Author Archives: Lindsay Kavanagh

Posted in News, Press Releases
Dec 14, 2021

December 14, 2021 – Ottawa, ON – Invest Ottawa is thrilled to announce the graduation of Fellow from the IO Accelerator program. The flagship Invest Ottawa program for entrepreneurs is designed to help founders grow and scale on their Venture Path.

“To witness what an experienced founding team like Aydin, Amin and Sam have done from idea stage to Series A, has been simply amazing – and the Fellow app won over our team along the way, as we continue to use it daily,” said Nick Quain, VP Venture at Invest Ottawa.

Quain acknowledges that the IO Accelerator is better at supporting Ottawa founders today after having Fellow as one of the client companies, and suspects that the same will occur now that Fellow will be part of Invest Ottawa’s ScaleUp program.

“We have truly been so lucky to be able to support Fellow over the last several years, not only because they have been a pleasure to work with, but Aydin has been an amazing leader in our community in terms of supporting other founders and providing feedback to Invest Ottawa along the way to up our game.”

Fellow joined the IO Accelerator program in 2018 and has grown to be a leading meeting productivity platform that equips customers such as Shopify, Uber, Motorola, and SurveyMonkey to have effective meetings. Fellow provides teams the tools to ensure meetings are productive with collaborative meeting agendas, listed action items, and meeting templates. Since joining, Fellow grew from six full time employees (FTE’s) at launch to more than 50 FTEs in Q4 of 2021. Most recently, Fellow secured a $24 million USD Series A funding, which is an addition to the $6.5 million USD in seed funding that they raised in 2019.

“Unproductive meetings don’t just waste the precious resource of time — they ultimately cost businesses billions of dollars per year. Fellow solves this problem by helping leaders manage their meetings and teams more efficiently. As a purpose-built tool for meetings, Fellow supports every type of meeting out there — from one-on-ones to project kickoff meetings and stand-ups. It’s rare that there is a problem large enough, important enough and impactful enough like this that remains unsolved.” said Aydin Mirzaee, CEO and co-founder at Fellow. “We really appreciate all of what Invest Ottawa did for us in the last stage and are very excited about what’s to come!”

In the fall, Invest Ottawa announced the results of its spring 2021 eNPS service which identified Fellow as one of the top three employers with 20+ employees and $2+ million in revenue or capital, based on the experiences of employees.

 

About the IO Accelerator

The IO Accelerator is designed to rapidly and systematically accelerate the development and commercial success of high growth technology startups. In a phased and milestone-based approach, founders push themselves over 12 to 18 months to create a scalable and globally competitive technology company. Companies receive a minimum of 10 hours of advisory services per month from experts in a variety of management fields, guidance and introductions to investors, curated market research, as well as access to the IO Accelerator co-working space and startup community.

 

About the Scale-Up Program

Designed for high-potential product-based technology firms, the Scale-Up Platform provides advisory services, networks and programming to help overcome three key challenges to rapid growth and market success – customers, revenue and talent. The platform is jointly delivered by Invest Ottawa, Communitech, and MaRs Discovery District to help scale-up firms rapidly scale revenues or teams and increase their potential of becoming $100 million companies.

 

About Fellow

Fellow Insights Inc. (Fellow) is a meeting management software company focused on creating productive meetings and fostering collaboration between managers and team members. Our goal is to build a community of managers and leaders that want to continue to get better at their craft of leading teams and to supply them with software and resources to further their pursuit. Many industry leaders are making their meetings delightful with Fellow, including Shopify, GoCardless, Hubspot, Lemonade and Warby Parker. Learn more at https://fellow.app/

 

Media Contact:

Amanda Speroni

[email protected]

613-790-1303

Posted in Press Releases
Nov 10, 2021

Ottawa startup helps to protect fellow entrepreneurs and firms in Canada’s capital while scaling-up across the country   

CAN Immunize Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards logos

November 10, 2021 –  OTTAWA, ONCANImmunize, a leading digital immunization solution provider; Invest Ottawa, lead economic development agency for knowledge-based industries; and Bayview Yards, Ottawa’s one-stop-business acceleration shop, are rolling out CANImmunize Shield at Ottawa’s innovation hub.

 

Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards are using this digital immunization tool to track and report vaccinations to facilitate and manage the safe return of entrepreneurs and companies to their 50,000-foot facility at Bayview Station Road. CANImmunize Shield is helping these organizations deliver on updated pandemic protocols they have established and keep the entrepreneurial community they serve healthy and safe.

