Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

Lead To Win sessions starting Oct. 30th 2012

Are you (or someone you know) serious about establishing and growing a business?  Do you think you have the next killer idea/product/service but don’t know how to go about starting a successful, growth-oriented business?  Do you already have a business, but your growth has stagnated, and you need to figure out how to reinvigorate it?  If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then the Lead To Win (LTW) Bootcamp is for you.


The LTW Bootcamp will provide company founders with:

  • The knowledge necessary to establish and grow a successful business;
  • The confidence, encouragement and motivation to succeed;
  • The foundation to sell to first customers, raise funds and attract talent;
  • Access to a large and diverse business network;

All tech founders are welcome, as well as founders starting businesses in any sector.

The next session of Lead To Win is scheduled for October 29-30-31 and  November 27-28-29, 2012, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  The 6 days of training are free, but you must apply!




By Natasha D'Souza

Global Entrepreneurship Week

Global Entrepreneurship Week 2011 is celebrated during the week of Nov. 14th-20th 2011.


There are various events in the National Capital Region and the OCRI website has details on some of them.

Lead To Win will be celebrating their successes on Thu. Nov. 17th from 4-7pm. To follow the conversation follow the hastags #leadtowin #GEWnews on Twitter.

Carleton University’s Technology Innovation Management program are also hosting an event for their students and those interested in attending the program.

Are you having an event? Let us know when and where.

By Natasha D'Souza

Lead To Win for Women launches

Lead To Win is a popular boot camp for entrepreneurs starting or growing a business. They are now launching Lead To Win for Women in order to help more women entrepreneurs to succeed.


If you are a women with an idea and are serious about launching a profitable growth-oriented business in Canada’s Capital Region, or you have already founded a business and are trying to develop strategies for growth, then Lead To Win for Women (LTW) is for you.

What is Lead To Win for Women?

  • LTW is a 6 day program spread across 2 sessions
  • Each day runs from 8:00am – 4:30am
  • The program takes place at 3500 Carling Ave. (the former Nortel campus located at Moodie Drive and Carling Ave.)
  • All co-founders can attend all sessions (regardless of whether they are men or women)
  • Founders for all sectors are eligible (not just tech founders)
  • You will learn everything you need to evaluate your idea, improve it, and bring it to the market, or grow your opportunity
  • You will have access to mentors, experts, and other founders who will help you develop your opportunity

The next LTW sessions are scheduled for Oct 25-27 and Nov 22-24

Applications are now being accepted so if you or if you know any women entrepreneurs encourage them to apply.

By Natasha D'Souza

Art of the Start – June 14th


Created and hosted by the Ottawa Community Loan Fund, Art of the Start is a must-attend event for people in Ottawa who are fired up about starting their own business.

Register for the Event Here (FREE)

Guest Speakers

These inspiring business owners will be sharing their real-life stories.

Tal Dehtiar, Founder of Oliberté Footwear

Two time CBC DRAGON’S DEN survivor, Winner of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 and,Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year Tal Dehtiar is the founder of Oliberté Footwear, the first premium shoe manufacturing company that is exclusively made in Africa. Prior to launching Oliberté Tal co-founded and led MBAs Without Borders, an international charity that supported socially minded businesses across 25 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. With an MBA from McMaster University, Tal has travelled, worked, studied or lived in 50 countries. He is a recipient of the International Youth Foundation Fellowship, Ontario Global Trader Award, Arch Award and was nominated for the YMCA Peace Award, Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 and Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year.

Amir Rahim, Owner of Grounded Kitchen & Coffeehouse

For Owner Amir Rahim, Grounded Kitchen & Coffee House is more than just a kitchen and coffee house. It’s a personal expression of who he is and the love he has for the restaurant business. Together with friends he has scraped the ceiling and stained the wood. It’s not just a place of work, but of family. A home away from home and a source of pride in how far he has come and a reminder of the opportunities that lay ahead.

Hendrik Jean-Louis, Owner of Tirenew Recycling

Hendrick Jean-Louis is the proud owner of Tirenew Recycling, a scrap tire company that transports used tires to be recycled, while exporting those that can be re-used. It’s a competitive business, but Hendrick welcomes the challenge. For him, being his own boss is about more than monetary gain, it’s about the rewards that come from realizing his own vision.

Emma Inns, Owner of Adorit Boutique

Working as a tour guide in Tibet and mingling with local designers was the inspiration for Emma Inns to own a small fashion boutique in Canada featuring Tibetan inspired work. Making it happen was the next step in turning her dream into a reality. Adorit Boutique, based in Ottawa, is Emma’s proud accomplishment and like many business ventures, was the result of collaboration amongst a few groups. The Canadian Youth Business Foundation was instrumental in linking Emma with her community partner, the Ottawa Community Loan Fund.

