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Thanks for coming out to Edmonton Startup Week 2023

Over the past 10 years, Edmonton Startup Week has grown into a powerhouse event in celebration of our city’s startup community and culture of innovation – and for 2023, the community went BIG for the tenth-year anniversary! From start to finish, the entire week was electric. With 2000+ attendees, 65+ events across Edmonton, and more than 20 startups highlighting their businesses, participants came together during the second week of October to connect, celebrate, and share knowledge on the latest innovation taking place right here in Alberta’s capital.

"I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since we originally organized the first Edmonton Startup Week. At the time, it was a way for us to combine flagship gatherings like Launch Party and Startup Crawl, alongside grassroots meetups and events, into a one-week startup community extravaganza. What I love most is that Startup Week is open for anyone to discover, celebrating the year that was and being excited as a community for what’s to come, whether you’re a student or investor, new founder or seasoned entrepreneur."

"Startup week in Edmonton is the best of all worlds, it’s both a celebration of all things new and a tradition of more than a decade. It’s a week where our city’s future entrepreneurs meet to explore new ideas, and where Edmonton’s multinationals and large businesses reconnect with the spark of innovation."

Startup Week 2023 was off to the races Tuesday morning with the annual Kick-Off Party, hosted by Capital City Pilots, where we mingled with old and new friends, sipped tasty mocktails courtesy of Token Bitters, and dwelled on local entrepreneurship; excited for a week-long of innovation. New to the Kick-Off Party was the Startup Market, where attendees had the chance to connect with new startups like Uprow, Aro Robotics Systems, Girls In Sports Alberta, and others, to learn how their companies are solving new challenges in a pioneering way. Later in the morning, 500 Global hosted a Masterclass for founders where we learned about the art of impactful storytelling and the key drivers to hypergrowth.

Tuesday wrapped up with the popular Startup Crawl, for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into Inflexion Games – an innovative games studio here in Edmonton working on their newest shared world survival craft game: Nightingale. AltaML – a leading developer of AI-powered solutions working with organizations to use AI to leverage their data for better business results. And Work Nicer – a co-working space for entrepreneurs that offers workplace necessities and community collaboration. After all that walking, the crowd headed over to unwind at The Banquet in the Ice District for the official (and bumping) Startup Crawl afterparty, sponsored by 321 Growth Academy.

Following an eventful first day, coffee became an essential fixture on Wednesday morning. At Community Coffee, we kick-started the day by sipping our coffee and engaging in an enlightening conversation centered around the Essence of Community Building with renowned panelists and various founders from C-Tribe, Startup TNT, Arcurve, Canadian Women’s Network, and Careers in Technology and Innovation. After Community Coffee, Health Cities took over the Edmonton Unlimited space for Health Innovation Day which panned out to be an intriguing day of health innovation through various panel discussions like Transforming Alberta: Exploring the Impact of Health Innovation and Digital Health Integration events. Fueled by coffee and inspiration, the crowd headed over to Amii and heard how startups in Edmonton are leveraging AI for their businesses. After Amii, we continued the AI momentum and checked in on Cybera for their Dockerizing and Developing Your First Generative AI Model hands-on demonstration at Enterprise Square.  

On Wednesday afternoon, Crystal Philips, Arden Tse, Amanda Vella, and Lindsay Vanstone paneled the Navigating Investment and Funding in Alberta’s Health Innovation Sector session where they walked us through the strategies and avenues for accessing investment in Alberta’s dynamic health innovation sector. They shared valuable insights into the various funding options available, from venture capital to government grants, highlighting the diverse opportunities for entrepreneurs and startups.

Across the downtown core, Thursday was one of the busier days of the week with each event offering its own unique and exceptional experience themed around innovation navigation and entrepreneurial breakthrough! Events like the Women in Tech Networking Breakfast presented by Canadian Women’s Network, the Social Impact Business Model workshop hosted by Edmonton Unlimited, Startup TNT’s “Top 20 Pitch Night Summit”, and of course, the eagerly anticipated Launch Party 14 had participants buzzing with enthusiasm and excitement for a packed evening of community connection and celebration.

