January 11, 2021

Look Back 2020 – Leaping Ahead with CATA

 

LOOK Back 2020 – Look Ahead

January 10, 2021

2021 CEO Message & Download North

January 2021 CEO Message & Download North Newsletter

 

Participate in 2021 ISED Cyber Industry Report – closes 15 Jan

CATA is partnering with ISED and StatsCan on the 2021 Cyber Industry Study connecting hundreds of cyber companies in our network to study organizers.

A few more days (15 Jan) to get your company included in the ISED/Stats Can 2021 Cyber Industry Study.  https://lnkd.in/dAkQ7n5

For reference here is the 2018 study report https://lnkd.in/da42bXB

Ottawa’s Industry Strategy Council Calls for $35B Fund, Policy Overhauls

Ottawa’s Industry Strategy Council Calls for $35B Fund, Policy Overhauls

Members News & In the News

Alliance Highlights / In The News

 

Accenture: How AI Boosts Industry Profits and Innovation

Boast AI raises $23 Million to help businesses get their R&D tax credits


Saleschoice in Forbes – Building AI Braintrust for Boards and CEOs

The CATA/Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police E-Crimes/Cyber Council contributed to the 2019 Stats Can Cyber Crimes & Cyber Security report 
Canadian Center for Cyber Security National Threat Assessment 2020

Cybercrime Analytics’ Christopher Kayser publishes CyberCrime Through Social Engineering – The New Global Crisis – 5 Stars on Amazon!

CyberNB launches Cyber Hatch Incubator and Accelerator

BluWave-ai has been selected by the Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA) to onboard its artificial intelligence (AI) products for key use cases with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).

MITEL CEO, Mary McDowell, sets her sights on the mid-market

CATA presented at a Women in Technology Round Table hosted by Ontario Ministers Jill Dunlop and Vic Fedelli

Rethink Health after Covid19 – Interface Health Summit Day 2 snapshots including CATA’s final words with Suzanne Grant

Hexoskin supports COVID19 patient monitoring research

IMBA Medical’s Guide to a safer workplace (in COVID19 era)

The Future Economy presents – the Future of Energy 

Level Up Partners Lighthouse Labs in TVO blog on private online learning

November 17, 2020

Federal Procurement 2020 Small Business Trade Show/ Expo 25-26 Nov



 This virtual trade show will be presented by the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises November 25th and 26th.  The Government of Canada has brought together key business support programs in financing, innovation, skills, sales and marketing and much more! Program representatives will take direct questions on how they can support your business via a B2B style set-up. Find out more – including how to register – by clicking here.

 

New Download North – People, Community, Policy & Money in Tech

People, Community, Policy, Money in Tech #DownloadNorth

Where’s the money?Creating a Channel to Boost Your Sales

Webinar V in Reaching Your Everest  – A CATA How to X dot Oh program

 Kim Caves & Associates recently delivered Creating a Channel to Boost Your Sales in partnership with CATA.  Kim brings 20 years winning enterprise tech sales from the US and Canada to the world. She’s delivered  complex sales deals in Cyber, AI and IT.  The one hour Reaching Your Everest sessions pack a big punch. Post webinar feedback indicates attendees have landed new clients and closed new deals implementing this pilot program.

The CHANNEL is a partner or distributor that extends your reach, giving you more hands and feet on the ground to sell your technology.  A winning channel partnership starts with your ability to articulate your value AND how that weaves into the channel partner’s ecosystem for customers. 

Technology enterprise sales expert, Kim Caves shared 5 dos and don’ts for a winning channel partnership that will accelerate revenues. A quick  overview in this two minute video: https://youtu.be/YiRjZWT5tsg. In case you missed it – the recording of Webinar V can be found here: http://https://youtu.be/JKL0WdxzHfU

Did you see Download North Magazine Edition on People & Policy?

Incase you missed it. The inaugural issue of Download North – People & Policy Magazine highlighted CATA’s COVID19 first half year advocacy efforts.  The Download North Media Suite, includes a monthly newsletter. 

The Fall Issue reviews CATA’s advocacy focus that kicked off with a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau on 3 April. These efforts led to an expedient restart to SR&ED claims following $200,000,000 in stalled returns.  Thousands of companies benefitted in the uncertain days of early COVID19.

Hundreds of CATA community members contributed to surveys, letter writing campaigns and meetings that included Cabinet Ministers, MPs and Canada’s Ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Topics ranged from CATA’s proposal to digital trade and WTO reform.

