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The talent, innovation and diversity of Kanata North’s tech sector were front and centre at this year’s edition of the Best Ottawa Business Awards, which recognized several local companies for their growth and business success.

Software developer Magnet Forensics was named the Kanata North Team of the Year – an especially significant honour for Thusha Agampodi, who started to build the Waterloo-based company’s Kanata team some three years ago.

Having worked in the tech industry for more than a decade, Agampodi wanted to assemble a team that reflected the diversity of the community, something that was often missing at her previous jobs.

“I wanted to make sure that the environment I created was inclusive enough that anyone coming in from an underrepresented group would feel comfortable to share their opinion,” she says. “It just wasn’t enough to hire diversity if the environment wasn’t allowing them to express their thoughts openly.”

The digital forensic software company, which assists investigators in retrieving online evidence in criminal cases, has expanded into a new office with its continuously growing team of 27 people – 30 to 40 per cent of which are female. Agampodi says she always made sure to hire from a variety of ethnicities, ages and educational backgrounds to be an example in the tech community of what a truly diverse team looks like.

“I think we’re delivering a lot for the company here, and that’s because of the amazing staff,” she adds. “We are so excited, and it means a lot to be recognized by the Kanata North community.”

Crank Software was named #SeriousTechLivesHere Company of the Year.


It was also a banner year for Crank Software, named the Kanata North Company of the Year. The user interface software company – founded by Brian Edmond, Thomas Fletcher and Jason Clarke – has established itself in the touch-screen graphics space by working with big-name clients such as Coca-Cola, Nintendo and Bosch. Having that brand recognition has benefited the business greatly, says Edmond, adding that
Crank doubled its staff headcount in 2018 and is on track for significant sales growth in 2019.

“We’re a mature company – we didn’t just burst onto the scene,” says Fletcher. “We’ve been constructing this for quite some time, flying a bit under the radar, so to be named company of the year has been really energizing for us.”

Edmond also attributes part of the company’s success to the group working together at a previous tech company. This allowed the Crank executive team to incorporate best practices and lessons learned from the start.

“We looked at what (caused) the delays and back-and-forth arguments at (our) previous jobs and we asked ourselves, ‘How can we never do that again?’” he jokes. “I think we’ve struck a nice balance here.”

Both Magnet Forensics and Crank Software attended the awards presentation at the Westin Hotel in November to celebrate their success alongside their fellow BOBs winners.

Magnet Forensics and Crank Software were not alone in representing the Kanata North Community at the Best Ottawa Business Awards. Fellow tech park winners include:

Evidence Partners Inc.:
Best Performance Export

You.i TV :
Best Business Award and Best
Performance HR

Best Performance Marketing

March Networks:
Best Performance Sales

Best Performance Customer Experience

Newsmaker of the Year:
Bruce Linton

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