Canada

Calgary

MEMBERS:
Platform Calgary Calgary Economic Development

As someone who has been on the leadership team of three Calgary tech unicorns while also bringing up my young family, I can vouch for this city as a great place to start and grow your business!

Kelly Schmitt
CEO of Benevity
Top 15 North American Ecosystem: Bang for Buck
Top 20 North American Ecosystem: Affordable Talent
#2 Canadian Ecosystem: Bang for Buck

Highlights

Calgary, Canada’s capital of energy and entrepreneurship, is rapidly transforming into a global tech hub. In 2020, Alberta tech startups attracted a record $455M in venture capital -- a 100 per cent increase from the previous year. Of that total, Calgary companies captured $353M over 33 venture deals. Calgary’s business community is also actively investing in the city’s digital transformation. Between 2021 to 2024, local companies are forecasted to spend $7.5 billion on innovation infrastructure. Much of this explains why the CBRE Scoring Tech Talent report recently ranked Calgary as one of the fastest growing tech talent pools in North America. Our startup support ecosystem collaborates extensively, rallying around a collective goal to triple the size of the tech sector to create 30,000 new jobs by 2031. The innovation ecosystem is further strengthened by the clear support of all orders of government through investments in the acceleration of the ecosystem, the creation of collaborative programming, and the development of a provincial innovation strategy. Ongoing partnerships between government, industry, and non-profits continue to make Calgary a business-friendly city that welcomes the world. Anchored by the new Platform Innovation Centre in the city’s core, Calgary’s innovation district is now the home of the city’s startup community and the catalyst ensuring Calgary’s innovation future.

Ecosystem by the numbers

TOTAL EARLY STAGE FUNDING
$172 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$548 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
$1.5 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$13.68 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND
$762 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$480 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND
$2.4 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$3 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY
$73 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$44 k

Sub-sector Strengths

Cleantech

Home to Canada’s energy sector, Calgary is a premier North American green energy hub and one of the top 15 cleantech markets globally. It also houses over 70% of Alberta’s cleantech firms which are backed by progressive government policy and grants to build innovations that reduce the environmental footprint of various industries. Summit Nanotech recently closed a US$10 million Series A financing, while geothermal startup Eavor raised $40 million in March, with investments from BP and Chevron.

Fintech

Calgary is a fast-growing fintech hub, developing solutions in debt management, insurtech, and paytech that attract capital and world-class talent. Building on the momentum of the $1B acquisition of Solium Capital by Morgan Stanley Shareworks, recent narwhal Symend and challenger bank Neo Financial have raised over $145M combined, breaking Series A and B funding records and cementing Calgary’s opportunity to grow and scale fintech startups.

Reasons to move your startup to Calgary

Low cost of doing business

Calgary is a transportation hub with connections to global markets and offers cost advantages like the lowest corporate tax rate in Canada, no payroll tax, health care premiums or provincial sales tax. Energy and real estate cost far less than in other large Canadian cities. The City also waived or froze business and development permit fees until 2023, as part of the Council’s plan to provide CAD 30 million in relief for businesses.

Welcoming global talent

Calgary, the 3rd most multicultural city in Canada, attracts and retains top minds. Federal programs including the Global Talent Stream designed to expedite visas, and the Startup Visa program, combined with livability, helped Calgary welcome newcomers from 150 countries in the last decade and enabled growth-stage startups to move to Calgary and scale globally.

Startup Community

Startup Genome
Members

Startup Genome
Partners

A100
Alberta Enterprise Corporation
Alberta Innovation Corridor
Bow Valley College
Calgary Innovation Coalition
Creative Destruction Lab - Rockies
Innovate Calgary
Mount Royal University, Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
National Angel Capital Organization
Rainforest Alberta
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)
Startup Calgary
University of Calgary, Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking
Venture Capital Association of Alberta

Featured Articles from
Local Ambassadors

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