Home  »  Ottawa Business Success Snapshots, May 2024

Ottawa Business Success Snapshots, May 2024

May 3, 2024

Welcome once again to our monthly feature celebrating companies that are thriving in Ottawa with the support of Invest Ottawa programs.

From companies working to develop innovative tech solutions to brick-and-mortar businesses in the Ottawa community, each of these companies is on a unique journey, and each has a story worth telling.

Join us as we kick off the true spring season this May, by celebrating Leynek Medical, The Better Scalp Company, and Paprika Inc.

Leynek Medical – ElevateIP did a lot of heavy lifting

Leynek Medical has created an application for chronic care patients to manage their care.

“We’re aiming to ease the chronic care journey for oncology patients by helping them with managing their symptoms and sharing their health status with their families and friends,” says Thomas Fletcher, CTO and co-founder. “Cancer patients are our primary focus, but it’s a broader market, which we will expand as we grow. There’s applicability for COPD patients and also those with heart failure.”

The founders of Leynek Medical sit with computer monitors behind them. One is holding a phone showing the company's app. CEO William Jones says there’s plenty of innovation, new drugs and therapies for cancer, but there’s less help in managing the journey. That’s where Leynek comes in.

“There are times when a cancer patient needs to go to the ER, but studies show that more than half of those visits should be preventable — that there are other ways you can be coached on how to manage those symptoms before you get to that point or work with the oncology team to get treatment in a non-ER setting,” Jones says. “This app is a way to track how you’re doing through the journey and to be able to help provide insights to better manage the disease. If we can at least improve your quality of life, that can be very beneficial.”

At this point, the tool is for the patient, but the long-term plan is to have the care providers, physicians and program teams all accessing it. The app allows patients to capture their vitals in one shot, as well as pain levels and other symptoms such as coughing, nausea and compare them to previous days. Having developed these tools, the founders wanted to protect their intellectual property.

“In med-tech, having a patent is key to building company value for potential investors, as well as a competitive advantage generally,” Jones says. “It was critical, but being able to go that route is difficult when you’re a startup because it’s expensive and finding the right partner can be overwhelming.”

Becoming part of the ElevateIP program has helped Leynek to secure a provisional patent.

“ElevateIP allowed us to work in parallel while we are developing other parts of the business,” Fletcher says. “Our advisors took that load off our shoulders and allowed us to focus on developing the product,” Jones adds. “The firm did a lot of the heavy lifting for us. And it was much more of a relationship than a contract. They were really invested in us getting the best value out of this program.”

“In life science companies, IP is generally their only asset initially and the basis for their pre-seed, seed and later-stage private financings,” says Maura Campbell, Intellectual Property, Life Sciences Advisor at Invest Ottawa. “If companies don’t have a solid IP basis, it is very hard for them as they mature to fix issues.”

Jones says that as Leynek continues to raise capital, this IP protection will be a key differentiator. “We want to work towards additional staff over the next few months who can contribute more innovative ideas and IP,” he says.

  • Invest Ottawa is an ElevateIP Recipient: a national program of Innovation, Science and Economic Development in Canada leading in intellectual property support for startups in Ontario. To find out more about the ElevateIP program visit our website.
  • For more information, visit Leynek Medical’s website and follow them on LinkedIn.

The Better Scalp Company: A need for gentle haircare 

A person extends their soapy hand out of the shower, holding a shampoo bottle that reads The Better Scalp Company

Michele Marchand wasn’t about to let a diagnosis of contact dermatitis and skin allergies keep her from her love of haircare. Instead, she took it as a call to create her own line of irritant-free products for others facing similar barriers.

“I’ve always been a haircare fanatic but quickly realized I couldn’t use any of my favourite products anymore due to their allergen content,” she explained. “I decided to start my own ultra-gentle haircare line that puts scalp/skin health first.”

Just one year after launching The Better Scalp Company in March 2023, the company’s Sensitive Scalp Shampoo, suitable for eczema, psoriasis, folliculitis, and contact dermatitis, is showing up on store and salon shelves around Ottawa. According to Michele, having reputable local businesses standing behind the product is a pivotal step for the young company.

“Retail partnerships are essential for any haircare business, so this is a big milestone for us,” she said. “These partnerships mean a lot because it shows that these businesses believe in our product, and that motivates me to continue to grow the business.”

The company’s venture into retail locations began at the Trainyards location of Terra20, which sell a selection of sustainable health and beauty products. Since, the company has introduced into various local salons, including Salon Niccio, June & Flora, and Bleach and Soda, and also collaborated with the Kanata North Pharmacy, showcasing the growing demand for sensitive scalp care solutions.

