Innovate Calgary Highlights City’s Healthy Tech Community

Innovate Calgary presented its 2014 Report to the Community on Monday, February 3, showcasing the outcomes of their clients over 2013.

Peter Garrett, President of Innovate Calgary, led the event, which focused heavily on how different organizations throughout the country have all helped their clients achieve the success that they did.

“I’m sure that you are familiar with the phrase that it takes a village to raise a child, well it takes an ecosystem to grow a company,” Garrett said in his welcoming speech to the crowd of over 100 at their headquarters near the University of Calgary.

Among the distinguished guests was the Hon. Dave Hancock, Deputy Premier and Minister of Alberta’s new Ministry of Innovation and Advanced Education, who shared his thoughts on innovation in Alberta and the role that the government can play in order to foster the growth of technology companies in the province.

“It’s important to celebrate our successes and to start getting out and talking more to the public about the impact of innovation and entrepreneurship on Alberta’s economy,” Hancock said. “We’re ready to embrace the community now and say, ‘what is the structure and governance format like,’ so we can do our best job which is to support these people here in getting their companies up and running, their ideas developed and then marketed.”

Hancock engaged with the entrepreneurs in attendance and was happy to field questions that he says would help develop the next steps of his ministry, which was put together as part of Premier Alison Redford’s Building Alberta Plan.

“In Alberta, we’ve had the practice where we’ve invested very strongly in the traditional economies and we’ve actually moved into technology in those traditional economies quite well. But now we’ve got to really work on how we can take this to the next level.”

According to the report, Innovate Calgary’s clients enjoyed a successful year. Highlights included:

  • Revenue growth of 21%, 43% profitable
  • Overall net employment growth 22% Year-over-Year
  • $54.95 million funding secured by 58 of 889 responding companies
  • “Healthy distribution” of companies across the lifecycle
  • Importance of energy sector: 66% of companies target the energy sector
  • 63% of respondents expanded their international reach in 2013
  • $27 million invested in R&D in 2013
  • 81% launched at least one new product in 2013

Local entrepreneurs and Innovate Calgary clients also attended the event. Rohit Joshi of Brightsquid Dental Link, Trevor Doerksen of Mobovivo and Doug Hagedorn of Invici Technologies all shared their experiences over the past year with Innovate Calgary.

“Our Report to the Community is an important annual event. It shows the health of the innovation, the ecosystem, the health of the entrepreneurs and startup companies in the tech space,” said Garrett.

The event is also a prelude to another announcement from Innovate Calgary: the 2014 TechRev Innovators will be named next Tuesday, February 11.