Invest Ottawa’s Main & Digital program wants to help main street businesses embrace ecommerce

Economic development agency Invest Ottawa has announced the launch of its third edition of Main & Digital, a four-part bootcamp designed to help Ottawa-based businesses bring their main street products and services to an online ecommerce platform.

Main & Digital, which consists of four individual half-day workshops, will provide 15 Ottawa businesses with training to take their products and services online. The bootcamp’s participants will receive training from Brock Murray and Lindsay Kavanagh of seoplus+, Jordan Danger of DANGER Communications, and Invest Ottawa, who will cover topics like branding, SEO, and ecommerce platform options.

At the end of this edition, the 15 participating companies will pitch their ecommerce plans, from which five will be selected to receive a grants and services package with an estimated value of $7,500 each. The package will include credit from Shopify and Hootsuite, individualized coaching services, and online advertising grants.

“We are encouraging all local businesses to apply,” said George Borovec, a serial entrepreneur and developer of the Main & Digital program. “From all the applicants, we will choose about 25 to present an initial proposal, telling us why this program will help them. Fifteen will move forward, and at the end of their bootcamp, even those not selected for a prize package will feel ready to take on an ecommerce strategy.”

The announcement of Main & Digital’s third season comes a few weeks after Invest Ottawa appointed former Microsoft Canada VP of public services, Michael Tremblay, as its new CEO.

In June 2016, Toronto Mayor John Tory announced the launch of a similar program, Digital Main Street, to help Toronto-based mainstreet businesses understand how they can better adopt digital practices.

Main & Digital is accepting applicants online between February 6th and 20th. To apply for the program, check the official website here here.

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi is a staff writer at BetaKit. As a fourth-year journalism student who has written primarily about entrepreneurship, Amira has developed a growing interest in Canadian startup, business, and tech news. In her free time, Amira enjoys reading, baking and watching legal shows.