Calgary startups AITHR, ENA Solution, and OraQ awarded at Launch Party 2023

Calgary Innovation Week wraps up with a celebration of local startups.

Alberta tech continues to reinforce startups in its ecosystem as Innovation Week YYC’s 2023 Launch Party bestowed awards upon three of Calgary’s top 10 startups, as named by Launch Party alumni, last Thursday. 

The event, supported by Platform Calgary, is a showcase for investors, entrepreneurs, government, and the technology sector to see the region’s latest tech companies.

AITHR Automotive Intelligence, OraQ AI and ENA Solution took home the Alumni’s Choice Award, the Alex Raczenko Pitch Award, and the People’s Choice Award, respectively.

AITHR’s AI tool compiles an automotive dealership’s inventory with Carfax, Canadian Black Book, and lenders’ approvals to automatically generate a subprime deal for vehicle purchases. AITHR was awarded the Alumni Choice Award by Launch Party alumni and an investor for being a “particularly innovative and quickly-growing Calgary startup.” 

OraQ says its platform uses AI to help support dentists in identifying dental treatments and support patient understanding by translating dental jargon and data. The company was selected for the Alex Raczenko Pitch Award by Alberta Innovates and Platform Calgary. The award commemorates the memory of its namesake, Alex Raczenko, who was known as an impactful mentor and pitch coach in Calgary’s startup community. 

ENA Solution’s smart thermostat allows for the remote control, automatic scheduling, and diagnostics of heating and cooling systems in industrial settings like factories, shops, warehouses or garages. ENA Solution was live-selected for the People’s Choice Award by attendees of Launch Party.

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To enter the competition, companies must be in business for less than three years, and show positive revenue and potential for future growth. The applications are then reviewed by a committee made up of three Launch Party alumni founders. This year’s judges were Propra CEO Al-Karim Khimji, Tall Grass Ventures director Marlise Hunter, and WaitWell co-founder Shannon Vander Meulen. 

Vander Meulen herself received recognition at the Start Alberta Tech Awards last month, where The One to Watch Award, deemed “most likely to succeed” by A100 Charter Members, went to WaitWell and she received the Woman in Tech Award herself. WaitWell was also recognized as one of Calgary’s top 10 startups at last year’s Launch Party, which helped the company connect with investors, job seekers, and future customers, Vander Meulen said in a statement. 

In addition to the three award winners, these seven other startups rounded out Launch Party’s top 10 Calgary startups list: 

  • Neobi: a market intelligence platform providing real-time Canadian cannabis sales data. 
  • Monark: a Duolingo-like platform for leadership training that encourages micro-lessons over webinars. 
  • MedEssist: a SaaS platform that offers clinical solutions and other tools for pharmacies and pharmacy health clinics.
  • Huumans: a SaaS platform that helps small businesses with operational processes such as bookkeeping and payroll.  
  • Hempalta: a hemp processor creating hemp-based commercial and consumer products.
  • Digital Carbon Bank: an emission management platform for ESG accounting. 
  • Collegium Technologies: a platform providing real estate development management companies with AI-driven data analytics. 

Feature image courtesy Launch Party.

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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