Prospectus: If you fit this description, we need your attention

forty under 40
forty under 40
Editor's Note

In each issue of the OBJ newsmagazine, publisher Michael Curran shares his prospectus for the Ottawa business community. Read the February edition of the newsmagazine here.

In marketing, building personas is all the rage. So let me paint you a picture of a slim (perhaps elite) segment of Ottawa’s business community.

They hail from all industries, but most work in tech.

Almost 90 per cent work for locally headquartered private companies that are located in downtown Ottawa. Annual revenues? Huge range, but the majority report revenues of $2.5 million to $5 million.

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They’re divided in two when it comes to their geographic markets, with half focused on Ottawa and the other half focused on national or international markets.

Most of them own companies, leading teams of 20 to 50 people. Of those who founded their companies, 20 per cent were in their early 30s when it happened and they tapped personal savings for nascent ventures.

They are well educated. Practically all of them hold university degrees, with almost a third completing post-graduate studies.

Not only are they smart, they’re fairly well off. About half of our segment have personal incomes between $150,000 and $250,000. A fifth of the them earn $500,000 or more annually.

Oh, yes. The key part.

Every single person is under the age of 40.

Have you guessed it yet?

Yes, it’s the persona of Forty Under 40 recipients.

Right now, OBJ and our partners at the Ottawa Board of Trade are searching for the 22nd cohort of recipients.

My, how time flies.

The awards modestly began as a newspaper feature in the late 1990s with 40 recipients selected by OBJ’s editorial team. These days, the process is a lot more regimented.

Today, nominees are judged by a distinguished independent panel on a 40-point system. (How appropriate, 40 points, right?) Half the points are for business achievement. The other half are split between two criteria – the nominee’s level of expertise and his or her involvement in the community, very broadly defined. That could mean straight volunteer work or maybe leadership of a professional association.

So back to that persona.

Do you need to match exactly? No, but it helps to resemble the profile.

A special invite to our city’s female business leaders.

Last year marked the first time Forty Under 40 achieved gender balance. It was noteworthy to say the least.

Here is how you get involved. Visit, create a profile and get started.

Pro tip: You can nominate someone you know and surprise them, but that typically backfires. Get the recipient involved in the process. In recent years, 300 people have started nominations, so heed this advice. Zero points for flowery marketing language. (It might work against you.) Let the facts speak for themselves. Nominations close at the end of March.

OBJ Newsmagazine

What are Ottawa’s hottest markets for residential real estate?

In this issue of the newsmagazine, OBJ highlights the 20 areas of the city where home prices jumped the most over the past five years. Also in this edition, Caroline Phillips fills readers in on the city’s social scene and Techopia editor Craig Lord looks at local firms that are making a splash in the rapidly emerging field of proptech.

This issue of OBJ also contains the latest edition of OBOT Connect, which takes an in-depth look at the trends and issues facing businesses in Nepean and Barrhaven.


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