FSET Inc. – “For the North by the North”

Nicole Brown, Chief Operating Officer of FSET Inc., is sitting in a chair and smiling.

Nicole Brown, Chief Operating Officer, FSET Inc.

Since 1999 FSET Inc. has understood the unique opportunity presented by establishing their business in Northwestern Ontario. Founder David Brown was sure that computers would be the future and started off with intentions to provide Kenora’s neighbouring First Nations with cost-effective technology solutions. 

At the time, the decision to build a niche, innovative information technology (IT) company focused on providing IT services to law enforcement and healthcare providers in Northwestern Ontario might not have seemed obvious. However, in choosing Kenora, David and Nicole Brown recognized the importance of establishing a company based on solid values that placed importance on community, quality of life and employee success. Over the last 25 years, FSET Inc. has shown that they understand that their success is rooted in their employees. 

FedNor is proud to have invested in FSET at a critical time. Thanks to a small, repayable loan of $200,000 under the Northern Ontario Development Program, the company was able to expand its headquarters and purchase additional data capacity to meet growing demand for its services. This additional capacity has resulted in the company hiring new employees in the region. Additionally, FSET has been able to leverage FedNor’s investment into over $4 million in new business opportunities. 

“We are proud to be a big business in a northern Ontario city rooted in a foundation of 'for the north by the north’ and be able to leverage our services and solutions to help others beyond our region,” says Nicole. 

Having now expanded to over 20 employees, many of whom call the region home, FSET Inc. has played a significant role in growing their community and promoting the values of Northwestern Ontario. The FSET team is at the core, not only helping to push technology forward but fostering a great workplace culture. FSET is proudly a Certified Ontario Living Wage Employer, Great Place to Work certified and is recognized on Canada’s 2023 Best Workplaces in Technology List. FSET also leveraged the teams' years of experience to achieve certification against the international security standard ISO 27001 and has been acknowledged on the CRN’S Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list for 2023. 

Through these achievements, FSET demonstrates their commitment to maintaining a high standard of security to best protect the interests of its customers. These important measures have also allowed the company to grow and expand at a time when many other businesses in the industry have faced retention and recruitment challenges. 

Along with growing their business in Ontario and beyond, they have made it a priority to give back. FSET and its staff are extremely active in the community. They are focused on connecting rural and remote First Nations communities throughout the region with broadband internet. As of July 2023, the company had deployed over 4,200 Starlink Kits to establish better connection for educational, community, health and government organizations, and businesses, in 109 northern communities.

Stories like FSET Inc. demonstrate what can be achieved when forward-thinking entrepreneurs like Nicole and David partner with FedNor to leverage strategic and timely investments. It truly is a great example of the best of what Northern Ontario has to offer.