“WE’RE BETTER TOGETHER”
Eight years ago, the day after we founded the A100 (www.thea100.org), I published this article to Techvibes.
At the time, we were at an important inflection point in the Alberta Tech Ecosystem. As a group of 2nd and 3rd generation tech entrepreneurs in Alberta wanting to give back to the community, the A100 was formed to support initiatives that created an end-to-end landscape.
As quoted from the article “The A100 can give context and cohesiveness for Alberta high-tech startups to be hyper-successful on a global basis.”
What did the A100 do for the last 8 years?
In those early years, it was about helping foster startup associations like Startup Calgary and Startup Edmonton, reinvigorating the VCAA, launching our annual premier industry event (AccelerateAB, now in it’s 8th year), and hundreds and thousands of mentor conversations, sitting on panels, boards, government advisories, pitch judges, working with both the city of Edmonton and Calgary, and helping shape the AITC (Alberta Investor Tax Credit).
For the past few years, we’ve contributed our time to helping inspire and mentor the next generation of Alberta’s tech entrepreneurs, and helping to bring some focus to companies that are scaling. This led to A100 member-driven & supported initiatives like VMS (Edmonton), VMSA (Calgary), Calgary Innovation Coalition (CIC), Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (AMII), Creative Destructive Labs (CDL), RainforestAB and so much more. In essence, plugging in and influencing all levels of ecosystem.
On our 8th anniversary, BE PROUD to be an A100 member
So go ahead, wear your pin. Add A100 to your LinkedIn profile. In the signatory of your email. On the intro slides to your slide decks. Shout it from the rooftops! You come from a legacy of making great things happen.
BUT, we are again at another important inflection point in Alberta for tech.
This time it feels like the stakes are much higher.
The future success of all industries across Alberta is rooted in the success of our tech ecosystem, and the rest of the world is moving quickly to beat us.
This urgency and depth of the opportunity at hand was palpable at the A100’s annual conference #accelerateAB in Edmonton in April and early June’s #inventures2018 in Calgary.
As I took on the role of A100 Chair in the spring, my mantra became “We’re Better Together.” As A100 members, each of us individually have a big presence in the rooms we enter. Collectively, we’re a powerhouse, the likes of which isn’t replicated anywhere else in Canada.
In 2010, we were a small group of 25 people. We’re 96 people now, and will be 100+ with our next membership intake (we’ll finally make it to a 100, woot!). Members have impact and expertise across all industries, all vocations, at all levels, nooks and crannies of the ecosystem. Not to mention 52% of us are still in the trenches as CEO’s, executives, and founders of the next generation of startups & scaleups.
The Province Thanks You
Thank you. The province thanks you. Even more so, because as you know, we pay membership fees for the privilege of volunteering thousands of hours ;) There’s no time to rest, however. More than ever, we need to provide the same commitment to industry leadership as we always have, if not more. All hands on deck.
The A100 board and Executive Director have been tasked to reflect deeply on our short- and long-term strategy. What does it mean to create a sustainable and impactful organization in this modern era? It’s no longer business as usual, that’s for sure. You’ll see a refreshed A100 emerging from the process.
With your continued contribution, we can ensure we remain a strong membership with a strong voice helping to build a stronger Alberta.