I should have googled the Commonwealth Hall and Conference Centre on 52nd Ave NE in Calgary before I went downtown to find it … anyway … I took in the latter part of the AVAC 10 year anniversary today at the Commonwealth Hall and Conference Centre. There were several hundred people in attendance, with a good broad representation of entrepreneurs, investors, political types and public service … good energy. And, a nice autumn day, I might add.
While I’m as happy as the next guy to celebrate milestones (and congratulations!), it’s not the 10th year anniversary of AVAC that was of interest. I went to see the Mini-Trade Show of 20 AVAC-supported companies, networking and refreshments.
It was an odd mixture for me. I’m immersed in the high-tech sector, so agriculture companies (like Sinoveda that uses pharmaceutical techniques to realize the full potential of herbal supplements) and medical companies (like BioLipids that commercializes therapeutics that treat and prevent intestinal disease) are usually outside my scope. Facsinating deep science going on here in Calgary. And, of course, there were technology companies (like Intelliview who provides Video Analytics products and solutions, and Userful who provides green computing to large enterprises).
It was neat to talk to some of the agriculture guys. I asked one guy “how long have you been receiving funding?” “8 years.” “What has AVAC contributed to your company besides money?” “They keep me honest.”
While money has been flowing into Agriculture technology for awhile (the “A” in AVAC), the IVAC (“I”nnovation) arm of AVAC is the recent distributor of a large chunk of the $100M technology fund that Premier Stelmach setup in the most recent provincial election.
It was EXTREMELY refreshing to meet the great innovators that founded the companies which employ thousands of people in the Alberta technology sector. People doing great things is what it’s all about after all!
Shown in the picture is Derek Ball from Tynt (In the background, Michael Raymont, former President and VP of NRC, speaks about “Energy, Environment and Innovation.”).
(see some of you next week at the Banff Venture Forum!)