About TON


The Ottawa Network is a not-for-profit member-driven organization that connects entrepreneurs, academics, industry professionals, students, and government agencies to grow innovative businesses in the Ottawa region. 

We partner with local incubators, accelerators, government and local businesses to co-host, promote and create events that provide networking and educational opportunities for entrepreneurs in and around the Ottawa region.


Our members come from a wide cross section of the Ottawa business, academic, and entrepreneurial community. We work in government, large businesses, small businesses and startups. We are students and leaders, startup builders and innovators. 



Membership is FREE, as are all of our events. We understand bootstrapping to our core and want to create a community and resource where all entrepreneurs feel welcome. 


Join us  in our mission to build a stronger entrepreneurial community in Ottawa by participating in our events and discussions. Join our LinkedIN group to become a member and receive regular updates.


March 3rd, 2020 - The Marshes Golf Course hosted by Wesley Cover at TechTuesday

The Annual Bootstrap Awards celebrate self-capitalized businesses that have “bootstrapped” their growth with limited outside funding and achieved commercial success. The awards were created to recognize the outstanding achievements of early stage companies in all industries, both for-profit and non-profit, and across a range of distinct criteria-based categories.

Companies must be located in the National Capital Region, from Eastern Ontario to Western Quebec, have been in business less than seven years, and have received no more than $500,000 in outside capital funding (excluding debt).


The winner demonstrates how their company or organization is striving to improve the environment or contribute to environmental health or awareness through a combination of environmental and economic (commercial) sustainability.


The winner demonstrates how their company has applied scientific and/or engineering expertise and technology to solve a problem in a way that is unique and innovative.


The winner demonstrates how their company uses Software as a Service to provide a product that has customer uptake and enthusiasm as shown in number of customers and/or growth.


The winner demonstrates how they used innovative marketing strategies to attract media attention and stakeholder involvement while cost-effectively acquiring customers and clients.


The winner demonstrates their ability to self-finance and “bootstrap” their enterprise with limited or no help from Angel or Venture Capital investors, and grow their business while remaining economically viable and profitable.


The winner demonstrates how they are boldly trying to turn a business or paradigm on its head or changing an industry, and have received some early traction from supporters. This award celebrates those who have a big vision and are taking a risk to make their vision a reality.


The winner demonstrates how their efforts or organization has had an impact on the community in terms of social good by improving diversity, providing a service or product to an under-served community, raising awareness of a cause or initiative through a unique event, campaign, or fundraising program and by using innovative and/or entrepreneurial techniques. This award may be given to an individual entrepreneur or company.


This winner demonstrates exceptional leadership and ability to grow their company and build their business through stakeholder engagement and networking, and/or shown themselves to be a leader and influencer in the business community, acting as a peer role-model for other founders.

2020 Winners

Green Award: Backcountry Wok Founder: Melanie Ang

Innovation Award: Tungsten Collaborative Co-founders: Mike Brown, William Dicke, Dave McMullin

SaaS Award: Rilea Technologies CEO/CTO: Lisa Hallsworth, Rob Hallsworth

Marketing Award: Hit Point Press Founder: Ricardo Evangelho 

Bootstrap Capital Award: Space Strategies Co-founders: Adre Dupuis, Maria Rey, Anne-Marie Dupuis

Disruptor Award: Lightship Security Directors: Jason Lawler, Brad Proffitt, Greg McLearn, Lachan Turner

Community Impact Award: Sprig Learning CEO/CTO: Jarrett Laughlin, Faud Khan


Founder of the Year: Meta Innovation Technologies Founder: Dr. Ellie Ardakani

2019 Winners

Green Award: Ecovena Founder/CEO: Trevor Boicey

Innovation Award: The Growcer Co-founders: Corey Ellis, Alida Burke

SaaS Award: PartnerPortal.io CEO: Josh Garellek

Marketing Award: Desk Nibbles Co-founders: Cassy Aite and Emil Aite

Bootstrap Capital Award: Purecolo CEO: Rainer Paduch

Disruptor Award: Brokrete CEO: Jordan Latourelle

Community Impact Award: Thawrih CEO: Sarah Abood


Founder of the Year: Open Door Education Services Founder: Heather Desjardins



TON of Demos!

A TON of Demos is a forum for Ottawa entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas, businesses, and products or services to fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, and other members of the Ottawa business community.

The event is a great opportunity for you to meet some great people in the Ottawa startup community, hear some pitches, and provide your feedback.

What’s Happening?

The next TON of Demos will be online, and will feature two entrepreneurs who will present their great ideas.

Each presentation will be followed by a Q&A period, moderated by our event facilitator.

Any time left over will be dedicated to open conversation and networking with the presenters or others in the meeting.


November 12, 2020

7:00 PM


The event will be held on Zoom.

We’re asking attendees to sign on starting at 6:45PM and no later than 7:00PM


Those who register on Meetup will be sent a confirmation email with the details for the Zoom call.


RSVP on Meetup

If you’re an Ottawa innovator looking to pitch at a future TON of Demos night please get in touch with us!



TON of Branding


The Ottawa Network has been collaborating with subject matter experts from the Ottawa entrepreneur community to organize a new and exciting series of TON-of-Demos style events.

These events are a great opportunity for you to meet some great people in the Ottawa startup community, learn something, and share your experience.

What’s Happening?

Events will be held online and each event will have a theme selected to be of use to both aspiring and active entrepreneurs.

Each theme will be explored by two presenters who are either experts in their field, or have had an interesting experience with the theme.

As in our TON-of Demos events, each presenter will cover the theme for 10-15 minutes and take questions from the audience moderated by our event coordinator.


The presentations will be interspersed with two 10 minute networking sessions moderated by members of TON's board.


October 29, 2020 7:00 PM

Moderator: Jonathan Morris

Speakers: Joe Aragona, Alex Aragona



The event will be held on Zoom.

We’re asking attendees to sign on starting at 6:45PM and no later than 7:00PM


Those who register on Meetup will be sent a confirmation email with the details for the Zoom call.


RSVP on Meetup

If you’re a local expert entrepreneur looking to present at a future TON event please get in touch with us!



Questions? Suggestions?

Want to tell us how much you love the Ottawa Network? Interested in presenting your venture at an upcoming TON of Demos event? 

Contact us! We love hearing from our community. The Ottawa Network is entirely run by volunteers and we love getting feedback from our members. 

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© 2020 TON