Thursday evening, the fourteenth annual edition of Launch Party took place at the Edmonton Convention Center, where over 650 attendees gathered to celebrate the entrepreneurial community and hear pitch stories from the 2023 class of Launch Party 14. Emceed by Kasey Machin from Areto Labs and Lillah Penddah from AFRO FACTS and a program facilitator for Edmonton Unlimited, the event gathered founders, partners, and innovation enthusiasts. Local leaders including Mayor Amarjeet Sohi, City Council Member Tim Cartmell, Minister Randy Boissonnault, and Minister Nate Glubish also joined for a night of innovation inspiration and entrepreneurial energy as we celebrated the ten companies, with exceptional pitches for the $10,000 cash prize.

"I’m so happy to be here [Launch Party] celebrating with our local tech ecosystem and organizations like Edmonton Unlimited to celebrate the smartest, most innovative folks in Alberta who are building a bright future by applying technology to solve problems in new ways."

As the night progressed, the 2023 class of Launch Party took center stage one-by-one to showcase their innovative ventures, which included:

Following the pitches, our selection committee, comprised of Allan Waine from Edmonton Unlimited, Christiana Manzocco from Alberta Enterprise, Ken Bautista from Makespace Group, and Gail Powley from Technology Alberta, meticulously evaluated each pitch presentation and business plan to determine the recipient of the cash prize. Drum roll, please… Hats off to Sam Jenkins and Standard Field Systems for securing the $10,000 cash prize, which will be a significant boost for supporting your entrepreneurial venture! And a big round of applause to Team CarePal for clinching the People’s Choice Award – a well-deserved recognition voted by the people!

"What a night! Launch Party 14 by Edmonton Unlimited was an absolute blast, and Team CarePal was thrilled to be part of it. Launch Party attendees reached 141 families by sharing, downloading and visiting Team CarePal."

In case you missed Launch Party 14, Amplomedia was on-site getting the scoop from Launch Party founders and community advocates, check it out.

Friday held another full day of events, commencing with the highly sought-after Branding & (Hangover) Breakfast: How to Master Influencer Marketing presented by the Advertising Club of Edmonton (ACE). Marketing enthusiasts, influencers, and industry leaders came together to enjoy breakfast and hear from a panel of seasoned marketing professionals and influencers on the latest trends and best practices. The morning ended with attendees tapping into their inner child for the Importance of Play – Foam Flinging event at Foam Fighters!

The afternoon opened with Opportunities in Responsible AI, sponsored by ATB, where we heard from industry pioneers and government officials like Minister Randy Boissonnault, Nicole Janssen from AltaML, and Yukun Zhang from ATB who advocate for AI and successfully integrated responsible AI practices into their business solutions. The day ended with the Good Day to Mountain Bike, hosted by Good Day Optics where riders hit Edmonton’s beautiful single-track trails to work off some Startup Week calories.

The final day of Startup Week – Saturday, offered a unique and refreshing twist to an already fantastic week. For the first time in Startup Week history, Edmonton Unlimited’s Maria Teodora Barbu and Tristian Ham hosted Startup Roast: A Comedy Pitch-Off for an afternoon of entrepreneurial hilarity and startup showdowns that combined the world of business pitches with a comedy stage. This LOL-filled event will be back!

And that’s a wrap on the 10th Edmonton Startup Week! To all the Startup Week attendees, event hosts, sponsors, partners, and Launch Party companies – THANK YOU for making YOUR Startup Week one to remember! This Startup Week 2023 couldn’t have happened without all of you! We can’t wait for next year!

Meantime, if you’re looking for help with an idea, to grow your business, or to attend a community event, check out today.

This week would not have been possible without the support of our incredible sponsors and partners. Thank you to:

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