 

CANImmunize collaborated closely with Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards on implementation and officially launched CANImmunize Shield at the innovation hub in October. At Bayview Yards, more than 100 people are currently using this digital tool to report full vaccination status as part of a safe and managed ‘return to office’ initiative.

 

Developed by Ottawa-based CANImmunize, CANImmunize Shield is a cloud-based solution that helps organizations protect their workers and the public and safely stay open by:

  • Collecting vaccination records;
  • Prioritizing and maintaining consent, privacy and the security of personal health data in accordance with current privacy regulations;
  • Encouraging vaccine uptake with intelligent secure messaging; and
  • Actively tracking vaccination rates to inform decision-making.

 

A high-growth homegrown startup, CANImmunize is a company that has benefitted directly from programs and services delivered by Invest Ottawa to scale up across the country. The rollout of their digital immunization solution creates a unique opportunity for CANImmunize to help protect fellow founders and firms at Bayview Yards.

 

“We are committed to keeping the entrepreneurs, companies and community we serve healthy and safe, during and beyond the pandemic,” said Michael Tremblay, President and CEO of Invest Ottawa, Bayview Yards and Area X.O. “CANImmunize is helping us to achieve these goals while driving our economic recovery. Founded here in Canada’s Capital, this Ottawa tech startup is implementing its novel solution coast to coast. They are achieving national economic, social and health impact while building our regional economy. We are proud to collaborate with CANImmunize and deploy their made-in-Ottawa solution at Bayview Yards.”

 

“We are thrilled to partner with Invest Ottawa, which has been a major support in helping CANImmunize scale as we develop digital vaccination solutions for Canadians through this difficult time,” says Dr. Kumanan Wilson, CEO CANImmunize. “Knowing who is vaccinated in workplaces will be key to protecting employees and customers as more people return to in-person work. CANImmunize Shield is designed to help protect both vaccinated and unvaccinated employees, which will reduce preventable illness, keep workplaces safe and open and protect the community. Our system can help stop outbreaks before they happen.”

 

“I’m a huge fan of CANImmunize and the digital solution they’ve created,” said Nick Quain, Vice President of Venture Development, Invest Ottawa. “We were supporting their team before COVID-19, so it has been impressive to watch them scale so rapidly through the pandemic. And now to see the traction, revenue growth and impact this team is achieving, it’s incredibly exciting.”

 

“We are helping businesses and organizations in Ottawa and across Canada securely manage the risk of COVID-19,” says Alicia St. Hill, Vice President, Business Development, CANImmunize. “Our team is committed to helping businesses reopen and operate safely. We have the tools and know-how to implement these new measures privately and securely and scale to companies of all sizes.”

 

“After 20 months of working from home, the team was thrilled to have the opportunity to safely work together once again in the great collaborative environment Invest Ottawa provides at Bayview,” said Dave McIlhagga, Founder and CEO, MapSherpa, an IO Accelerator client company at Bayview Yards. “The CANImmunize App made the process seamless, ensured our team’s personal data was protected, and gave us the confidence that everyone in the building would be vaccinated as well.”

 

“We are thrilled to see an Ottawa-based company, CANImmunize, equipping entrepreneurs and businesses supported by Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards with an important tool as they strive to protect employees, stay operational and contribute to the economic growth of our region,” says Sueling Ching, President and CEO, Ottawa Board of Trade. “The rollout of the CANImmunize Shield tool addresses these shared goals. Over the last few months, we collaborated closely on the distribution of rapid COVID-19 test kits to local businesses. The rollout of this digital immunization tool is another critical step will propel founders and firms in the Capital forward safely.”

 

About CANImmunize
CANImmunize is an Ottawa-based technology company specializing in immunization software and 2021 recipient of the CANHealth Network’s Company of the Year award. It developed the CANImmunize app, a pan-Canadian digital immunization tracking system that helps Canadians keep track of their vaccinations with a mobile app and web portal. The team offers digital solutions to businesses, health care organizations and governments for vaccinations and tracking for the COVID-19 vaccine and other immunization needs. For additional information, please visit: www.canimmunize.ca.

