Canada’s Intellectual Property Firm

Ottawa’s Bootstrap Awards open for 2023 nominations

Nominations are now open for the 2023 edition of the Bootstrap Awards honouring Ottawa entrepreneurs and founders of early-stage self-capitalized companies

The Bootstrap Awards have returned to Ottawa in 2023 to celebrate entrepreneurs and founders of self-capitalized businesses in the National Capital Region that have “bootstrapped” their growth to achieve commercial success. Award nominations will be accepted online from December 12, 2022, until January 30, 2023.

The Bootstrap Awards are co-presented by The Ottawa Network (TON) and national intellectual property (IP) firm Smart & Biggar. With roots dating back to the early 2000’s, the Bootstrap Awards is an annual grassroots program that recognizes the outstanding achievements of early-stage companies in all industries, both for-profit and non-profit.

“It is amazing to see the creativity and enthusiasm that drives entrepreneurs in the Ottawa area to develop new and exciting businesses. We are thrilled to honour and recognize those companies and founders who have persevered and achieved success,” says Erin Engelhardt of The Ottawa Network.

“Smart & Biggar is deeply connected to the Ottawa business community and has a long history of supporting tech innovation and entrepreneurship through valuable IP protection and guidance. We are proud to co-present the Bootstrap Awards once again to recognize the success of these emerging companies and founders,” says Jamie-Lynn Kraft, a lawyer and trademark agent, and Principal at Smart & Biggar.

Awards will be granted across eight categories: The Green Award, the Innovation Award, the SAAS Award, the Marketing Award, the Bootstrap Capital Award, the Disruptor Award, the Community Impact Award, and the Founder of the Year Award. To be eligible for an award, a company or founder must be based in the National Capital Region — from Eastern Ontario to Western Quebec – have been in business for less than seven years and have not received more than $500,000 in outside capital funding.

Award winners will be announced on March 7, 2023, at a Winners Awards Celebration during Tech Tuesday at the Marshes Golf Club in Kanata, hosted through generous support from event sponsor Wesley Clover.

Please visit the Ottawa Network online for more information and to access the nomination form.

Past winners of the Bootstrap Awards include:

  • Re4M Design and Fabrication, CEO Heather Jeffrey (2022 Green Award)
  • Braiyt, co-founders Warsame Ahmed and Tamey McIntosh (2022 Innovation Award)
  •, founder Ryan Peatt (2022 SAAS Award)
  • Bushbalm Skincare, CEO David Gaylord (2022 Marketing Award)
  •, president Riaz Sidi (2022 Bootstrap Capital Award)
  • SparkPath, founder JP Michel (2022 Disruptor Award)
  • Connected Canadians, co-founder, president and CEO Emily Jones Joanisse and co-founder and CIO Tasneem Damen (2022 Community Impact Award)
  • Evoke Health, CEO and co-founder Varsha Chaugai and CTO and co-founder Graham Fraser (2022 Founder of the Year Award)

About The Ottawa Network (TON)

The Ottawa Network (TON) is a not-for-profit volunteer run and community-driven organization whose mission is to support and encourage Ottawa area entrepreneurs in growing innovative businesses in the Ottawa region. TON connects entrepreneurs, industry professionals, academics, public servants, and students from the Ottawa area to encourage the growth of innovative ideas and businesses by providing in person and online connection opportunities to create a nurturing and supportive community for Ottawa area entrepreneurs

About Smart & Biggar

Widely recognized as Canada’s leading firm for intellectual property, Smart & Biggar is the largest firm in Canada focused purely on IP and related specialty areas. Smart & Biggar has the honour of working with many of Canada’s and the world’s most important innovators and brand owners, proudly supporting clients on the road to market leadership — from start-up companies in emerging growth sectors to multinational corporations, as well as innovators at universities and other research institutions – advising them on their most critical and complex IP matters with the full benefit of our unrivalled IP experience and expertise. Smart & Biggar operates as part of the IPH Limited group, under its own brand and independent from other IPH member firms.


Media Contact:

Jenny Farrell
Marketing & Communications Specialist, Smart & Biggar