Best Ottawa Business Award Winners: #NextBigThingOTT

OBJ Staff
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The Best Ottawa Business Awards are coming to the newly-renamed Shaw Centre Nov. 20. In the days leading up to the awards ceremony, OBJ  will feature some of the recipients.
Today, we feature the #NextBigThingOTT winners.

Best Ottawa Business Awards

#NextBigThingOTT, MicroMetrics

In today’s cutthroat retail world, customer engagement is a key to driving loyalty and repeat business.

MicroMetrics is tapping into that need. Its software-as-a-service platform helps retailers with multiple locations engage with consumers more effectively and glean valuable insights from customer feedback.

Decision-makers at all levels throughout a retail organization have real-time access and insight to the customer feedback data MicroMetrics’s technology collects. This enables retailers to make intelligent, data-driven decisions with more confidence.

According to MicroMetrics co-CEOs Martin Krátký-Katz and Artem Abramov, clients that use its product enjoy customer engagement rates 10 to 25 times better than they do with MicroMetrics’s competitors. This quickens executive decision-making around in-store operations. The MicroMetrics platform also tracks key metrics shift-over-shift at each individual location, for more accurate store and employee performance tracking.

Since the launch of its technology in March, MicroMetrics has enjoyed considerable month-over-month revenue growth, working with retailers such as Chapters/Indigo, Bestseller Retail (parent company of Vero Moda and Jack & Jones) and American Apparel.

Mr. Abramov credits the company’s early success to the support ecosystem here in Ottawa, as well as the team's friends and family.

“Since day one, we have been working with the University of Ottawa, Invest Ottawa and Algonquin College, and we couldn’t have done it without them,” he said. “They have all contributed students and resources to our success. And then there are many other local companies; without them, we couldn’t have gotten to where we are today.”



#NextBigThingOTT, Assent Compliance

Environmental compliance is a growing industry – as well as a growing headache – for organizations in a host of sectors.

From manufacturing to oil and gas development, mineral extraction and so-called “conflict minerals,” companies are faced with a complex and costly challenge to ensure they are compliant with local, national and global environmental regulations.

Ottawa’s Assent Compliance is quickly emerging as one of the top environmental compliance solutions in the world for organizations in need of a turnkey compliance solution and the right industry advice from trusted consultants to get it right the first time.

Through its software-as-a-service platform, Assent Compliance works with clients to build efficient internal programs that meet global compliance requirements. Its customers include small businesses as well as Fortune 500 companies, including names such as CAE, Corning, PMC-Sierra and L-3 Communications.

Despite the company’s global reach, chief technology officer Rob Imbeault says Assent Compliance remains very much an Ottawa company. Supporting local causes, hiring locally and working with other entrepreneurs are central to the company’s culture.

“Winning this award is a testament to my partners’ work,” he said. “It’s a nice hand wave and thumbs-up that we’re doing a good job. What we do is not glamorous, it’s a lot of hard work, and it’s nice to get a pat on the back.”



#NextBigThingOTT, GestureLogic

When most people hear the term “wearable technology,” they can be forgiven if they immediately think of big names such as Apple, Nike+ FuelBand and Google Glass.

But Leonard MacEachern, CEO of GestureLogic, is out to change that. In fact, he says Ottawa is a growing hub for a domestic wearables industry that is springing up along the corridor between Montreal and Kitchener-Waterloo.

His company is bringing to market a new wearable fitness device called LEO. Worn as a band around the upper thigh, LEO optimizes the user’s workout while reducing the risk of injuries. It uses biosignal monitoring to measure muscle activity, heart rate, hydration levels, fatigue, calories, technique and lactic acid. LEO alerts the user if anything is off during a workout, and also uses the data to suggest ways to improve technique.

In August, GestureLogic raised $143,709 in pre-orders through an Indiegogo campaign, well above its goal of $50,000. That followed a successful seed round in which it attracted funds from a syndicate of five angel groups. It’s now working to get the first LEOs off the production line and prove Ottawa can make a splash in the consumer electronics market.

“Winning this award means so many things to a company such as ours,” Mr. MacEachern said. “We are a young company and it’s often difficult to get the visibility. But it’s important right now because we are hiring. The talent is here. We have all the ingredients to build a local industry.”


Organizations: Algonquin College, Indigo, American Apparel University of Ottawa Carleton University CAE PMC-Sierra L-3 Communications Apple, Nike+ FuelBand

Geographic location: Ottawa, Montreal, Kitchener-Waterloo

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