On the eve of the September 23rd Throne Speech, strategies for the future had taken a twisting and turning path.  The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) came out in support of the same approach CATA recommended for small and medium technology companies back in April. 

In her 20 September blog, Coronavirus; Living with Uncertainty, OECD Chief Economist, Laurence Boone penned economic outlook recommendations. She provided guidance to world leaders on national economic policy:

‘Support to firms must evolve to let non-viable firms go and encourage viable ones to grow. Equity instruments could be deployed for large firms, with state support, provided competition is preserved and a clear strategy for exit designed. However, it will require more creativity for SMEs, for example in the form of tax credits, with repayments occurring when firms sustainably return to profit’

CATAAlliance submitted a creative Resilience and Rebound Proposal  for this very solution in April. 338 members of parliament have received  this simple like CERB data solution that uses government audited data to boost liquidity for new market opportunities, GDP, R&D creation and jobs.

We have offered additional solutions to Minister Ng and advised Minister Chrystia  Freeland that CATA stands by ready to help.

 

 

 

Boast Capital Ai Featured in Download North

Download North – BOAST – Fall 2020

New Data for Canada’s fastest growing tech vertical


CATAAlliance and leading national associations joined ISED and StatsCan to compile the 2018 Statistical Overview of Canada’s Cyber Industry. The report revealed cyber to be the fastest growing technology vertical in Canada. Additional information is available for members.

Statistical Overview of Canada’s Cybersecurity Industry in 2018 – Final – EN

8-9 Dec – The Great Canadian Data Centre Symposium, GCDCS20 #CATAPerk

Canada’s leading event (and community) for data centre and IT service delivery professionals and executives is launching in a new “better than live!” format. The Great Canadian Data Centre Symposium, GCDCS20,  has more than 30 leading Canadian (and global) thought leaders speaking, and hundreds of registrants who will get to learn, share and network on December 8th and 9th. Pre-event and post-event sessions are focused on quantum computing, DevOps, security and other topics. CATA Member Perk  Use the CATA guest pass to waive the $200 registration fee and gain access to original research, “ExecTech Digital” video interviews and dozens of keynotes, panels, roundtables and candid technical discussions.

Lazaridis Institute’s ScaleUp Program Accepts Largest Cohort Yet

The Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises, part of the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University, welcomed 13 of Canada’s highest-potential growth-stage tech companies for the sixth cohort of the Lazaridis ScaleUp Program. We see CATA friends in the cohort list. Check them out – get business done with Canadian companies.

Wage subsidies for healthcare organizations to hire students

CATAAlliance Ecosystem Collaboration 

As a direct response to COVID-19 and the need for additional healthcare workers, BioTalent Canada’s Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) has been extended to include Canada’s healthcare sector. The subsidy covers up to 75% of a student’s work placement to a maximum of $7,500. BioTalent Canada has placed over 1,500 students within Canada’s healthcare industry. Apply: biotalent.ca/Co-opFunds

CATA Partners with TECHNATION in Gov Digital Marketplace – Launches 19 Nov

The TECHNATION Digital Marketplace Launches Nov 19th. CATA Members get a 25 percent Launch event discount.

Click Armor’s “Home Alone” Game Boosts Cyber Awareness for Remote Teams. FREE for CATA community and members through November.

 

Cyber crime is exploding and most attacks target employees with phishing or social engineering. Attackers use emotional triggers and leverage “open source information” about your organization to launch convincing attacks. Can your team recognize and defend against these attacks?

 Click Armor engages employees with interactive, dynamic and visual challenges and real world simulations. CATA members and teams have access to your own leaderboard and gamified “Home Alone” module for tips on working from home securely.  Managers can also measure employee engagement and proficiency.

To get access to your own Click Armor modules, or to learn how your existing awareness training can be “gamified”, please visit: http://clickarmor.ca/contact and indicate mention that you are a CATA subscriber or member for the free Home Alone offer or a free trial

November 14, 2020

CATA in partnership with Lighthouse Labs and the Ontario Government Level Up the network for New Canadian Women in Tech

Following the first Level UP cohort, we’ve seen experienced New Canadian Women in Tech, graduates of Full Stack up-skilling at Lighthouse Labs, land their first tech jobs in Canada.