 

About Invest Ottawa
Invest Ottawa is the lead economic development agency for knowledge-based industries in Canada’s Capital, facilitating economic growth and job creation in Ottawa.  Guided by a vision to help realize Ottawa’s full potential as a globally recognized, innovative, inclusive, and future-ready city, Invest Ottawa delivers venture development, global expansion and talent programs and services that catalyze the growth and success of entrepreneurs and firms.  These include small business training, mentorship, acceleration for technology firms, foreign business and investment attraction, local business retention and expansion in targeted sectors, commercialization, and marketing Ottawa’s diversified economy and high quality of life.  Invest Ottawa is also the founder and manager of Area X.O, the futureplex of innovation and collaboration. Since 2012, Invest Ottawa has worked with thousands of startups, scale-ups and SMEs; helped firms to attract more than $992 million in capital; contributed to the creation of more than 11,178 jobs; and attracted more than $1 billion in domestic and Foreign Direct Investment. For additional information, please visit: investottawa.ca

 

About Bayview Yards
Bayview Yards is Ottawa’s one-stop business acceleration shop and the first entrepreneurial hub of its kind in Canada’s National Capital Region. An epicentre for job creation, Bayview Yards serves as basecamp for some of Ottawa’s greatest homegrown technology talent, capabilities, and companies. It is the ultimate mash-up of technological, business and market capabilities that help entrepreneurs and firms to launch, grow and thrive. Leveraging $38 million from the City of Ottawa, Province of Ontario, and the Government of Canada, and more than $1.3 million from founding sponsors, Bayview Yards brings together many organizations that provide services and support to entrepreneurs and firms.

 

This includes Invest Ottawa, anchor tenant and strategic partner, which delivers its economic development programs and works with fellow academic, public, and private sector partners. Harnessing the power of these partnerships, Bayview Yards assembles many ingredients for commercial success under one roof.  These include incubation and meeting space; business programs, services, and support; prototyping tools and technologies; market linkages; and access to investment. These offerings work together to accelerate business growth and success and stimulate new jobs and wealth creation in the Ottawa economy.  For more information, please visit: www.bayviewyards.org

 

Media Contacts

Kim Barnhardt

Communications Lead

CANImmunize

[email protected]

 

Sonya Shorey

Vice President, Strategy, Marketing and Communications

Invest Ottawa, Bayview Yards and Area X.O

Cell: 613.851.9416

[email protected]

 

Photo 1: The CANImmunize team celebrates the rollout of their award-winning digital immunization tracking tool with Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards to support the safe return of entrepreneurs and companies to Ottawa’s innovation hub.

Nick Quain, Vice President, Venture Development, Invest Ottawa; Kathryn Denize, Senior Product Manager; Alicia St. Hill, Vice President, Business Development; and Dr. Kumanan Wilson, CEO, all of CANImmunize.

Left to right: Nick Quain, Vice President, Venture Development, Invest Ottawa; Kathryn Denize, Senior Product Manager; Alicia St. Hill, Vice President, Business Development; and Dr. Kumanan Wilson, CEO, all of CANImmunize.

 

Photo 2: Launched in October, CANImmunize Shield is helping Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards track and report vaccinations and keep the entrepreneurial community they serve healthy and safe.

Left to right: Nick Quain, Vice President, Venture Development; Megan Maltby, Manager, IO Accelerator, Invest Ottawa; Dr. Kumanan Wilson, CEO, and Alicia St. Hill, Vice President, Business Development, CANImmunize; Lisa Hewston, Senior Manager, Infrastructure Services, Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards; Marissa DiNardo, Community Engagement Specialist, Invest Ottawa; and Kathryn Denize, Senior Product Manager, CANImmunize.

Left to right: Nick Quain, Vice President, Venture Development; Megan Maltby, Manager, IO Accelerator, Invest Ottawa; Dr. Kumanan Wilson, CEO, and Alicia St. Hill, Vice President, Business Development, CANImmunize; Lisa Hewston, Senior Manager, Infrastructure Services, Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards; Marissa DiNardo, Community Engagement Specialist, Invest Ottawa; and Kathryn Denize, Senior Product Manager, CANImmunize.

 

 

Posted in News, Press Releases
Nov 13, 2020

Capital angel network logo and invest ottawa logo

Ottawa, Ontario – October 19, 2020: The Capital Angel Network, a group of angel investors in the Ottawa-Gatineau Region, and Invest Ottawa, lead economic development agency for knowledge-based industries in Canada’s Capital, are delighted to announce the winners of the first SheBoot pitch competition hosted on Thursday, October 15, 2020.

