It was a big surprise when the U.S. Army came calling for portable charging devices. The department was looking for a charger with flash memory, on which PowerStick holds the patent, to use with its communication devices that give soldiers information in the field.
© Photo by Cole Burston
Nigel Harris is CEO of PowerStick.
By Elizabeth Howell
The deal closed eight months ago and added another win to an Ottawa company riding high on the surge of branded electronic devices, the sort that companies often give away at events as promotions.
“It’s large quantities, large volumes, big dollar amounts and it’s great for us,” said CEO Nigel Harris.
He sees the deal as proof that the company’s name is getting out there. PowerStick’s name is also on the devices along with the brand name, meaning that many sales come through word of mouth when someone spots a co-branded item being used.
Orders are coming in so fast now that the company has started a five-year lease on a building on Bentley Avenue in Nepean. The 2,700-square-foot facility is where all the products are stored before they are sold, while staffing continues to be run out of Camelot Drive. More employees will be hired soon, but PowerStick is starting by temporarily bringing on four interns this summer to see what its needs are, Mr. Harris said.
Design, engineering, sales and assembly all take place locally, allowing PowerStick the option to process big orders quickly with no need for cross-border tariffs or delays. This gives the company an edge over the competition, Mr. Harris said.
The company’s goal is to introduce four new products a year, and to move more into customized types of products such as making car grill-shaped chargers for auto manufacturers. The company also wants to continue growing its 15,000 customers to account for those that make occasional rather than regular buys.
Customers also provide input through the design process as new products are developed, which keeps everyone apprised of what PowerStick is working on, Mr. Harris added.
“We constantly make them aware of what we do, what we have now, and what’s coming, and we take their suggestions very seriously,” he said.
YEAR FOUNDED: 2011
LOCAL HEAD COUNT: 27
MAJOR CUSTOMERS: U.S. Army
PRODUCT: Personalized power-charging solutions
REVENUE GROWTH: 343.06%
Each year, OBJ profiles the fastest growing private companies in the National Capital Region. Firms are ranked by percentage revenue growth over their three most recent fiscal years. Companies must be cash-flow positive in all three years. Click here for more information.