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Finding intersections is the secret sauce for innovation – which is why extraordinary conferences, that create the opportunity for creative collisions, are cropping up across North America.

Kicking off their 21st session this past Friday, South by Southwest (SXSW), a veteran in these experiential events, is a great example. SXSW celebrates the convergence of ideas across film, culture, music and technology, proving that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together.

An attendee at last year’s SXSW, Calgary entrepreneur Jen Lussier is helping make sure Calgary is on everyone’s radar. Jen Lussier is the President of AnyQuip, one of three Canadian companies selected to participate in the SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event at the 2017 conference.

0312 JennLussier2Jen Lussier (right) with Clark Johannson, President & CEO of Calgary's Clickspace Interactive (left) at SXSW 2017.

“Words can’t describe how proud we were to be the reason that Calgary was in the news alongside cities like London and Frankfurt,” says Lussier as she reflects on her experience in Austin, Texas.

AnyQuip helps companies increase utilization of heavy equipment assets using a streamlined rental and sales marketplace. With plans to develop an internet of things (IIoT) tracking telematics solution, AnyQuip is not slowing down any time soon.

And Calgary creativity isn’t slowing down either. This June, the INVENTURE$ conference will bring businesses, backers and the next big thing to Calgary. INVENTURE$ will facilitate collisions, idea generation and deal flow to help entrepreneurs build and scale their ideas globally.

The INVENTURE$ Startup Pitch Event will put 40 companies on stage awarding the top four companies with $10,000. The finalists will be announced in April.

“When you have two minutes to pitch, you sharpen the vision for your business and are challenged by experts in the room,” says Lussier. ”Getting in front of people to practice is invaluable.”

The INVENTURE$ conference coincides with the Canadian Venture Capital Association (CVCA) Conference, which attracts hundreds of venture capital and private equity investors from across Canada.

“We work hard to solve our own problems and do things ourselves in Alberta,” says Lussier. “We need to showcase Calgary as a place where people come to build companies. We have proven that we have the ideas, money and talent to make it happen.” 

INVENTURE$ will take place from June 6 to 8, 2018, at the Telus Convention Centre in Calgary.

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