Students in the Start-up Garage Program discuss Operations and Business Development with Peter O’Blenis

Setting goals and implementing a system to help achieve those goals is key to building a successful business. This is a critical part of the Start-up Garage, the OTTN program that helps students build their own companies. On Wednesday January 18, 2012, Peter O’Blenis, the VP Business Development and COO of Flick Software gave students practical advice to help students vying for one of 8 spots in the 2012 Start-Garage.

Wednesday’s event was the third of four events designed to help students develop a proposal to the 2012 Start-up Garage which runs annually from June 1st to August 31st. Over thirty students took advantage of this opportunity to learn from Peter, an experienced entrepreneur with over 18 years in the software industry.

Students get one on one time with experienced entrepreneur, Peter O'Blenis

Peter stressed to students the importance of making concrete and measurable goals and objectives, and then setting up a system to ensure everyone in the venture has ownership of specific tasks, and is working towards their achievement. He is a big fan of detailed planning in short term segments (such as 90 days like Start-up Garage), and having team meetings on a daily basis, whether in person or by phone.

This active management of the venture helps teams drive towards success, and makes sure the team members are performing up to the demands required by a start up company. He stressed the importance of good employment agreements and practices that recognise the importance of each member in a small team to the success or failure of the venture. Lucky for the students, our final event this winter is on employment issues with Melanie Polowin, partner at Gowlings Wednesday February 15, 2012, 5:00 pm to  6:30, University of Ottawa. Students can register online at

 Start-up Garage is looking for student entrepreneurs who want to build their own business. It offers $20,000 in funding and other support through the summer of 2012. Visit to learn how to participate. Submissions into the 2012 program are due February 22, 2012.

About Ottawa Technology Transfer Network
The Ottawa Technology Transfer Network (OTTN) is a collaboration among academic research institutions affiliated with the University of Ottawa and who's goal is to enhance the economic impact of research commercialization through the sharing of best practices, enhanced market knowledge, student engagement and proactive industrial interation. OTTN members include the University of Ottawa, the Ottawa Hospital Research Institutie (OHRI), the Childrens' Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and the Unviversity of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI)

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