En­tre­pre­neur’s view

Ottawa Business Journal - Techopia - - What's Happening -

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.”

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