Calgary, Canada – More than 650 of Western Canada’s top founders, funders, startups, and other innovation-minded people gathered for AccelerateAB 2019 and its inaugural Women in Tech Summit in Calgary on April 15-16 to help further the discussion about economic diversity in the province. Powered by The A100, the annual conference — which began nine years ago as a grassroots effort to bring together the burgeoning startup community in Alberta — was a terrific success.
The theme for AccelerateAB 2019 was ‘Data: Alberta’s New Energy’, and it provided an excellent throughline for the day, starting with opening keynote Timothy Caulfield, Professor of Health Law & Science Policy, University of Alberta, who spoke on ‘Science and Technology in the Age of Misinformation’. Other keynote speakers included Jill Clayton, Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner; Jonathan Neufeld, CEO, Tecterra; and Pavel Abdur-Rahman, Partner & Head of Data Science, IBM.
The innovation and advantage that technology and data bring for Alberta’s economy were further driven home by the panel ‘Analytics Across Industries’, which featured four of Alberta’s ‘scale-up’ companies — StellarAlgo, ShareSmart, BlackSquare, and Decisive Farming — who are leveraging data in their respective industries.
New to AccelerateAB this year was the Women in Tech Summit. The half-day program dedicated to supporting and growing women in the innovation sector included speakers Carol Leaman, President & CEO of Axonify, and Andrea Stairs, Managing Director, eBay. Panel topics included ‘Co-Founder Dynamics: Sharing the Sandbox’, ‘Social Capital: How to Build an Effective Ecosystem for Female Entrepreneurs’, and ‘Capital Biases – Addressing the Challenges in Fundraising’. Laura Haynes, Chair Emeritus, UN Women National Committee UK, was the keynote speaker at AccelerateAB’s VIP Reception on Monday following the Women in Tech Summit and the Startup Advising Sessions.
The Startup Advising Sessions saw nine companies — 2S Water, Bodiometer, BoxOfDocs, FarCloser Travel, FRAME, Neuraura, Oro, Provision Analytics, and Smart Access — connect with experienced entrepreneurs and receive high-quality advice from people who have built, scaled, and exited technology startups themselves.
The annual Pitch Competition once again gave the Startup Advising Session companies a chance to pitch and share their stories with the Alberta tech sector. The winner of the Pitch Competition was Pierre Wijdenes, CEO and Co-Founder, Neuraura, who was awarded the ‘Alex Raczenko Pitch Award’. Neuraura is at the forefront of one of the fastest growing fields in MedTech with neuro sensors that will unlock the fields of neuromodulation and brain machine interface.
The conference would not have been possible without the help of the following sponsors: BDC, Edmonton Economic Development, PwC, Tecterra, Accelerate Fund, Advanced Technology Centre, AltaML, Arcurve, Blakes, InvestHK, Osler, Platform Calgary, RBC, Startup Calgary, Startup Edmonton, TEC Edmonton, Xero, 321 Growth Academy, Assembly Coworking Space, BLG, and Rainforest Alberta, as well as our partners Pinstripe Productions, and The Agency – Strategic Communications, PR & Marketing. Also thank you to the Women in Tech Summit sponsors Absorb LMS, Accelerate Fund, BDC, Benevity, and EDC, as well as our Community Partner, #movethedial.
Cynthia van Sundert
Executive Director, The A100
cynthia at thea100 dot org
+1 403 690 9339
meghan at theagencyinc dot ca
+1 587 899 0615
AccelerateAB is the province’s annual flagship technology event that brings together key leaders, investors, influencers and supporters of Alberta’s fast-growing startup community, with the goal of leveraging the success of the next generation of technology entrepreneurs across the province. Backed by some of the most high-profile and successful leaders in the industry and spearheaded by The A100, AccelerateAB is one of the best connected events in the province. www.AccelerateAB.com