Ottawa Business Success Snapshots, June 2024 

Jun 12, 2024

Welcome once again to our monthly Ottawa Business Success Snapshots feature – celebrating companies that operating and thriving in Ottawa. 

From companies working to develop innovative tech solutions to brick-and-mortar businesses in the heart of Ottawa’s communities, each of these companies is on a unique journey, and each has a story worth telling.  

So, join us as we celebrate Warner Bros. Discovery, Frontier Skincare and Whimble Care.  


Warner Bros. Discovery Thrives in Ottawa – Seeks to Grow Local Team 

Ottawa has a reputation for helping global companies grow. The city’s thriving tech ecosystem has a robust 13.3% tech talent density and an unparalleled business support system. One of the global tech companies thriving in the city is Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), which has a robust presence in Ottawa and is continuing to grow its local team. 

Warner Bros. Discovery is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates and distributes the world’s most differentiated and complete portfolio of content and brands across television, film, and streaming. Their iconic brands and products include the Discovery Channel, Max, discovery+, CNN, DC, Eurosport, HBO, Cartoon Network, and many more. 

Warner Bros. Discovery launched Max, its enhanced streaming platform offering best-in-class programming across food, home, reality, lifestyle, and documentaries from leading brands like HGTV, Food Network, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, TLC, ID and more, in the U.S. in May 2023. 

A photo of the Warner Bros. Discovery location in Ottawa on a partially sunny day.

Max is expanding into new territories this year, including Latin America on February 27 and parts of Europe on May 21. Growing the existing Ottawa team is essential to help bring the brand’s storytelling to people around the world.  

“Our team in Ottawa has been instrumental in our success in streaming,” said Avi Saxena, Chief Technology Officer, Warner Bros. Discovery. “We recognize Ottawa as a hub of technological excellence and we’re excited to continue building out our global technology team in the city, advancing our mission of delivering iconic programming to audiences worldwide.”  

The Warner Bros. Discovery technology teams are hiring for roles ranging from app and platform development and engineering roles to support those global ambitions, and the Global Expansion (GE) Team at Invest Ottawa regularly meets with WBD to help support the local operation, especially in its recruitment efforts.  

It has provided advice on Ottawa’s business environment, affordability and availability of talent in the market. GE’s Talent Team has helped augment Warner Bros. Discovery’s visibility in the Ottawa market through its services. 

“Warner Bros. Discovery is one of our top media and entertainment technology leaders, and I look forward to supporting the team as it further builds their story here in Ottawa,” said David Rodas-Wright, GE Senior Business Development Manager. 

With Warner Bros. Discovery firmly established in Ottawa’s media and entertainment technology sector and committed to further growing its operation, Invest Ottawa looks forward to working closely with the company to support its future expansion and innovation. 

 

New frontiers in skin health – with Frontier Skincare  

Co-founded by Zak Lewis and Andrew MacDonald, Frontier Skincare is making waves in the men’s skincare market in a mission to integrate skincare into every man’s daily routine.  

Logo for Frontier Skincare - featuring a simple mountain apex design in black and white with the company name at the bottom.“Our mission is to demystify skincare and empower men to take charge of their routines with confidence,” co-founder Zak Lewis explained.  “So, whether you’re new to skincare or a seasoned pro, we’re here to help you look and feel your best.” 

Since being founded in 2022, its innovative approach, focus on sustainability, and commitment to quality in men’s skincare have quickly earned them a loyal customer base in Ottawa and beyond.

A split image featuring the profile image of co-founders of Frontier Skincare Zak Lewis and Andrew MacDonald.

Co-founders of Frontier Skincare Zak Lewis (left) and Andrew MacDonald.

And as the warmer summer weather settles into the region, Zak shared that they’re looking to expand their product line by introducing a high-quality facial sunscreen to further provide products that meet the unique needs of their customers.   

“Our ultimate goal is to introduce a high-quality facial sunscreen that’s perfect for active, outdoorsy lifestyles,” he explained. “We know how important it is to protect against the sun’s UV rays, which are a major cause of early aging.” 

