ChangeLog is a summary of the latest news from the Ottawa startup community.
© Mark Holleron
The Better Software Company founder and CEO Steve Cody
The Better Software Company starts youth program
The Better Software Company, in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, has launched the "B" Better Foundation, a youth entrepreneurship program designed to teach young people how to start their own business. It takes place over eight biweekly sessions on subjects such as business plans, marketing and branding, social media, sales, public relations and pitching, each featuring guest speakers. To conclude the program, participants will have a chance to pitch to an expert panel, and two winners will receive access to mentors and a $1,200 bursary.
Gnowit launches Google Alerts analytics platform
Ottawa-based web-monitoring and intelligence company Gnowit, one of OBJ's Startups to Watch in 2013, has introduced a new product that promises to make Google Alerts more useful by employing “smart filtering” to analyze, aggregate and visualize users’ results in order to better organize the data, reduce time spent monitoring individual results and get a better big-picture understanding of the topics. The firm launched the free service on Jan. 28.
L-Spark oversubscribes second cohort
After 175 applications and 14 finalists’ pitches, Kanata-based business incubator L-Spark has chosen nine companies for its second cohort, one more than the eight it originally planned to take. The successful companies will move into L-Spark’s offices for four months, where they will have full access to key resources and experienced mentors. The 2016 cohort features Amplify, BidFoundry, Buildmetric, EssayJack, Fitchek, Friendefi, Intelocate, Optimity and TitanFile.
Local startup pairs with Ottawa Tool Library
Ottawa-based father-son manufacturing startup Onshoring Ventures, launched by local entrepreneur Kevin Ford last February, donated two collapsible wooden work benches to the Ottawa Tool Library last month to be used in the library’s new workshops called Tool 101. Invest Ottawa, whose CEO Bruce Lazenby got the two firms working together last fall, covered the cost of one of the benches. Ottawa Tool Library co-founder Bettina Vollmerhausen told OBJ that the donation was exactly what the facility needed to host the workshops.
Shopify CEO urges feds to drop stock option tax plan
Shopify chief executive Tobias Lütke says the federal government’s proposed tax on people who make more than $100,000 in annual stock option gains will hurt startups and innovation, as reported by the Canadian Press. Mr. Lütke says the proposed tax would make it more expensive for new companies to attract talent and would have made it more difficult to start his company. Finance Minister Bill Morneau said details about the plan are coming soon.