Source: Invest Ottawa’s President and CEO, Bruce Lazenby in the Ottawa Business Journal

This year “innovation” is our mantra. Our goal is to make Ottawa “the most innovative city in Canada.”

Often difficult to quantify, the pieces of an innovation tapestry are being woven into place.CENGN has seen tremendous success since opening their doors last fall. A leader in the rapid commercialization of communication products, applications and services, they have generated interest from companies and researchers, from across the country, hoping to bring their technologies to market.  Last week, CENGN announced their first five participants, which include Ottawa companies CENX and Corsa. The projects will have far reaching applications in areas such as healthcare, energy, education, financial services and the environment.L-Spark launched its incubator program this past winter, merely three months after opening its doors!  It is now accepting applications for the Fall 2015 accelerator session.

At Invest Ottawa, three startups have graduated from our facilities and are now making their mark in the Ottawa ecosystem.  Gymtrack , on the heels of raising $2.5 million in seed money, has expanded its staff and footprint. The firm, which uses wearable tech to track workouts, are set to launch their first connected facility at Algonquin College. NGF Geomatics (now RME) was acquired by agriculture and construction equipment dealers, Rocky Mountain Equipment. The firm will retain and expand their operations in the Ottawa Valley. And Spoonity, which is building the next generation of customer loyalty and quick pay, has quickly expanded their client base and operation.

Finally, four of our portfolio companies broke their piggybanks, combined their resources and travelled down to Silicon Valley for a two week marathon of meetings and networking. Their trip invigorated the fledgling companies with new connections and ideas.

Looking abroad, Invest Ottawa signed a landmark agreement with Brazil’s top entrepreneurial ecosystem, PLUG. During a recent visit to Sao Paulo, Invest Ottawa and PLUG took the opportunity to set out an action plan which includes delivering learning opportunities, facilitating soft-landing opportunities and planning trade and start up missions to Ottawa and Sao Paulo. Our Investment and Trade team also conducted another successful trade mission to China and is currently hosting numerous delegations from India. The groups are assessing opportunities to partner with Ottawa technology firms.

Looking ahead, shovels are soon to break ground for the Innovation Centre, LRT is on-track, and Windmill’s new $1 billion Zibi project will be a huge catalyst for development and ideas as we march toward 2017.

All these threads come together to create a vivid and vibrant tapestry. Ottawa’s technology sector is back to electric levels of productivity, as we slowly raise the flag of “Canada’s most innovative city.”