Canada

Calgary

MEMBERS:
Platform Calgary Calgary Economic Development

"Calgary is an exciting place to be for those in the tech and innovation space. Not only is the city breaking VC records, we’re leading the continent in tech talent growth. Momentum is on Alberta’s side."

Doug Schweitzer
Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation
Top 10 North American Ecosystem in Affordable Talent
Top 20 North American Emerging Ecosystem in Talent & Experience
Top 30 North American Ecosystem in Funding

Highlights

Calgary is rapidly transforming into a global tech hub. Almost 90% of venture capital investment in Alberta came from 66 Calgary companies, totaling $500 million in deals. From Amazon Web Services’ multibillion-dollar investment in a Data Center Region in Calgary to tech giants Infosys and Mphasis, Calgary is attracting major investments from global companies. These big fish poise Calgary’s startup ecosystem for big things.


Accelerators and incubators are also flocking to Calgary. The likes of Thrive by SVG Ventures, Plug and Play, Avatar Innovations, Creative Destruction Labs – Rockies, Life Sciences Innovation Hub, and Alberta Catalyzer are all part of Calgary’s tech ecosystem supporting the burgeoning startup scene. The innovation ecosystem is further strengthened by support from all orders of governments, including funding for an Energy Transition Centre located in the city’s downtown core and the Platform Innovation Centre, as the nucleus of Calgary’s innovation hub. Moreover, Mphasis, alongside the Government of Alberta and the University of Calgary launched the Quantum City Centre of Excellence in 2021.


Attracting and developing world-class tech talent in Alberta is Calgary’s top priority, supported by Calgary’s five post-secondary institutions, the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program, and the Startup Visa Program. According to LinkedIn Talent Insights, Calgary is seeing the fastest growth in tech talent in North America. Emerging as one of North America’s most important innovation hubs, Calgary is where bright minds and big ideas come together with an unmatched spirit to solve global challenges.

Ecosystem by the Numbers

TOTAL EARLY STAGE FUNDING
(2019H2-2021)
$247 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$687 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
(2019H2-2021)
$2.5 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$28.6 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$555 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$671 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$799 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.7 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY (2021)
$68 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$46 k
790 m
GLOBAL AVG.
11.3 bn
66
GLOBAL AVG.
101
Amount ($)
Count (#)

Exits

(2017-2021)
EARLY-STAGE FUNDING GROWTH TIER (2018/19 VS. 2020/21)
9
Calculated on a scale of
1 (lowest) to 10 (highest)
TOTAL VC FUNDING (2017-2021)
$930 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.5 bn
TIME TO EXIT (2017-2021)
10 years
GLOBAL AVG.
9.4 years

Sub-Sector Strengths

Cleantech

Home to Canada’s energy sector, Calgary is one of the world’s top Cleantech markets. Startup Genome’s 2021 GSER: Cleantech Edition named Calgary an “Ecosystem to Watch” and ranked it in the top 30 of 280 cities worldwide. Calgary is home to over 70% of Alberta’s Cleantech firms, which are supported by sector-specific laboratories and centers of excellence, research institutions, and accelerators and incubators. Local tech companies are getting noticed, including Validere, a Blackrock-backed Calgary-based company, which raised $43 million in Series B funding in March 2022.

Fintech

Calgary is a fast-growing Fintech hub, with companies developing solutions in debt management, insurtech, and paytech that attract capital and world-class talent. Building on the momentum of unicorns Solium Capital by Morgan Stanley Shareworks and Benevity, Neo Financial also reached unicorn status in 2022. Bright stars Symend and Helcim have raised over $215 million combined and are cementing Calgary’s place as one of Canada’s hottest Fintech ecosystems.

Reasons to Move Your Startup to Calgary

Low Cost of Doing Business

A transportation hub with connections to global markets, Calgary offers cost advantages including the lowest corporate tax rate in Canada, as well as no payroll tax, health care premiums, or provincial sales tax. This means that residents pay the lowest overall taxes in Canada. Average home prices, rent, and energy costs are far lower than in other large Canadian cities.

Global Talent

Calgary, the third most multicultural city in Canada, attracts and retains top minds from around the world. Federal programs including the Global Talent Stream expedite visas, and the Startup Visa program has helped Calgary welcome newcomers from 150 countries in the last decade. This influx of talent helps growth-stage startups to get started in Calgary and scale globally.

Selected Startup Organizations

Startup Genome Members

Key Ecosystem Players

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

Get connected

Are you interested in diving deeper into this ecosystem? Drop us a message. Our Ambassadors and Partners can plug you in.