Invest Ottawa Celebrates Second Anniversary

Invest Ottawa this week celebrated its second anniversary with an open house showcasing a long list of major accomplishments.

More than 300 local business leaders joined Ottawa mayor Jim Watson and Invest Ottawa president and CEO Bruce Lazenby at the event. Mayor Watson co-chairs the board of the city’s agile economic development arm alongside Alcatel-Lucent Canada vice-president David Ritonja.

“It’s hard to imagine that it’s only been two years since we launched Invest Ottawa with the mission to make our city the best place in Canada to start and grow a business,” said Mayor Jim Watson.

“In the years ahead, we need to continue to make progress by supporting small and medium sized businesses, and Invest Ottawa will remain a key part of that success,” he added.

From 2012, workshop attendees went from 4,807 to 6,744; portfolio companies went from 324 to 430; outgoing missions more than doubled from 10 to 21; the number of jobs facilitated nearly tripled—from 485 to 1,405; and foreign direct investment skyrocketed—from $7.2 million to $165.5 million.

“Invest Ottawa and the unique model that we envisioned, is more than living up to our expectations,” said Watson.

“We knew what we wanted to accomplish,” said Lazenby, who attributes the organization’s success to a clear vision, careful planning and a step-by-step approach to creating a fertile business ecosystem with all our local and international partners.

“Step one was creating the right team. Step two was developing an action plan. And, step three was acting on that plan. By paying close attention to putting all of these elements in place, we’ve created a business ecosystem that supports growth and attracts investors,” he explained.

At the event, local startup Klipfolio announced a $1.7 million investment from US and Canadian venture capital firms, including local VC Mistral Venture Partners.