While Michele was purpose-driven to create these products and make them available, she says her participation in the most recent cohort of the Starter Company Plus program with Invest Ottawa was instrumental in learning how to get her business idea off the ground and her product into stores.

“That program was a game-changer for me,” she explained. “Before joining the program I had a lot of questions about the future direction of my business; I had a product, a website, but I wasn’t sure what I should do next to grow the business. Starter Company helped me get organized, build a plan, look at my numbers, and helped me find my focus.”

Looking ahead, Marchand is excited about what’s coming soon as a follow up to the success of the Sensitive Scalp Shampoo, including a conditioner, a scalp massager, as well as a shampoo bar and conditioner bar.


Paprika Inc. Demonstrates Rapid Growth after Expanding to Ottawa 

Since establishing a Canadian subsidiary in April 2023, disruptive data solution company Paprika Data Lab Inc. has quickly found success here in Ottawa.  In the second quarter of 2023, it added five jobs to Ottawa’s labour market and secured an investment of $200,000, signifying tremendous growth. And with the aim of launching its product in North America in 2024, they have also added additional capacity to their Ottawa R&D team.  

Founded in 2020 in South Korea Paprika Data Lab, the company secured the Korean Government-Funded Startup Grant in 2021 and a seed investment from the Korea Investment Accelerator Co., Ltd. in 2022. Then, in February 2023, it officially launched its signature solution, Walla. 

As a data collection and analytics solutions provider, Paprika offers a wide range of data-driven services including accessible and approachable data collection and analysis solutions. Its aim is to create a world that values data accessibility and importance through innovative and user-friendly data collection and analysis processes.  

Paprika has been aiming for overseas expansion since its inception, and in April 2023, it officially expanded its operation to Ottawa, naming the subsidiary Paprika Data Lab Canada Inc. And as Youngbum Kim, CEO of Paprika Data Lab Inc. asserted in an article published in June 2023 on Paprika’s website, the team relocated to Canada soon after.  

Youngbum Kim also stated that the company chose Ottawa for expanding their operation because of the city’s supportive startup ecosystem, quality of living, friendly immigration policies, and numerous opportunities to grow.  

“We appreciate the support and guidance provided by Invest Ottawa through their Global Runway Soft Landing program, which has enabled us to achieve this milestone,” says Kim.“We are excited about the opportunities that this expansion brings for our company, and we look forward to collaborating with the local community and businesses.” 

Yuvin Kim, Co-founder and CEO of Paprika Data Lab Canada Inc. came to Ottawa in March 2024 and spoke at the Global Runway Networking Event featuring Women Leaders in International Business as part of the Women International Month at Invest Ottawa. The team expanded again in 2024 by hiring an additional business development manager in Ottawa and launched their new product targeting the North American market. 

Paprika’s successful expansion to Ottawa is a direct result of the Global Expansion team’s in-market FDI lead generation, business development process, and dedicated services through the IO Global Runway program Since the first contact in 2022 in South Korea, Invest Ottawa’s Global Expansion team has been helping Paprika with resources and guidance to execute its North American expansion plan, including legal, tax, accounting, immigration, banking and networking.  

The Paprika team was also introduced to University of Ottawa, Carleton University, and Area X.O team to discuss further R&D collaborations and project opportunities, also has access to Invest Ottawa’s Talent services to help grow their headcount. 

  •  For more information about services that can help you with your expansion, including our Global Runway and Talent Sourcing programs to Area X.O visit Whyottawa.ca.  

Are you looking to start or grow your business?  

From idea to start-up to established — discover and explore Invest Ottawa programs and services that can help grow and scale your business here in Ottawa no matter where you are in the business lifecycle.  Find the right program for your business.



Invest Ottawa
Invest Ottawa, is Ottawa’s leading economic development agency for fostering the advancement of the region's globally competitive knowledge-based institutions and industries. Invest Ottawa delivers its economic development services through a unique partnership with the City of Ottawa, where the City and Invest Ottawa, through its members set the strategy and manage the programs that move Ottawa’s economy forward. Invest Ottawa is a non-profit, partnership organization that operates on an annual budget that comes from a variety of sources including: municipal, federal and provincial government; membership fees; professional development programs; and private sector contributions.

This website uses cookies to save your preferences, and track popular pages. Cookies ensure we do not require visitors to register, login, or share any identity information.