Techopia Live: With big data, Ottawa-based Relogix makes every square foot count

For those obsessed with getting the potted plant on their desks in just the right location to block out an annoying coworker, this episode of Techopia Live is for you. Sort of.

Optimizing space is a concern of all office managers, but corporate real estate companies face that problem on an enormous scale, to the point where walking around with a clipboard and taking notes simply won’t suffice.

“When you have millions of square feet of space, there’s no way you’re going to be able to understand what’s going on across that portfolio,” Relogix founder Andrew Millar told Techopia Live.

“The nature of work has changed. The notion of getting up every day and going to the office … work is now just something that we do and we can do it from anywhere. Starbucks is the new corner office.”

Millar and his team at Relogix have put sensors to work to give corporate real estate firms a better sense of how workspace is really being used. Say a worker is spending most of their time on the road, for example. That desk is left empty more than half of the time, and that space is underutilized.

Mining big data and applying machine learning analytics to the problem of space optimization gives corporate real estate a better view of its own portfolios.

That solution enticed Capital Angel Network’s Chris Courneya, an investor in Relogix. He says the firm demonstrated they were ready to scale, had an established route to market through channel partners and would be able to replicate sales.

Techopia Live
The Capital Angels Network’s Chris Courneya, left, and Relogix founder Andrew Millar. (Photo by Carlo Lombard)

“They were not only selling through these channels, but they were replacing competitive products. That got me really excited,” Courneya told Techopia Live.

The initial investment has given Relogix access to the talent it needs to scale, and Millar says he’s been satisfied with the talent he’s been able to find in Ottawa.

“We have so much engineering, hardware expertise in town and now we have a lot of software expertise growing,” he says. Those two specializations intersect in the Internet of Things, a field Millar believes the city can be a leader in.