Author Archives: mrktspecialist

Posted in Blog, Work In Ottawa
Jun 7, 2021

Trevor Kerr

 
 

5 mins | 650 words
By: Trevor Kerr

Yes, Ottawa is synonymous with being Canada’s capital city, the site of the world’s largest skating rink, and the backdrop to majestic Parliament buildings, but we are also a global tech hub that is on the leading edge of telecommunications. 

Combine that with consistently being ranked as one of the best places to live in North America, it is no wonder Ottawa is a target for top tech talent like you from around the world. 

Here are 5 more reasons you should consider working in Ottawa: 


1. Working on the leading edge of ICT R&D 

Ottawa has been at the heart of Canada’s innovation economy for decades, especially when it comes to Communication Technologies. Supported by 65 government labs, 90% of Canada’s industrial telecom R&D takes place here. This includes the Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre – the only pure-play optical fabrication centre in North America. From multinational giants to homegrown successes, companies of all sizes continue to look to Ottawa as an ICT centre of excellence.  

 

2. Immerse yourself in a 5G hub 

Top tech talent wants to work on innovative projects and Ottawa is Canada’s leader in 5G R&D. In fact, we are so supportive of pushing the boundaries of wireless communications you’ll find a 5G test site right at city hall led by Canada’s Communications Research Centre. Ottawa is also one of five locations in Quebec and Ontario taking part in ENCQOR, a public-private partnership that provides access to pre-commercial 5G for research and innovation. And just this spring the Ericsson Open Lab, a state-of-the-art 5G R&D facility, opened in Ottawa. It allows researchers from around the world to collaborate remotely on 5G wireless technology projects.  

If you want an example of how 5G is set to revolutionize the communities we live in, look no further than Area X.O, the first integrated V2X (vehicle to everything) test facility of its kind in North America, Area X.O has brought together a smart mobility cluster which includes more than 100 partners, including Blackberry QNX and Ericsson. Here you can leverage future mobility, autonomy and connected technologies in a safe and secure environment. If you can think of an application across any sector… you can test it!  

 

3. An amazing career and an even better life 

Life is about more than work, and Ottawa provides that perfect balance. Thanks to our high livability standards, Ottawa was recently ranked the best city in Canada for work-life balance and the sixth-best in the world. That high quality of life and the relative affordability of our city when compared to other major North American cities makes Ottawa an increasingly popular destination for top tech talent.  

 

4. Ottawa is for serious tech 

Top talent is attracted to top talent and you won’t find a higher concentration of tech talent outside of Ottawa. Our city’s deep pool of highly skilled and diverse talent has long been viewed by innovators and entrepreneurs as one of our city’s strongest competitive advantages. According to CBRE’s 2020 Tech Talent report, Ottawa has the highest concentration of tech talent in North America at 11.3 per cent. That puts us ahead of even San Francisco at 10.5 per cent.  

 

5. Immigration made easy

Canada’s immigration programs also make it easy for companies to bring talent to Ottawa from all over the world. We have two dedicated programs for highly skilled talent and work permits can be issued in as few as two weeks. There are also no quotes or caps and if you fall in love with Ottawa (we know you will) these programs can provide a pathway to permanent residency. 


Are you ready to take advantage of Ottawa’s world-class expertise in 5G and ICT to boost your career?  

Register now for our Work in Ottawa: 5G and Communications Technology Career Fair on June 17This is your chance to meet with industry leaders like Ericsson, Ford, Infinera, Ross Video, and Syntronic while discovering why Ottawa is the best place for an amazing career and an even better life. 

Invitation to event on June 17th titled: Work in Ottawa: 5G and Communications Technology Career Fair June 17th from 12pm until 3pm

Jun 2, 2021

Asian Heritage Month has come and gone, but we want to take one more opportunity to celebrate two women who have not only become pillars in the Asian community, but leaders in the broader Ottawa community through their dedication and hard work.

Here are two community leaders shaping business and community in Ottawa.


Image of Paulina Yee, Virtual CFO, Paulina Yee Consulting, leaning on a red ledge inside an office, smiling.Paulina Yee, CPA, CA // Invest Ottawa

After working in full-time roles for her entire career, Paulina Yee was looking for something different. That’s what brought her to Invest Ottawa.

For the past three years, Paulina has been a finance and accounting advisor for entrepreneurs participating in Invest Ottawa’s Scale Up program, leveraging her 30 years of experience to become a “virtual CFO” to local companies.

