May 2023 – A Canadian Armed Forces veteran has made the Ottawa Business Journal’s Forty Under 40.

Michael Nelson is the founder and CEO of TACTIQL Inc., an innovative dual-use software engineering company focused on automating the standardization of metadata from disparate decision-support systems to enable platform-agnostic interconnectivity, interchangeability, and interoperability.

Nelson said that he was honoured, and surprised, to have not just been nominated, but selected. “When I received the phone call from the selection committee, I was a bit stunned. I love what I do and care deeply about having an impact in my community. I am grateful for the recognition; it strengthens my belief that my team and I are doing all the right things to deliver competitive advantage from the tactical edge to the boardroom.”

TACTIQL – founded on the belief that the military can better keep pace with the evolution of technology by adapting already available commercial technologies to its needs – is now well into its second year of business. Bootstrapped from day one, TACTIQL has already commercialized a product, achieved its first sales, and become cash-flow positive. “We have been operating in stealth mode for the past year and are not quite ready to let the cat out of the bag, but we are on the verge of some very exciting things, so stay tuned,” said Nelson.

Before founding TACTIQL (, Nelson served 13 years as an officer with the Canadian military, including two overseas deployments. He also completed his Executive MBA at the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management and has worked as an advisor to the Department of National Defence on emerging technologies and innovation.

“My military experience grounded me in the needs of the customer. It also ignited my passion for emerging technologies, innovative Canadian businesses, and bridging the gap between Canada’s military and defence industry. My education gave me the tools, and the confidence, I needed to chart my own path. And my private sector experience – working with so many great businesses – has definitely shown me what it takes to be successful.”

Nelson has also worked to help dozens of CAF veterans successfully transition into the private sector, providing many of them their first jobs out of uniform allowing them to leverage their military expertise while developing their business aptitude. He is also active in the community, organizing military-industry socials, raising funds for Soldier On, and speaking at events. He has served on a variety of boards, including the Canadian Military Intelligence Association, and the Education Foundation of Ottawa.

A joint initiative of the Ottawa Business Journal and the Ottawa Board of Trade, Forty Under 40 has become widely recognized as the region’s most sought-after business award for people under the age of 40. Nominees are assessed and ranked on business accomplishments, professional experience, and community involvement.