2016 Canadian SaaS Showcase Live Blog

Posted on Jun 22, 2016 in | By: Lucy Screnci

Stay tuned for updates from our second annual 'Best in SaaS' Showcase, taking place at the Great Canadian Theatre Company! 


UPDATE (6:19 PM) Getting ready for this evening's festivities to begin! A big thank you to our event sponsors - Deloitte (Platinum) and our Community sponsors: Dentons, Labarge Weinstein, Microsoft, Osler, RBC and Welch! Thank you to National Bank for making our after party at West Park Lanes possible! Be sure to join us for bowling as we extend the celebration after the event!



(UPDATE: 6:38 PM)

L-SPARK Executive Director Leo Lax takes the stage and is welcoming the crowd! On L-SPARK's growth over the last two years, Leo reflects:

"We are in the business of creating companies that are sustainable and that can become global." 

We've been in touch directly and mentoring 19 companies, with 13 companies graduating this year."

Leo notes that our sponsors have made this night possible, in addition to our CAIP partners - Wesley Clover, Invest Ottawa and NRC IRAP. 


Leo introduces Jennifer Francis of Technovation - proceeds of tonight's ticket sales will go to the Ottawa chapter of the global organization. 

"Today you're going to hear from the winning Ottawa team, Pentagen." 

Team Pentagen has taken the stage and are giving the run down of their product -ConnectSitter - a mobile application that connects parents with babysitters in the same neighbourhood. 


Leo notes that L-SPARK's companies have raised a total of $5 million in aggregate funding, proving that Ottawa is well on its way to becoming a leader in SaaS. 

Now, Philip Tabet of Buildmetric is explaining how his experiences in the construction industry led him to found Buildmetric



Jane Wang, co-founder and Optimity, explains that reactive systems in health care are ineffective - companies "lose $1.1 trillion every year due to preventable lifestyle diseases."

"What if we can go back and be truly proactive - a team of nutritions, data scientists - that are watchful and can alert you to the earliest signs of physical design - we've made that dream into reality with the Optimity Wellness Program."

The three things that Optimity does that are revolutionary - (1) they can spot the pattern of eight chronic diseases, (2) they offer scalable support, and (3) their participation rates are industry leading. 

As Jane explained, the truth and success of the program is shown in numbers - they have captured an industry high 98 per cent participation rate. 



Traditional shopping cart platforms are ineffective, says Founder and CEO of BidFoundry - a marketplace in which rare stamp collectors can connect with qualified buyers.

We are laser focused on small dealers, and focused on the auction market. 

Robert is discussing three revenue streams: merchant subscriptions, transaction fees and member subscriptions. 

"When you look at the stamp market - we can have a $100 million business."

BidFoundry is looking for $300K to take on the stamp market and then progress into the auction market.


Russell Coltess explains that Fitchek is going to be the nerve centre of the fitness industry. It's a marketplace that connects fitness studios and professionals with people who are looking for classes. 

Fitchek has signed an exclusivity agreement with CanFit Pro, and they have secured a number of partnerships with fitness publications. 

To fuel additonal growth, Fitchek is looking to raise a $500K round of funding. They have previously closed a $300K round.


Paul Gardner discussing the strength of TitanFile's team - that includes an ex-Googler and a history of successful exits.

CEO Chris Stoate runs down some facts - TitanFile has over 80 customers and nearly $30K in MRR. In the past six months they have secured $500K in angel investment. 

Security breaches are causing senior executives and health care professionals to ask of their CIO, "What steps are you taking to protect our data?" 


Yulia Vasilyeva was puzzled by the traditional workflow in retail supply chain management, which helped her build the Intelocate platform.

"We decided to build a platform that combines all communication means for the retailer. We have built a platform that allows vendors to collaborate in one place. We provide real-time visibility into execution and help retailers optimize the entire supply chain process."

"With the help of L-SPARK, we've managed to hit the ground running so we can expand globally. We were a team of two - now we are a team of five."



Stephen Foley of Member365 describes their vast total addressable market - $5 billion.

“Since entering L-SPARK in February, we’ve grown to 50 from 10 paying customers."

 They have maintained a rate of zero churn and 25 per cent month-over-month growth.

 “We will be a million dollar company in 2020.”


Aaron Carr of Qarrot Performance says the front-line staff motivation platform is on track to generate $2 million in revenue for 2016. 



Intekhab Alam introduces Lindy Ledohowski, who has prepared a video pitch. Lindy is the founder of EssayJack, a web application that helps students improve their essay writing.

"In North America, there are 30 million students that have to write scholarly essays, and they don't know how to achieve success doing so. "


Elli Seregelyi has brought down the house with her performance! Now Leo is introducing the Accelerator companies.


First up of the Accelerator companies, Jeffrey Doucet of CareerJSM

His co-founder and himself were obsessed with a major problem - why recent graduates experience prolonged periods of unemployment. 

"Fourteen per cent of recent graduates are unemployed or under employed. When you subsidize the cost of education and it doesn’t produce a strong outcome - that’s not a good return on investment."

Hiring managers have access to myriad of options for recruitment - but "no one has built a product to help job seekers manage the process of job searching.



David Ker reflects on his journey at L-SPARK, before delving into his product. ZINation "facilitates strategic online merchandising for ecommerce merchants."

 "When you do merchandising online, it’s like having a sales person helping to sell for you."

ZINation clients see a jump in revenue, and significantly cut down on man power hours. 

Anthony Mar is discussing his solution that enables medical clinics to maintain productivity. Cliniconex generates $40K in MRR and serves over one thousand physicians. 

Their appointment reminder platform has enabled the Markham Family Health Team to maintain a no-show wait of 0-1 per cent. 

Cliniconex saves the clinic 40 hours per month and boasts an incredibly high customer retention rate - nearly 99 per cent. 



Chris Perram of FileFacets discusses his transition from services to SaaS company.

Since joining L-SPARK they've exponentially grown their monthly recurring revenue - to $75K in MRR in November 2015 to $75K by May 2016. By the end of June 2016 they will have reached $100K MRR. 


Some highlights from the recap video of the 2016 cohort: 

"L-SPARK means allowing our company to see the light at the end of the tunnel," says David Ker, founder and CEO of ZINation. 

"On every measurable objective, our company is further ahead than when it entered L-SPARK," says Jeffrey Doucet, CEO and co-founder of CareerJSM.

Leo is thanking sponsors, partners and the team that has prepped our companies for this day - Casey and his team from Bitesite and Anil Dilawri

L-SPARK is accepting applications for the third Accelerator session beginning in fall 2016. 

"We want to make sure Ottawa is known as the SaaS centre of the world. November 30 and December 1 - we're bringing you SaaS North."

It's an unique business model that's evolving. We believe that over the two days of the conference, people will learn what they need to do to be successful in SaaS. 

Attendees have a chance to win a VIP ticket to the conference. 

Lucy Screnci

Lucy Screnci

Lucy is a versatile communications professional with a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Toronto’s Ryerson University. Her diverse experience before L-SPARK includes contributing to magazine publications and working in a live television environment. As L-SPARK’s Social Media Coordinator, Lucy interacts with the community and promotes events over social platforms including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. She also monitors activity on all social channels and actively seeks out partners and allies in both the entrepreneurial space and tech sector. Lucy enjoys combining her passion for writing and digital media in order to devise and execute effective social media strategies that continue to increase L-SPARK’s brand visibility.

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