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Ask an Expert: Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing
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Ask an Expert: Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

Of all the milestones that come with building a startup, very few compare to the feeling that happens when you get your first paying customer. Finally, someone believes in you and is willing to pay for your solution! All that hard work feels worth it and you have the motivation and validation you need to move forward. Pat Crosscombe, CEO & Founder of BoardSpace, has been chasing that feeling since 2013 when she first came up with the idea for her startup. After five years as President of her condo’s Board of Directors Pat was fed up with the time it took to get meeting minutes approved and spending way too much time on administrative tasks instead of on more important duties. Pat decided to build a software for condo boards to streamline this administrative burden and save directors and property managers time and money. Pat now is looking for customers for her all-in-one board management software ready for use by condos, HOAs (homeowners' associations), Community Associations, and non-profits.
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Invest Ottawa clients making waves on Dragons’ Den
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Invest Ottawa clients making waves on Dragons’ Den

Audition-based TV shows have dominated networks over the last 10 years: X-Factor, The Voice, America’s Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars, American Idol (R.I.P)…the list goes on and on. These shows gave us Carrie Underwood, One Direction and even William Hung (from his tone-deaf rendition of “She Bangs”) and thus began a new era of couch counseling – a term I just made up! While it’s easy to offer sage advice from the safety of your own living room, putting yourself in the performers’ shoes can prove to be much harder. Especially when so much is on the line.
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3 Reasons Ottawa is best in the world for digital entrepreneurs

Ottawa is the capital of the best place in the world for young, digital entrepreneurs, according to Ernst & Young’s G20 Entrepreneurship Barometer.
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#OttawaINC: TYR Tactical
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#OttawaINC: TYR Tactical

While serving in the American Military, Jason Beck always had dreams of creating and designing products. A true entrepreneur, Beck convinced a luggage manufacturer in Georgia (where he was posted) to teach him the ins and outs of high-end sewing. He then parlayed those skills into making and improving his own body armour. This quickly led to fellow soldiers putting in their orders.
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Ottawa a Tech Hub? What you said….

I think I struck a nerve with this piece. The reactions were swift and abundant. The collective theme underpinning every comment, “Finally, somebody said it!!!!” You have to understand, the prominence of Ottawa’s tech community is a conversation debated in coffee joints, bars and Shawarma shops throughout the city. Tech has played a large role in shaping the city’s recent past, so people often try to envision what the future holds.
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OTTAWA: FIND A JOB & AFFORD TO LIVE!
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OTTAWA: FIND A JOB & AFFORD TO LIVE!

A quick recap. First: A gauntlet was thrown down reminding the world that Ottawa is a tech hub. Second: A compilation of the comments, nice and not-so-nice. So now what? Well I want to turn back time and revisit that great piece by Bobbi Brant of Expert Market titled the “World’s Best Tech Hubs to Live and Work In”. It’s a hot take on which one of these tech hubs will leave you strapped for cash and which ones will make it rain.
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#OttawaInc – Caffeine 1Up
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#OttawaInc – Caffeine 1Up

Who says work and play can’t go hand in hand? One geeky entrepreneur is proving they can, with her brand new videogame café called Caffeine 1Up. Heather Powell is the woman and owner behind the café. A devoted gamer since the age of four, Powell even met her husband while playing an online game. Combining her geekdom with her twelve years’ experience in coffee service, the Caffeine 1UP café was the natural result. The café, located on Rideau Street, welcomes both seasoned and rookie gamers to come enjoy a nosh, a cuppa, and a bit of gaming fun, with over two hundred titles at their fingertips.
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Ask an Expert: How to transform a free model to a paid platform
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Ask an Expert: How to transform a free model to a paid platform

The problem with fundraisers in a single sentence: they make it so darn hard to donate! Now granted, this may not always be true for some charitable events. They may be equipped with a hoard of credit card machines and volunteers ready to handle the copious donations at the drop of a hat. But with the gradual shift from physical money to online payments and plastic cards, donating to even the worthiest cause can be a struggle. That’s why uOttawa students Liora Raitblat and Lemuel Barango created Go Give Back; “Your mobile donation platform.” Go Give Back launched an app that collects on-the-go donations and analytics for charities. It’s as simple as a donor tapping on his or her phone and sending money to the worthy cause in a matter of seconds. The startup has already worked with great non-for-profits such as Habitat for Humanity, Causeway Foundation, ONFE, and have their sights set on becoming the go-to solution for mobile donating (so if you know who might need the help, give them a shout). "We're really excited to be working with some incredible charities and nonprofits in Ottawa, and we’re already seeing how the platform is providing a more instant and engaging channel for their donors. The work is very rewarding, and we're looking forward to expanding the platform to build stronger communities!" But the one question on Liora’s & Lemuel’s minds is what do you have to consider when creating pricing? Currently, Go Give Back runs on a free model and is considering a move towards monthly payment plan. “How do you communicate that change to your current and future customers,” Liora asks “is it best to keep a small tier for a free plan?”
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Co-op Students Are Secret Weapon of Ottawa Tech Company
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Co-op Students Are Secret Weapon of Ottawa Tech Company

Coming to work in a Barney costume might be taboo in most offices, but at You.i TV it was just another day at the office for Travis Swan, who worked for You.i TV as a co-op student in the fall of 2015.
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Ask an Expert: How do I solve the “Chicken or the Egg” problem?
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Ask an Expert: How do I solve the “Chicken or the Egg” problem?

What came first, the chicken or the egg? An age old as this question may be, this classic conundrum has a lot of weight in the startup community today; primarily with companies which linger in the space of double sided marketplaces. Unlike traditional businesses, a double-sided marketplace interacts with two types of customers; one with a demand and the other with a supply. Their business creates a platform which allows the two sides to exchange services.
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Ask an Expert: What do you prioritize to quickly grow in a competitive industry?
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Ask an Expert: What do you prioritize to quickly grow in a competitive industry?

