Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, is home to a growing number of software companies that are making their mark in the national and international tech communities. According to Invest Ottawa, one of Ottawa’s best known and most influential economic stimulus agencies, “an estimated 20,000 people are employed in the software industry with over 300 companies in the region. Ottawa’s highly skilled software professionals and world-class R&D capability make it an ideal location for software-development activities.”

Software companies have provided an important economic basis in Ottawa for many years. Corel is of course an early leader and was followed over the years by other companies like QNX Software Systems, Flick Software, bitHeads and Shopify, to name a few. Even Microsoft has an office here.

So is there something special about the Ottawa region that is making it a tech center for Canada?

The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service lists Ottawa as “the most educated city in Canada with 61% of workers having a post-secondary degree and has the highest concentration of scientists and engineers in Canada” and adds that “over $4.7 billion CDN (has been) invested in Ottawa technology companies in the past ten years”. These are impressive statistics for an area with a population of less than a million people.

In this primordial soup is our company, SageTea Software; a start-up looking to make its mark in the IT world and become Ottawa’s next high tech success story.

SageTea is the brainchild of computer mathematician, David Long, a local Carleton University graduate. He teamed up with MBA grad, Scott MacGregor, from Ottawa’s other post-secondary institution, the University of Ottawa. Next came some local IT talent, a couple of engineers and SageTea Software, originally SageTea Group, was born.

Along the way, they tapped into resources like Ottawa’s National Research Council, government programs and Carleton University for support. University of Ottawa mathematician, Dr. Miriam Higighi, wrote an important white paper on the speed and efficiency of the SageTea model.

There was also the invaluable help of family and friends as well as companies that believed in and supported us.

Being accepted into the accelerator program at Invest Ottawa was an important step forward.   Bruce Lazenby, President & CEO, Bernadette Terry, Senior Business Development Manager, Defense & Security, and Andrea Blaylock, Senior Business Development Manager of Software, were three of the people at Invest Ottawa who provided strategic advice and contacts for our young company.

While still in the accelerator program, we then moved to General Dynamics Canada, a major defense contractor in Ottawa who has made SageTea Software the first outside company ever allowed to operate inside their walls.

SageTea Software is very much an Ottawa company. We have gratefully benefited from the resources, support and encouragement that we have received here and are looking forward to being one of Ottawa’s next success stories.