According to Zak, the growth journey of Frontier Skincare has been supported by Invest Ottawa through the Starter Company Plus program, which provided essential knowledge and networking opportunities in the company’s early days.  

Three containers of Frontier Skincare products are arranged in grass and leaves.

“The curriculum and professional connections were invaluable,” he wrote. “The program structure was fantastic, and the staff were incredible, but the real benefit of the program was the connection with local entrepreneurs,” he added. “We have several small groups that meet regularly to talk about everything from social media strategy to boxing ideas. The community is so supportive and inspiring.” 

Along with the help of the Starter Company Plus program, Zak also highlighted the events available through Invest Ottawa as a great source for business insights to help them find their way. “It’s helped us establish a diverse support team for our business and has helped us tackle some of the pieces of running a company that neither of us was really familiar with,” he said.  

Currently, the Frontier Skincare team is putting a strong focus on market research to better understand men’s skincare needs. Along those lines, they’ve added a survey link on to their website where anyone can fill in the questions and share their thoughts.  

“The best part,” Zak added, “everyone who completes the survey is entered into a draw to win fabulous prizes, including three grand prize winners who will get “free skincare for a year.”

  • For more information about Frontier Skincare and to stay updated on their latest products and initiatives, visit their website at frontierskincare.co – and be sure to look for the link to the survey for your chance to win! 
  • To learn more about Starter Company Plus and how you can join the next cohort, visit our Starter Company Plus page

Whimble Care Inc.: New and continued partner relationships driving a strong 2024  

Inspired by her brother’s needs, Emma Brown founded Whimble Care Inc. in 2021 to help close the gap in personal care accessibility.  

The Logo for Whimble Care Inc. Currently being offered in pilot trial form in the Ottawa area, the community-based platform aims to make accessibility a reality for individuals living with disabilities through an innovative online marketplace that connects them to skilled caregivers in their area who can help.   

Three years into her journey, 2024 has been a busy year for Emma and Whimble. In January, a partnership was announced between Whimble and Shaw Centre, as the world-class event centre sought to elevate the accessibility experience for attendees with disabilities.  

A profile image of Emma Brown - founder of Whimble Care Inc.

Founder of Whimble Care Inc. Emma Brown

Recently, Emma was also named Founder of the Year at the 2024 Bootstrap Awards, recognizing Ottawa entrepreneurs who have grown their company to achieve success with limited investment funding.  

Now, as festival season approaches here in the Ottawa region, Whimble is continuing to build on its relationships with venue organizers, aiming to enhance accessibility at its in-person events.   

Whimble had an initial opportunity to pilot its on-site attendant care service in 2023 through a collaboration with the Ottawa Valley Curling Association’s Learn to Wheelchair Curl program last year. Fueled by that experience and the lessons learned, Whimble then teamed up with the Nepean Sailing Club’s ABLE Sail program, practicing their services and getting feedback from the programs in June.

A person walks along the curved window of the PROOF gallery, alongside someone in a wheelchair.

Soon after, they had their first opportunity to collaborate with Bluesfest to ensure inclusivity. It was a first “big event experience” that Emma described as “really positive” that eventually led to continued collaboration through the CityFolk festival“Bluesfest and CityFolk already realized they had a gap,” Emma said. “When reaching out, they just got it.”   

And now, as the festival season in Ottawa approaches, Whimble will provide its accessibility services at both festivals again in 2024.  

As a founder who’s faced the challenges of building a business during the pandemic, Emma credits Invest Ottawa’s Ignition program for helping her navigate the challenges of funding and the isolation often faced by entrepreneurs.  

“Invest Ottawa has been instrumental in our growth,” she said. “Their resources and network have opened doors we couldn’t have accessed on our own.”  

Looking ahead, Whimble Care Inc. aims to continue its growth trajectory, with plans to expand its service area into a new market, and to develop its platform further. 

  • The IO Venture Path is a portfolio of Invest Ottawa’s venture programs designed to help Ottawa’s startups and scaleups shorten their path to success. Each program is designed to serve tech companies’ unique needs at different growth stages.  Learn more about the Venture Path programs. 

Are you looking to start or grow your business?   

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