Art of the Start Agenda

6pm – 7pm: Mini trade show & munchies
7pm – 8pm: Guest Speaker Presentations
8pm – 8:30pm: Q & A
8:30pm – 9pm: Networking

At Art of the Start you can:

> Hear What It’s Really Like To Start A Business – Entrepreneurs Tell Their Stories.
> Find Resources That Can Help You Start A Business – Attend A Mini Trade Show.
> Build Your Professional Network – Meet Like Minded People
> Free Admission | Free Parking | Complimentary Munchies!

By Aydin Mirzaee

Josh James of Omniture talks to his alma mater


Josh James, December 8, 2009 from Rollins Center at BYU on Vimeo.

I’m a big fan of successful entrepreneurs who visit schools and play a big role in the entrepreneurship classes. I recently watched this video of Josh James going back to Brigham Young and sharing some insights. Here are some of the tidbits I took out of it:

Josh dropped out of school, but took the most out of his classes. The only reason he dropped out was that he had learnt so much from his economics, statistics, and entrepreneurship classes, and applied them so well, that it didn’t make sense for him to stay in class when he was bringing in $125 an hour building websites for companies.

As a 4th year student, him and his buddy turned a $12,000 investment in a CGI script business into a $200,000 sale of the company, which he describes as being “really cool. Like really cool. It beat selling out billable hours by a longshot, even at $125 per hour.”

In their next business, they had 50 employees, and in February 2000, they were sure they were going to fail. They moved to a paid model, and converted 0.05% (that’s not a typo) of customers. They were losing 800 customers a month, mainly small businesses. Of the 50 employees they had, 48 were working on retaining small business users, and just two were working on building the enterprise side. Then, they got calls from eBay and CNet encouraging them to keep doing what they were doing, at which point they took 46 people off of the small business side and put them on the enterprise side. That’s when it really took off, almost exponentially, ultimately leading to the $1.8 billion dollar sale of Omniture to Adobe last October.

Things he did personally that helped make it work:

1)      Reads a ton. Was reading books and magazines by the truckload. He used to read between 30-40 magazines a month, cover to cover.

  1. Books and Magazines helped him shape his mentorship. He would read 15 books on a topic, and find the 5 best ones and just really absorb them. He did it on all the stuff he wasn’t familiar with, and when he was done, he would have 5 different opinions by experts, helping him formulate very strong opinions, and gave him more confidence as a young entrepreneur.

2)      Take alot of vacation time. Never work Saturday and Sundays, but work like a dog during the week. And when he vacations, he makes sure he vacations really, REALLY well, not just for himself, but for his kids and his family too.

3)      Puts the same passion at home as he does at the office. There are responsibilities at home that need to be paid attention to (i.e kids, family) that will help fuel you even more at the office.

4)      Get an Assistant as soon as you can afford one.

On where he got his ideas for business:

“They say necessity is the father of invention. Things that annoy me end up fuelling my ideas. Then I heard someone in an entrepreneurial lecture series tell us to make ideabooks. The idea is you write an idea down, you write the marketing plan, the sales plan, the employees you’re gonna get, the profile you want, your competitive advantages, and you just keep writing and writing and writing, and the next day, you move on to the next idea, unless you’re still so drawn to the last idea, in which case keep writing. And when you find one that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.”

On starting a business:

“First of all, you have to make sure you have the right profile. If you’re too averse to risk, just don’t start a business. The number one problem people have is that they have ideas and they talk about it, talk about it, talk about it, but never do anything about it. And then they go to some professors, and the professors tell them “well you have to think about this this and that”… NO YOU DON’T.  Just start it, and I promise you, when you’re spending your own money on it, you’re going to pay a lot of attention on it!”

On getting your first sale:

“Do anything .. ANYTHING.. you can to win your first customers. As long as it’s not … (long awkward pause)... immoral… it might be borderline not legal, but as long as it’s not immoral, then whatever it takes. You gotta win those first customers. We had a customer come visit us, and i had all my friends come visit us wearing suits like they’re working on who-knows-what, pretending like they were working on stuff! Do whatever it takes to get those sales”

More on the first customers:

“Never give anything away for nothing. You may find you need to discount your price, but never give stuff away for nothing. If someone wants to pay less, you have to come back and ask them what they’re going to do to make up that difference. What kind of press release are you going to get? What kind of events are you going to speak and tout us at? What else are you going to do to make up the price difference? Never give away stuff for nothing”

On First-Time Entrepreneurs:

“It boggles my mind that people aren’t focussing more on revenue, revenue, revenue. Who cares if the desk isn’t put together, or some guy sent you an email you haven’t replied to, or some other guy wants you to attend some chamber of commerce meeting? Go after revenues. Sales is all that matters in the beginning. And if you can’t get a sale, THEN you go back and fix the product. But as soon as it is barely good enough to sell it, you sell it!”

