Innovate Edmonton, and its program divisions Startup Edmonton, Scaleup Edmonton, and Accelerate Edmonton, have rebranded to become Edmonton Unlimited.
The not-for-profit agency announced the name change on Wednesday, though it initially hinted at upcoming changes on Monday with “plans for taking the next step as an inclusive global capital for innovation.” Edmonton Unlimited did not share any additional details about possible changes beyond its name.
“The world is recognizing the growth of Edmonton’s tech and innovation sector, and Edmonton Unlimited is embracing their future potential,” said Tanya Fir, minister of jobs, economy and innovation. “It is not just the region that has potential, it is the innovators and entrepreneurs who call Edmonton home.”
Innovate Edmonton was first established under the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC), a not-for-profit agency owned by the City of Edmonton that also operated Edmonton Tourism, the Edmonton Convention Centre, and the Edmonton EXPO Centre.
In 2019, the City of Edmonton started to explore creating municipally-funded tech innovation entities independent of the EEDC. In May 2020, the City Council unanimously voted to do just that, separating Innovate Edmonton from the EEDC and launching a new organization, but with the same name.
According to the City Council, the move was part of a restructuring of the EEDC, shifting the organization’s focus more on tourism and conventions.
Catherine Warren was named the first CEO of the newly-established Innovate Edmonton in December 2020.
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Last year, City Council approved $5 million in funding for what is now Edmonton Unlimited, which was in addition to the $5 million per year that has been promised to the agency following its creation.
Edmonton Unlimited is led by an independent board with a mandate to “champion innovation in Edmonton.”
Naseem Bashir, an Edmonton business leader and currently the CEO of the Williams Group of Companies, serves as Innovate Edmonton’s board chair. Other members of Edmonton Unlimited’s board include AltaML co-founder and co-CEO Nicole Janssen, Athabasca University innovation finance professor Farzad Alvi, and Inflexion Games CEO Aaryn Flynn.