During that time, Paulina has been a trusted senior advisor providing strategic financial advice and guidance and helping her clients to de-construct complex problems and issues and find creative and innovative solutions.

But Paulina’s involvement with Invest Ottawa doesn’t just stop at being an advisor; the University of Waterloo mathematics grad, CPA and Ottawa Hospital Foundation Finance and Audit Committee member is also a client, participating in the Starter Company Plus program.

“It was very rewarding to provide guidance and support to an entrepreneur getting her bookkeeping business off the ground”, she noted. “This kind of support and mentorship to entrepreneurs is invaluable to helping them grow and prosper.  It also allows them to learn from seasoned mentors who have ‘been there and done that’.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/paulina-yee-19778a1/

 

Profile picture of a smiling Sharon Deng, Executive Director, Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre

Sharon Deng // Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre

Sharon Deng is the Executive Director of the Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre, a non-profit, non-partisan charitable organization committed to advancing the full social and economic integration and participation of newcomers, immigrants and refugees in the capital.

The now 45-year old organization was founded on the basic principle of helping newcomers settle in Canada, providing a range of services, from Settlement Services to Language Training and Employment Support.

“We’re an organization with a majority of staff who are newcomers themselves”, Sharon explains. “We have Ottawa’s largest Chinese speaking settlement staff who helps educate and support newcomers at every stage of their settlement journey in Canada.”

As a proud Chinese Canadian, Carleton University Linguistics grad (B.A. Hons), and former adult education instructor who has served in a number of different roles with TESL Ontario, Algonquin College, the Ottawa Carleton District School Board and many other organizations, Sharon is perfectly positioned to ensure newcomers have access to the support and training they need. 

“As a second generation Chinese Canadian, it is important to give back to the community and I do through the work with OCCSC who continues to work tirelessly.”

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/sharondeng1/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ottawachinese

Twitter: twitter.com/chineseottawa

Website: www.occsc.org/

 

This article is the fourth in a special Asian History Month series by Invest Ottawa.


About the Author

Kevin Bourne headshot. An image of him standing in front of a brick wall.Kevin Bourne, also known as “KB The Boss” or simply “KB”, is an Ottawa-based media/entertainment entrepreneur, freelance journalist, and media personality.

The former political staffer is quickly becoming a staple in Ottawa and Canada’s cultural landscape as both a commentator and freelancer, appearing nationally on CBC News Network and locally on CTV, CBC Radio, CityNews, and 580 CFRA and having been published in ByBlacks, the Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Business Journal. Doubling as CEO of the PR and content marketing firm SHIFTER Agency Inc. and editor-in-chief at SHIFTER magazine, Kevin has covered some of Canada’s top red carpet events, from the Juno Awards to the Canadian Screen Awards and has interviewed everyone from Kevin Hart to “Fast and the Furious” star Tyrese Gibson. He is currently co-host of The Morning Shift, Ottawa’s daily hip-hop morning radio show on CHUO 89.1FM.

He is also a board member at the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition and the Ottawa Film Office and was recently named to the TEDx Kanata Leadership Committee and Ottawa Life Magazine’s Best of Ottawa: Activists & Changemakers list for 2020.


Digital Main Street, learn more.

DMS helps small businesses impacted by COVID-19 to survive the pandemic and thrive in the new economy. Discover how the Future Proof program has helped small businesses thrive at Investottawa.ca.

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, Work In Ottawa
Jun 1, 2021

Brooke Harrison profile picture

7 mins | 980 words
By: Brooke Harrison

Whether you’re currently job seeking or interested in an exciting career change, tech companies across Ottawa are looking for your expertise. From technology companies in digital security solutions, to biotechnology, to telecommunications, there are endless opportunities to apply to! 


1. ADVA 

What it does: 

Global telecommunications vendor, ADVA, creates breakthrough hardware and software products which enable data to be transported globally. In April 2021 ADVA announced its strongest Q1 results in the company’s history, with quarterly revenues up 8.9% year-over-year to EUR 144.5 million. 

The Perks: 

Being a part of ADVA’s global workforce means opportunities for cross-pollination of innovations between cultures and regions. Employees receive comprehensive wellness programs, equitable salaries, and opportunities for professional development and advancement. 

Current Job Openings:  

R&D Engineer Optics, Software Engineer, NPI-LCE, Senior Test Engineer, R&D Engineer Optics, Application Engineer and more.

Learn more and apply today! 

2. Camcor 

What it does: 

Ottawa-based aviation and aerospace manufacturer Camcor manufactures machined components for both commercial and military use. It proudly supplied components for one of the instruments needed for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).  

