Ottawa’s tech scene is thriving. The evidence and excitement spans every corner of the city. It boasts the second highest concentration of scientists and engineers in North America (second only to Silicon Valley), more than 1,750 tech companies and the nation’s largest tech park (Kanata North). It is easy to see why Ottawa is a driving force in Canada’s tech sector growth.
More than 77,000 ICT professionals bring their expertise to bear on Ottawa’s tech community, fuelling research, technology development and operations across the public and private sector. This includes giants such as Amazon, Nokia, Blackberry, Ericsson, Corel, IBM, Cisco Systems and Adobe. The city is also headquarters to homegrown stars such as Shopify, QNX, Kinaxis, You.i TV, Klipfolio, Lixar, Spartan Bioscience and Mitel – just to name a few.
Tech firms and talent are moving to Ottawa from far and wide, and investing in this region. Career opportunities abound in emerging technology fields — cybersecurity, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, machine learning, wearables, and the Internet of Things — and at all levels, from entry-level to executive. HR departments are working aggressively to meet demand, and working with organizations such as Invest Ottawa and the Kanata North Business Association to showcase these incredible roles. Whether you are looking for a career (Work in Ottawa), your next entrepreneurial success or business expansion (Why Ottawa), the region is a hotbed of opportunity.
Ottawa – home to some of the world’s greatest tech talent and opportunity. Source: Ottawa Tourism
It’s no wonder world-class companies are taking up residence and startups are taking flight. Data from Thomson One illustrates that Ottawa’s tech companies raised more money in the public markets over the last five years than firms in every other Canadian city combined. Couple that with a turnover rate of less than five per cent and an estimated 9,000 new tech jobs by 2019 (according to the Information and Communications Technology Council), up to 3,000 of which will be in the Kanata North Tech Park, and it is clear momentum is building!
Looking for a little more evidence?
- Shopify expects to recruit 2,000 new employees in Ottawa alone over the next two years
- QNX, a leader in the connected car space, will open a new Autonomous Vehicle (AV) R&D facility creating an estimated 650 new jobs
- Ford Motor Company will establish a Research and Engineering Centre focused on connected car and autonomous vehicle technology valued at $338 million, creating up to 300 new tech jobs
- Amazon has established an engineering team in Ottawa, and is actively seeking more horsepower to develop key applications for Alexa, the artificial intelligence (AI) assistant that powers Amazon’s voice-activated Bluetooth speaker, Echo
It is no surprise these firms are capitalizing on Ottawa’s engineering talent. Anchored by leading universities and colleges, the city has the most educated workforce in Canada. One of the most tech-intensive regions in the country, eight per cent of the local workforce is employed in a knowledge-based business. And the region has a proven track record for hosting large tech companies and demonstrating resilience during economic downturns. When Nortel Networks disappeared from the industrial landscape, it gave rise to a new generation of Ottawa entrepreneurs and firms, a more diverse economy and new market opportunity. These leaders continue to build on the region’s technology strengths.
This includes exciting developments in next generation networks (NGN) and Software as a Service (SaaS). Ottawa’s deep roots in the telecom industry are giving rise to powerful NGN initiatives, and the Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN) is at the heart of this action. This consortium works with SMEs, multinationals, government and academia to accelerate the commercialization of next generation communications solutions.
Ottawa is also home to breakout SaaS companies. Take FarmLead, a digital marketplace that allows buyers and sellers to list, negotiate and finalize grain deals online and via a mobile app. The company recently raised $6.5 million from Monsanto Growth Ventures, along with Avrio Ventures, the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund and Serra Ventures. This critical investment will enable FarmLead to create more jobs in the nation’s capital.
Companies are leveraging Ottawa’s many business advantages. With more than 130 embassies, the city has ties to marketplaces around the world. And it is a short flight to more than 200 million people, including prospective employees, customers and investors in New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington and other major centres.
Diverse job opportunities in a robust tech marketplace aren’t the only draw for top talent. With relatively short commutes, affordable housing in safe communities, incredible arts and culture, and the advent of zero-emission electric light rail, Ottawa offers an outstanding quality of life. The result: all the ingredients for a great career and an even better life. See Financial Post article.
Invest Ottawa, lead economic development agency, and the Kanata North Business Association, which represents more than 500 companies in the Kanata North Tech Park, are proud to help fuel the growth and success of Ottawa entrepreneurs and firms, attract new investment, and build a strong regional economy.