New Incubator and Accelerator L-SPARK Launches in Ottawa

Ottawa is officially home to a new incubator and accelerator, hoping to lure bright minds in enterprise software from around the world to the nation’s capital.

L-SPARK, a partnership between Wesley Clover International and Invest Ottawa, opened the application process to its first accelerator session this morning.

“Unlike many other Incubators and Accelerators, our sessions are unique because we focus solely on entrepreneurs who have a concept or product designed for existing and emerging enterprises, such as companies migrating to the cloud, companies using the software as a service (SaaS) business model and companies exploiting the move to virtualization in all aspects of running their business,” explains Leo Lax, Managing Director, L-SPARK.

L-SPARK is also unique in that it builds businesses rather than just enabling them. L-SPARK does not provide a one-time injection of money accompanied by a three or four month sprint. In fact, its accelerator, for example, is nine months long and actually allows for up to $360,000 in funding injections. This “validates L-SPARK’s commitment to creating stand-alone companies that truly appeal to institutional investors by the time they graduate.”

“Ottawa has a lot of talented entrepreneurs building enterprise software, and I think L-SPARK is just what they’ve been waiting for. L-SPARK is truly going to fuel the creation of next-generation enterprise software companies, and continue building Ottawa’s reputation as a hotbed for innovation,” said Harley Finkelstein, CPO of Shopify, and an advisor at L-SPARK.

“Eastern Ontario has a tradition of technology entrepreneurship and an established ecosystem that includes leading corporations in the enterprise software industry as well as a thriving talent pool from local academic institutions,” says Bruce Lazenby, the CEO of Invest Ottawa, who affirms the program will offer “unparalleled mentorship.”

L-SPARK’s first incubator session is set to launch later this year.