The Perks: 

The team at Camcor receive full medical, dental and vision benefits! 

Current Job Openings:  

CNC Operators, CNC Machinists, Lathe operator and more. 

Learn more and apply today! 

3. Dell Technologies 

What it does: 

A known leader in the technology industry, Dell Technologies provides essential infrastructure for organizations to build their digital future, transform IT and protect their information. Dell recently unveiled its APEX portfolio of as-a-Service offerings simplifying how businesses consume technology.  

The Perks: 

Dell supports its employees through competitive salaries, health benefits, flexible work hours and ample career development opportunities. Diversity and inclusion are also core pillars of the workplace. It recently won Fortunes World’s Best Workplaces 2020 among other employment awards. 

Current Job Openings:  

Dell currently has 65 job opportunities open within Ottawa such as: 5G Digital Radio Architecture & System Prime, 5G OAM Architect, 5G Software Senior Manager, Software Developer, Hardware Developer and more. 

Learn more and apply today! 

4. Gastop

What it does: 

Working with the Defense, Aerospace, Energy and Marine industries, Gastop designs, manufactures and supports equipment health sensing and analysis products. It recently delivered its 3,500th engine sensor to Lockheed Martin’s 5th generation F-35 Lightning II, the most advanced fighter jet in the world! 

The Perks: 

Working for Gastop means competitive salaries, amazing benefits and many social activities ensuring a fun work life balance!  

Current Job Openings:  

Accounting Clerk, Electro-Optic Assembly Technician, Product Manager (Energy & Industrial), Product Support Specialist (Maternity Leave Contract), Quality Assurance Inspector, Research Technician, Senior Electrical Design Engineer, Senior Optical Design Engineer, Senior Program Manager (Aerospace), Senior Software Design Engineer and more. 

Learn more and apply today! 

5. Gigamon 

What it does: 

Gigamon, a California-based market leader in network visibility and analytics, is opening R&D operations in Ottawa. The organization’s customers include 83 of the Fortune 500 companies. 

The Perks: 

At Gigamon employees receive competitive benefits, flexible vacations, wellness initiatives, bonuses and more!  

Current Job Openings:  

Engineering Process Lead, Senior Staff Data Operations Engineer, Sr. Staff Operations Engineer, Staff Operations Engineer, Staff SW Engineer/ Java API and more. 

Learn more and apply today! 

6. HealthSign 

What it does: 

A Canadian medical device company based in Ottawa, Healthsign performs state of the art research and development to create innovative IoT enabled health monitoring devices in the form of wearable and tabletop devices. The organization has an impressive total of 4 patents on its innovative IoT devices. 

The Perks: 

Employees of HealthSign enjoy a robust health and dental package, competitive salaries and flexible vacation time. 

Current Job Openings:  

Data Scientists, Hardware Engineers, Business Strategists and Regulatory Affairs. Candidates can email their resumes to [email protected]  

7. Infinera 

What it does: 

Infinera empowers operators by accelerating innovation and automating network operations within telecommunications. Recently Infinera introduced a new suite of XR Optics powered Coherent pluggable solutions, enabling the company to create a completely new market.  

The Perks: 

A career with Infinera brings a workplace with highly educated colleagues, and strong diversity and inclusion values. Employees at Infinera will benefit from stock purchasing plans, competitive salaries, and health and dental benefits. 

Current Job Openings:  

Firmware Engineers and Architects, ASIC Engineers and more. 

Learn more and apply today! 

8. Pronto Forms   

What it does: 

Pronto Forms is a Canadian software and mobile app developer based out of Ottawa. The company provides users with a low code platform for mobile forms for field service. It just announced an Annual Recurring Revenue Base increase of 4.7% to $17.9 million. 

The Perks: 

Located in the biggest tech research park in Canada, this organization is fast-growing and attracts motivated and talented individuals. The benefits of working there? Current employees enjoy a strong work life balance, amazing benefits, virtual wellness seminars and fitness benefits.  

Current Job openings: 

Cloud Infrastructure Engineer, Senior iOS Developer, Software Engineer-Backend, Sales Engineer, Technical Support Analyst and more. 

Learn more and apply today!  

9. Ross Video 

What it does: 

Powering video production for billions of global viewers daily, Ross Video provides the industry’s widest range of smart production solutions. Ross Video has made a name for itself through garnering top clients like Eurosport, BBC World and Google YouTube Space London. 

