We received an online demo request yesterday from a hospital in Northern Ontario. As usual, we picked up the phone and called the individual requesting the meeting right away. A conversation ensued and a demo was booked. There was, however, one question asked that inspired this blog post: “So, are you guys from the States or what?”. I replied with a quick: “No, actually. We’re from right here in Northern Ontario!”. Safe to say there was some surprise and excitement on the other end of the line.
That’s right… we’re from Sudbury. We’re from the City with short patio seasons and where a traffic jam constitutes a lineup at the local Tim Hortons. The same city that gave Jeopardy its host and the NHL a whack load of players! Sudbury Saturday nights are worth writing and singing about (at least Stompin’ Tom thought so) and yes, software is built and sold here. Our very first customer was from this very City and we’ve been rewarded with praise and support from local leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. We continue to grow our Sudbury customer base and while we service organizations all across Ontario, we never forget where we’re from.
There are, of course, challenges; a lot of our demos are given remotely and attending conferences typically means hauling our booth in a truck over a 4 hour drive. However, with every challenge comes a benefit. After all, this is the City that’s home to Norcat, the Innovation Mill that gave us a platform to first demonstrate what the vision and idea behind StaffStat was. This is also the City who’s Chamber of Commerce encourages and allows small businesses like ours to have a voice and get noticed.
I had the pleasure of attending a conference yesterday at Finlandia Village. It consisted of inspired and inspiring speakers, great content and it reiterated the great things coming out of Sudbury. New and creative ways of doing things, research and research grants, answers to global problems and the initiation of conversations and concepts… all happening right here, in the North.
We’ve recently moved from our office in the A Dot (aka Azilda, Ontario) to Sudbury on a nifty little side street that runs parallel to one of the main arteries of the city (which we refer to as ‘Silicon Alley’). We’re not the first to create software out of Sudbury and we certainly won’t be the last. We’re making a splash and we’re making a difference. I can confidently say that we do things a little differently because we’re from Northern Ontario. We love being in the business of software but what’s more, we love being in the business of providing a solution.