By Jennifer Lussier
Last week I had the pleasure of attending the immersion program in San Francisco on behalf of Platform Calgary, for twenty-three Alberta-based startups. Hosted and organized by Joanne Fedeyko and Christy Pierce of Connection Silicon Valley, these amazing Alberta founders experienced a jam-packed trip and line up of great networking events, speakers, panels, and mentors - some with ties to Alberta, and others based in the valley that are interested in doing business with our province.
Talk about diversifying Alberta!
These 21 growing companies are building new solutions in our province across every industry including: travel, edtech, health care diagnostics and devices, mobile health technology, agriculture, media and entertainment, telecommunications infrastructure, sensors/retail tech, human resources, mental health, transportation and logistics, fintech, and pet services. I was so impressed by the calibre of everyone in the room - these people are definitely moving the needle in our backyard outside of oil and gas.
Presentations were highly informative and insightful, with topics ranging from pitching 101, an overview of the valley investment landscape, best practices for building to exit, and how to enter and market into new regions. Personal stories (such as former Edmontonian Randy Marsden's) gave the cohort an inspirational glimpse into the genesis of product, TechCrunch wins, his journey and a few key tips.
Day two, founders were matched up in rotating mentor roundtables (Colin Coros of Nanostics seen chatting here with mentor Nancy Frishberg) for an opportunity to get feedback from experts in their industry - an impressive list of over 40 professionals working in the valley including angel investors, VC's, accelerators and incubators, and experienced local entrepreneurs - all taking time out of their day to meet and talk with Alberta founders.
The cohort garnered many insights from several panels including a VC panel, an accelerator/incubator panel, and this engaging and forthright group moderated by Dominica Anderson of Duane Morris: Melissa Kargiannakis (Skritswap), Devon Wright (Yelp) and Andy Yang (Indigogo) that had the entire crowd laughing and getting very real on hustle, hardships and why they do it.
Kudos to Joanne and Christy and their entire team at Connection Silicon Valley for such a well thought out and integrated program, and to all the mentors, presenters and supporters that gave their time to the founders. Can't wait to see what all these companies accomplish!
Check out what these Alberta startups are building - and most importantly - SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FOUNDERS!
- Hölmetrics Chad Verity - Springbrook | Workplace Mental Health
- 10Adventures Richard Campbell - Calgary | Travel
- LevellingUp Mike DeBoer - Cochrane | EdTech
- Kent Imaging Pierre Lemire - Calgary | Healthcare
- AGVisorPRO Patrick Walther - Calgary | AgTech
- Nanostics Colin Coros, Catalina Vasquez - Edmonton | Diagnostics
- PostGame Eric Yeung, Harley Christensen - Calgary | Sports/Entertainment
- InBridge Jefferson Gardner, Jason Flatla - Lethbridge | Development
- AlignVR Tom Viinikka - Edmonton | Human Resources
- Mage Networks Sisso El Hamamsy - Calgary | Telecommunications
- True Angle Jana Rieger - Edmonton | Mobile Med Tech
- Story City Emily Craven - Edmonton | Media/Entertainment
- Tamarack Strategies Tamara Loiselle - Calgary | Agriculture
- Tangent Design Enginering Chris Parker - Calgary | IoT
- Link Investment Brian McClennon - Calgary | FinTech
- Spot Dog Walking John Minchin - Calgary | Pet Services
- Trusted Dispatch Dusty Lavalley - Calgary | Transportation
- Smart Access Tim Regnier - Edmonton | Retail Tech
- Synthergy Gem Shoute - Edmonton | Advanced Materials Tech
- Umay Care Ali Habib - Edmonton | Wellness/Wearables
- Fluid Biotech Dr. John Wong - Calgary | Med Tech
- Stagehand Derek Manns - Calgary | Entertainment
- Nanolog Adam Brown - Edmonton | Quantum Electronics