The Perks: 

Offering generous paid time off, a competitive salary, medical, dental and vision plans and more, Ross Video employees are provided a multitude of benefits and perks. 

Current Job Openings:  

Junior Software Designer, Dev Ops Developer, Technical Support Specialist, Senior Software Developer, Director Financial Planning M&A analysis, IS Project Manager, Indirect Tax Analyst and more. 

Learn more and apply today!  

10. Wannlynx 

What it does: 

Computer software organization Wannlynx, utilizes its networking and payment expertise to develop leading-edge solutions for convenience stores, at the pump or in store. Wannlynx has announced a multitude of certifications, the most recent with WildcoPES. 

The Perks: 

A career at Wannlynx means working with extremely smart and motivated individuals on cutting edge work.  

Current Job Openings:  

Senior Full Stack Developer- Cloud Server, C++ Senior Software Developer, and more. 

Learn more and apply today! 

May 26, 2021

The month of May was officially designated Asian Heritage Month by the Government of Canada in 2002. It recognizes the significant contributions Canadians of Asian descent have made and continue to make to all aspects of Canadian society. This year’s theme also acknowledges the resilience and resolve of Asian Canadians in overcoming the adversity they have faced throughout the country’s history. 

Here are three digital agency owners bridging digital and design.


Affan Mahmud Chowdury // Notionhive

Affan Mahmud Chowdhury - Notionhive CEO

Notionhive CEO Affan Mahmud Chowdhury runs a full-service creative digital agency with offices in Canada and Bangladesh. The company provides its clients with 360-degree digital solutions and employs over 60 people.

Affan obtained both his MBA and BBA from the prominent Institution of Business Administration, University of Dhaka. He started his career in the HR Department at the Standard Chartered Bank but resigned after less than a year before venturing into entrepreneurship. 

Since then, he has founded several other companies in diverse sectors, including a hotel, coffee shop, and restaurant. He also works as a business advisor to startups and small businesses. Whenever he’s not watching reruns of MacGyver or spending time with his family, Affan always strives to find new or uncontested market spaces referred to as a “blue ocean”.

Website: notionhive.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/hellonotionhive

 

Profile picture of Jesse Pyne Founder of Purpose Fuel Jesse Pyne // Purpose Fuel

Jesse Pyne’s entrepreneurial journey first began in 2018 with Salon Tao, an eco-conscious hair salon he co-founded that offers gender-free services and pricing. Situated in Centretown, the salon prides itself on challenging conventional beauty norms by taking an inclusive approach that celebrates gender diversity. Jesse works behind-the-scenes as the head of Tao’s Business Development and Administration services, overseeing the salon’s management, branding, and community outreach.

Last year, he created Purpose Fuel, a design agency that helps older adults bring their creative projects to life, foster social participation and find their purpose. They offer services such as e-commerce, web development, multimedia design, and advertising. They even provide consulting and training around digital platforms and technology. 

Born and raised in Ottawa, Jesse studied Information Systems & Human Rights at Carleton University. He specialises in interactive multimedia development and cites his previous experience as a Personal Support Worker at Carefor Health & Community Services as inspiration for starting the company. Besides handling the business side of Purpose Fuel, Jesse enjoys being hands-on with other projects, whether doing design work or connecting and collaborating with clients. 

Website: purposefuel.ca
Instagram: www.instagram.com/purposefuel.life

 

Mailyne Briggs // Kilam Media

Image Mailyne Briggs, Owner, Kilam Media, wearing glasses and floating horizontally with the words "chill vibes only" displayed in the background in a wavy font Mailyne Briggs is a single mom who seemingly does it all. The Filipino-Canadian artist and entrepreneur is the owner of Kilam Media, Digital Communications Officer for the Social Planning Council of Ottawa, and co-founder of two art-based non-profits – A Real Thought (A.R.T.) In Action and In Our Tongues.

Kilam Media focuses primarily on helping BIPOC women, artists, small businesses, and nonprofits to build their brand and grow their online presence through its accessible digital marketing, content creation, and branding services. They do everything from audio and video production to graphic design and photography. 

Mailyne prioritizes uplifting and amplifying the voices of the LBTQS2+ and BIPOC communities. Her non-profit organization A.R.T. In Action provides free art workshops that support the mental health and well-being of youth and community members facing barriers. The first of its kind in Ottawa, the In Our Tongues Reading & Art Series showcases BIPOC poets, writers, musicians, and other artists, including those across the gender spectrum. Most recently, she helped two local creatives to launch Firegrove Studio, Ottawa’s first all-women-of-colour, full-service creation and production company. She credits her son as the driving inspiration behind her business, community work, and art.

