Geoff goes on to comment that in recent years the ICT sector was not as severely affected as others were, and therefore has recovered more quickly to become one of the fastest growing sector in job creation. This translates into a solid business proposition for Sarnia-Lambton, especially when you consider the education programs offered through local teaching institutions: “Education is critical, and for a number of years Lambton College has had a program that has focused on technology and certification. As a result, Sarnia-Lambton can easily play in two areas: using ICT within traditional manufacturing and processing areas, and taking the expertise from such areas and marketing it externally.
Mat Berube, President and CEO of Leadwave Technologies Inc. and his business partner Aaron Weir could not agree more. In five years the two entrepreneurs have watched their once basement operation triple in size and scope. Their particular expertise? Removing the worry of Information Technology (IT) by providing companies with outsourced IT: “What we do is level the playing field by making appropriate, big-business IT solutions available to small and medium-sized organizations. Our passion for transforming leading-edge technologies into affordable technologies makes us unique and satisfies today’s critical need for reliable information systems. We have a team of highly skilled and knowledgeable IT experts who are ready to serve organizations at any level, from a few hours per month to full IT department support.”
With a global market appetite, you might question their desire to stay in Sarnia-Lambton, but for Mat and Aaron the answer is simple and echoes that of others: “It’s a lifestyle choice. We have a global reach from this community so why pay big-city prices to run an office when it can be done affordably, efficiently and with a better quality of life!” Proving this theory, you only have to understand the list of clients to whom Leadwave provides support. In 2011, they “managed services” (managing networks/computer infrastructure, security service and back-up services) for a base that spans Canada, the United States and Mexico, with forays into Japan and Africa. Ask Mat where he wants to be in five years and you will hear about plans for Leadwave to continue to branch out: “We’ve developed an expertise in dealing with a certain type of market in Sarnia-Lambton. We know there are similar markets in Ontario and across Canada, and we believe we can expand into those areas and promote our services, which are tailored to small-medium business – businesses that do not have the advantage of being close to a metropolis and large IT companies. We are good at what we do and we understand what it takes to run a business and be successful. We’ve barely scratched the surface and we’re at a point at which business is coming faster than we can add people.” For Leadwave, the export potential is without limits.