The Report on Small Business recently invited young entrepreneurs from Ottawa to a networking event at Shopify's office
The Report on Small Business recently invited dozens of young entrepreneurs from Ottawa for a special networking event at Shopify's office.
As part of the evening, we hosted a a live photo blog on the Globe’s website, and shot video with attendees.
The event was sponsored by Invest Ottawa and drinks were provided by Kichesippi Beer and Harvey and Vern's soda.
Scroll through the following photos to learn more about some of the small business owners and startup founders in attendance.
NICK MAY, founder of REMAY
Remay is a brand of shaving cream, unique because it is in a solid form.
Why I became an entrepreneur: To be able to create something that didn’t exist, then have it appear on the shelf of a store.
Greatest challenge: Making the decision to slow down and take short-term pain for long-term gain.
Favourite business book: The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris. Fun to read, great tips on time management, market testing and reducing your workload.
Best advice: Take what you learn in university and use it in real life.
One thing people don’t realize about Ottawa: Many smart engineers have lost jobs in Ottawa and have turned to entrepreneurship to develop the most revolutionary products. It will be interesting to see in 5 years.
KYLE BRAATZ, CEO of HEALTH WAVE
Health Wave's purpose is to build products for healthcare professionals to make it easier to deliver the best level of care to every individual patient
Why I became an entrepreneur: I never wanted to be the person with the most amazing job or coolest lifestyle. I love the idea of creating that for others.
Greatest challenge: Surviving the emotional roller coaster that can literally take you from the highest high to the lowest low in a span of minutes.
Favourite business book: Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business by Matt Blumberg
Best advice: Surround yourself with amazing people and remove any negativity be it friends, family, employees, mentors, investors, etc.
One thing people don't realize about Ottawa: Alex Trebek went to University here...
JOELLE PARENTEAU, CEO at EDGE TO EPIC
At Edge to Epic, we believe all businesses deserve affordable health benefit solutions and VIP perks; irrespective of size, industry or location. Edge to Epic connects small businesses to true buying power and bottom-line savings that make a real impact.
Why I became an entrepreneur: To alter an equality, accessibility and affordability issue that profoundly disturbed me.
Greatest challenge: Technology not cooperating.
Favourite business book: The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Best advice: Never hesitate to reach out and ask for help.
One thing people don't realize about Ottawa: Ottawa is epic.
HAMZA WARRAICH, co-founder and president of BOAST TECHNOLOGIES
Boast Technologies develops and markets Web and Mobile based systems for various size enterprises. We partake in the full development cycle; from planning and analysis to launch, management and marketing.
Why I became an entrepreneur: I have always wanted to start something of my own, and grow it to be the best possible company imaginable.
Greatest challenge: Finding enough hours in a day to get everything done.
Favourite business book: The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort
Best advice: Don’t sit back and wait for the action to happen because it never will.
One thing people don't realize about Ottawa: Ottawa has a large support community for its Entrepreneurs.
ERIN HAMILTON, owner of MOGL SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES
MOGL works with owners of small - medium sized businesses who are experts in their industry. We’re an extra pair of business-savvy hands, available on an hourly basis, allowing owners the time to focus on what they do best.
Why I became an entrepreneur: I love helping people and am deeply curious and analytical about how small businesses work.
Greatest challenge: Fnding and cultivating the right team.
Favourite business book: I'm currently reading Arlene Dickinson's Persuasion. I appreciate the integrity of her lessons and the honesty with which she shares business (and personal) highs and lows. Best advice: Never stop learning!
One thing people don't realize about Ottawa: Ottawa has an incredible range of entrepreneurship resources.
PAT GILBERT, business developer at OPIN SOFTWARE
OPIN specializes in open source technologies Drupal and Apache Solr to create custom web based solutions.
Why I became an entrepreneur: It's a huge risk to put everything into your company. It's this risk that motivates you to work towards defining your own success.
Greatest challenge: Bootstrapping a company and raising capital to continue exponential growth.
Favourite business book: REWORK by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson of 37 Signals
Best advice: Smash your head into it, grab a stress ball and a glass of whiskey and keep on truckin'!
One thing people don't realize about Ottawa: How cold it is! Or, maybe how vibrant and well supported the StartUp Community is!
JUSTIN MINNES, consultant at INVESTORS GROUP
Most of what I do is education; as I’ve often said, my job isn’t to tell people what to do, it’s to explain what their choices are and what they mean for the long term. From there, if they’re motivated to make some changes, I’m happy to help.
Why I became an entrepreneur: I really wanted to focus on helping people, and that can be difficult in a traditional job structure. Also, I love the challenge.
Greatest challenge: Building my own client base
Favourite business book: The Thank You Economy, Gary Vaynerchuk
Best advice: It’s probably been said, but your network is everything. Talk to everybody and don’t get discouraged.
One thing people don't realize about Ottawa: Ottawa’s a fun, lively city – it’s just not very good at telling people that.
JARROD GOLDSMITH, founder of SAX APPEAL
Sax Appeal is a professional saxophone quartet that provides live music at events
Why I became an entrepreneur: After trying to obtain a permanent government position (and having played music for close to 30 years), I finally decided to turn my passion into a viable business opportunity.
Greatest challenge: Creating a new market with an ensemble that no one has ever heard about has been the greatest challenge.
Favourite business book: Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
Best advice: When people tell you you’re crazy and that your business will never work, just work harder and prove them wrong!
One thing people don't realize about Ottawa: Ottawa does have a vibrant Arts and music scene…really!
MARK GUIMOND, chairman of VERTUS ESTATES & ASSOCIATES
Vertus Estates & Associates is a Canadian-based auction house which hosts auctions that feature paintings, bronzes, timepieces and furniture of all time periods.
Why I became an entrepreneur: I always wanted to become an entrepreneur for the freedom and sense of accomplishment that comes with owning your own business.
Greatest challenge: Attracting enough qualified buyers for each auction.
Favourite business book: The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss.
Best advice: Understand your business, test your assumptions and make sure you enjoy what you are doing!
One thing people don't realize about Ottawa: There is a significant amount of support available to the entrepreneurship community in Ottawa.
ANDREW SZCZESZYNSKI, founder of WHENAPPSFLY INC.
We allow small businesses to develop web applications by simply writing their application requirements in their own words and their own way, and have it instantly developed and deployed by the click of a button.
Why I became an entrepreneur: To build something bigger than myself. To make a difference. To control my own destiny.
Greatest challenge: Finding a problem that is easy to tackle yet useful enough to build a business. I have never solved this problem.
Favorite business book: Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore & The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.
Best advice: Fall in love with the problem, not the solution.
One thing people don't realize about Ottawa: People seem to be falling over each other to help and are genuinely interested in building strong communities.