“Unfortunately, a lot of the Ottawa startups ... look at an idea because it was great in the lab, but they don’t want to take the time to sit with real live clients to understand the need of that product.”
It’s a theme also emerging in a study underway by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, which is taking a closer look at profitable firms to determine the best performance boosters.
As an example of success, CATA president John Reid lauds the work of entrepreneurs like Ottawa’s Terry Matthews, whose most notable companies of the 80 or so he founded include Newbridge Networks and Mitel.
“When he develops his business model, he does it based on a customer relationship from the get-go,” Mr. Reid noted.
“Working in tandem with a customer that has a need – it will boost your rate of success. That’s the external part of commercialization.”