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The entrepreneurial ecosystem

Guest : Nick Quain, VP Venture Development, Invest Ottawa

What elements are necessary to create a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem?

“Entrepreneurship is hard, you need to have support there.”

-Nick Quain


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Guest bio: Nick Quain

As Vice President of Venture Development at Invest Ottawa, Nick leads all programming and support for start-up, early stage and scaling companies alike, while supporting Ottawa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem as a whole.

This work includes the design and launch of Invest Ottawa’s Pre-Accelerator program and the IO Accelerator in 2018, and then the Scale Up program and IO Peer Groups in 2019, while also orchestrating one of the largest pitch competitions in Canadian history at AccelerateOTT. Overall, this involved running an extended team supporting these entrepreneurs and their staff, while managing a stable of Ottawa’s top business advisors ranging across all areas of technology and entrepreneurship.

Previously at CellWand, Nick was co-founder and CEO, where he drove all development, strategy and execution, where he pioneered the use of abbreviated dialing codes in North America with our award winning #TAXI (Pound Taxi) service and subsequently in the mobile transportation space, with The Ride app. Highlights included raising several million in capital, closing industry first deals with every major wireless carrier in North America and architecting a marketing strategy that made #TAXI a national brand used over 17 million times (and counting), while propelling CellWand to profitability and millions in revenue.

CellWand won numerous business and innovation awards, including the 2010 Canada’s Top 10 Competition for Technology, Named one of the Hottest Innovation Companies in Canada, and one of the top 10 Wireless Companies to watch by IDC.


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