“We couldn’t ask for better Ambassadors” says CATA CEO, Suzanne Grant. Grant knew instinctively the CATA Level Up Ambassador pilot program made sense. She drew on her personal experiences returning home from 14 years abroad where she made a career pivot to expat entrepreneur.  

It took me years to build meaningful relationships when I returned to Canada. It’s just not efficient, so CATA designed a program that connects accountable Ambassador talent seeking networks with New Canadian talent. The Ambassadors intentionally insert experienced New Canadian women in tech to hiring teams. They’re delivering a much needed levelling up of the network so these talented women can be seen. 

Beyond new Lighthouse Labs grads landing jobs, learning a new approach to life long career planning and gaining confidence in one to one interactions are main program take-aways. The unseen benefit of providing moral support in the isolated job hunt phase can not be underestimated.

Grant claims the real key to program success so far is careful selection of Ambassadors. “They have network, dedication, experience and emotional EQ.  I’m so impressed with Samer Forzley, Scott Wright, Samer Kassass and Dimple Thomas”  

The Level Up Ambassador program is currently onboarding their second Cohort.  4 Cohorts for a total of 60 New Canadian Women in tech will go through the pilot. 

September 23, 2020

CATA Member Lloyed Lobo’s Bloomberg Tax Column in Support of Small Business Tax Credits

 

INSIGHT: The Real Problem With Amazon’s Tax Bills

Sept. 23, 2020, 4:00 AM

 

 

CATA’s policy approach recommended to nation leaders by OECD Chief Economist

 

Download North Fall Cover Shot .png

Click the cover to open the magazine, or  View via Issuu Download North - CATA - D17.pdfDownload North – CATA – D17.pdf

In these fresh Fall days we embark on new beginnings, and for the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, that includes the inaugural Issue of Download North Magazine – People & Policy. Download North will reach the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, MPs and the Parliamentary Press Gallery, as well as, 11,000 in the technology community across Canada.

A few days before the Throne Speech,  the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) advised nations to adopt economic policies for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) aligned with solutions proposed by CATA. Our recent advocacy action, starting with a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on 3 April, is outlined in The Fall Issue above. OECD Chief Economist, Laurence Boone is giving clear economic policy advice to world leaders in her
 20 September blogCoronavirus: Living with Uncertainty:

‘Support to firms must evolve to let non-viable firms go and encourage viable ones to grow. Equity instruments could be deployed for large firms, with state support, provided competition is preserved and a clear strategy for exit designed. However, it will require more creativity for SMEs, for example in the form of tax credits, with repayments occurring when firms sustainably return to profit’

CATAAlliance‘s  Resilience and Rebound Proposal is such a creative approach. 338 members of parliament have received this simple CERB like solution that uses government audited data to boost SME new market opportunity liquidity for GDP, R&D, economic and jobs growth.

Our efforts were influential in unlocking $200M in stalled R&D tax credits in April. The people at the Canadian Revenue Agency were the heroes of that story. 

Additional solutions have been shared and advised Minister Chrystia Freeland that CATA stands by ready to help. 

 

 

 

September 21, 2020

Accounting & Artificial Intelligence

An Interview With Eli Fathi, CEO Mindbridge.ai

CATA Alliance member Cindy Gordon’s most recent Forbes article explores AI in the financial sector. Cindy is CEO of Saleschoice, an AI firm that helps sales teams make better prospect predictions using advanced analytics. Eli Fathi’s firm, Mindbridge AI,  is a leader in the ai enabled audit space and have explored 30 trillion data points in one use case alone.

The article is based on a podcast discussion where Cindy and Eli explore just how far the corporate world has, and hasn’t come in adopting practical AI solutions. Together they provide some insights into data quality and trust, governance, traversing to the light at the end of the AI adoption tunnel.  

 

September 8, 2020

Lemay.ai : Stories of Survival from Canada’s Tech Innovators

Since the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) was created 42 years ago we have represented the interests of Small and Medium science and technology-centric enterprises. Today these Canada headquartered businesses are in the tens of thousands and have grown to be the heart of the Canadian economy generating $188B in annual revenues.

We are over 150 days into COVID19 and we do not see a comprehensive restart or response plan for the technology sector.

We see well placed companies thriving and others struggling. News of staff layoffs and acquisition activity continues. Many seek equity for new opportunities, pivoting to other markets, applications and verticals. Tech firms, their IP and talent, remain crucial to Canada’s future economy and job creation.

