In this Behind the Headlines podcast episode, OBJ publisher Michael Curran speaks with OBJ editors David Sali and Peter Kovessy about some of the week’s biggest local business stories.
CURRAN: We've talked a lot on this podcast about the strength of the urban residential real estate market. Now it looks like the Ottawa Valley's residential real estate market is also heating up. Dave, what are some of the trends that are at play?
SALI: The shift to remote work and away from everybody being at the office is playing into this big time. You can have a job in Toronto or Montreal or wherever and work in Renfrew. You can have a great quality of life for a lower price. You get so much more real estate bang for your buck in the Valley.
CURRAN: There’s a neat story about an Ottawa startup that says it wants to become the Airbnb of self-storage. Peter, tell us what that means.
KOVESSY: This startup is looking to steal a little bit of market share from the traditional self-storage industry. Shared Storage was started by a young Ottawa real estate investor by the name of Daniel Disipio who launched a platform that allows property owners with some surplus storage space to put up a listing, set a price and connect with people with extra stuff that needs to be stashed away. What I find particularly interesting about this story is just how it's an example of how the sharing economy is continuing to evolve, particularly here in Ottawa. Of course, we've all heard of those international stories of Lyft, Uber and Airbnb. But here in Ottawa, we have companies like Ruckify and RVezy, which are gaining more and more momentum.
CURRAN: There’s a big award handed out annually by OBJ and the Ottawa Board of Trade. This happens to be the 10th time the Lifetime Achievement Award has been handed out, and in 2020 it’s recognizing someone who built Ottawa's first billion-dollar software company. Tell us a little bit more about that, Dave.
SALI: It's Rob Ashe, who many people will know for his years at Cognos. He started off at the company in 1984 after graduating from uOttawa and kind of grew along with it. He held just about every major executive position until he was named CEO in 2004. He stayed on after Cognos got acquired by IBM in 2008 and then stepped aside to devote his time to mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs. In Ottawa, he’s served as a director at Shopify and advised dozens of up-and-coming entrepreneurs and become a pillar of the tech and wider business community.