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[Next Wednesday]: Meet AppSumo CEO & former Director of Marketing at Mint, Noah Kagan

Register Now! [Free Event]

Join us on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 7pm for a unique opportunity to meet and network with Chief Sumo Noah Kagan.

Noah is the Founder of AppSumo, former Director of Marketing at Mint Software (acquired by Intuit for $170M) and former product manager at Facebook. Noah has travelled all the way from Austin, Texas to check out the startup community in Ottawa.

We have reserved “Fox 2″, the large private room upstairs at the Fox & Feather on Elgin Street.

Register Now!

More about Noah (from Wikipedia):

In late 2005, Kagan joined Facebook as employee #30, where he served as product manager for eight months. During his time he is credited with pioneering the Facebook status update and it’s mobile application with Mark Slee. After Facebook, he then became Mint software employee #4 as the director of marketing in December 2006. At Mint, Kagan developed the initial marketing strategy for the launch of the website which now has over 7 million users.

After Mint, in June 2007, Kagan founded his first major company, KickFlip, a payment company for social games. Kickflip was the #1 Facebook app company of its time and would eventually become Gambit, which served over 40 million users, had $18 million in revenue, and was the #2 payments company for Facebook games.

In March of 2010 Kagan founded AppSumo, a daily deals website for digitally distributed goods. Today, the website has over 700,000 active subscribers and is particularly popular among the startup community.

By Aydin Mirzaee

TiEQuest 2012 – $150k in Cash Prizes – Deadline in 5 days!

If you’re a startup looking to raise some startup capital, then it might be a good idea for you to start participating in a few Business Plan Competitions. TiEQuest 2012 is accepting registrations for another 5 days and they are giving away ~$150,000 worth of prizes. On top of all of the prizes to be won, you’ll also benefit from getting some visibility with investors (VCs & Angels), potential partners and customers.

TiEQuest is a great opportunity for startups and is less restrictive in it’s requirements than most business plan competitions…You don’t have to have students on your team and don’t have to have a “tech” business in order to participate in TiEQuest… i.e. lifestyle businesses are welcome to apply as well.

TiEQuest is also well known for doing a great job at assigning mentors to teams that participate. They have a large pool of mentors to choose from and will do their best to match your team to a mentor that is experienced in your industry.

You only need to submit a registration form in order to be entered into the first round by January 31st – i.e. you can have the rest of your entrance material ready by a later date – so if you have 15 minutes to spare, I would highly recommend participating in this contest!

Learn more about TiEQuest & Register Today!

By Aydin Mirzaee

Bootstrap Awards 2012 – Deadline Midnight Tonight!


It’s that time of the year again and the Bootstrap Awards are almost here! If you’re a startup, then you should apply as the deadline is tonight! The award ceremony is great fun as there are always amazing speakers and the whole process is an opportunity to get some visibility in the community (investors, media/blogs, prospective customers)…

If you haven’t applied yet, click here to apply now!

By Aydin Mirzaee

Recollective – Qualitative Online Research done right


We all know Ramius (located right here in the ByWard market) to be a leader in the area of social networking for the enterprise. Ramius made a name for itself in the early days through its Community Zero product. As the world of the web moved rapidly forward with the introduction of feeds, tagging and other web 2.0is concepts, Community Zero evolved to become what is known today as Sixent. Sixent is all about collaboration and connecting people within the workplace and it does both quite well – we had a chance to see Sixent’s debut at an Ottawa DemoCamp not too long ago.

A few months ago, I had a chance to meet up with Simon Chen who plays a few roles at the company including being one of its chief product evangelists. Simon mentioned that Sixent was seeing a lot of niche usage by the market research industry as their users were looking for a way to really get an audience engaged on a topic for the purpose of research. In other words, customers were basically using Sixent as a way to replace the traditional focus group and at the same time allow for a more collaborative yet asynchronous user experience.

I guess I missed the launch date but I recently got word that Ramius had gotten so much traction in the area that they decided to focus R&D effort on developing a vertical offering based on Sixent for the market research crowd – they’re calling this newly released product Recollective.

The story of Recollective is a really great example of a company recognizing opportunity by analyzing the behavior of their own customer base and moving fast to meet their needs. From what I hear, Recollective is making a lot of noise in the industry and it’s great to hear that Ramius has managed to hit another home run :) Go Ottawa!

By Aydin Mirzaee

FranchiseBlast in the News – Helping Franchisors Run their Business with Software


Local Gatineau Startup, LavaBlast, that empowers franchises by delivering end-to-end software solutions to help manage operations was recently in the news as an example company that is leading the way in helping local Canadian companies adopt digital technologies. Lavablast is the brainchild of Jason Kealey and Etienne Tremblay and their lead software product is called FranchiseBlast.

