Two useful initiatives every Ottawan entrepreneur should know about

There are two useful Ottawa-based initiatives that have not received the publicity they deserve: The Lead to Win’s (LTW) mini-MBA program and TheCodeFactory’s collaborative work space.

Lead to Win was originally started seven years ago by Tony Bailetti, a professor at Carleton’s University Sprott School of Business. The aim of the program is essentially to provide business mentorship and guidance through a well-devised business curriculum. What makes this program unique is its focus on high-tech, its concise nature (only three phases of one month duration each), and the fact that it is offered to entrepreneurs for FREE (one can only wonder if there is a Google conspiracy in the making!).

LTW is starting to gain momentum not only because it is free but because the results speak for themselves: the businesses that were supported by LTW collectively created over 300 jobs and attracted over $90M in investment. In my opinion, another important factor that makes this program a success is the driving passion you see in the eyes of Tony when you meet him.

Another community-driven program is TheCodeFactory which was started two years ago by Ian Graham. In a nutshell, it is a co-sharing space hub where entrepreneurs not only meet regularly but also share a common space and resources together. There is a tremendous advantage to this setup as all entrepreneurs feel that they belong to the same community and can support  and encourage one another.

TheCodeFactory is not an incubator, so it is not free but the rental rates are extremely affordable and the lease terms are very flexible. Early-stage high-tech companies know how hard it is to convince landlords to rent them space given the high risk nature of their business. So if you are a high-tech entrepreneur working from home I encourage you to give TheCodefactory a serious consideration. Ian is no stranger to high-tech (he was with NewBridge for 15 years before it got bought by Alcatel) and he will understand your needs. By the way he is also courteous.

In my next post I will speak about the three P’s (forgive me I caught the cryptic bug) that can make or can break your start-up.