How the Alberta Technology Sector Is Turning Around | CBC News

The Alberta technology sector is slowly recovering from the threat of leaving behind the start-up industry behind Canadian technology leaders in BC, Ontario and Quebec.

A.D. In 2019, the Alberta government dropped incentives for investors to fund state-of-the-art technology initiatives, prompting some venture capital, private equity, individual supporters, and angel investors to relocate.

A.D. As the end of 2021 approaches, there are those in the sector who believe that Alberta is finally recovering, with more support from the government and more willing to open their wallets.

The investment is growing, the confidence is growing and some early developers and entrepreneurs are starting to see the money coming in.

At a recent Pitch event at the new Platform Innovation Center, companies from Edmonton and Calgary (and five Saskatchewan) lined up to sell their latest ideas and findings to investors, both directly and indirectly.

“It was great to see it.

Audience members, some of whom are potential investors, will be listening to a series of voices at the recent Startup TNT event in Calgary. (Brian Laby / CBC)

At a time when optimism and self-confidence were growing, it was a struggle to persuade investors to support projects from Alberta’s traditional industries and fundraisers, energy and real estate.

“Raising capital is not an easy task for companies to manage queues, queues, appointments and public oversight,” said Whiteina CEO Alina Martin.

“We will get the narrower out of the lineup,” said Martin, who spent $ 1.3 million to grow Calgary.

Martin, who has spent her entire career in technology, says it can be challenging to attract Alberta investors because the sector is relatively new and dangerous and, as some say, dangerous. She says there is a lack of awareness among investors about options.

“People invest in what they know about investing in Alberta, they invest in what they understand,” she said.

‘Resisting Little Danger’

Angel Albert, an angel investor in Calgary, is slowly but surely looking at the technology and innovation market in Alberta.

“We are moving as soon as we start moving, but we are moving in the right direction,” he said.

“We have a little concern here.”

He said investors in Toronto are more willing to write “million dollar checks”, and there is more caution, caution and caution in Alberta and to some extent BC.

But in Calgary, we want to see some things. We want to make sure they are resistant, we want to see MRR. [monthly recurring revenue]We truly believe in the founder – in those forms, “Albert said.

Calgary has seen an increase in investment deals by the end of September compared to the first nine months of last year, according to The amount raised is $ 45 million, but it will be less than the same amount in 2020.

Jed Alberts is an angel investor in Startup TNT, which helps educate new and potential investors in technology. (Brian Laby / CBC)

The Canadian Venture Capital Private Equity Association (CVCA) has invested $ 480 million in 61 agreements in Alberta.

It’s a lot of money, but in Ontario, Quebec and B.C. Compared to the country’s technological giants, Alberta is far behind, with significant investment activity, accounting for 92 percent of the total dollar raised. September. Toronto alone has invested $ 4.9 billion.

‘Return to the Race’

One of the co-authors of the 2020 regional government report warned that Alberta is in danger of falling behind compared to other technological friendly states in Canada.

Innovation Capital Working Group It is clear from its forecast for Alberta that it will eliminate some incentives, support and tax credits for beginners and investors in 2019.

The group called for urgent action, not just to expand and expand the economy.

“We are in danger of losing more skills, capital and jobs in more aggressive areas to attract more talent and dollars to power,” he warned.

“Obviously Alberta is in danger of being left behind.”

Alberta Business Council President Adam Lege said the state government has become more competitive after implementing support for advanced technology companies. (Brian Laby / CBC)

Adam Lege, president of the Alberta Business Council and co-founder of the report, says the U.S. government has provided assistance to small and medium-sized businesses investing in research since its inception. And development.

Legal reports that Alberta Enterprise Corporation has increased its investment in Venture Capital Fund.

“Obviously the demand for investment in technology in Alberta is growing again. So I think we are back in the competition,” he said.

One of the major recommendations that is not being implemented is a joint venture model that can help inexperienced investors.

It will be a small substitute for the AITC (Alberta Investor Tax Credit) that Albertaans who want to invest in the technology sector can do on a daily basis, because we have a shortage of vehicles for experienced investors in technology, ”he said.

“A World of Luck”

A Calgary-based venture capital investment investment partner has said the Alberta economy has been difficult for half a decade and that there is no need to despair, but that Alberta is a unique area of ​​technology that has just begun.

“This is not the world I live in. This world is a world of chance and optimism and success,” said James Locke, of Tyn Air Labs.

Locke says the USP government’s decision to eliminate investment tax credit for technology and innovation companies was a major setback. He said technology was the only sector that “won” in Alberta before energy prices went up this year.

“Not only did they wake up, but they realized they were growing so fast that they worked in a total of 180 industries,” he said.

The policy is changing, the focus is changing, the capital is changing.

Location Slim Air Labs says it will launch a $ 30 million investment fund for start-up technology companies in the new year and expects $ 100 million to be added by institutional investors by 2022.

Martin Alberta says the technology sector is booming, but it is still difficult to attract capital for startups and entrepreneurs. (Brian Laby / CBC)

Returning to the Platform Innovation Center, Watwell was a big winner last night. Martin said the company earned a maximum of $ 400,000.

“It also helps us build and execute our marketing plans, which will help us generate more leadership and gain more customers,” she said.

Brian Labi is a corporate reporter with CBC Calgary. If you have good story ideas or tips, you can reach them at or on Twitter @CBCBryan.

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