As Nick Quain sees it, anyone who wants to map the future of Ottawa technology must follow the flow of venture capital into the city since early 2021.
While other companies in the region were reeling from the pandemic, a new generation of software companies in sectors that were barely on the radar of local entrepreneurs during the original Ottawa telecom boom — areas such as e-commerce, cybersecurity, logistics and health technology – attracted the kind of dazzling VC deals since those heady days of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
“You start to see the transformation complete and Ottawa becomes a software city,” said Quain, the vice president of venture development at Invest Ottawa.
As head of the agency’s economic development incubator and scale-up programs for the past four years, Quain has sat on the front row to witness the emergence of a new breed of tech startup.
These are not your father’s budding unicorns. Unlike the hardware companies that fueled the dotcom boom two decades ago, these startups — think last-mile delivery provider GoFor or online healthcare platform Fullscript — specialize in software that powers an increasingly interconnected world in which the Internet can control every aspect of our lives. everyday lives.