timthumbFor the capital of a nation such as Canada, Ottawa brings ‘big city’ caliber with a small-town, homely feel. Amongst its eclectic mix of high-tech, politics and Government driven population, business and innovation are domains that have a large following but are often not recognized or even associated with Ottawa. So how do we bring these hidden gems to the forefront? The Ottawa Innovation Challenge is just one of the ways in which we can expose and highlight the emerging talent in business and   


OIC is an event dear to my heart as I had the privilege to work with Steve RobinsWill Armstrong and Manu Sharma on this initiative from the day the idea was brought up in a casual TalentBridge Friday conversation. I’ve organized events before but working on the OIC was a unique learning experience in itself.  We had many discussions, debates and focus groups to make sure we were creating something of purpose and value to both students and companies.

Bringing an idea like this to fruition in just a matter of weeks clearly illustrates how much we believe in its purpose and what opportunities it can bring to the young entrepreneurial innovators of Ottawa. We are actively taking an initiative to establish a new name for Ottawa. One that connotates originality, creativity, forward-thinking, and opportunity. Please join us for the weekend-long event, that is sure to be filled with fun, learning and opportunity. If you are unable to attend but still want to be in on the action, feel free to follow the event via twitter (@innovateottawa) to have a live feed of the weekend’s happenings and 

please stay tuned for the next OIC!


What:      The Ottawa Innovation Challenge (OIC)

A 48-hour competition to find creative, entrepreneurial solutions for real business problems presented from Ottawa-based companies: Benbriaand ThinkSM.

When:    Friday, August 21 @5pm to Sunday, August 23, 2009

Where  Carleton University, Ottawa

Who:  Registered students from a recognized post secondary institution with an interest or background in entrepreneurship and business development are eligible to register. Applicants must be highly motivated, comfortable with working in a diverse team, as teams will be assembled by the OIC committee, and must have a keen interest in entrepreneurship

How: Contact Steve Robins at steve@innovationottawa.com or Manu Sharma msharma@ocri.ca to register now! Find additional information at  www.innovationottawa.com


  • Showcase your talents where it matters: in application to real-world problems 
  • Become exposed to the realities of the business world, with the presented problems, developing teamwork strategies and working through a problem-solving pipeline
  • Network with top Ottawa company executives and bright, young talent of Ottawa

-Amanda Emmanuel (originally posted at tbridge.ca)

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