DDB Ignite

DDB Ignite
DDB Ignite hero image

Igniting start-ups
through intelligent

DDB Ignite puts the power of Canada’s most celebrated communications agency behind emerging entrepreneurs and start-up companies. We’ve tailored our strategic planning tools and processes to generate business results for start-ups. Different than traditional accelerators, we offer expertise and mentorship to help start-ups reach their next stage of growth through the creation and expression of a compelling brand story.

Our brand accelerator model is designed to collaborate with next generation companies to move them from a unique product idea to a concise brand and business-driving idea.

A company without a story is a company without a strategy. Marc Andreesen

  • Brand Founding Workshop

    Brand Founding Workshop

    These sessions empower entrepreneurs with the ability to tell a compelling story, build their brand and develop a solid communications strategy. Workshops are offered semi-annually at DDB’s offices in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto and Montréal.

    Learn more about the Brand Founding Workshop.

  • Brand Inflection Project

    Brand Inflection Project

    We support start-ups ready to scale their growth with a comprehensive brand-led campaign by offering deferred payment for our creative services and the opportunity to secure media space in return for equity through our strategic partnership with Discover Media House.

    Learn more about the Brand Inflection Project.

  • Brand Growth Partnership

    Brand Growth Partnership

    We invest expertise for equity and empower founders. We look for partnerships with starts-ups that are ready to scale.

    Learn more about the Brand Growth Partnership.

DDB's team have specialists in brand, channel, digital and social media planning and integrated communications strategy. Our team has a deep bench and pedigree to help grow and build start-up success from the brand to the communications strategy.

  • Patty Jones

    Patty Jones


    As EVP, Managing Director, Patty is executive sponsor of the DDB Ignite program. Patty is responsible for the agency leadership and has over 25 years of experience as a business leader and driving growth and innovation in marketing communications.

  • Roger Nairn

    Roger Nairn


    Roger is a Business Director with over a decade of experience leading the development of award-winning creative born from strategic insight and expressed with truth and authenticity to attract like-minded customers.

  • Nina Belojevic

    Nina Belojevic


    Nina is a UX Strategist who brings over a decade of experience to digital and interactive projects. Always looking to solve business problems in ways that are meaningful to users, she advocates for holistic user experiences that make use of technologies in new and innovative ways.

  • Stéphane Fournier

    Stéphane Fournier


    As Group Creative Director for Tribal Vancouver, Stéphane has over 15 years of experience crafting digital creative. He is responsible for translating strategy into simple and beautiful user experiences. He embraces ever-changing technologies but keeps the human experience at the forefront.

  • Marie-Nathalie Poirier

    Marie-Nathalie Poirier


    Marie-Nathalie is a data driven creative strategist with over 10 years experience. She started in digital; search, social, analytics and CRM, before going into brand strategy. She approaches every challenge with a holistic viewpoint and a consumer-centric approach.

  • Liam Steuart

    Liam Steuart


    Liam is a Business Unit Director who has spent the past 15 years walking the line between art and science to deliver break through customer-centric solutions for his clients. He has lead multiple account, strategy and project management teams and is a firm believer an idea is only as good as your ability to flawlessly bring it to life.

  • Paul Tedesco

    Paul Tedesco


    For more than 25 years, Paul has dedicated himself to following customers on their journey along the path to purchase, using data and analytics to build 1:1 lifelong brand loyalty. As Managing Director of TrackDDB, Paul leads his team in delivering direct marketing solutions across multiple channels including direct mail, email, loyalty programs, ePortals, web, mobile and call centre.

  • Melanie Johnston

    Melanie Johnston


    As President of DDB Toronto, Melanie provides executive leadership across all disciplines under the DDB Toronto umbrella. She has worked across a range of clients and industries and is an expert at developing integrated campaigns that dramatically transform perception and behaviour to deliver outstanding business results.

  • Helene Leggatt

    Helene Leggatt


    Helene has packed a lot into her career, from founding her own agency, to joining Palmer Jarvis Advertising as a shareholder, to now leading DDB’s award-winning Edmonton team to build great brands across the corporate and retail sectors. She has successfully guided organizations, large and small, in their search to discover their own unique brand positioning by drawing on years of experience as a business leader, strategist, mentor and collaborator.

  • Howard Poon

    Howard Poon


    As DDB Edmonton’s Design Director, Howard pushes his team to focus on communication through insight and effective design. He has been with DDB for 16 years, including a sabbatical where he worked as marketing manager for a local software company. Howard's strategic and design council is paramount to many of DDB’s award-winning campaigns.

This day-long session hosted at DDB’s offices is designed specifically for validated start-ups to empower the entrepreneurial teams behind them with the ability to tell a compelling story, build their brand and develop a solid communications strategy that will drive efficient, scalable growth.

Leaders from each of our practice areas will present key strategies and tools while leading discussion around 5 key topics that cover how to build a brand while taking into consideration the constraints and opportunities of a start-up.

Workshops are free for qualifying companies.

Find out if your start-up qualifies and submit your application.

Is the Brand Founding Workshop right for you and your team? If you answer yes to the questions below, then you are ready to learn how to apply DDB’s brand and communications tools to your business:

  1. Have you validated your product and found a target market that values your offering enough to pay for it?
  2. Have you refined your value proposition and user experience to meet your target markets needs?
  3. Is your team aligned on the vision and mission for your company and now you need a cohesive and compelling way to express this to others?

Up to fifteen companies will be accepted per workshop based on their fit with our philosophy. We aim to co-create innovation with companies whose businesses align with the industries, culture and type of ideas our expertise and network are positioned to support.

  • Your team

    1. Open minded
    2. Passionate
    3. Collaborative
  • Target Audience

    1. Business to consumer
    2. National ambitions
    3. Global ambitions
  • Business Idea

    1. Breaks convention
    2. Creates a new category
    3. Scales rapidly

If you’ve built a business and are ready to tell the world and you meet our qualifications to participate, you can apply using the form below.

Applications Close May 4 2017
Fall Workshop May 18 2017
Applications Close September 23 2016
Fall Workshop November 1 2016
Applications Close September 30 2016
Fall Workshop November 8 2016
Applications Close September 23 2016
Fall Workshop October 26 2016
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Start-ups ready to use the power of an integrated campaign to scale their business beyond the plateau of direct tactical marketing can do so while deferring the majority of the costs for the creative development fees and the media placements. DDB has partnered with Discover Media House to offer negotiated access to media space from top networks across North America. This is in exchange for equity or fees tied to milestones that defer costs to the time of the company generating new revenue and cash flow as a result of the campaign.

DDB works with start-ups selected for Discover’s Inflection Program to develop their brand story and creative concepts using the strategic approach of brand building supported by targeted activation which has been proven to drive the highest return on marketing investment.

We offer services with deferred payment options to start-ups who qualify for Discover Media House’s Inflection Growth Program.

To inquire about the Brand Inflection Project, please send an expression of interest to our office nearest you: Vancouver Edmonton Toronto Montréal

We invest expertise for equity in start-ups who are building disruptive businesses. We empower founders with the resources of a full-service agency and work collaboratively with their teams to establish a customer engagement strategy that focuses on early adoption and advocacy from seed customers and influencers.

Our ideal partners have a market ready product, have qualified their target audience through customer research, and have an internal team including marketing and sales resources. You have dedicated financing to support the execution of a national or global launch based on the strategy we develop together.

DDB offers an agreed upon value of services in return for equity, based on the current valuation of the start-up.

To inquire about the Brand Growth Partnership model, please send an expression of interest to our office nearest you: Vancouver Edmonton Toronto Montréal