Startup Calgary is holding the 11th annual Launch Party virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fifteen of the city’s up-and-coming tech startups have been selected to be showcased at this year’s event, which will be held November 17.
This year, the top 15 will showcase their startups via online video pitch on November 17.
Launch Party is one of Calgary’s largest startup-focused events, and is aimed to create opportunities for entrepreneurs to connect and collide. The event usually showcases, in-person, some of Calgary’s brightest young startups and recognizes several community members for their achievements in supporting Calgary’s tech ecosystem.
This year, the top 15 will showcase their startups on November 17 online via PheedLoop. By using the PheedLoop platform, Startup Calgary hopes to re-create the collision points that the event would normally provide.
Launch Party 2020 will consist of virtual booths with group chat, one-to-one video chat functionality, profiles for attendees and exhibitors, and live virtual sessions to present speakers and its Launch Party awards.
The companies will each pre-record a pitch video that will be available at their booth during the event to increase awareness of each company and make the event more interactive.
Launch Party will still award the top prizes of “Alumni’s Choice Award” and “People’s Choice Award” at the event.
Marcos Lopez, head of Shareworks by Morgan Stanley, will be a headlining speaker at Launch Party. Lopez founded the startup Bitonic Solutions in 1999 with a fellow University of Calgary alumni. Bitonic was later acquired by Solium, which was more recently acquired by Morgan Stanley for $1.1 billion.
Calgary is home to a number of prominent startups such as Symend, Benevity, and Attabotics, all of which have raised sizable funding rounds this year. The city and broader province of Alberta have seen a great deal of activity in the tech sector this year.
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After a number of tech support programs were paused or cut from last year’s budget, the United Conservative Party’s economic recovery plan included a number of new supports for the tech sector. The government also recently unveiled a $75 million innovation strategy, which is aimed to address the longer-term actions needed to strengthen the provincial economy.
Also notable for Calgary, MaRS Discovery District recently announced it is in exploratory talks with the University of Calgary to bring new innovation programming to the region.
Startup Calgary saw a record-breaking number of applicants this year with more than 70 startups looking to take part in Launch Party. In 2019, Startup Calgary had 50 applicants.
The top companies were chosen by a Selection Committee of ecosystem members, including Chris Simair, founder of Harvest Builders and co-founder of Skip the Dishes, Bobbie Racette, founder and CEO of Virtual Gurus, and Muni Boga, president and CEO of Kudos.
This year’s 15 companies include:
4pi Lab: developing an early wildfire detection, geolocation, and monitoring end-to-end data solution to reduce impacts of catastrophic wildfires.
8 Bit Cortex: aims to help people to visualize their wellness journey through simple, gamified assessments.
Bessie Box: seeks to equip farmers to reach their local customers, without markups, at scale.
Bōde: offers a digital marketplace connecting home buyers and sellers directly.
Fuse Insurance: claims to be Western Canada’s first digital commercial insurance brokerage.
Goodlawyer: developing a platform that connects entrepreneurs with a network of business-minded lawyers.
Liveweb: aims to help leading companies deliver successful customer experiences with multichannel business communications built into websites and workflow.
Nicerr: seeks to allow entrepreneurs and business owners to get on-demand expert advice to build and grow their ventures.
Provision: creates software for food processors and manufacturers.
Radley Robots: provides a communications and concierge service delivered via remote-controlled telepresence robots.
Raft Beer Labs: aims to help craft breweries compete with the international beer monopoly by making high-tech laboratory analytics available to any size facility.
Rambody: aims to run the best application for fitness professionals to expand their business online.
Receipt Depot: offers a hassle-free bookkeeping solution for recording, storing and reporting every detail of your business transaction.
Teser Technologies: a UV-C sanitization company born out of COVID-19.
Unico Power: aims to help Condo owners charge their EVs for less using our intelligent charging solution.
Image courtesy Startup Calgary.