Meet Ottawa’s 2018 Bootstrap Award winners


An eco-speaker manufacturer, water treatment firm and the developers of a patient monitoring app are among this year’s recipients of the 2018 Ottawa Bootstrap Awards.

The annual awards reception pays tributes to some of the top self-financed local firms and aims to show entrepreneurs that a business doesn’t always need the support of a wealthy angel investor or venture capitalist to succeed.

Originally launched by Bruce Firestone’s Exploriem incubator several years ago, the awards were rebooted in 2017 by The Ottawa Network, Wesley Clover and Smart & Biggar.

This year’s awards reception is scheduled for Tuesday, March 6 at the Marshes Golf Club in Kanata and will feature special guest speaker Code Cubitt of Mistral Venture Partners as well as Ottawa Business Journal publisher Michael Curran.

Green Award: Riverwood Acoustics

Founder / CEO: Ben Seaman
Product / service: Riverwood Acoustics manufactures and sells premium wireless speakers made of 100% reclaimed birch riverwood.

Innovation Engineering & Technology Award: SanEcoTec

Founder / CEO: Els Vanbeckevoort
Product / service: SanEcoTec Ltd. develops sustainable water treatment practices. The focus of its business to date has largely been on the development of AVIVE, which provides an alternative to chlorine in secondary disinfection of drinking water; the AVIVE water treatment process involves the use of hydrogen peroxide, which is considered safer, more cost-efficient and healthier to the ultimate consumer.

Best Mobile Application: GoFor

Co-Founder / CEO: Brad Rollo
Product / service: GoFor is an Uber-like platform meeting the unique needs of the construction industry. The app allows users, both construction professionals and do-it-yourselfers, to have small to medium-sized orders of building materials delivered immediately.

Founder of the Year: Welbi Technologies

Co-Founder/CEO: Elizabeth Audette-Bourdeau

Elizabeth Audette-Bourdeau is the founder of Ottawa startup Welbi. (File photo by Mark Holleron)

Product / service: Welbi has developed an app that uses the data collected by wearable devices, such as Fitbit or Apple Watch, to build a specialized profile of each individual’s vital signs, day-to-day routine and habits – including heart rate, sleep quality, physical activity, weight, blood pressure and more – and to notify their caregivers of any changes that may indicate a problem.

Best Guerilla/Social Marketing Campaign: Digitera

Founder / CEO: Jordan St. Jacques
Product / service: Digitera provides comprehensive digital marketing services that aim to, for example, increase traffic to a company’s website, strengthen a company’s social media presence and successfully implement blast/email marketing campaigns.

Bootstrap Capital Award: Spatial DNA Informatics Inc.

Founder / CEO: Todd Lewis
Product / service: Spatial DNA Informatics Inc. is a systems integration firm, focussed on integration of location-based data into enterprise systems. Its “PeopleFlow” platform tracks the movement of people and things in indoor spaces for retailers, manufacturers and workplace experience professionals; it provides complete end-to-end service delivery of an installed sensor network and an analytics platform to understand flow / footfall in retail, manufacturing and workplaces.

Community Impact Award: KindVillage

Founder / CEO: Tanya Woods
Product / service: Kind Village develops software and organizational solutions to increase the social impact of businesses, employees/citizens, charities/non-profits and government in local communities.