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Ottawa startups go speed dating to attract big CEOs

Ottawa startups go speed dating to attract big CEOs

Posted by PanamericanWorld on May 05, 2015

Ottawa wireless entrepreneurs hope to bend the ears of executives from major multi-nationals this week at the Wavefront Summits in Ottawa.

The event runs in Ottawa for the first time ever starting Tuesday, bringing small companies together with big name CEOs. Chris McDonough, Regional Data Director for Verizon Wireless in New York, says most of the meetings will be fast and intense, something like a speed-date.

"We'll be meeting them for 30 minutes," said McDonough. "This is going to be speed dating where they give us a quick synopsis, we explain what we're looking for, and then there is opportunity for future discussions."

Founders of several small and medium-sized Ottawa companies have "dates" set up, hoping to woo new sales and potential partners.

Deepak Dutt, CEO of Zighra — an Ottawa firm that develops mobile security and authentication services — said it's nice to talk up executives from all over North America right here in his own backyard.

"An event like this is pretty big in Ottawa traditionally. We spend a lot of time in Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and other places like the Middle-East and Asia," said Dutt. "For something like this to come to Ottawa it means we don't have to travel, we have their full focus in a location that's convenient for us."

European, South American executives in Ottawa

The conference invited executives from companies in Sweden, France, Brazil and many from the U.S. including Verizon, Ericsson Brazil, Samsung and Toshiba. Frank Friesacher, CEO of Troo Corporation, hopes his web-based software used to track and monitor aircraft and oil pipelines is an attractive technology for potential partners.

"I have my pitch down," said Friesacher "It's going to be a very busy time, but I'm glad we're going to get this opportunity to meet with people." But Friesacher said he's going into meetings with his eyes wide open and he'd be satisfied just to reach out to the right people and exchange ideas.

"Certainly if we sign deals or partnership agreements that's icing on the cake," he added. For the multi-nationals, it's a way to figure out what's available on the Canadian landscape.

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