By Nathan Rudyk
Here's an inspiring business story, and no it's not about a new mobile app company that enhances sexual performance or genetic sensor that detects and cures cancer – not that there's anything wrong with that kind of thing.
It's about a roofing company that's using high-tech smarts to create an IP and export-driven business. Now THAT's cool. A portfolio company of the Regional Innovation Centre for Ottawa and Eastern Ontario, Roofers World, a market2world client, has applied the principles of intellectual property protection, R&D investment, and e-commerce to double its sales over the next five years.
As profiled by Rick Spence in Profit Magazine (true confession: this is the magazine where I fondly cut my teeth in journalism as an Assistant Editor in the 80s, and where I was inspired by the people I was writing about to start my own companies), Roofers World has developed 35 patents on products including the Red Ripper, an award-winning shovel (see photo above) that lets contractors tear shingles and nails off a roof in a single pass.
“I’ve discovered all kinds of contacts and resources I didn’t realize were there,” enthused Roofers World's CEO Robin Nelson in praise of his Regional Innovation Centre (there several located throughout Ontario courtesy the support of the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation). “When you ask a question, they’re ready with the name of a lawyer or new supplier. And if I need something, it’s really easy to pick up the phone and ask for help.” He says the Centre's team is also helping him explore ways to get more capital to speed his firm’s innovation agenda.
High fives to Robin Nelson and his team at Roofers World for reaching out to Michelle Scarborough and her team at the Regional Innovation Centre for Ottawa and Eastern Ontario as they create a thriving export business in our region!