Calgary startup ecosystem celebrates itself with Start Alberta Awards and launch party

The first edition of the Start Alberta Tech Awards has revealed its winners in a variety of categories, including Tech Deal of the Year, Fastest Growth, and Tech Investor of the Year.

The awards look to recognize both individuals and organizations for their contributions to Alberta’s innovation ecosystem, as well as those making a significant impact on the province’s tech sector. The collaborative initiative was created by seven organizations supporting Alberta’s innovation ecosystem, including The A100, Alberta Enterprise Corporation, BDC, PwC Canada, Startup Calgary, Startup Edmonton, and the Venture Capital Association of Alberta (VCAA).

“We’re really a bit of a hidden gem in Canada when it comes to our startup tech companies,” said Kristina Williams, CEO of Alberta Enterprise. “We have so many tech successes here in the province, but not many people know about them. We just felt like everybody needed to come together and talk about all the good things they’ve been doing.”

The winners are:

Tech Deal of the Year: Circle Cardiovascular Imaging, a global leader in cardiac imaging solutions serving over one thousand hospitals in over 40 countries.

Most Significant Tech Transaction of the Year: Benevity, which offers platforms like grants management for socially-conscious companies, created over 250 new jobs in Alberta within the past 18 months.

Fast Growth Award (ynder $5 million): VizworX, which helps clients interact with and understand their data using data visualization, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and VR/AR.

Fast Growth Award (Over $5-million): ATTAbotics, which is developing a robot-centric storage and retrieval systems that reduces ecommerce warehousing and fulfillment costs by 75 percent.

Tech Investor of the Year: Accelerate Fund II, which is supporting the growth of early-stage Alberta technology companies by providing an alternative source of financing to startups that are not yet venture capital-ready.

Ecosystem Supporter of the Year: Startup Calgary, an initiative by Calgary Economic Development that supports early-stage entrepreneurs through a series of events and programming.

Most Promising Startup Entrepreneur of the Year: Virtual Gurus, which provides businesses access to thousands of Canadian Virtual Assistants, providing a platform to make sure tasks are getting finished while supporting the administrative needs of clients.

Rod Charko Service Award: Evan Hu, an active leader and mentor in Alberta’s technology ecosystem supporting organizations such as The A100, Calgary Technologies Inc., Rainforest Alberta, Creative Destruction Lab, and others.

A100 One to Watch: StellarAlgo, a SaaS analytics platform for live audience businesses.

The organization also hosted its Launch Party for about 800 people as the second event. Now in its ninth year, Launch Party showcased 15 companies that all boasted revenue, and awarded on-demand auto repair platform MicroMech the People’s Choice Award.

Disclosure: As part of Calgary’s inaugural Innovation Week, BetaKit received paid airfare and accommodation to attend.

Caitlin Hotchkiss

Caitlin Hotchkiss

Content coordinator, social media smartypants, wordsmith, Human Workflow™. Exists primarily on coffee, cat pictures, German dance metal, and pro wrestling. I will fight for your right to the Oxford comma.

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