Startup Calgary has continually evolved to better support early-stage local entrepreneurs and the evolution continues on January 1, 2021, with its move from Calgary Economic Development to Platform Calgary.
In the spirit of collaboration and economic revitalization, the transfer of Startup Calgary to Platform Calgary will better align programming and resources for Calgary’s startup community – a community crucial to rebuilding and strengthening Calgary’s economy.
Startup Calgary staff have worked closely with Platform Calgary over the past year, offering joint programming and collaborating on events. The team from Startup Calgary will integrate into Platform Calgary while maintaining the Startup Calgary brand and building on past programming.
“The economic future of Calgary is being driven by entrepreneurs and their ideas, and Startup Calgary has been lifting that community up for the past decade,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Calgary Economic Development has been supporting the organization these past four years and has done a remarkable job. Now, Platform Calgary will welcome this part of the startup ecosystem into its organization and into our new Platform Innovation Centre. The momentum is growing, and this is the next step in helping local companies realize big dreams."
The Platform Innovation Centre is a 50,000 square foot single point of access to Calgary’s innovation ecosystem where aspiring and seasoned tech startups will get everything they need to learn, launch, scale up, and succeed.
“2021 promises to be a powerful year for Calgary’s tech and innovation sector,” said Dr. Terry Rock, President and CEO of Platform Calgary. “As we open the Platform Innovation Centre, we continue to bring together the resources and partners of Calgary's tech startup ecosystem to create shared prosperity that will benefit all Calgarians. Startup Calgary is a critical part of our ecosystem; by coming together, we form an even more powerful champion for startups. Our partnership with Calgary Economic Development couldn’t be closer, and we look forward to continuing working towards the vision of the economic strategy Calgary in the New Economy under its leadership.”
“We’ve been pleased with the impact Startup Calgary has had on the ecosystem of tech-enabled entrepreneurs in our city while it’s been part of our organization and expect it will be even greater at Platform Calgary,” said Mary Moran, President and Chief Executive Officer, Calgary Economic Development. “We will continue to work closely with Startup Calgary at its new home at Platform Calgary and collaborate in our support for our innovation ecosystem and early-stage entrepreneurs.”
Since its creation in 2010 as a grassroots initiative, Startup Calgary has dedicated itself to fostering a supportive community for entrepreneurs where they can connect with resources to make their dreams a reality. It has been a loud and passionate advocate for the entrepreneurial movement that is reshaping Calgary’s economy.
Startup Calgary joined Calgary Economic Development in 2017. It hosts approximately 100 events annually and launched several new initiatives while at Calgary Economic Development, including Startup Essentials programming, the Game Changers Speaker Series, the Startup Calgary podcast and helping organize the Start Alberta Tech Awards.
Startup Calgary’s signature annual event, Launch Party, is the city’s largest celebration of tech and innovation. Attendance doubled in recent years and set a record when more than 1,200 people attended in November.
The move of Startup Calgary to Platform Calgary is an important step in reaching the community’s goal to exponentially increase the impact of Calgary’s innovation ecosystem: tripling the size of the tech startup sector over the next 10 years with more than 2,000 startups and over 1,000 thriving tech companies, creating tens of thousands of new jobs and adding billions to Alberta’s GDP.
“Startup Calgary was able to expand its ambitions for what it could do to help early-stage entrepreneurs while at Calgary Economic Development,” says Alice Reimer, a former Board Chair of Startup Calgary and a successful technology entrepreneur who is Site Lead for CDL-Rockies.