In fall of 2020, Platform Calgary started Globalizing Calgary Tech, thoughtfully curated virtual discussions that help us learn from and connect with global tech and innovation leaders. These discussions and learnings lead to action, helping us to focus our work to massively grow the size of Calgary’s startup and innovation ecosystem.
For Globalizing Calgary Tech: Vol. 3, our panelists brought unique perspectives from various industries, including energy, ag-tech, finance and the creative industries. Our insightful panel included Elena Dumitrascu of TerraHub, Kiersten Stead of DCVC, Marc Brown of Byta, Nishka Gupta of ARC Financial. The discussion was moderated by Shelley Kuipers, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The51 and The Honourable Senator Doug Black shared opening remarks.
Here are some insights they shared on how technology and innovation is impacting their industry and how we can continue to encourage new pathways for economic growth:
- There are several moving parts that make up a strong innovation ecosystem: a centralized place that connects the community, mentorship opportunities for people to learn from others who have ‘been there’ and early-adopters who are willing to take a chance on emerging tech and share examples of what’s possible.
- Digital literacy, a connected community and engaged post-secondary students are crucial to rapidly grow the tech and innovation space. Post-secondaries in Calgary are adapting to the changing educational landscape, equipping students with the digital skills they need. In Calgary, we see examples of this with SAIT’s School of Advanced Digital Technology, MRU’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and UCalgary’s Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking.
- We have lots of success stories to share! When Calgarians see examples of local success, their idea of what’s possible grows exponentially. We’ve seen examples of this through local wins with Benevity, Solium (now Shareworks by Morgan Stanley) and Symend. Amplifying stories like these will capture the attention of emerging entrepreneurs and investors - local and abroad.
- Entrepreneurs thrive in environments where they have the resources to grow and scale. Calgarians have access to a wide network of mentors through Platform Calgary, CDL and the A100. Hearing from people who have ‘been there, done that,’ is invaluable for entrepreneurs.
- Building a strong community for startups and entrepreneurs to succeed is a collective effort. Collaboration between community leaders, city builders and Government makes Calgary a place where entrepreneurs can compete and succeed. The tendency toward collaboration is strong in Alberta, and players in all spheres of the ecosystem are willing to help each other out. By working together, our ecosystem grows stronger and faster.
Click here to watch previous Globalizing Calgary Tech events.
We’d like to hear from you!
What would you like to explore next in the Globalizing Calgary Tech Series? If you have ideas or topic suggestions please share them with us by email.