Website: www.kilammedia.ca
Instagram: www.instagram.com/kilammedia

 


This article is the third in a special Asian History Month series by Invest Ottawa.

Celebrate Asian Heritage and Business by registering for our upcoming event May 31, 2021.

About the AuthorAvah Taylor headshot

Jamaican-born Avah Taylor is a writer, fashion blogger and personal stylist based in Canada.

When not busy building her brand or bringing fashion to the masses through her website, she offers style makeovers and personal shopping services and is a regular contributor to Shifter Magazine.


Digital Main Street, learn more.

DMS helps small businesses impacted by COVID-19 to survive the pandemic and thrive in the new economy. Discover how the Future Proof program has helped small businesses thrive at Investottawa.ca.

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.

May 19, 2021

May is Asian Heritage Month, so the team at Invest Ottawa is continuing to celebrate some of the local entrepreneurs of Asian heritage who have taken part in some of its programs in recent months, from Digital Main Street to Starter Company Plus.

In continuation of last week’s article, today we take a look at two more entrepreneurs who are adding some unique flavour to the food and beverage industry right here in Ottawa.


Melanie Ang - Owner of Backcountry Wok proudly holding up her packaged product.Melanie Ang // Backcountry Wok

Melanie Ang is the proud founder of one of the most unique food and beverage offerings in the capital, Backcountry Wok, serving Asian-inspired means to the backcountry explorer.

Melanie first got the idea for the company while doing her Master’s in Marine Biology. Spending a lot of time in the backcountry herself for both research and pleasure, she ate a lot of dehydrated food and noted the lack of quality and options, and their single-use packaging.

Her now two and a half-year-old company not only provides tasty dehydrated camping meals in three flavours, including their popular Thai green curry with rice, but their meals are all plant-based, gluten-free, made from locally-sourced ingredients, and come in 100% compostable bags making less of an impact on the environment. 

For information about Backcountry Wok visit:

Website: backcountrywok.com

Instagram: @backcountry_wok

 

Jacky Leung - Owner - Eggroll Factory with a string of prize tickets from a carnival game.

Jacky Leung // Egg Roll Factory

Jacky Leung is a serial entrepreneur who recently went through Invest Ottawa’s Digital Main St. program to help his business make the transition to online. “It was a workload off my shoulders,” he said when asked about his time in the program.

Jacky has started many businesses over the years, most recently, the Egg Roll Factory. His reason for taking the leap into the Japanese and Chinese cuisine business was simple – financial independence.

After being bit by the entrepreneurship bug, the then Algonquin College business administration student left school to start the restaurant, taking a family egg roll recipe and making it his own.

“I wanted to start a small wholesaling business primarily selling eggrolls to other businesses for resale”, he recalls. “I asked a realtor friend to look for a small space for me and at the time my future store had just been listed. I struck a deal with the landlord and Egg Roll Factory was born. I ended up not bothering with wholesaling egg rolls as I didn’t want to waste the potential of a fully set up Chinese takeout restaurant.”

Never one to get comfortable, Jacky has two more restaurants opening in the very near future – Egg Roll Express, a spinoff of the existing restaurant and brand, and Senpei coming soon to 2280 Carling. If the past six years at Egg Roll Factory are any indication, his latest ventures will be a resounding success.

For more information about Egg Roll Factory visit:

Website: eggrollfactory.ca

Facebook: /eggrollfactory

This article is the second in a special Asian History Month series by Invest Ottawa.

Celebrate Asian Heritage and Business by registering for our upcoming event May 31, 2021.

About the Author

Kevin Bourne headshot. An image of him standing in front of a brick wall.Kevin Bourne, also known as “KB The Boss” or simply “KB”, is an Ottawa-based media/entertainment entrepreneur, freelance journalist, and media personality.

The former political staffer is quickly becoming a staple in Ottawa and Canada’s cultural landscape as both a commentator and freelancer, appearing nationally on CBC News Network and locally on CTV, CBC Radio, CityNews, and 580 CFRA and having been published in ByBlacks, the Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Business Journal. Doubling as CEO of the PR and content marketing firm SHIFTER Agency Inc. and editor-in-chief at SHIFTER magazine, Kevin has covered some of Canada’s top red carpet events, from the Juno Awards to the Canadian Screen Awards and has interviewed everyone from Kevin Hart to “Fast and the Furious” star Tyrese Gibson. He is currently co-host of The Morning Shift, Ottawa’s daily hip-hop morning radio show on CHUO 89.1FM.

