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Invest Ottawa: Ask an Expert!

image of women
image of women

By Invest Ottawa


Canada is now home to more people over the age of 65 than under 15, according to Statistics Canada. As a unanimous feeling, the well-being of aging relatives always seems to pang the hearts of family members. That’s why Felipe Izquierdo, Nick Petryna, and Elizabeth Audette-Bourdeau decided to start the seniors care conversation by launching their app: Welbi.

“Taking care of our elderly family members, while still allowing them to be independent, is difficult. No one on our team could find a solution that provided the peace of mind that our families need, so we decided to build one ourselves,” says Felipe.

Using wearable technology, Welbi tracks the health progression of aging loved ones. The app’s analyzes and aggregates the data (heartbeat, sleeping patterns, etc.), notifying users should any irregularities form. The startup wants families to be more informed when coordinating their efforts of caring for elderly loved ones.

Right now, the new firm is in their beta phase, bootstrapping their operations. They hope to crack the international market with their product, connecting anyone with a smartphone and piece of wearable tech. 

With growing concern around the aging population becoming prevalent, many global companies are focusing R&D in this industry. So Welbi needs to know “what should be prioritized when your company needs to grow quickly to succeed in a competitive industry?”

Christopher Johnson: Founder & CEO of Face Strategic, L-Spark Mentor & Invest Ottawa EIR

First, clearly determine your value proposition, demonstrating succinct competitive differentiator(s). If your target market doesn’t understand the value of your product or service, what will stop them from buying from your competitors?

Second, companies require validation and a proven sales and marketing model. Without clear validation and a proven model, companies can waste an inordinate amount of capital on unproven tactics. How can you achieve rapid growth by pursuing the wrong buyer or investing in a flawed inbound marketing strategy?

Once a product is validated bookended by a proven sales and marketing strategy, venture capital or angel funding is an option to scale quickly. This is especially applicable in a case where it provides a competitive advantage by taking market share from the competition.

Sam Khan: VP Operations and Business Development of iStorm & Invest Ottawa EIR

Speed to market and a sound guerrilla marketing plan can be a big difference when competing against other companies in your market. Paid advertising such as Google Adwords or Facebook advertising will get your brand in front of your customers for a low cost and will build your brand’s awareness. 

Also position yourselves as a thought leader in your space. It sets yourself ahead of your competition and establishes you as an expert. Blog articles or videos work well. 

Another thing to consider is partnering. The more applications which Welbi can sync with, the more value your clientele can take away from it. I’ll use fitness wearables as an example. Fitbit is compatible with a surplus of other well-used apps and does a great job of creating a complete ecosystem which covers the user’s life.

Three Takeaways: 

Differentiation is KeyYour product and your competitor’s product are not the same and your customers should know that.

Become a Thought Leader in Your SpaceCreate blogs, videos, and any other content that displays your knowledge and puts your product ahead of your competition.

Partner WITH the Best to BE the BestCreate partnerships with applications and products which align with your customers.

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