As per the company’s official blog post, the government’s new Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program (DTAPP) helped local franchise Boomerang Kids adopt digital technology from Lavablast to make their franchise operations more efficient – this in turn helped them grow their business as it led to less time spent on operational detail and more time on growing the business. This goes to show what all of us know well – which is software can really make the difference between success and failure. It’s good to see local companies playing a role in leading the software as a service revolution.

By Aydin Mirzaee

CCSR Conference – Tuesday, November 15th 2011

Corporate and Community Social Responsibility

As some of you may have already heard, the annual Corporate & Community Social Responsibility Conference will be taking place next Tuesday, November 15th. This year’s keynote speaker will be Mario Pilozzi (former CEO of Walmart Canada).

I’ve been to the Gala Dinner for the past few years – it’s a great networking opportunity and there’s an awesome 3 course dinner as well. If you’re interested in attending any of the CCSR Conference events, make sure to check out the registration page . Group pricing is also available in the event that you want to treat a few people at your company for an evening.

By Aydin Mirzaee

Someone From Ottawa Should Apply for This…

Study by Kissmetrics & Grosshopper:

The two companies are doing a study to figure out the effect of having an 800 number on your frontpage – they are giving out free for life accounts as compensation – definitely worth it!

Terms and Conditions:
> You can’t already have an 800 number listed on your site and you also can’t already have a Kissmetrics Account.
> You also have to be a company under 3 years of age.

By Aydin Mirzaee

New Startup Calendar – See All Cool Events in Ottawa

Vrinda from Accounting for Less just sent us a note to tell us about a new initiative that he started in order to keep track of startup-relevant-events that happen in Ottawa (Thanks Vrinda!). You can see the calendar by clicking on the “Calendar” tab at the top of the site. Vrinda has generously donated a few hours of an employee’s time to update this calendar.

Because this is a google calendar item, make sure to add it to your Google Apps calendar and monitor it as you monitor your own schedule – nice!

Here it is embedded below as well:

If you want your event listed, please email ottawastartupevents [ - @ - ] gmail [ - . - ] com

By Aydin Mirzaee

Simple Story Videos – Describe Your Product with an Animated Video

Kyle Braatz sent us a message the other day to tell us about a new division of NetGen that recently launched called SimpleStoryVideos. More and more companies these days are using videos to describe what their products do. When you go to the frontpage of Drop Box as an example, all they have a is a simple video to describe everything:


Kyle’s team has worked with a few organizations in Ottawa on some videos (including the United Way and myReviewRoom) and has even created one for TechCrunch Disrupt participant Spenz.

If you’d like your startup to be listed in the Startup Ottawa directory as well, make sure to visit our directory page here: Ottawa Startup Directory

By Aydin Mirzaee

Land Your Dream Job, 2.0 – June 22nd (Wednesday)


Harley from Shopify just pinged me about a great event that OCRI is hosting as part of their smarTALKS series. The event takes place on June 22nd at Mercury Lounge & is FREE to attend. If you’re looking to figure out how to land your dream job, this is the place to be on the 22nd.

To register for the event (FREE), check out the OCRI Page Directly: Landing Your Dream Job

Summary of Event:

From custom landing pages to personal branding, the traditional strategy for landing your dream job may no longer be effective. Particularly in the startup and technology space, successful candidates are thinking outside the box and creating customized application packages that market to target employers using unique methodologies and tactics. This renaissance of creativity among motivated candidates has raised the bar for entry into many high growth companies. The panel will focus on sharing some of these contemporary tools as well as best practices for landing a job at the tech firm or startup of you choice. In additiona, the panel will discuss trends in current hiring practices and will provide an analysis of how things have changed over the past few years.


  • Brittany Forsyth, Head of HR, Shopify
  • Mike Freeman, Shopify Marketing
  • Luc Levesque, Founder and GM, TravelPod (Trip Advisor)
  • Doug Tetzner, Partner, Odgers Berndtson


  • Harley Finkelstein, CPO, Shopify

Date: Wednesday June 22, 2011

  • 4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Registration/Networking
  • 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Presentation
  • 5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Networking

Mercury Lounge (Map)
56 Byward Market Square

(Parking is available at nearby public parking lots)

Cost: FREE – pre-registration required

For planning purposes, pre-registration closes at 5:00 pm on Tuesday June 21, 2011

By Aydin Mirzaee