Parliament Hill

Start-ups flourish in Ottawa

Published on

With 31.5 percent of its population holding a university degree, Canada’s capital  has more engineers, scientists and PhDs than any other Canadian city. Ottawa is not only a smart city, but it’s also a successful business champion; in the past five years, it has raised more money on public markets than the rest of the country’s cities combined.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that Ottawa became an incubator and one of the hottest and most diverse tech hubs in North America, hosting as many as 450 start-ups. Universities and accelerators alike have embraced “maker culture” and have invested in new prototyping and research labs. Ottawa can count on Canada’s largest technology park and an extensive pool of experienced talent and fresh graduates to reinforce this science-based economy.

With a strong focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI),  big data and cybersecurity, other start-ups build on the historical skillset of world class data-driven organizations like Cognos (now part of IBM). Ottawa is home to 29  start-ups, including MindBridge, Interset, Zighra, Stratelogics, and BluWave-ai.

Ottawa also has a world-class Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem which combines its emerging expertise in embedded software applications with the development of physical end-devices. Giatec Scientific for example has become one of Ottawa’s fastest growing companies, offering embedded sensors for the construction industry.

This new generation of rising tech start-ups  can benefit from Ottawa’s wealth of start-up resources, its robust ecosystem, and its high quality of life. Resources include Bayview Yards, Ottawa’s one-stop business acceleration shop, and Saas (Software-as-a-service) accelerator L-SPARK that has already accelerated 47 start-ups and raised $30.1 million.

Reflecting this dynamic trend , a variety of local business events rally hundreds of founders, innovators, industry veterans, investors, tech giants, and entrepreneurial partners from Canada’s Capital Region, across Canada and around the world. For instance, AccelerateOTT is a one-day entrepreneurship conference hosted by Invest Ottawa. Now in its seventh year, the 2019 edition will be held on June 11 at the National Arts Centre.  

Ottawa is also home to Start-up Day on the Hill which takes place at the Shaw Centre in October. More than 1,500 Canadian entrepreneurs, investors, industry executives and government representatives gather each year to raise the bar for Canada as a globally competitive innovation nation.  

For details on hosting your event in Ottawa, consult our meetings resources.

Stay up to date

Stay up to date on upcoming events and ideas to plan your next trip to Ottawa with friends, family or on your own by signing up for the Ottawa Tourism Newsletter.