Challenge: Convincing the world Cape Breton is a place for major corporations to do business
Solution: Building business corridors that will eventually span the globe
Today public image is as important to companies – or more so – than any other part of their operations. Orenda Software Solutions Inc., based in Membertou, N.S., provides unique insight into just how well companies, their products, and their people are being perceived.
“This is all about reputation management and having the tools in front of you to manage your image,” says founder and CEO Tanya Seajay.
The one-of-a-kind software developed by Seajay and her team, with support from ACOA, applies numerical metrics to emotions, connections and associations with a brand. Organizations know how conversations impact them in real time. Gone are the days when a team of analysts are needed to sort through a sea of data to find valuable insights.
Ironically, perhaps, as Seajay was launching her company two years ago, she encountered a perception problem of her own. “Cape Breton is not known as a place where major corporations do business,” she notes.
So Seajay uprooted. The public relations professional kept her company headquartered in Nova Scotia but moved herself to Toronto and established a presence at the IBM Innovations Space. “That gave us credibility,” she says.
It also created the first of what will be many business connectors that ultimately link the Nova Scotia company with existing and potential clients around the world. “When you get to Toronto, they want you to build a network in Boston, says Seajay. “You need to build corridors. You need to be able to build relationships.”
She recommends companies connect to the business corridors, which can be seen as pathways linking businesses to clients, that are going to enable them to grow and prosper. “It’s always worth it,” Seajay says. “You go to them until they come to you is one of the key rules of business.”
A quick Google search, she adds, will show who is doing work in your area. “It’s about getting up and showing up. Don’t be afraid to get on a plane.”
Support from ACOA was central to Orenda establishing itself and making the connections it needed to launch and grow. It’s particularly difficult for software companies that have no revenue stream during the development phase, notes Seajay. “ACOA funding was crucial. I was able to maintain staff.”
Accessing financial capital is something the Government of Canada recognizes is critical to building, growing, and scaling a business. With support from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the government is helping Orenda Software Solutions enhance its platform with two additional products, which will continue to assist organizations interpret what people are saying about them. An investment of $200,000 will go towards staffing and software costs involved in the development of a financial predictive model as well as an impact index using artificial intelligence.
Orenda Software Solutions is a prime example of how innovation and resourcefulness fuel Atlantic Canada’s economy, at home and beyond.
For more information on programs and services available to businesses in Atlantic Canada call 1-800-561-7862 or go to canada.ca/acoa.