Hosted during the kickoff of AccelerateOTT Virtual, the flagship entrepreneurship conference hosted by Invest Ottawa, all 10 women founders in the inaugural SheBoot cohort competed for $200,000 in funding.  The entrepreneurs pitched their business live for investors and AccelerateOTT participants with the following founders claiming awards:

  • Julie MacDonnell, Co-Founder and CEO of Heirlume, an AI-based technology company that makes the complex process of trademarking fast, accurate, trusted, and affordable: Top prize of $150,000 in funding.
  • Audrey Bond, Founder and CEO of Vaultt, an encrypted information management and communication platform to help families, caregivers and home care agencies securely store, manage and share vital information, updates, documents, schedules and tasks: Second prize of $50,000 in funding.
  • Shannon Ferguson, Co-Founder and CEO of FanSaves, a digital couponing platform that features discounts and deals from sponsors and affiliates brands of organizations, teams, events, chambers, influencers and more: Tied for Crowd Favorite Award with an opportunity to pitch the Capital Angel Network.
  • Cassie Myers, Founder and CEO of Lunaria, a technology company that provides complete diversity, equity and inclusion solutions that put people first and drive real returns: Tied for Crowd Favorite Award with an opportunity to pitch the Capital Angel Network.

Established by Invest Ottawa and the Capital Angel Network, SheBoot aims to address long-standing systemic challenges in the investment landscape by increasing funding for women founders and the number of women making investments.  It is a critical objective as only 2.7 percent of global venture capital is currently allocated to women entrepreneurs.

The intensive four-week investment-ready bootcamp designed by women founders and investors concluded with pitch competition that awarded $200,000 in capital including:

  • $100,000 in equity-based funding from women investors in the Capital Angel Network
  • $100,000 in non-dilutive funding (which does not require the founders to give-up equity) through the Scale-Up Platform supported by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and delivered by Invest Ottawa in Eastern Ontario

Invest Ottawa and the Capital Angel Network look forward to hosting the next SheBoot bootcamp in 2021.

 

Featured Quotes

“Women entrepreneurs face unique and systemic challenges, which have been amplified by the COVID-19 crisis. Through SheBoot, led by Invest Ottawa and the Capital Angel Network and with support from FedDev Ontario, more women founders can access the expertise, networking and investment needed to grow their tech businesses. The Government of Canada is here to support women entrepreneurs and small businesses, and work together to build a stronger, better Canada for everyone. Congratulations to the 10 participants of the inaugural SheBoot cohort and to the winners of the pitch competition.”

  • The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“On behalf of the Capital Angel Network (CAN), Invest Ottawa and our many partners, I would like to thank all founders who participated in SheBoot.  It was amazing to experience the progress of all entrepreneurs over the last four weeks.  I am also delighted Heirlume, our SheBoot pitch winner, becomes the 100th company supported by CAN.  This is an exciting milestone for our organization. Over the last 10 years, less than 20 percent of our portfolio firms included a women founder. With the many talented women-owned firms that participated in SheBoot, we expect this number to be far greater in the future.”

  • Jennifer Francis, Investor, Chair of the Capital Angel Network, Director of the Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards Board, and SheBoot Co-Founder and Program Leader

“I am delighted with the outcomes achieved by all founders in our inaugural cohort of SheBoot. This program truly reinforces the power of collaboration.  We are incredibly grateful for the commitment of all participating entrepreneurs, and more than 50 women investors, founders and leaders helping to deliver this program. As our ultimate goal is to help all ten founders acquire investment, we look forward to supporting the long-term growth of each company. This includes on-going coaching from SheBoot mentors and ghost board members. We look forward to celebrating the on-going success of all firms.”

  • Julia Elvidge, Investor, Invest Ottawa Advisor, Director of the Capital Angel Network Board, and SheBoot Co-Founder and Program Leader

“It was an honour to collaborate with 10 amazing founders through SheBoot and celebrate their powerful pitches during the launch of AccelerateOTT.  This bootcamp directly supports bold goals we have established with our community as part of our Female Founder and Womxn-Owned Business Strategy. We aim to help Ottawa become the greatest region in the world for women founders from every walk of life to launch, grow and scale successful global firms.

