Nortel Folk – Take a Look at Lead to Win!

If you are currently working in Nortel, Mitel or any of the other local tech companies that are under stress and under the threat of downsizing, then you are probably thinking about your “Plan B”.     If your “Plan B” involves launching your own business, then you should take a close look at the Lead to Win program.

Past successful Nortel alumnus who have participanted in Lead to Win have included: Chuck Colford (Trigence (aka AppZero), Congruance IT), David Vicary (Nakina, Weyes Eyes), Jerry Everett (onconference), Brian Hurley (Liquid Computing, Purple Forge), and many others.

Lead to Win is now accepting applications for it’s 4th session which will occur later this year (Lead to Win is currently nailing down the exact date and will announce it soon).

The program is focused on helping enterpreneurs develop and grow their businesses.

The program is free to qualified participants.

Program details, application process, testimonials, FAQ’s, training materials, etc are available online at

If you know others who might be interested in the program, please send them to!


Ottawa Tech Jobs Melting Away

The Ottawa-Gatineau unemployment rate took a sharp jump recently and currently sits at 5.2%.

Under the surface, the situation for tech jobs is increasingly serious.

In Ottawa-Gatineau technology jobs have been evaporating at an alarming rate –  in just the last 12 months,  the region has lost 8,800 tech jobs.  This represents greater then a 14% loss. Further, Ottawa-Gatineau has lost almost 30% of its regional tech jobs compared to 2000.   Ottawa-Gatineau tech jobs peaked at 74,000 in 2000 and are now down to 53, 800 as of March 2009.

Stats Canada has published that during the 2002 bubble burst – 4 out of 5 laid off tech workers did not find work in high tech, and 2 of 5 left the City of Ottawa.

The tech sector is continuing to shed jobs in Ottawa-Gatineau.

Ottawa-Gatineau faces a significant loss of tech capability and associated economic impact/growth for the region.

Lead to Win is focused on launching new technology businesses in Ottawa-Gatineau to retain and create new tech jobs.   If you are concerned about the state of the technology sector in Ottawa-Gatineau or are interested in launching a new tech business in the region, you are encouraged to visit

High Tech? Ensure You Know About the IRAP Small Project Accellerated Review Process


More Beef, Less Bun!

We are in the midst of the worst economic downturn Ottawa has seen, and we are watching our high tech sector melt away.

I find it very disturbing that there are few organizations – other than the Talent First Network and NRC-IRAP – that are stepping up and taking visible, urgent and concrete steps to help out our community.

Talent First Network is aggressively pushing ahead with the Lead to Win program, which has garnered strong community support.

The IRAP team have ramped up their pace, they have streamlined processes to match the urgency of the situation, they are pursuing new programs, and they are on the frontline – engaging the entrepreneurs and high tech businesses who are working to expand existing businesses or build new businesses which will revitalize our high tech sector.

The big question is – Where is the leadership from the other tax-funded organizations? The City of Ottawa, the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation and Industry Canada have spent truckloads of money on the Ontario Centres of Excellence, Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation and The Ottawa Partnership (TOP) – these organizations  should be front and center but are virtually invisible.

When it comes to getting results from our tax dollars and leadership from the organizations they fund – it’s time for “More Beef and Less Bun!”  –

In the current economic downturn,  I would rather see more of my tax dollars going to IRAP and the Talent First Network.  They have the right attitude and they are focused on helping our community.

It’s time for MORE BEEF!  LESS BUN!

Pink Slips 2.0 – Dismantling the Workforce One Layoff at a Time

There are an increasing number of articles cronicling the human toll that the job losses are having the United States.

The New York Times and Mercury News have both published articles recently that reflects the significant impacts the the downturn continues to have on families and individuals.

The Silicon  Beat has a regular feature Pink Slip 2.o which chronicles layoffs in Silicon Valley.

There are also a number of sites that have started to tally the layoffs and associated carnage, including: Layoff BlogFucked Startups, Techcrunch Layoffs, Pinks Slips on Wallstreet and Screwdd.

In Canada, Stats Canada has published data on the impact of past tech layoffs that are good predictors for the present.

Ottawa 2.0 – The Flint Michigan of Canada’s High Tech World?

The Citizen published an article on the key role Nortel has had on the Ottawa high tech market, noting that there are no replacements for Nortel waiting in the wings to step-in to the void.

Here is a list of potential impacts on the City of Ottawa in a post-Nortel scenario:

  • Ottawa will increasingly rely on the Federal Government for our local economic future (3Q08 city reports put 75% of Ottawa’s economy as being linked to the presence of the Federal Government in Ottawa)
  • Ottawa economy will decline in size and associated tax base which will lead to reduced city services and programs due to:
  • Ottawa economic growth prospects will decline as the city becomes increasingly less attractive for knowledge-based multi-nationals to locate/expand in Ottawa due to declining size and skills of the local workforce brought about by:
    • Continued emigration of knowledge-workers out of Ottawa (Stats Canada reports have highlighted the lost high tech capabilities and workforce emigration away from Ottawa –  2 in 5 laid off tech workers left Ottawa)
    • Continued reduction in base of knowledge-workers with current experience (Stats Canada reports have highlighted that 4 of 5 laid off tech workers did not find work in tech)

Ottawa may soon be the “Flint Michigan of Canada” when it comes to high tech.

Of course, there are always  career opportunities available in ceramics and pottery.

Project Sun Spot… a Cool Idea with Loads of Microbusiness Potential

Sun has developed Sun Small Programable Object Technology (SPOT).  It’s an experimental platform to inspire developers to build the next great toy, sensor, communication device — who knows — using Sun technology.  The Sun SPOT devices make include a flexible hardware platform as well as the software and tools to make it easy to innovate, experiment, and prototype whatever a developer can imagine.

The Sun SPOT Device is a small, wireless, battery powered experimental platform. It is programmed almost entirely in Java to allow regular programmers to create projects that used to require specialized embedded system development skills. The hardware platform includes a range of built-in sensors as well as the ability to easily interface to external devices.

This little platform is full of potential for “Creative Class” people to base a microbusiness on.