For the first time ever, there are now more people in Canada age 65 and over than there are under age 15, according to Statistics Canada. The number of seniors is expected to increase steadily in the foreseeable future. As a unanimous feeling, the well-being of aging relatives always seems to pang the hearts of family members. That’s why Felipe Izquierdo, Nick Petryna, and Elizabeth Audette-Bourdeau decided to start the seniors care conversation by launching their app: Welbi.
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IO-Report: Summer 2016
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IO-Report: Summer 2016

The summer is finally here and although it’s the perfect time for vacationing and lounging by the beach, the Ottawa ecosystem never takes a day off! Here are a few of our highlights from the past months.
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#OttawaInc – Legend

Mobile technology is now so ubiquitous; society at large has grown accustomed to any good, service or piece of information being available with the simplest of swipes. Its impacted industries of all breeds, as companies race to provide end users with the solutions they need. While other global players battle for screen time in the realms of transportation, accommodation and romance, Legend from the UK, has quietly been building a software empire within an industry ripe for transition.
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OttawaINC: SpartanBio

In their recent report, the Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO), a non-profit dedicated to positioning the province as a world leader in health science technology, declared that in order to capitalize on the $9-Trillion dollar Global Health Economy, Canada must facilitate an environment of innovation and growth. The report stated that Canadian companies are competitive players but not differentiated, ultimately making it difficult to stand out on a global stage. But the Ottawa start-up community is ready to change this. Strong government support and leading academic institutions offer a wide talent pool, research facilities, and funding possibilities to companies in the Nation’s capital. As an example, MedDev Commercialization Centre (MDCC) is helping corporations bring their products to the global market by reducing barriers to commercialization. The City of Ottawa is bolstering innovation, and Invest Ottawa is facilitating relationships for the Life Sciences sector in foreign markets. It’s perfect timing for Ottawa’s Spartan Bioscience to bring its next-generation device to the market.
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Bayview Yards Innovation Centre Announcement
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Bayview Yards Innovation Centre Announcement

Over 350 people gathered at the site of the Bayview Innovation Center Wednesday for the unveiling of an $8 Million dollar injection from the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario.) The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development delivered the announcement and was joined by representatives from all levels of government. “The Government of Canada is focused on supporting businesses to obtain the tools they need to succeed. We are doing this by investing in smart, collaborative partnerships that fuel growth. This project will open doors for a number of small and medium-sized businesses in high-growth sectors, and will lead to the development of innovative products and technologies here in our Nation’s capital.”
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#OttawaInc: TradeDesk

The on-demand workforce is becoming very prevalent in today’s society. Consumers want fast, convenient services and hordes of temporary employees are lining up to fill their demands. Need a ride? A contracted driver will arrive at your doorstep within minutes. Having trouble building your Ikea bookcase? A personal handyman can come to your house to assemble it for you. Yes, the industry is filled with services & workers that are vying to meet the needs of consumers. But what if you’re a company that’s in need of a part time worker? TradeDesk is the next up-and-coming contender in the on-demand marketplace. They service the trades industry to connect skilled job seekers such as electricians, labourers, and welders with employers on temporary job sites; and address the ever growing need for on-demand employees. Their platform makes it simple to either find or provide work and specifically focuses on the materials handling sector.
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Truform Chats Entrepreneurship in Ottawa

As the child of an entrepreneur, Gillian Woods had always figured that one day she would be running her own show. However when faced with the ‘anticipated headaches’ of being her own boss- the tax implications, the client relations, the marketing- as well as the unclear process of how to begin a design firm, she settled for the life of an employee. It was never a question of whether she had the talent for it, though. Woods went into Interior Design from a Degree in Science without any previous experience in drawing or design and was able to harness her incredible creativity to excel in her work. When she was finally in the industry, she was personally sought out for private work and consultations outside of her job. As her opportunity increased, Woods’ hereditarily entrepreneurial spirit returned and this time she asserted to act upon it.
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#OttawaInc: ChangeJar

In the startup world, the fintech space has been heating up as of late. Whether it's small firms making the big banks nervous or trying to shake up the investment world, a race between the old and the new is on, to make the financial world more efficient and cost effective for everyone. Enter Ottawa's ChangeJar with a solution that hits both those marks. Say you're at a local coffee and open your wallet to find only a twenty dollar bill. Rather than get back a handful of bills and coins: swipe your smartphone and the balance is digitally dropped in your ChangeJar account. No fees and no fuss.
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Victoire Chats Entrepreneurship in Ottawa
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Victoire Chats Entrepreneurship in Ottawa

Stacked with homegrown labels, floral wallpaper, and classic (but edgy) styles, Victoire Boutique is the store women across Ottawa have always wanted. The boutique first opened ten years ago in the heart of the capital by long-time friends Regine Paquette and Katie Frappiere. And it quickly became one of Ottawa’s go-to places for ageless staples and high-quality Canadian design. “What makes Victoire special to me is the connections we’ve been able to establish between our designers and our customers,” explains Regine, “I really love that our customers are a part of that process (of things being made and creation in Canada) and it’s not just buying something at a shop and you don’t know where it comes from or how it was made.”
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President’s Report – Spring 2016
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President’s Report – Spring 2016

The importance of Canada’s innovation economy has quickly become a key priority for government at all levels of office. Prime Minister Trudeau has signaled that knowledge-based businesses will be a key focus for the Liberals and their Ontario counterparts have said the same. With that in mind, Invest Ottawa had the privilege of hosting two very special guests within just a few short weeks of each other.
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