Cofounder of Ottawa-based Startup Gnowit Named Ottawa Rising Star

One of the cofounders of Ottawa-based startup Gnowit, which offers an online brand monitoring solution that scours the web for relevant information relating to any topic, has been named one of Invest Ottawa’s “Ottawa’s Rising Stars”.

Invest Ottawa and the community organizing committee of Global Entrepreneurship Week Ottawa (GEWOttawa) announced Khan and the other notable rising starts this morning. Below is a full list of the winners.

“Ottawa is an ideal place to start a high tech venture,it has amazing infrastructure and whole hearted support of Invest Ottawa, Startup canada and Lead to win. We are lucky to be here. We have access to an ecosystem, like silicon valley right here in Ottawa” said the Chief Technical Officer Khan.

Interestingly, Gnowit’s other cofounder, 25-year-old Mohammad Al Azzouni was a recipient of the 2012 award.

Ottawa Rising Stars are “the force of change, visionary leaders who are involved in their community and demonstrate entrepreneurial spirit, integrity and sound leadership.”

“They are our neighbours and friends who are finding better ways of doing things,” said Bruce Lazenby, President and CEO of Invest Ottawa. “They are risk-takers who prefer to create a job rather than find a job. Ultimately, they are the people who are responsible for driving economic growth within our city.”

The 2012 winner Al Azzouni said the company was honoured to have another member of its team recognized. “We have a great group of smart, hardworking, dedicated people here and Ottawa is doing everything it can to ensure economic success,” said the cofounder.


Typically companies use Gnowit’s services for brand management, crisis control through media spins, competitive intelligence (or identifying opportunities before others) and detecting threats, like patent infringement.

In an age of information overload the startup wants to offer users real-time, constant monitoring. “We want to collect a vast amount of information, tell you where it’s going, and predict where your company’s brand is going,” Al-Azzouni told Techvibes. “You get insights that a human analyst would give and it will save any company a vast amount of time.”

Invest Ottawa said Ottawa’s Rising Stars cover the gamut from growing exciting startups and social enterprises to non-profit organizations. Below is the list of this year’s honourees:

Sandy Ahluwalia, Secureship
Weggon Allen, Ottawa Print Hub
Brad Bezan, Spark* Lifecare
Danielle Cantin, Brewer Park Community Garden
Jay Conohan, Ronyn Inc.
Jesse Cressman-Dickinson, HUB Ottawa
Jay Garlough, Hidden Harvest
Shahzad Khan, Gnowit Inc.
Katie Miller, HUB Ottawa
Dan Monafu, Soup Ottawa
Julien Northey, Frontier Agri-Science Inc.
Marie Cecil Nottaway, Wawatay Catering
Ananth Seshan, 5G Energy Limited
Katrina Siks, Hidden Harvest
Mehran Talebinejad, NeuroQore Inc.
Bettina Vollmerhausen, SMAKK
Walter Willet, HorseCountry
Jean-Paul Yovanoff, Flashpoint Photobooth
Amir Zagari, Babes & Gents Clothing

“Global Entrepreneurship Week is our opportunity to provide entrepreneurs the well-deserved recognition for taking a risk to make a difference and create change,” said Invest Ottawa’s Kevin Carroll. “It’s also a great way to bring the entrepreneurial support ecosystem together to explore opportunities to work together in order to promote entrepreneurial growth.”

Photos by Ottawa Business Journal



Founded in 2012. BetaKit is built for the people tracking, financing, and building the next generation of Canadian business. Our mission is to connect, interrogate, and inform Canadian tech.

0 replies on “Cofounder of Ottawa-based Startup Gnowit Named Ottawa Rising Star”