From Sydney to Ottawa: WithYouWithMe is Transforming Underemployed Talent Base & Changing Lives

Caption: WithYouWithMe team at the Ottawa office.


Career landscapes have drastically evolved in recent years, resulting in a significant portion of our labour force being underemployed and struggling to find their place in the competitive job market.

Established in 2015 as a platform to support underemployed veterans, WithYouWithMe is an Australia-based company working to address the critical skilled labour shortage in Australia and other parts of the world, including Ottawa, the capital of Canada.

The Sydney-based company serves the community as a social impact company helping businesses to solve skill-shortage issues and works to locate and nurture talent, primarily from underrepresented groups, including veterans, military families, neurodivergent people, women in tech, youth, Indigenous communities, and refugees.

Through its work, the company is gaining notoriety for helping businesses around the world tackle the global digital skills shortage while creating a positive social impact.

Recently, WithYouWithMe partnered with Ernst and Young (EY) to address the Canadian Government’s cybersecurity talent shortage by providing free digital skills training to the Canadian Armed Forces Veterans, then matching them to entry-level tech roles in government to build up Canada’s cyber workforce.


The Story Behind Expanding to Ottawa

After tremendous success and rapid growth in Australia, the company decided to expand its business globally and subsequently landed in Canada.

They chose Canada primarily because of the opportunity to scale their business in a like-minded global market. Its decision to expand to Ottawa was also underpinned by the strong relationship between Canada and Australia’s government and defence sectors — two key markets for WithYouWithMe.

“A large portion of our user base are veterans and the close connection and camaraderie between Canadian Armed Forces veterans and Australian Defence Force veterans also supported this geographic expansion,” explained Courtney Banman, VP of Operations – Canada, WithYouWithMe.

Choosing Ottawa as their Canadian head office was a strategic decision, driven by multiple factors. Ottawa’s vibrant ecosystem of research institutions and technology hubs provided a fertile ground for innovation and collaboration for the company.
Another big factor for the company to consider Ottawa was the city’s rich talent pool, particularly, the veteran talent pool with a nuanced understanding of the Canadian defense sector.

“As the capital of Canada, Ottawa stands as the epicenter of the nation’s political and governmental activities,” Courtney added. “Its positioning offered great access to key decision-makers, regulatory bodies, and industry influencers, which is particularly important for us given our defense and government operations.”


Caption: Team WithYouWithMe in front of the Parliament Hill, Downtown Ottawa.
Caption: Team WithYouWithMe in front of the Parliament Hill, Downtown Ottawa.


Expanding into Ottawa has been a rewarding experience for WithYouWithMe.

According to the company, the city’s conducive environment for technological innovation and robust support infrastructure allowed them to thrive and position them closely with key customers and government stakeholders. Ottawa’s collaborative spirit and immense talent pool have also been instrumental.

Courtney states that Ottawa’s commitment to both public service and innovation and its strong foundation in the technology sector align seamlessly with the company’s strategic growth plan, making it an ideal hub for its operations.


How Invest Ottawa Supported the Global Expansion

Invest Ottawa’s Global Expansion team supported WithYouWithMe throughout the entire expansion process.

After the initial communications in early 2021, Invest Ottawa connected them with key stakeholders, facilitated introductions to potential partners, and provided vital resources to help us hit the ground running.


Caption: From left to right, Courtney, Sophie, Jens, and Brianna at Invest Ottawa.
Caption: From left to right, Courtney, Sophie, Jens, and Brianna at Invest Ottawa.


Speaking about the collaboration with Invest Ottawa, the company acknowledges the expertise, industry knowledge, and robust network of Invest Ottawa that were invaluable in helping WithYouWithMe navigate the complexities of international expansion.

“From providing invaluable market insights to offering critical regulatory guidance, their support was comprehensive and tailored to our specific needs,” Courtney said. “Their hands-on approach, combined with a deep understanding of the local business ecosystem, was pivotal in accelerating our entry into the Ottawa market.”

“It certainly helped us to swiftly establish a strong foundation for our operations, positioning us for sustained growth and success in Canada,” Courtney added.

Now that WithYouWithMe has been established in Ottawa, Invest Ottawa will be closely working with the company to support them in bridging the talent gap in Ottawa.


Interested in Expanding to Ottawa?

If you are planning to expand your business, Ottawa is a great destination. Ottawa has the highest concentration of tech talent in North America (CBRE, 2023), and the city is ranked the second lowest among the top Canadian cities in the Mercer 2022 Cost of Living City Ranking (Mercer, 2022).

Also, according to Statistics Canada (2023), Ottawa’s unemployment rate is the lowest among large Canadian cities (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Calgary).

Invest Ottawa’s Global Expansion team will help you with every step of your expansion project, provide you with necessary recommendations, and connect your business with resources in Ottawa.

If you want to learn more about Ottawa’s business ecosystem and how we can help relocate your business to Ottawa, reach out to our team.


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