New Invest Ottawa campaign aims to bring talent from Silicon Valley up north

Economic development agency Invest Ottawa thinks the nation’s capital is a pretty swell place for the technically inclined to live and work, and it wants the rest of the world to know it too.

Launched on April 20, the non-profit corporation’s Work In Ottawa campaign is aimed at bringing tech talent from around the world, but particularly from across North America, to a city that boasts more than 1,750 tech companies that collectively employ more than 68,500 workers.

In fact, the campaign website itself serves as an online hub for job seekers and recruiters alike, inviting qualified workers to add themselves to a talent database that participating Ottawa-based companies can access at their leisure.

In an April 20 statement, Invest Ottawa president and CEO Michael Tremblay said his company’s goal with the campaign was twofold: address the Ottawa region’s talent gap, and showcase the considerable growth and success of its many tech companies.

“[The campaign] aims to help companies across our thriving ecosystem, attract and retain the top talent needed to succeed,” Tremblay said, noting that the city includes global Leaders in multiple sectors, including SaaS, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

“Multinational brands such as Nokia, Huawei, IBM, Mitel, Amazon and Apple are continually expanding their operations in Ottawa, while home-grown companies such as QNX, You.i TV, Ross Video, and Shopify will collectively hire thousands of people within the next few years,” he said.

In addition to the region’s many companies, Invest Ottawa collaborates with multiple business accelerators, tech parks, national labs, colleges, and universities in the region, he added, including its own headquarters, the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards, with a particular focus on next-generation networks, 5G, autonomous vehicles, and AI.

In its April 20 release Invest Ottawa also emphasized the Canadian government’s support of its program; in their most recent budget, the federal Liberals announced several research and development-based tax incentives and programs aimed at cultivating a tech-friendly business environment and driving commercial growth, not to mention a startup visa for international entrepreneurs.

“Since Canada is predicted to have more than 182,000 tech jobs by 2019, and not enough people to fill them, the country is welcoming international tech talent with open arms,” the release said. “Ottawa is at the top of this list.”

Invest Ottawa also noted that in addition to providing an economic foundation equal or greater to Silicon Valley and the Toronto-Waterloo corridor, the greater Ottawa region is considerably cheaper than both, with the average Ottawa home costing around $280,000 USD – downright cheap compared to San Francisco’s $1.3 million USD. (And the less said about Toronto-area housing, the better.)

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of ITBusiness.ca turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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