BluWave.ai provides employees with competitive compensation, opportunities for continual career growth and a great team environment 

Current Job Openings:  

Machine Learning Scientist, Backend Cloud Software Developers, Backend Cloud Software Developer (new graduate), Data Engineering Platform Developer, Senior Frontend WebApp Developer 

Learn more and apply today! 

2. Face4 Systems 

What it does: 

Ottawa-based Face4 Systems is a leader in facial recognition software which provides clients with strengthened security through its face-based surveillance solutions.  

The Perks: 

Face4 Systems offers employees stellar health and dental benefits alongside a workplace culture that promotes professional development. 

Current Job Openings: 

Software Engineer 

Learn more and apply today!   

3. MASV 

What it does: 

MASV provides a way for businesses and individuals to transfer large files in the blink of an eye. Its transfer service ensures on time delivery of up to 5TB at once. In 2019 the company integrated its file transfer system into Adobe Premiere Pro, while still maintaining its celebrated speed and reliability. 

The Perks: 

As an employee at MASV you will enjoy a competitive salary, stock option plans, as well as health and dental plans.  

Current Job Openings:  

Front End Web Developer, Developer Advocate, Product Manager, Growth Product Manager, Software Architect and Quality Assurance Specialist  

Learn more and apply today!  

4. Multiview  

What it does: 

Multiview provides countless businesses with simple, no hassle financial applications for accounting and financial planning projects no matter the size. Multiview’s software is used by more than 40 industries and its clients range from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. 

The Perks: 

Multiview prides itself in putting its employees first. All employees receive generous starting vacations, continual career development, and a workplace culture that encourages staff to provide honest feedback and engagement. Multiview is also constantly working on improving its Diversity and Inclusion practices. 

Current Job Openings: 

Manager, Client Success Executives, Senior Software Architect, User Experience Designer (UX), ERP Support Consultant and Business Development Executive  

Learn more and apply today!  

5. 1Valet 

What it does: 

1Valet is revolutionizing condos and apartments with its state-of-the-art connected software, making smart living a reality. Its technology allows tenants of the building open doors without keys and ride elevators without pushing any buttons. In 2020 1Valet signed a five-year deal with Rogers to offer its technology to internet customers in Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.  

The Perks: 

1Valet has a generous benefit package full of perks like stock options, work from home opportunities, wellness and assistance program, pet friendly offices and more! 

Current Job Openings:  

Bilingual Customer Experience Specialist, Technical Project Manager, Hr Coordinator, Controller 

Learn more and apply today!  

6. Solace 

What it does: 

Solace is a leader in producing event-streaming and management technology with impressive clients like Barclays, NASA, and the London Stock Exchange Solace. Recently Solace announced its plans to expand its presence in Taiwan. 

The Perks: 

The team at Solace receives great compensation and benefits within a dynamic workplace. 

Current Job Openings:  

Solace is currently hiring 20+ positions in Cloud, Sales, Marketing, and R&D. 

Learn more and apply today! 

7. Solink 

What it does: 

A leader in loss prevention strategies for global businesses, Solink creates trusted cloud video surveillance systems. In 2020, Solink closed $23 million in Series B funding, bringing its total funding to $40 million. 

The Perks: 

Solink providers its employees with flexible hours, full medical benefits, stock options, gym membership subsidies and social events, among many other perks! 

Current Job Openings:  

Full-Time and Part Time Customer Support Representative, Solutions Engineer, Quality Assurance Intern, Account Executive (Sales) 

Learn more and apply today! 

8. Tehama  

What it does: 

Tehama developed a next generation DaaS platform to help companies create cloud-based virtual offices, rooms and desktops. Its software connects remote workers with critical and data-sensitive systems, with the ability to connect anywhere in the world. In 2020 Tehama tripled its revenues and landed US $10 Million in venture capital financing 

The Perks: 

As a Tehama employee you can expect a competitive rewards program with an annual 30 days flexible PTO, annual self-directed learning budget, and competitive salaries and stock options. Employees also benefit from a flexible work environment, and annual wellness budget. 

Current Job Openings: 

Intermediate Software Developer-Backend Services, Sales Operations Manager, Senior Enterprise Account Executive. 

Learn more and apply today! 

9. You.i TV 

What it does: 

You.i.TV provides media companies with a more efficient and agile way to engage their viewers. With You.i.Engine One, SDK development teams can deliver video content across a multitude of devices. Through an acquisition deal with WarnerMedia, You.i Engine One technology is used to deploy WarnerMedia’s HBO Max direct-to-consumer offering to a variety of platforms in markets worldwide.  

The Perks: 

You.i.TV employees are offered flexible work hours, 30 days PTO, RRSP matching program, competitive health benefits, level up coaching and free in-house fitness classes. 

Current Job Openings:  

The organization currently has 13 job openings within Engineering, IT, operations, and software developer positions 

Learn more and apply today! 

10. Zayo 

What it does: 

Zayo provides its global client base with fiber bandwidth to move, process and store large volumes of data. It is the leading provider of lit and dark fiber networks which provide critical connection to data centers, cloud providers, commercial and entertainment centers.  

The perks: 

Employees of Zayo benefit from competitive compensation packages, excellent benefits, fitness membership discounts and generous paid time off.  

Current job openings: 

Account Executive, Implementation Engineer, Deal Management Manager, Program Manager, Communication Technician, Senior Channel Manager, and more. 

Learn more and apply today!