Over the last six years Scott Annan has been an active and vocal advocate for the Ottawa startup community.
Last week that continued when Annan announced the re-launch of Mercury Grove as an ambitious, community-led project to grow startups in Ottawa.
Annan worries that Ottawa is underserved by investors and mainstream media and that the city will have trouble keeping up with the tech hubs of Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. Especially when those cities are constantly benefiting from the "startup buzz" around government funding announcements, a glut of support organizations, and new programs for startups.
Which is why we refocused Mercury Grove to support and help grow startups. As entrepreneurs, I’m pretty confidant that we can help ourselves. We can’t wait for someone else to fix our problems. We don’t need government hand-outs. We don’t need permission.
Over the last few months Mercury Grove has raised a small seed fund to invest in Ottawa startups. According to Annan, "100% of the fund is from startup founders (real, after tax, self-earned money) who believe in the talent, ambition, and quality of startups in Ottawa." So far Annan and his team has recruited over 50 mentors from the community who have agreed to help Ottawa's startups grow.
As part of the re-launch Mercury Grove announced that they have selected four startups to join their portfolio. For the next four months and change Mercury Grove will be "hustling to build momentum" for Vegan Cuts, ND Storefront, Openera, and Project Speaker.
"We all benefit from their success," he affirms. "A spotlight on these four companies overflows to all the great startups in Ottawa. Their success—because of Ottawa, not in spite of it—paves the way for your success and shows that, as a community, we can build great companies together."