In this ongoing series, we profile companies dealing with the reality of COVID-19 and their experience with emergency government support pro-
grams.

For all those struggling there are others that have seen a rise in business activity. They are examples of what CATA contends is why tech firms can help drive economic recovery.


We are inspired, we hope you are too.

Business Solutions Based On Artificial Intelligence Are Smart Business

Lemay.ai of Ottawa, an enterprise consultancy, has experienced an upswing of 40% in business during the COVID-19 pandemic. During that same time, the firm hired a 20% increase in staff and they expect to hire more.

Matt Lemay, co-founder and CEO, attributes the business increase to two things: first, deals that had been put on hold are now being reactivated; second, companies are forced to look at AI in new and different ways.

Lemay adds, “Companies clearly want more work automation and alleviation. While I can’t say that all interest is tied to COVID-19, for sure it is good for AI in general.”

Mathieu Lemay, CEO Lemay.ai

He continues, “Last year, we saw a sharp rise in implementations, with more and more people seeing AI in a business setting. Depending on the industry, I would say that there is a 50/50 split between those who are and those who are not using AI, in some form. The AI industry has moved from being esoteric to exotic, and potential clients went from fearful to curious. Companies are now more likely to seek new ways to accomplish their goals, and AI can help them achieve those goals faster with more precision.“

Lemay.ai is an approved top-tier federal government AI supplier and an NVIDIA Solution Advisor.


They have worked on government projects,“That particular exposure”, says Lemay, “is an important business asset to have. It creates credible brand power that allows you to compete with large consulting firms. We look forward to increasing our existing overseas and US business, and being able to say that our own government buys and uses our products and services is important.”

As for assistance from government, Lemay has long been a user of the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program both for Lemay.ai and sister company AuditMap Technologies, which identifies enterprise risks and risk trends from internal audit reports. He says he is extremely thankful for this kind of funding, but thinks its use should be accelerated and that the system could be reworked to be more supportive of financially-strapped startups. The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) believes that SR&ED data can be used to pre-qualify and assess proportionate funding for established innovative firms who have a track record of using SR&ED.

A partial list of Lemay.ai business solutions

Regarding another key point of the CATA proposal, that the support for these firms will drive Canada’s economic recovery as companies of all kinds need the solutions offered by tech firms. Lemay says, “I absolutely believe this to be the case. Innovation is critical and tech already enables that innovation. Before COVID, 80% of our clients we never met face-to-face; now, it is over 90%. We are designed to be a remote, cloud-based company and many other companies are taking advantage of that business model. It had value before, and now with COVID it has even more value.”

For more information visit www.lemay.ai or email matt@lemay.ai

CATA’S proposed Resilience and Rebound (RR) Fund and Data Solution  seeks to provide simpler assistance eligibility using available Canadian Revenue Agency audited data. Proportionate and partly forgivable loans, pegged to previous SR&ED claim amounts, will help bring talent back to work and retain sovereign IP as a foundation for bridging to the future. Funds would finance growth expansion and development of new commercial opportunities and/or help bridge stressed COVID19 induced issues for these firms.  StatsCan data reveals that 13,000 Canadian SMEs have established SR&ED records and they directly employ 760,000 and with downstream jobs added in they support 4 million people.

August 26, 2020

AFTIA: Stories of Survival from Canada’s Tech Innovators

Since the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) was created 42 years ago we have represented the interests of Small and Medium science
and technology-centric enterprises. Today these Canada headquartered businesses are in the tens of thousands and have grown to be the heart of the Canadian economy generating $188B in annual revenues. 

We are over 150 days into COVID19 and we do not see a comprehensive restart or response plan for the technology sector. We see well placed companies thriving and others struggling. News of staff layoffs and acquisition activity continues. Many seek equity for new opportunities, pivoting to other markets, applications and verticals. Tech firms, their IP and talent, remain crucial to Canada’s future economy and job creation.

In this ongoing series, we profile companies dealing with the reality of COVID-19 and their experience with emergency government support programs.

For all those struggling there are others that have seen a rise in business activity.  They are examples of what CATA contends is why tech firms can help drive economic recovery.

We are inspired, we hope you are too.

Right Product, Right Time And AFTIA Is Enjoying A Spike In Business.

A 30-40% increase in revenue for a small firm during a pandemic and economic shutdown is a clear indicator that you have what other companies want.  For AFTIA, a five-year-old Ottawa company, what it offers are solutions to moving a company towards digital transformation and improving the workflow. The founders saw a gap in the solutions available to companies, especially solutions that would enable forms and documents to be integrated.