He is also a board member at the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition and the Ottawa Film Office and was recently named to the TEDx Kanata Leadership Committee and Ottawa Life Magazine’s Best of Ottawa: Activists & Changemakers list for 2020.


Digital Main Street, learn more.

The Digital Main Street program helps small businesses impacted by COVID-19 to survive the pandemic and thrive in the new economy. Discover how the Future Proof program has helped small businesses thrive at Investottawa.ca.

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.

May 19, 2021
4 mins | 1000 words
By: Jenn Campbell

A bad experience supplying a customer a few years ago gave Niek Van Dierdonck an idea for a new company. Now he’s at the helm of a scaling startup that offers logistics hardware and software as a solution.  

The problem 

Profile picture of Niek Van Dierdonck - CEO of RedLore

Niek Van Dierdonck – CEO of RedLore

When Niek Van Dierdonck was working for a European automotive company, he remembers his biggest challenge was always getting the goods to its customers. During one attempted delivery, one of his employees was distracted and failed to put a pallet on a truck, resulting in the empty-handed customer threatening to levy a large non-delivery penalty feeVan Dierdonck chartered a helicopter to fly the products in question to his customer, keeping them happy and avoiding the fee.   

The solution 

Creative design showcasing online order fulfillment

That lesson stuck with him and in 2018, he founded a company called RedLore that would prevent such crises. His company designs and rents small Internet-of-Things devices that attach to pallets, packages and goods, and track their whereabouts. Had the automotive company had such technology, it would have known immediately that the palette with the time-sensitive delivery was languishing in a warehouse when it was supposed to be on a truck.  

Van Dierdonck says the global economy is losing about $225 billion each year to such supply-chain inefficiencies, but now RedLore is here to help.  

“We rent the devices out to our customers, so it’s a solution-as-a-service model,” Van Dierdonck says. “They just pay per device, per month and then they get access to dashboards where they can track their packages and see what conditions they’re in.”  

RedLore designed and built the devices, but now it subcontracts production to an Ontario manufacturer. The devices can be customized for the client’s specific needs. It can tell, for example, whether a package has seen too many vibrations over the course of its delivery journey, or, as is the case with vaccine delivery, whether it’s maintained the right temperature the whole time.  

RedLore is so named because the colour red signifies strength, power and passion, and lore refers to knowledge gained through study or experience, so it sums up the company’s mission to strengthen its customers’ supply chain through the insights that its patented Internet-of-Things and machine learning technology brings. 

The growth 

Just one year ago — in April 2020 — the nascent company had only two employees. Now it has six and it’s in the process of hiring three more. Revenues have almost doubled in a year.  

“Had COVID not happened, I think the growth would have been quite a bit larger,” Van Dierdonck says. “Business hasn’t halted, but it’s definitely slowed to about 50 per cent of what it could have been without COVID. We’re still seeing growth, which we’re very happy about, but we always want to do the maximum we can and had COVID not happened, our existing customers would certainly have ordered more and taken their ordering decisions faster. A lot of companies — especially mid-last year — moved into a very conservative position investment and spending wise. Now that it has eased, and people understand there will be an end to the pandemic, business is very good.”  

“E-commerce has meant everyone is ordering online so people are much more aware that our supply chains need to work flawlessly,” he says. “They have to be very fast and very affordable. That has made these companies much more aware that they need to invest in technology to help manage that. We haven’t seen the revenues from that, but I expect it’ll come in the next two years.”  

The company has an impressive customer roster including Ottawa company, IMI, which is North America’s largest warehouse installation company.  

“If Amazon built a new warehouse, IMI will send their people there to install conveyor belts and man forklifts. They have 3,000 people across North America,” Van Dierdonck explains.  

AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer and a multinational drink company based in Van Dierdonck’s native Belgium, is also a customer. To illustrate his technology’s broad reach, Van Dierdonck also named Relogix, an Ottawa startup that’s currently in the scale-up program at Invest Ottawa and does workplace occupancy monitoring. 

While the pandemic has slowed business overall, it has had a few silver linings for this company, chief among them the growing awareness of the importance of supply chains.

How Invest Ottawa helped 

RedLore has been participating in Invest Ottawa’s accelerator program and Van Dierdonck says he can’t “overstate the value that Invest Ottawa” had for his company.  

