Invest Ottawa

Invest Ottawa is the lead economic development agency for knowledge-based industries in Canada’s Capital, facilitating economic growth and job creation in the City of Ottawa.  

Our Mission

Guided by a vision to help realize Ottawa’s full potential as a globally-recognized, innovative and future-ready city, and the best place to learn, work, live, and play, Invest Ottawa delivers venture development and global expansion programs and services that catalyze the growth and success of entrepreneurs and firms.  

These programs and services include small business training; mentorship; acceleration for technology firms; foreign business and investment attraction; local business retention and expansion in targeted sectors; commercialization; and marketing Ottawa’s diversified economy and high quality of life.

Supporting Indigenous Entrepreneurs

Invest Ottawa has a longstanding commitment to support Indigenous entrepreneurs in the National Capital Region through bootcamps, programs and mentorship aimed at improving access to programming for Indigenous entrepreneurs. 

Pow Wow Pitch Founder Sunshine Tenasco and Invest Ottawa have a longstanding relationship to support Indigenous entrepreneurs in the National Capital Region; including, bootcamps, programs and mentorship services, and International Women’s Week (IWW) events as part of the Digital Main Street Future Proof Program delivered by Invest Ottawa. 

Invest Ottawa is building on its relationship with Sunshine to extend its support to Pow Wow Pitch as an Indigenous-led community-driven initiative. 

Programs to Support Indigenous Businesses

Starter Company Plus

Starter Company Plus is a three-month training program for entrepreneurs who are just starting a new business. The program is open to product makers, service providers, and retailers. Starter Company Plus participants receive exclusive access to a series of online live-recorded training sessions as well as access to a business mentor.

At the conclusion of the training program, graduates will pitch a lean business plan to a panel of judges for an opportunity to be awarded a grant of $5000 towards business startup costs. 

Read more


The IO Pre-Accelerator is a 10-week boot camp designed to help founders at the early stages of building a tech startup to validate their ideas and solidify their business foundations. During the 10 weeks, founders gain access to 10 workshops, drop-in access to Invest Ottawa’s accelerator space, one-on-one mentorship hours with former entrepreneurs and industry experts, and networking opportunities with other tech startup founders.

Read more

Peer Groups

Offering unbiased advice and guidance and a community that holds you accountable, the IO Peer Group is a program for owners of established businesses looking to work through professional challenges and tackle tough business issues in a group of peers who face similar challenges. These groups are facilitated by industry leaders who have started and scaled their own ventures and are prepared to lead you through your toughest challenges.

Read more

New for 2021

Invest Ottawa is a Seed-Level Sponsor for 2021 of the Indigenous-led pitch competition and entrepreneurship program.

Invest Ottawa will help adjudicate the Ontario Semi-finals, provide the top 25 Finalists with an Accelerator workshop, and contribute prize dollars for winning entrepreneurs through a partnership with Pow Wow Pitch for 2021.

“We are committed to becoming a better ally, supporting sustainable change, and empowering diverse entrepreneurs from every walk of life who drive our economic growth,” said Sonya Shorey, Vice President of Strategy, Marketing and Communications, Invest Ottawa, Bayview Yards and Area X.O. “We know the path to Truth and Reconciliation includes acknowledging the injustice and harm done to Indigenous people, past and present, and addressing the inequities that persist. We are honoured to collaborate with Sunshine and Pow Wow Pitch to support community-led action, and help fuel the growth and success of Indigenous entrepreneurs today and tomorrow.”

"I am so proud Invest Ottawa is supporting Pow Wow Pitch to reach and support more Indigenous entrepreneurs," said Sunshine Tenasco, Founder of Pow Wow Pitch. "Having the hometown support of our community helps us stand taller as entrepreneurs so we can grow confidently knowing our community is rallying for the success of Indigenous entrepreneurs.”

For more information and instructions on how to apply to the pitch competition, check out the link here!