EcoSafeSense was born from a passionate commitment to preserving biodiversity and nature in Ottawa. The co-founders, Olga Koppel and Jeremy Kerr, were deeply moved by the detrimental health effects resulting from the lack of intentional urban planning for clean air and shade. Determined to make a difference, they set out to build a business with a clear purpose: to contribute to a more sustainable and data-driven Canada. It was during this pursuit that their groundbreaking business idea took shape, driven by the profound realization that green spaces in urban centers offer tangible benefits to both the economy and the well-being of citizens.
At the heart of EcoSafeSense lies a bold vision — to accelerate Canada’s ascent as a global leader in clean technology, harnessing the transformative power of real-time environmental recommendations. This ambitious goal reflects their unwavering dedication to creating a sustainable future for our nation and the world.
Guided by a set of core values, EcoSafeSense places sustainability at the forefront of their mission. They recognize that achieving true sustainability requires collaborative efforts among industry, academia, and government. By fostering partnerships and encouraging cooperation, EcoSafeSense aims to harness the collective expertise and resources necessary to drive meaningful change.
What does entrepreneurship mean to your company?
“Entrepreneurship means the freedom to harness fresh thinking from engineers and scientists to protect the basic health of everyone in urban centers.”
How are you entrepreneurial?
EcoSafeSense is my second venture; the first is a non-profit orchestra in the National Capital Region. Both times, I have followed my passion to identify a need, and had the mindset of “well, someone has to do it”. Then, I find like-minded, talented individuals with complementary expertise to make our shared vision happen. It’s the most exciting feeling.
How did the Startup Garage program help with the growth/development of your business or you as an entrepreneur in general?
The Rev-Up Circuit, and the mentorship sessions with Kathleen Kemp and Tess MacLellan, have been some of the most rewarding parts of my time at uOttawa. The structure of the sessions and the community of entrepreneurs in the circuit were the encouragements I needed to put vague ideas of a lab-to-market venture on paper and finally realize this dream. This is exactly what I needed to get excited about my next-step post-grad.
I’ve truly enjoyed the program so far, and I can’t wait to apply for the next Circuit!
Do you have any key takeaways for aspiring entrepreneurs?
- There is such a wonderful community of like-minded entrepreneurs at the University of Ottawa, and their passion is contagious. I always get inspired by networking.
- For me, pivoting the company in light of new data, new feedback, or new opportunities has been the only thing constant in entrepreneurship. I would suggest embracing change!
To learn more about Olga and her business, click here.