Sidi.io teams up with Kanata’s L-Spark to help startups sharpen digital marketing efforts

Riaz Sidi

Some of the region’s most promising software-as-a-service startups will soon have a new resource at their disposal to help them develop and refine their digital marketing strategies.

As part of its SaaS accelerator program, Kanata-based L-Spark is working with local marketing firm Sidi.io to create individualized digital marketing solutions for participating businesses. 

L-Spark marketing director Stef Reid said the partnership aims to address the struggles new startups often face when trying to market the products and services they're building.

“When startups don't have a marketing strategy they are missing out on a share of the potential market,” she said, citing a 2019 report from CB Insights that claimed poor marketing is one of the top 20 reasons why startups fail.  

“The mentorship (in the accelerator program) is quite intensive, but the piece that has been lacking is an embedded marketing team member or mentor for these startups,” she added. 

That’s where Sidi.io comes in. The performance marketing agency specializes in demand generation and digital marketing for tech companies. The company leads the marketing for Ottawa’s largest tech conference, SaaS North, and does digital marketing for local firms including Stratford Group, Syntronic and the National Arts Centre.

Since March 2020, Sidi.io has grown its headcount from three to 20, and founder Riaz Sidi is forecasting that number will jump to 50 by this time next year. 

“We're known in Ottawa for being the digital marketing agency of choice for SaaS and tech companies, so I think it was a natural fit,” said Sidi of the partnership. He also credits his company’s bespoke approach to developing marketing plans for making them a clear choice to join the program.

Reid said bringing Sidi.io onboard was a no-brainer.

“They understand the need for building out these strategies (and) will also help us to educate the startup team on how to execute these strategies well into the future.”

Part of that education includes a unique approach to how each startup will develop their own digital marketing plans. 

“We're going to be applying an enterprise-level lens to a startup-size organization, and with that comes a more surgical approach,” said Sidi. “It’s exciting because it’s going to feel like they have an internal dedicated marketer in their business, which is a bit of a unique element.”

Sidi said he’s most excited about dissecting the customer journey for each of the different organizations that are going to be involved in the program.

“I have an affinity for Ottawa (and) I have an affinity for tech and media,” Sidi said. “It feels nice to be invested in the success of Ottawa’s tech community in a very tangible way.”

Applications for the SaaS Accelerator Program opened in April 2021. A final cohort will be selected from shortlisted candidates in September. L-Spark has worked with more than 75 startups across Canada to date, including software firms Cliniconex, Upchain and Heyday.ai.