Start Up Genome Survey
A few weeks ago, many of you participated in a survey conducted by the Alberta
Innovation Corridor asking how the COVID-19 and economic crises were hitting Alberta
startups. The corridor partners (CED, Innovate Edmonton, Platform Calgary) have since
communicated these impacts to government representatives to advocate on the
ecosystem’s behalf. The corridor partners have now also partnered with Startup Genome
to compare our ecosystem’s trends, policies, and financial support for startups with other
jurisdictions around the world. This partnership will help us gain insights on how those
that were hit earlier are responding to learn what is working, and what is a waste of time.
To support this initiative, we ask for your continued help by participating in regular surveys
(every 2 months) to be conducted by Startup Genome. The founder survey takes 5-6 minutes to complete and is completely confidential. All startups’ data are aggregated and anonymized. This survey is geared toward technology startup founders of companies <10 years old.
● If you closed your startup permanently, start from here
● If you are working to continue, even with paused operations, click here
Please pass on these links to anyone you know who has a start up.
Staying connected to the ecosystem is vital to our recovery. Many groups and organizations have pivoted to offering online courses, webinars, and meetups. Weekly at Lunch Without Lunch the community shares their knowledge of the many offerings.
Start Up Calgary
Data for Good
Listen & Learn
The Rainforest Podcast continues to post a weekly conversation between to community members. There are over 60 episodes with hosts and guests across Edmonton and Calgary.
The podcast is also hosted by a mix of community members - hosts are always needed.
Daily, starting March 18th we will also be sharing two discussion starters on slack, twitter, and linked in. They will be light, upbeat, and fun ways to engage and connect with each other. We will be sharing a daily resource like a ted talk or article and a daily question which will prompt us to get to know each other better.
Others are also hosting online events as well. Our hope is to share a weekly newsletter with ecosystem news. Listening to the LIBI Podcast is a great way to hear from innovators.
As always, if there is something we can help with please reach out.
Kourtney & Steven
Where I was recently...
Hackernest is a ‘notoriously down-to-earth’ get together built for tech people of all stripes - developers, designers, IT folk, etc. People come to find employees, to look for jobs, and just to have a chat with other people who speak their language. I learned the names of 3 programing languages I’d never heard off. If you need to hire someone, or are looking for a technical co-founder, Hackernest and Pixels and Pints should be at the top of your list.
Harvest Builders is a new organization trying to ‘elevate innovation across the Canadian Prairies.’ Started by partners including Chris Simair ofSkip The Dishesfame, they aim to provide talent, advise, and access to capital for companies and founders with disruptive ideas. Now, there were some audio issues at their launch party, so I don’t know as much as I’d like, but another player in our innovation ecosystem is surely welcome, and they bring proven talent to the table. Check them out, and apply as a founder or an employee (they have MANY openings)
ONBOARD is Mount Royal University’s business pitch competition for non-business students (which is a GREAT idea, btw). This event featured 7 creative and innovative ideas including an automated fish care device, a wearable CPR assistant, and an AI enabled art tool (and also free pizza). I highly recommend more members of the public get out to events like this - it’s so neat to see these ideas and their creators at an early stage.
And with that, WTF is going on in March?! Let’s do it.
Where I’ll be, March 2nd to 15th
Power Hour - Tuesday, Mar 3, 17:00 to 18:00, FREE Central Library, 3rd floor Idea Lab. This is our awesome problem solving/idea jam thing! It’s really fun - everyone brings a problem they’re struggling with, then we break into small groups and try to solve them!
Supercharge your Solar Returns - Thursday, March 5th, 17:45 to 20:30, FREESAIT Symposium Room
This looks neat - how will an electric vehicle help you to get the most value out of your solar panels? Since my childhood community just finalised and began installing their major solar project, this is right in my wheelhouse (or driver’s seat??). Come down with me, and let’s drive on Sunshine.
Now, you may be thinking, "WTF Steven, you’re only going to 2 events?!?!" Look, I feel you, okay?? But I’m going to like, 3 that are just not open to the public (yet!) and I’m gonna be in Vancouver for a few days. Gimme a break!
Where I WISH I could be, March 2nd to 15th
Technology and Innovation in the Ancient World - Wednesday, March 4th, 19:00 to 20:30, FREEBMO Community Room, Central Library
We think Calgary’s innovation scene is popping off, but how does it stack up against the OG - the pioneers of Western civilization in ancient Greece and Rome?? Somebody go check this out. Maybe we should bring back the abacus.
Pixels and Pints - home sweet home - Thursday, March 5th, 17:00 to 21:00, FREEHudson’s Pub
Calgary’s long running techie, dev, and designer meetup is back in the old stomping grounds! Meet the community, have a beer, hire a talent, or find yourself a technical cofounder.
Hands On Ideas at Inception U - Saturday, March 7, 13:30 to 16:00, $50 InceptionU, 3rd floor of Central Library
LITERALLY build on each others ideas! This looks like fun - think with your hands to collaboratively design solutions to problems brought by attendees. It’s about examining how you think, and celebrating rapid iteration and failure.
Valhalla’s Basecamp Pitch Night - Monday, March 9, 16:00 to 21:00, FREEMadison’s 1212
Founders who have just completed Valhalla Private Capital’s Basecamp program (including the latest cohort from The Accelerator) will be pitching investors for feedback. Come see some super cool tech startups, and share in some good food and drink.
Photos for a Fiver - Wednesday, March 11, from 10:00 until 14:00.Main Street @ Mount Royal University Want a professional headshot done, but only have change in your pocket? Good news, MRU journalism students are giving you 5 edited photos for $5 or a non-perishable food bank donation. Hit them up!
