Earlier this week, Mr. Burnatowski left the city’s economic development agency to launch a consulting company that he said is needed in Ottawa.
While Invest Ottawa focuses on technology companies, Mr. Burnatowski said that retail and service-based companies are often neglected. His new company, 2Phase3 Business Performance Solutions, seeks to help those companies grow from conception to growth.
Looking back, Mr. Burnatowski said he is proud of what he accomplished while working for what used to be the Ottawa Centre for Research & Innovation.
When he was hired in 2007, his job was to revitalize the Entrepreneurship Centre with new direction and programs. One of those programs, called iProfit, still exists today and was the agency’s first mentorship program. He also implemented many seminars and helped to increase their attendance rates dramatically.
The Entrepreneurship Centre no longer exists under the rebranded Invest Ottawa, but was turned into a program within Innovate Ottawa, a division also encompassing the agency’s accelerator program.
This streamlining means that no one will fill Mr. Burnatowski’s previous position, as far as he knows.
The shifts convinced him it was time to change careers.
“There were good times, but towards the end I saw what was happening and it was time to move on and rejazz myself,” he said. “It was a mutual decision. It was time to move on.”
Since leaving the agency one week ago, he says his days have been filled with signing four clients with his new company alongside a partner with extensive retail experience who has not yet been named.
The consulting company is now focused on Ottawa-based clients, but is looking to expand into the Toronto market in the future.
As he leaves his post as head of an entrepreneurial hub to pursue a more hands-on innovating experience, he says that the most valuable thing he learned from the job was the depth of support for businesses in the city. He saw more than 100 volunteers helping to run seminars and events.
“There is a very good grassroots community in Ottawa,” he said. “That was something that really touched me.”