Neo Financial, Jobber, WaitWell among winners of sixth annual Start Alberta Tech Awards

Neo Financial was recognized as scaleup of the year while Jobber was awarded for its $100 million Series D.

Twelve awards were handed out to companies and members of Alberta’s tech ecosystem at the Start Alberta Tech Awards hosted in Edmonton this week.

Start Alberta holds the event to recognize the impact individuals and startups have on Alberta’s tech ecosystem. Its founding members include The A100, Alberta Enterprise Corporation, and the Venture Capital Association of Alberta.

“The Start Alberta Tech Awards shine a spotlight on the remarkable innovation and talent that is thriving in Alberta’s tech sector,” said Tamara Woolgar, executive director at A100, in a statement to BetaKit. “As our tech sector continues to mature, it’s important to recognize both the individuals and organizations that contribute to Alberta’s tech industry to continue to build and enrich our innovation ecosystem.”

The 2023 awards not only celebrated some of this year’s standout deals and capital raises, but also turned the spotlight to the province’s emergent ventures.

The winners of each award are as follows:

The One to Watch Award, deemed “most likely to succeed” by A100 Charter Members, went to WaitWell. The Calgary-based startup operates as a digital concierge for businesses that enables customers to join a virtual queue on mobile devices for both appointments and walk-ins. Earlier this year, WaitWell closed $1.5 million CAD in seed funding.

WaitWell’s co-founder and chief marketing officer Shannon Vander Meulen was also awarded with the Woman in Tech Award.

The Scaleup of the Year Award, which recognizes Alberta’s later-stage companies, went to Neo Financial.

“Beyond its success as a scaling FinTech company that has achieved the coveted ‘unicorn’ status, Neo is working to help attract and retain tech talent in Alberta through initiatives like Tech Thursday,” Start Alberta said in a statement on its website.

Chloe Smith, CEO and co-founder of real-time construction intelligence platform Mercator AI, was recognized with the Most Promising Founder award. Mercator raised a $5.1 million seed round earlier this year.

Operations management software company Jobber was recognized for facilitating the Deal of the Year by raising the largest amount of capital in its most recent funding round. Jobber’s $100M USD Series D funding round in February was a rare win amid the Canadian tech sector’s ongoing investment dip and startup liquidity issues.

RELATED: Jobber closes $100 million USD Series D amid strong demand for home services

The Most Significant Transaction in Alberta went to KKR’s majority stake acquisition of Calgary-based CoolIT Systems in May.

The Impact Award for commitment to social standards went to PainWorth. Its app, which uses AI to value injury claims, is free to use for claimants. Co-founder Mike Zouhri said the app aims to fix the fundamental problems he experienced as a personal injury victim dealing with the insurance industry and personal injury lawyers.

Other awards went to:

Digital Talent Champion: Tacit Edge

VCAA Rod Charko Service Award: Kylie Woods of Chic Geek

Ecosystem Supporter of the Year: Platform Calgary

Investor of the Year: Mark Blackwell of Builders VC

Leader of the Year: Dr. Kristina Rinker of Syantra

A full breakdown of the award winners, along with video testimonials, can be found here.

UPDATE (10/13/23): This story has been updated to include comment from A100 executive director Tamara Woolgar.

Feature Image courtesy Start Alberta via LinkedIn

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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