BiohackYYC Field Trip! Mushrooms @ the Light Cellar - Wednesday, March 11, from 19:00 to 21:00, $5the Light Cellar BiohackYYC is a funky meetup group - last time I went, it was all about wearable tech to make you superhuman. This time, looks like it’s superfoods, stone ground chocolate, and medicinal mushrooms. A different approach to biohacking, but I’m intrigued! Let me know how it is pls.
That’s it for now folks! Stay tuned for a new and improved website next month, and as always, hit me up with your feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org Also, check out my full If you’re interested, check out my full innovative events calendar. Don’t let me tell you where to go - you’re a strong, independant ecosystem builder!
Catch you out in the rainforest,
Let’s talk events! I was at approximately 1,000,000 this month, including two lovely crypto/blockchain meetups, a smash hit Product Calgary presentation, and a very exclusive MRU Alumni evening. Let me tell you about two:
Cryptoasis is a very relaxed, very welcoming meetup, where the wonderful host, Jason, talks you through any and all aspects of blockchain systems. I was a bit nervous going to my first crypto event, because: I don’t know what a block OR a chain is I thought someone might convince me to invest all my money in their new token. (a bitcoin is a token, I think. Go ask Jason about this, okay??)
My nervousness was unfounded! The group was very welcoming, and they were very happy to talk me through the very basics of Distributed Ledger Technologies (AKA, blockchain stuff).
Product Calgary - Wicked Haahd Problems with Gibson Biddle In case you couldn’t tell, that title ought to be pronounced with a boston accent: Bostonian Gibson Biddle was VP of Product at Netflix, and he spoke to Product Calgary at the offices of Shareworks by Morgan Stanley - formerly Solium. Gib’s talk was killer, and there was food and beer to boot. Check out Product Calgary, and watch his talk here.
On to the upcoming events! WTF will I be doing in the last week and a half of February? Not much, it turns out, as I’m out of town and it’s just a short month. That means I need YOU to fill the gap! Go to an event, talk to a person, get inspired.
Where I’ll be, February 19 to 29
Hackernest Social Tuesday, Feb 25, 19:00 to 21:00, FREECisco Systems
Hackernest seems like Lunch without Lunch for hackers (technologists, nerds, geeks, etc.) - It’s social, you get to introduce yourself to the community, I’ll be there, etc. Apparently, it looks like this. This one will be my first, so join me in checking it out!
MRU’sONBOARD Thursday, Feb 27, 17:30 to 20:00, FREE[https://goo.gl/maps/5mQLX7wpvQ2oKQYu8 Lincoln Park Room at Mount Royal University
This is a showcase of projects and business ideas from the technical programs at MRU. Come for the AI enabled art, stay for the app that’s solving toxicity in gaming (Finally!). I’ll be there, hoping to connect talent with talent, and learing some cool stuff along the way. Check out some projects here.
Techstars Startup Weekend - Friday, Feb 28 at 18:00 to Sunday, March 1 at 21:00Work Nicer Red Mile
Techstars is an entrepreneurship hackathon, put on by Startup Calgary. Bring your skills and an idea, then build a team of fellow attendees and get to work! Here’s some more detailed info Come be on my team!
Lunch without Lunch! - Wednesday, Feb 26, 11:45 - 13:00, FREEAt Workhaus Core
The last LwoL in each month, we’re trying something a bit different - small group connections. You’ll sit with an assortment of interesting people, tell each other your problems, and then see what you can solve by connecting them to other folks in the room. We had a huge success at the end of January - lots of new faces, and great innovation energy. Also, Workhaus is fancy - check it out!
Events I WISH I could attend, February 19 to 29 Yikes, there are a lot of cool things I can’t get to this month. Sad face.
Fundraise Like a Woman! - Wednesday, Feb 19, 16:00 to 19:00, ~$60Venue 308
This is an event from The 51, a movement working to promote female founders and entrepreneurs. I hope you’ll go and get inspired; we need more women in tech, and in C-suites.
The Future of Mobility - Thursday, Feb 20, 8:00 to 17:00, $50At The Best Western Conference Centre
This looks neat. Put together by ACAMP, a develpment centre for advanced products, this mini conference is about all the forces changing the way we move around - transportation as a service, smart cities, autonomous vehicles, autonomous mining and agriculture, etc. I’m bummed to miss it!
Email marketing (by Shopify Tuesday, Feb 25, from 10:00 to 11:30, FREEAt The Commons
Since, in a way, I’m marketing Calgary events to you, I feel like I should go to this. Maybe it would make more people read my newsletter…. Go check it, please.
Plastic Paradise - Wednesday, Feb 26, 17:00 to 21:00, $10At the Leacock Theatre
This is an evening focused on the problem of single use plastics - we’ve officially moved beyond worrying about straws! There’s performance art, the city of Calgary’s recycling department, and a film about plastic pollution. Spoilers: It’s not actually creating an ocean paradise.
Nerd Nite 50 Thursday, Feb 27, 19:00 to 22:00, $10At Wurst
I don’t really know what Nerd Nite is - perhaps some sort of evening for geeky people? It’s been recommended to me, but I can’t make it. Somebody, go on my behalf and tell me about it!
Data for Good - Data at the Drop-In - Thursday Feb 27, 19:00 to 21:00, FREEAt the TFDL at U of C
Another hot Thursday night ticket! Data for Good rocks, and this month they are talking about how the Calgary Drop-In centre is building data into its systems, and using it to help serve the homeless community. Check it out!
Thanks for reading!If you’re interested, check out my full innovative events calendar. It’s a constant work in progress, but there’s so much more happening than what I share with you! Let’s get this ecosystem growing, together!!