It may not be the Shopify increase of 83% in profits and 71% increase in client companies during Q2 but co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Rodney Waugh says AFTIA is benefiting from the same workplace trends driving Shopify and that is the need to move business activity to the online and digital world. Companies and their customers are shifting to remote work and accelerating digital transformation doing in months what might have taken years to unfold.

In July of 2020 research company, Avant Analytics reported that the global Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) sales during March increased by 86%compared to the month before as the world shifted to remote work. “The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation plans, making business leaders more aware of any gaps in their legacy communications solutions,” said Ian Kieninger, CEO and co-founder of Avant Communications.

Key AFTIA digital services including eSignature

Waugh says the shift driven by COVID-19 has generated new business and for AFTIA the most demand in recent months is for the eSignature service. The use of eSignatures is not new but COIVD like so many other changes accelerated a shift the has been building for years. A secure signature is the cornerstone of moving manual processes into the digital world. Generating a global revenue of almost a billion dollars in 2019, the entire market for electronic signatures is forecast to skyrocket and hit $9 billion by 2023.

Business opportunities would seem to abound according to a survey by Montreal’s OVHCloud that indicates 48% of Canadian businesses say they are not prepared to either support or maintain long-term remote work because of the digitization shift required. The survey was released at the end of July and meshes with another survey released just days before by Salesforce that indicates 30% of firms do not believe they are prepared to reopen and 20% say they do not have the right technology in place to enable a re-opening.

Business Surveys on preparedness for digital transformation and reopening.

48% not prepared to support or maintain remote work
30% of firms not ready to reopen after COVID lockdown
20% need the right technology to enable reopening

AFTIA has hired a few people during the COVID lockdown and because revenues are up the company could not qualify for most government assistance programs other than the $40,000 partially forgivable loan.

Rodney Waugh Co-Founder and COO, AFTIA

In the past AFTIA was able to expedite hiring more people because of the funding it received through the federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program. “AFTIA has been using SR&ED since our first year of operation. It makes a huge difference and ensures that you can grow a company.” The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) believes the SR&ED program is a viable and effective way to get assistance out to Canada’s innovators. “If the CATA plan were implemented and we received the funding it would make a huge difference. Right now cash is everything.”

For more information visit www.aftia.com or Rodney.Waugh@aftia.com

CATA’S proposed Resilience and Rebound (RR) Fund and Data Solution  seeks to provide simpler assistance eligibility using available Canadian Revenue Agency audited data. Proportionate and partly forgivable loans, pegged to previous SR&ED claim amounts, will help bring talent back to work and retain sovereign IP as a foundation for bridging to the future. Funds would finance growth expansion and development of new commercial opportunities and/or help bridge stressed COVID19 induced issues for these firms.  StatsCan data reveals that 13,000 Canadian SMEs have established SR&ED records and they directly employ 760,000 and with downstream jobs added in they support 4 million people.

August 23, 2020

CATA Letter of Support from SREDucation

CATA is pleased to recognize the latest letter of support for our campaign seeking more assistance for Canada’s most innovative tech firms. This letter comes from SREDucation, the largest single online source of information and resources about Canada’s Scientific Research and Experimental Development federal government program. To learn more about SREDucation click here. Read the full letter.

 

August 19, 2020

To whom it may concern, We would like to announce our support to the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) in proposing the Resilience and Rebound fund to provide interest-free, partially forgivable loans to innovative companies who have previously worked on SR&ED projects.

As the creators of the single largest source of SR&ED information online, we have seen first- hand the benefits of the SR&ED program and are aware of the tens of thousands of companies this program supports annually. With the infrastructure already in place, it is a sensible suggestion to leveraging this program and department to deploy additional direct-funding to Canada’s innovative companies.


It is critical that we are ensuring the survival of Canadian innovators by protecting jobs and investments. This emergency fund is expected to help maintain 760,000 direct jobs in technology and – taking into account downstream jobs – upwards of four million jobs are at stake across the country at all levels. It is hoped the fund will keep innovators in Canada. We cannot afford to lose our competitive edge.

The team at CATA has put forward excellent ideas in the past and this is no exception. With proper controls, we believe this to be an excellent way to deliver targeted assistance.

