The Kanata North Business Association recently commissioned a comprehensive study to analyze the impact of the tech sector on the country’s economy. When the study was completed, the magnitude and breadth of Kanata North’s financial contribution was clear – offering substantive proof of the success of this robust and unique environment that continues to draw savvy entrepreneurs, industry leaders and highly-qualified employees to the area.
The findings in the report were interesting but at Martello we weren’t surprised. We already knew what a dynamic and super-charged place this is to grow a business. With our offices nestled in the heart of Kanata North we see every day the caliber of skilled and talented employees we are able to secure and the resources at our fingertips.
Small is Mighty
Kanata North employs over 20,000 employees directly with another 10,000 indirectly employed to provide support services; this employment number has continued to consistently grow since 1991. Here at Martello, we clock in at a little under thirty employees with a diverse, highly technical skill set and a variety of educational backgrounds. We recognize the need to hire smart and focus resources on the areas that will have the biggest impact. Here in Kanata North, 75% of the tech firms have less than 50 employees. Our CEO Bruce Linton was recently interviewed about the fine art of growing a Software as a Service (SaaS) company and the challenges that small companies face if they scale too quickly.
Small is mighty and the continued balancing act in small businesses is to operate in a way that places you in the big leagues but on a trim budget. The emergence in Kanata North of ‘incubators’ similar to L-Spark, mean that growing tech businesses can thrive in a dynamic and supported environment.
The Telecom Powerhouse and the Emerging Software Opportunity
Kanata North contributes a net value-add of $7.8 billion to the economy and hosts the largest research and technology park in Canada – you can find the Martello offices smack dab in the middle of it. Like Martello, over 64% of the companies in the Kanata North technology sector are Canadian owned.
In the past, Telecom was the bread and butter of Kanata North and to this day Telecom continues to be the foundation for Kanata North’s original growth with its heavy focus on research and development. Today, the Telecom sector employs almost half of the Kanata North workforce and is closing in on 2 billion in revenues. A recent Techopia article based on the BIA report, highlighted Software as one of four subsectors to watch in Kanata North. Martello was proud to be recognised as a leading company in this category and CEO Bruce Linton credits the SaaS model for enabling the company to scale quickly. In the article he said that now, “it’s no longer, ‘What part of telecom do you work on?’ It’s, ‘What is your tech company?’ I’m talking to people who are doing aviation systems to people who’ve got gaming applications to people who are trying to figure out the next trend on consumer behaviour.”
At Martello, we develop Software as a Service (SaaS) for the Telecom industry – so in a sense, we work in two of the key sectors highlighted in this report. Both sectors are slated for continued and growing opportunities. Many say that the SaaS market is the new Telecom in Kanata North – it is now the second-largest employer in the area with total revenues of $576.6 million and the estimated productivity by sales-per-employee is at $209,000. SaaS start-ups thrive in Kanata North with the draw of available talent, exceptional mentors, investors and passionate leaders.
The Way Forward
Kanata North draws innovators and entrepreneurs that are hungry to succeed – this entrepreneurial spirit paired with established cornerstone industry giants mean that we attract exceptionally talented candidates. This is a powerful and heady combination that leads Kanata North to be almost three times as productive as the rest of Canada – instead of a GDP creation of $85,000 per worker we set the bar up at $255,000 per worker.
The SaaS industry is growing and is set to catch up to the Telecom sector, the bedrock of Kanata North’s economy. SaaS is increasingly recognized as a significant opportunity for Kanata North and Canada, as this industry does not require sizable capital investment like many other industries – the bulk of the investment is made in acquiring skilled workers. At Martello, we are honoured to be a part of such a thriving and dynamic community and look forward to being a part of the evolving success story of Kanata North.