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Customers: Canada’s Only Enterprise SaaS Incubator & Accelerator

L-SPARK Corporation (www.l-spark.com) is an Ottawa incubator and accelerator exclusively for enterprise SaaS and cloud startups. L-SPARK has strong connections to significant venture capital firms, angel investors and key figures within the investment community.

This pioneering new company holds the distinction of being the only Canadian incubator and accelerator of its type, forging a path ahead to create a deal flow of fundable enterprise startups.

The strategic goals of L-SPARK are simple: by prioritizing the needs of its startups and providing a broad range of sector-focused partners and investors to act as mentors and potential funders, these fledgling businesses will thrive in the region’s constructive ecosystem.

With this in mind, L-SPARK reached out to Marvel & Snap to establish their web presence during their exciting launch, forming a partnership that continues to this day.

Their Challenge

Photo of Jamie Keeley, Event and Community Manager, L-SPARK “The website hits have increased quite dramatically. Over the period they’ve been with us, hits have definitely doubled or tripled. We’re thrilled.”

In 2014, L-SPARK was formed in Kanata North, the high-tech centre of Ottawa, often referred to as “Silicon Valley North”. The company had everything mapped out to begin assisting startups, but was hindered by one crucial aspect: timing.

“The main challenge initially was speed. We were waiting quite some time for the government to give us the go-ahead to officially open for business, so when we were ready to go in early August, it was imperative to build our presence and team very quickly,” says Patrick White, Director of L-SPARK.

The company knew they needed to complete those objectives in a matter of weeks—a difficult task for a newly minted corporation. To remain focused on building its internal team, L-SPARK made a strategic decision to outsource its web design and maintenance duties in order to meet its target deadlines.

The company’s challenge was compounded by the fact that its branding and marketing content were largely unfinished. White knew that finding a web services partner to support L-SPARK’s announcement and web presence in the midst of their burgeoning inauguration would be difficult. Fortunately, Marvel & Snap was up to the task.

The Marvel & Snap Solution

The initial stages of establishing a website and providing ongoing maintenance and support are demanding tasks for any company, but especially for one in its infancy. When key aspects such as a company’s brand and message are not fully formed, the company can often stray from their intended goals if they are not assisted by a professional web services firm.

With that in mind, L-SPARK called on Marvel & Snap to provide an array of services to kick-start their launch. These services included web design and development, website hosting, email marketing and web analytics.

“We receive constant feedback from startups and investors in the community that the overall usability of the website is fantastic. We’ve been told that the design is beautiful and matches our vision for the company perfectly.”
Showcasing L-SPARK responsive website design for desktop and mobile devices

André Langlois, Founder and CEO of Marvel & Snap, explains: “It made more sense for them to go to a company like us to assist them with their web efforts instead of hiring their own internal team. They came to us and said, ‘This is what we need. Please build it for us, host it for us, and take care of everything. You manage this and we’ll focus on growing the business.’”

“That is precisely why we offer a wide range of services. We allow companies to grow their own business while we manage the web side of things,” Langlois says.

L-SPARK needed a website that was both accessible and attractive to startups and investors while maintaining a sense of professionalism. White noted that during the first iteration of the website’s design, balancing those two aspects was a challenge.

“Initially, the look of our website and brand was very corporate and we were getting that reaction from the market, a collection of people that are driven by innovation and taking risks. Shortly after that, together we began to shape L-SPARK’s story and that’s where the design elements of Sherpas and mountains came in,” White says.

Marvel & Snap incorporated themes of perseverance and mountaineering into L-SPARK’s website design which correspond with the company’s objectives of ingenuity and adventure. As one of the Canada’s most innovative startup incubators and accelerators, L-SPARK’s website is truly one of a kind.

Langlois and his team at Marvel & Snap stepped up to the plate with their vision for the company’s website: “It needed to be modern, vibrant and follow the most recent trends in web design. After the initial design, we went through a handful of revisions and are in the process of completing one now. It’s remarkable; they’ve evolved so quickly as a company.”

Marvel & Snap’s involvement with L-SPARK extends beyond the company’s website and includes strategic guidance and enhanced web services, ready at a moment’s notice. White explains that L-SPARK recently needed a banner designed for print, and they immediately reached out to Marvel & Snap, who already had a firm grasp on the company’s brand. Calling them a “value partner,” White says he recommends Marvel & Snap to many of L-SPARK’s foster companies so that they can receive the same worry-free approach to a strong web presence.

Jamie Keeley, Event and Community Manager at L-SPARK, says the feedback regarding the company’s new website has been profuse. “We receive constant feedback from startups and investors in the community that the overall usability of the website is fantastic. We’ve been told that the design is beautiful and matches our vision for the company perfectly.”

In terms of benchmarks for positive feedback, Keeley says that Marvel & Snap’s assistance allowed them to reach more stakeholders than ever before. “The website hits have increased quite dramatically. Over the period they’ve been with us, hits have definitely doubled or tripled. We’re thrilled.”

The Bottom Line

Marvel & Snap’s Managed Web Services are flexible and customized to fit your business or organization’s specific needs. Whether your project is a full website redesign or a smaller restructuring, we can handle it. Our focus is on longer-term relationships as your trusted web services provider, but we are also happy to engage in project-based endeavours.

Our first priority is you, regardless of where your business is or how far it has to go. “We were able to engage Marvel & Snap when we didn’t have a full-fledged idea of who we were or even have a complete marketing team. We’re able to leave our brand in their hands and work collaboratively to define who we really are,” White says.

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