  • Sonya Shorey, Vice President of Strategy, Marketing and Communications, Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards, SheBoot Co-Founder and Program Leader

“We are an extremely high growth startup that fulfils all the criteria of a venture-backed company. Based on the diversity and intersectionality of our founding and executive team, statistics show we have a less than a one percent chance of being funded through traditional sources. Programs such as SheBoot are lifesavers to startups such as Heirlume.  They are critical to our success and the success of many other women-led firms. SheBoot equipped us with training, expertise and funding will help catalyze our long-term growth, sustainability and success.”

  • Julie MacDonnell, Co-Founder and CEO, Heirlume; First place winner of the SheBoot Pitch Competition

“I am very grateful to Invest Ottawa and the Capital Angel Network for the opportunity to participate in SheBoot. In addition to winning $50,000 in non-dilutive funding for my firm, I gained invaluable skills and relationships that will propel our business growth. It is very challenging to launch and grow a tech startup. Few succeed, and women founders have an even steeper hill to climb. SheBoot helps women tech founders acquire more investment in a world where less than 3 percent of global venture funding goes to women entrepreneurs. I’m very thankful for all those who champion and support women tech founders.”

  • Audrey Bond, Founder & CEO at Vaultt.com

“As a mixed-race Black woman working in technology, I am no stranger to the odds stacked against me to raise capital, no matter the success of Lunaria.  The statistics get even worse when we look to LGBTQ2+ and Indigenous founders. SheBoot offered an incredible opportunity to learn how to package our technology, customer interactions, and team to get the capital needed to continue our growth. Programs like SheBoot are critical to fight against systemic discrimination and provide successful, sustainable and promising minority-owned businesses the capital needed to accelerate their growth. I’m very grateful for SheBoot and the mentorship, community and learning provided to get Lunaria to the next level.”

  • Cassie Myers, Founder and CEO, Lunaria

“Raising money has become a big focus of ours at FanSaves as we continue to scale and SheBoot couldn’t have come at a better time. The program has given me a wealth of knowledge and the confidence to walk into investor meetings with a much better grasp on our business. Being a woman in tech seeking investment comes with its own set of challenges but I now have the tools to break down those barriers and ensure we get funded.”

  • Shannon Ferguson, Co-founder and CEO, FanSaves

 

Backgrounder: Why “Womxn”?

The word ‘women’ is an alternative term to the English language word ‘women’. We use this term to explicitly include those who identify as women, transgender women, women of colour and non-binary individuals. This choice supports our concerted effort to create a culture of belonging.

 

About the Capital Angel Network

Founded in 2009, the Capital Angel Network (CAN) has invested in almost 100 in startups in the National Capital Region over the last decade. Since the inception of this network, CAN members have invested more than $30 million into early-stage companies, with 90 percent of these firms based in Canada’s Capital. This funding has also leveraged more than $250 million in additional investment through government contributions, syndication with other angel groups, and venture capital funds. Our portfolio has seen nine exits that provided a positive return for investors. Our membership currently includes more than 50 Angels, 20 percent of whom are women. In the last 12 months, our members have made ten new investments and nine follow-on investments, that total $5 million. For additional information, please visit: www.capitalangels.ca/

 

About Invest Ottawa

Invest Ottawa is the lead economic development agency for knowledge-based industries in Canada’s Capital, facilitating economic growth and job creation in the City of Ottawa. Guided by a vision to help realize Ottawa’s full potential as a globally recognized, innovative and future-ready city, Invest Ottawa delivers venture development, global expansion and talent programs and services that catalyze the growth and success of entrepreneurs and firms. These include small business training, mentorship, acceleration for technology firms, foreign business and investment attraction, local business retention and expansion in targeted sectors, commercialization, and marketing Ottawa’s diversified economy and high quality of life. Invest Ottawa is also the founder and manager of Area X.O, the futureplex of innovation and collaboration. Since 2012, Invest Ottawa has worked with thousands of entrepreneurs and companies; helped firms attract more than $666 million in capital; contributed to the creation of more than 9,714 jobs; and attracted $862 million in domestic and foreign investment.  For additional information, please visit: investottawa.ca

 

About FedDev Ontario

For more than 10 years, FedDev Ontario has actively worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving their productivity, growing their revenues, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Read more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario.

 

Media Contact

Sonya Shorey

Vice President, Strategy, Marketing and Communications

Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards

613.851.9416

[email protected]