In November, Innovate Calgary teamed up with TELUS to launch a new technology accelerator in Alberta.
The TELUS Technology Accelerator is a four-month program focusing on four priority areas including data analytics and health. This first-in-class partnership demonstrates TELUS’s commitment to technology startups across Canada.
“This program enables us to continue our support of the Canadian technology innovation ecosystem,” says Rogelio Ferreira, Manager of the TELUS Innovation Centre in Calgary. “We are proud to work with local entrepreneurs to solve some of the challenges that matter to our customers and the communities we serve.”
For the inaugural round of the accelerator, three startups, RallyEngine, MedDuck and Physio4D, were selected out of 15 applications, after a rigorous selection process.
RallyEngine is a mobile-focused content publishing platform for alerting groups, rallying teams, and informing communities. MedDuck works with partners to improve healthcare outcomes through the use of mobile application solutions. Physio4D is an interactive mobile technology for guidance of physical therapy exercises at home, using animated 3D visualization and real-time suggestive feedback.
TELUS is deeply interested in health tech which makes this cohort one with tremendous possibilities, suggests Javad Sadeghi, CEO of Physio4D.
“During this accelerator we are looking forward to understanding the know-how of integrating our digital tracking technology,” says Sadeghi. “In addition, by leveraging these channels in the healthcare ecosystem we can gather enough training samples for our machine learning algorithms.”
All three startups were founded in Alberta, a province that is sometimes overlooked in terms of technological innovation. However, those in the know are well aware of how Alberta tends to punch above its weight and is committed to growing a culture of innovation.
“Alberta’s economy and innovation efforts are rapidly diversifying, and that makes for an exciting scene to be a part of,” says Steve Hardy, president of RallyEngine. “There’s a whole new vanguard of innovative leaders saying ‘you can’t predict everything, we have to be nimble, we have to have nimble tools.’”
RallyEngine, alongside MedDuck and Physio4D, are a part of this new wave. And Innovate Calgary, in partnership with TELUS, is ensuring these early-stage companies have the tools they need to reach their full potential.
“As with any startup, our challenge is to take our vision and turn it into something customers want,” explains Jaron Easterbrook, president and CEO of MedDuck. “While the TTA is certainly helping with marketing, finance and other business practice coaching, where they’ve really excelled is in connecting us to advisors with incredible track records of success in our space. In five minutes we were asked the tough questions that we had only come to realize after months of work.”
The first cohort of the TELUS Technology Accelerator, or TTA, graduates this March. Graduation will be marked by a demo day – an event which will see the cohort present to TELUS executives, investors and high profile entrepreneurs from the community, and others. The aim is for the graduates to receive valuable advice and feedback from high level business people to increase their probability of their overall success and investment in the future.