“It gives us access to a pool of experts and each one is a specialist in their field,” he says. “Whether it’s finance, strategy, sales — we have a pool of trusted advisers we can tap into. This type of expertise would be very expensive if we had to buy it. But not only that, it would also be hard to buy because most people aren’t interested in talking to companies like us.”  

He says Invest Ottawa has been, so far, a “major factor” in his company’s success.  

“I consider it almost a board of directors, plus plus,” he says.  

Van Dierdonck has worked at companies in France, Belgium and Germany and says the kind of service Invest Ottawa offers is lacking in those countries. In Ottawa, he was also able to access the ENCQOR program’s 5G test bed.  

“We were looking to integrate 5G into our products, but we didn’t know what 5G was going to bring us,” he says. “We wanted a quick and easy way to test it and it was very beneficial that ENCQOR had this technology that we could test at Bayview Yards. It confirmed to us that 5G had a substantial benefit for us.”  

He says they were able to get a strong signal from inside a transport truck, which indicates much better connectivity through 5G.  

“This allowed us to improve our competitiveness and our offering as a company,” Van Dierdonck says.  

Soon, RedLore will launch a pilot with one of Canada’s largest refrigerated pharmaceutical transport companies with the new technology. 

May 12, 2021

During Black History Month, Invest Ottawa took some time to celebrate some of the local Black entrepreneurs from various industries who passed through their ecosystem, whether through the Digital Main Street or Starter Company Plus programs. 

Well, May is Asian Heritage Month and, as a result, Invest Ottawa wants to celebrate some of the bold entrepreneurs and community leaders from Ottawa’s Asian community. 

In the first article of Invest Ottawa’s Asian Heritage Month series we take a look at five local entrepreneurs who are adding some unique flavour to the food and beverage industry here in Ottawa. 

Jessica Lim // Hippie MylkJessica Lim, Owner, Hippie Mylk

Local graphic designer, Jessica Lim, joined the ranks of Ottawa’s food entrepreneurs in 2018 when she founded Hippie Mylk (spelled ‘mylk’ to differentiate plant‑based milk from animal‑sourced milk). Her company produces plant-based oat milk, an uncomplicated dairy‑free alternative, handcrafted with a base blend of organic Canadian oats, Ontario hemp hearts, and local maple syrup and made without artificial fillers, additives and preservatives. 

“We believe that health begins with what you put in your body, and you shouldn’t have to compromise what you are eating just because you lead a busy life”, she explains. “That’s why our handmade oat milk is 100% natural and free from additives, fillers and carrageenan.” 

An environmentalist at heart, sustainability is woven into the very fibre of the product. Aside from being made from local whole-food ingredients, Hippie Mylk is packaged in glass mason jars that can be exchanged using their zero-waste glass bottle refill program. 

Jessica began her journey of making 100% natural homemade plant‑based milk in 2016 as a passion project out of her small apartment and quickly realized that making milk is both time‑consuming and difficult. Now based out of a commercial kitchen in Ottawa, her company was not only born out of her support for local and ethical plant-based agriculture, but a personal need. 

www.hippiemylk.com  

 

Brian Vallipuram - Owner of CoBrieBrian Vallipuram // CoBrie Restaurant & Catering 

Executive chef, Brian Vallipuram, is the founder of CoBrie Restaurant & Catering, named after his children Cody and Brianna 

The global traveller has over 40 years experience as an executive chef with stops at prestigious White Witch Restaurant at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Rose Hall, Jamaica; Panorama Resort in Panorama, British Columbia; and Grill 41 Restaurant located in the Lord Elgin Hotel here in Ottawa.  

With everything he has learned working in kitchens across Europe, North America and the Caribbean, the Sri Lankan-born chef turned entrepreneur has developed a flair for international cuisine that’s all his own. 

All of that led to him opening CoBrie Restaurant & Catering, inspired by “creativity, meeting people, international travel and my kids”, he explains. 

What sets CoBrie Restaurant & Catering apart is not only their real fusion menu, but their approach to food prep with 90% of their items being prepared from scratch.   

Prior to CoBrie, he opened Axcess Restaurant and Catering in Toronto, recognized as one of Toronto’s top ten fine dining restaurants, with his guests including notable celebrities and world leaders, from Prince and Steven Segal to Benjamin Netanyahu. 

www.cobrie.ca 

 

Christopher Lavelle // Sushi Umi Christopher Lavelle - Owner, Cafe Umi

Christopher Lavelle is the proud owner of Sushi Umi in Wellington West.