We hope all firms can stand alongside CATA in advocating for this additional support.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Lance, MA, MASc.
Managing Director, InGenuity Group Solutions Inc
Creators of SR&ED Education & Resources
Office: (613) 729-2828 x101

 

100 Metcalfe St, Suite 200, Ottawa, ON K1B 5M1
(613) 729-2828
www.SREDucation.ca
info@SREDucation.ca

 

Oliver’s Story: Stories of Survival from Canada’s Tech Innovators

Since the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) was created in 1978 we have represented the interests of Small to Medium science and technology-centric Enterprises. Today these Canada headquartered businesses are in the tens of thousands and have grown to be the heart of the Canadian economy.

In April of this year, as the COVID-19 impact on business became clear, CATA wrote to the Prime Minister to urge a strong level of support for our most innovative tech firms. Following multiple conversations with ministers and bureaucrats, we are still waiting for a formal response to our questions and proposal.

We are over 100 days into COVID19 and do not see a comprehensive
technology sector emergency response. Payroll and obligations wait for no one.

We see companies struggling, laying off staff, trying to pivot to improve their chances of survival, hunting for funding to meet the bills. Small and medium firms are crucial to Canada’s economy and job creation.

In this ongoing series, we profile company leaders dealing with the reality of COVID-19 and their experience with emergency government support programs.

We are inspired, we hope you are too.

Oliver’s Story

Our first case comes from Else Labs, an Ottawa business that believes they have the next big thing in home cooking. Can they hang on until the product is launched is the big challenge.

It’s a long story of iterative and careful development that began in 2016. Else Labs built Oliver, a food-cooking robot. From the Oliver app, you can choose a recipe and then load ingredients into individual containers on the robot. Oliver then controls the dispensing, cooking, heating, mixing and full preparation of your meal and can even be remote-started via your phone.

The OLIVER smart Kitchen Robot – Courtesy Else Labs

Oliver has been refined over the years and a full-time staff of 14 engineers and developers is making the final design changes. The plan is to launch by the end of 2020.

Khalid Aboujassoum, Founder & CEO of Else Labs said just before COVID-19 hit they received about a million dollars in private funding, 20% of what they had hoped for and that will have to carry them until product launch.

“We are on the defensive now, watching every dollar, and strategically navigating the uncertainty of COVID-19.”

Khalid Aboujassoum, Founder & CEO of Else Labs

As a pre-revenue firm most assistance programs are not available to Else Labs. The firm is eligible for $132,000 of federal IRAP money that will cover some payroll from April to June. “The assistance is not significant but every bit does help, in this economic climate survival is what it’s all
about,” says Aboujassoum.

Aboujassoum thinks they can survive until beginning of 2021. For now, he says it makes no sense to lay people off, there is too much work to be done. Finalizing design plans, agreements with a manufacturers, setting sales targets and creating a pipeline to get to market.

Media coverage and public response have been favourable, almost 1,000 people have pre-registered to buy a unit. Just a few weeks ago a South Korean appliance maker reached out and wants to discuss a white label product for Asia.

Something similar is possible with a large American player in the wellness/
nutrition space. The giant firm contacted Else Labs because their millions of
calorie-conscious clients are a prime market for a device that lets the user
automatically log their food intake. In the market there’s now a convergence of connectivity, new appliances and people’s interest in eating well.

Aboujassoum points to the huge success of Instant Pot, a similar product, also produced by an Ottawa firm, as evidence of a potential $200 Billion market for this type of product. COVID-19 actually creates a plus for Oliver, there has been a significant rise in cooking at home and people may well want to continue that with some help from technology.

As for the CATA proposal to provide assistance through the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SRED) program, Aboujassoum says he has used SRED and he likes the proposal, “It would mean life or death. We could get $1.5 million and that would be literally life-changing for our firm. We think we could more than double our staff in 6-12 months after launch. The clock is ticking for us.” Since the company began, CDN $3.2 million has been invested by owners and investors and the firm has spent more than CDN $4 million on research and development.

The first company Aboujassoum started is still operating successfully. It taught him how tough the business world can be and while he thinks the government treatment of pre-revenue firms is unfair it is simply one more thing to deal with.

“It will be very tough to swallow if we run out of money, end up not making it to launch and have to sell our idea and let someone else get all the benefits, but I am still hopeful that we will navigate the financing challenges of COVID-19.”


For more information go to www.olivercooks.com or email khalid@olivercooks.com