On Business Ideas:

“For the most part, I don’t want a unique ideas There’s maybe a couple unique ideas that have turned into big businesses. But if there’s alot of people in the space, it’s vindication that people are willing to pay for it, it means there’s a market, it means you can make some money, it means you can compete, and it means you can be better faster stronger, especially if there’s only small players in the field.”


There’s a ton of good stuff in this video, and this is already a way longer blog post than I like to write, so I strongly suggest you check it out.

By Japman Bajaj

Survey on Entrepreneurship and Doing business with China and India

Majid Ghorbani is a PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University and is doing a study on entrepreneurs and the possibility of doing business with the east. If you’ve got an extra 20 minutes, take the survey (chance to win prizes too).

Here are the details:

A study on the possibility of doing business with the Greater China or India needs entrepreneurs & business owner participants. A chance to win one of the three prizes of up to $250 for only 20 to 30 minutes of your time. This is an opportunity to contribute to an interesting study. The study will ask you questions regarding your personality and values, as well as some questions about your and your firm’s background. Interested parties please directly go to the survey website at Survey on Entrepreneurship or contact Majid Ghorbani at mghorban@sfu.ca or call 778-839-8840 for more information.

By Aydin Mirzaee

Bright Side of Life Part II

Last week I introduced the first of what I plan to be a short series of good news postings.  Here is my second offering.      

Bright Side of Life #2:  Maybe we don’t need as much money as we used to – The design and manufacture of certain products and the provision of certain services will be as costly as ever, but in many areas new forms of production and service delivery (think open and more collaborative models) are often not as capital intensive and if you go truly open and make it compelling people might even pitch in for free.  Maybe the need for millions of dollars from a Venture Capitalist is not as pressing in some of these models (at least not initially anyway) and entrepreneurs can get by for longer by bootstrapping and pulling funds from other traditional and not so traditional sources to allow businesses to mature longer before needing to get a pile of money in from a major investor (if ever).  This is good for an entrepreneur community facing investors that often seem to be out of money or keeping their money close and good for those businesses and founders who can manage it.  By waiting until their companies are at a more mature stage before seeking investment they should command higher valuations and have to offer less equity for more money.

Shane McLean

By James Smith

Always Look On The Bright Side of Life…

Hi everyone.  Using Jedi mind tricks, James Smith and I have managed to convince the folks at Startup Ottawa that we would be good additions to the blogging team.   This is our inaugural post so for those of you who do not know us, we are partners at LaBarge Weinstein, a business law firm with offices in Ottawa and Waterloo and a particular focus on serving the high tech community.  That said, we promise that we will try not to sound like lawyers  (we like to think we are pretty good at hiding it).  We would love to hear feedback on what you think of our posts so please feel free to leave a comment or contact either of us directly.  Now, without further ado…

How about some good news for a change?  Keeping in line with the many articles and blog posts I have been reading lately, I thought I would focus on some good news.  But I thought I would shift my focus a little bit from the common “how to make the best of a terrible situation” theme and, instead, serve up some items of what I think are standalone genuine good news. I have been keeping an eye out for this kind of stuff recently and have come up with an admittedly random top 5.  My plan is to dole out the good news one item at a time (we can’t have anyone getting too excited all at once ) so please stay tuned.  In the meantime, I invite readers to post comments sharing their own good news.   

Bright Side of Life #1:  There is still money out there looking for great ideas –The economic downturn of the last year or so is just the latest blow to investment following the shrinking of venture capital over the last couple years.   Having said that, there are still quite a few pots of money available in Canada for deployment to the right companies.  Examples of active money include – Blackberry Partners Fund ($150M), Business Development Bank of Canada and Wellington Financial Fund III ($150M) (Wellington has a great blog by the way).  Even the Ontario Government is spending time and money flogging old and new programs in an attempt to help fill the funding void.  There are more sources and they all tend to put out “open for business” announcements so they are not hard to find.

Stay tuned for more…

Shane McLean

By James Smith

“Why your startup will fail” – Mandatory reading for any (aspiring) Entrepreneur

I think most writing about entrepreneurship is shallow and misleading because so much of being an entrepreneur is about being authentic, passionate, and lucky.  But this article by Eric Karjaluotto is the best I’ve read.  It’s called Why your startup will fail and I think Eric nails it.

What do you think?


By Scott Annan