Given the recent surge in entrepreneurial activity on the University of Ottawa campus, it is appropriate to recognize and celebrate the culmination of each annual cycle of teaching, competitions, workshops and hard work that lead to exciting start-ups.
In the fall of 2015 and early 2016, we conducted the 2nd annual search for the Top 5 Start-ups on the uOttawa campus. This is a collaborative effort between the Telfer School of Management, the Faculty of Engineering, Startup Garage and the uOttawa e-hub.
“Each year the quality of start-ups on campus is improving” says Stephen Daze, the Dom Herrick Entrepreneur in Residence at the Telfer School. “Student interest, faculty programming and an increasing culture of entrepreneurship is contributing to this rise in quality and it’s encouraging to see our next generation of leaders creating their own opportunities”.
The Top 5 uOttawa start-ups, in no particular order, are:
Helix (Powered by MicroMetrics)
- Cofounders: Andre Richards, CTO (Honours Bachelor of Science 2011, uOttawa) and Artem Abramov, CEO.
- MicroMetrics is a software company with a focus on customer experience innovation. Working together with TripAdvisor, they’ve developed Helix – a robust guest experience management platform that empowers hotel staff to conduct real-time service recovery. Since its introduction, Helix has helped brands like Starwood and IHG deliver memorable guest experiences, improve occupancy rates and outperform their competitive sets at premier properties across North America.
- Cofounders: Lee Silverstone, CEO and Pablo Srugo, COO.
- Gymtrack is a platform that brings personal training to all exercisers through their gym and impacts the $80BN gym industry. Gymtrack provides gyms with virtual coaching that automatically tracks everything in an exerciser’s workout, from weight lifting to cardio and helps gyms reduce churn.
- Cofounders: Lemuel Barango, (Bachelor of Science 2015, uOttawa) and Liora Raitblat (Telfer BCom 2015, uOttawa).
- Go Give-Back (GGB) is providing a solution for charitable causes by offering a mobile donation platform that accepts donations, catering to the “in-the-moment” factor. GGB will include detailed demographics for the organization with “on the go” analytics used to retain and engage donors.
- Founder: Jeff Perron, MBA (Clinical Psychology PhD Candidate, uOttawa), Clinical Lead: Dr. Joti Samra, PhD, C. Psych.
- TruReach provides instant access to scientifically proven cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). It eliminates the stigma associated with mental illness and helps people get better, faster. TruReach cuts costs associated with the management of mental illness and their analytics give organizations data to prove it.
- Cofounders: Richard Beal, CEO and Viktar Tatsiankou (B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, uOttawa).
- Spectrafy has reinvented the way we measure sunlight and the atmosphere. Spectrafy’s solution, the SolarSIM, combines simple hardware and breakthrough software to slash the cost of measuring sunlight and the atmosphere by over an order of magnitude.
How were the Top 5 start-ups on campus selected?
A working committee of the 4 leaders on campus who run the various entrepreneurship activities select possible candidates from the start-ups they see in their programs. In addition, a public web-based call for nominations allowed start-ups to show their interest. The nominees were then evaluated by the committee and an initial long list of top start-ups was selected.
Feedback from various alumni and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley was obtained before a final list of five “Top Start-ups” is selected. From the Top 5, selected start-ups will be invited to visit Silicon Valley for a learning and business development experience. The exact number of start-ups who are invited to go to Silicon Valley will be a function of available funding.
Photo: Liora Raitblat, Go Give-Back cofounder, at Startup Weekend 2015 (Feb 27 - March 1)