The Ottawa native got bit by the restaurant bug very early as a young teppanyaki chef here in the capital before travelling to the United States as an aspiring chef. After travelling to New York to learn different aspects of the sushi business and start a few other businesses, including a produce stand and wholesale distributions company, he returned to Lowell, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, to open his own sushi restaurant.

After his time abroad in both the United States and Asia, he then decided to move back to Ottawa because he felt it was the best place to start a family and opened Sushi Umi in 2009 after seeing the growing popularity for pre-packaged sushi.

Today, the family-run Sushi Umi provides a “fresh only” alternative for the discerning sushi lover, including fresh tuna. Every piece of sushi is made upon order and customers can customize their order to their liking and it’s this level of service that keeps them going a dozen years later.

www.sushiumi.ca  

 

Jay Lim - Owner, 5:2:8 Creative CoffeeJay S. Lim // 5:2:8 Creative Coffee Collective 

Jay S. Lim wears many hats. He’s an architect and the founder of local architecture firm 25:8 Architecture + Urban Design. He’s a teacher at Carleton University and Algonquin College teaching both design and building technology. He’s also the founder of the 5:2:8 Creative Coffee Collective, a haven for local coffee enthusiasts. 

“The goal of the 5:2:8 Creative Coffee Collective is to bring the craft of coffee to enthusiasts in Ottawa. We wanted to provide variety to coffee lovers and serve as a counter-point to ‘double-doubles’ of big chain coffee stores”, Jay explains.  

There’s also a community development mission to the collective, true to his other passions – architecture and urbanism. 

“We wanted to revitalize the Centertown neighbourhood by introducing a place that would inspire creativity and become a venue for digital nomads.” 

Every week they feature a different micro-roaster from across the globe serving a different coffee from that roaster throughout the week. This means their regular enthusiasts get the opportunity to try new flavours every day.   

“It’s like a coffee subscription without the commitment of buying an entire bag.” 

“We elevate roasters to the level of artists. We are aiming to bring coffee appreciation to that of wine or fine food. Majority of our coffee enthusiasts drink their coffee black in order to appreciate the flavours of the beans and the craft of the roasters.” 

www.528coffee.com  

 

Bhavik Mistry // Beer Snacks International  

Bhavik Mistry Beer Snacks International

©BFlemingPhotography

Bhavik Mistry is the founder of Beer Snacks International which specializes in internationally inspired snacks. Flavours

include Sweet & Spicy Malay Mix (Malasia), Sweet Beer Nuts (Canada), Sichuan Peanuts (China), Jerk Mixed Nuts (Jamaica), Adobo Peanuts (Puerto Rico), and Greek Peanuts. 

What sets their snacks apart are the interesting flavours, small batch production, beautiful packaging, and ingredients. All of Beer Snacks International’s products contain vegan ingredients with their spices carefully selected and ground in-house right here in Ottawa. 

Bhavik came up with the idea for artisanal snacks while enjoying a Bicycle Craft Beer one evening in 2016. According to Bhavik himself, the company was born out of “simple desire for a delicious snack to enjoy with some delicious craft beer.”  

Five years later, what started as a Christmas experiment has grown to a successful and still growing retail operation with its products available in select grocery stores, fine food retailers and breweries across Ontario. 

www.beersnacks.ca  

 

This article is the first in a special Asian History Month series by Invest Ottawa.

Celebrate Asian Heritage and Business by registering for our upcoming event May 31, 2021.

About the Author

Kevin Bourne headshot. An image of him standing in front of a brick wall.Kevin Bourne, also known as “KB The Boss” or simply “KB”, is an Ottawa-based media/entertainment entrepreneur, freelance journalist, and media personality.

The former political staffer is quickly becoming a staple in Ottawa and Canada’s cultural landscape as both a commentator and freelancer, appearing nationally on CBC News Network and locally on CTV, CBC Radio, CityNews, and 580 CFRA and having been published in ByBlacks, the Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Business Journal. Doubling as CEO of the PR and content marketing firm SHIFTER Agency Inc. and editor-in-chief at SHIFTER magazine, Kevin has covered some of Canada’s top red carpet events, from the Juno Awards to the Canadian Screen Awards and has interviewed everyone from Kevin Hart to “Fast and the Furious” star Tyrese Gibson. He is currently co-host of The Morning Shift, Ottawa’s daily hip-hop morning radio show on CHUO 89.1FM.

He is also a board member at the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition and the Ottawa Film Office and was recently named to the TEDx Kanata Leadership Committee and Ottawa Life Magazine’s Best of Ottawa: Activists & Changemakers list for 2020.


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