Mona Hafez says she was listening to a venture capitalist’s presentation at Startupfest in Montreal this summer when she realized her business was missing something.
The investor’s key message to entrepreneurs in the audience was to build relationships with would-be funders before they start searching for seed funding.
“I haven’t spent the last few years cultivating relationships with investors,” says Hafez, the CEO of OrbitHub, which develops booking and registration software for sports clubs and community associations. Instead, her recent focus has been on developing a market-ready product.
However, Hafez says that the Innovation Centre can help her firm fill that gap.
OrbitHub was admitted to Invest Ottawa’s incubator in 2014 and will be moving to the Innovation Centre with the economic development agency this fall. Hafez says she’s optimistic that being located inside the new facility will help in her search for funding.
“The Innovation Centre is going to be generating traffic like Invest Ottawa, but it will attract a broader community of investors, potential customers and other advisers,” she says. “If there are investors passing through the facility, introductions are going to be happening a lot more naturally.”