With access to a community passionate about the environment and incredible resource extraction talent, starting and growing Summit Nanotech in Calgary was an obvious choice. We’re proud to be part of an ecosystem leading in clean technology.
2022 was another strong year for Calgary’s innovation ecosystem. The city ranked fourth in investment attraction across Canada with 64 deals totalling $647 million, according to the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, and increased its total VC investment 13% from 2021 to 2022. Several Calgary-based tech companies have achieved unicorn status, including Neo Financial, Benevity, and Shareworks by MorganStanley, and the CBRE’s Scoring Tech Talent Report found 40,600 people were employed in tech in Calgary in 2021. Calgary is also home to the highest number of corporate head offices per capita compared to other major cities in Canada.
The Platform Innovation Centre opened in June 2022, the first purpose-built hub for tech and innovation in the province. The new center brings together more than 100 partners offering startup support services and event space. In 2022, the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF), a $100 million fund to catalyze investment and drive innovation and transformative economic development, supported key ecosystem players including Combine Venture Builders, Avatar Innovations, Thin Air Labs, The51, and anchor companies IBM and Mphasis.
The creation of Quantum City, a quantum science technology hub at the University of Calgary, was announced in June 2022. Mphasis opened its Canadian headquarters the same month, and Infosys opened its Digital Centre in September. Sidetrade and Applexus Technologies have also announced they will establish regional headquarters. IBM Canada announced it will open the IBM Client Innovation Centre for Western Canada with a focus on sustainability, and KPMG opened KPMG Ignition Calgary at the Platform Innovation Centre.
Ecosystem by the Numbers
The Government of Alberta has committed CA$58 million ($42.2 million) in 10 Alberta-based companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4 million tons by 2050. Two Calgary-based Cleantech companies made the 2023 Global Cleantech 100 list — Carbon Upcycling Technologies and Eavor — and 15 local companies made the Foresight 50, a list of Canada’s most investable Cleantech companies. The Energy Transition Centre opened in November 2022, to support the development and commercialization of new energy technologies.
Neo Financial broke the Canadian record for time to unicorn status after raising a $145 million Series C in May 2022, and was the top Canadian Startup on LinkedIn’s List of Top Canadian Startups 2022. EY announced Calgary as the location of its Finance Centre of Excellence. Symend has raised $151 million over 10 rounds, and alongside Helcim is cementing Calgary’s place as one of Canada’s hottest Fintech ecosystems. Digital Bank Calgary launched the Calgary Fintech awards in 2022 and continues to offer opportunities for Fintech startups.
Agtech & New Food
In 2022, Agriplay set up a showcase urban farm in downtown Calgary, and SVG Ventures THRIVE and Platform Calgary created the THRIVE Agrifood Innovation Digital Hub for Canada. The THRIVE Academy has also launched an Agtech pre-accelerator program. The51 created the $50 million women-led Food and Agtech Fund. Olds College is home to the Olds College Smart Farm, the Smart Ag Innovation Centre, and the Werklund Agriculture and Technology Centre. In April 2022, Verge Ag raised a $7.5 million Series A.
Reasons to Move Your Startup to Calgary
Low Cost of Doing Business
Calgary has the fastest tech workforce growth in North America, according to 2022 LinkedIn Talent Insights. It ranked #28 in the Top 50 North American markets for the second consecutive year in CBRE’s 2022 Scoring Tech Talent report. Calgary is the second youngest and third most diverse city in Canada, with 41% of Calgarians identifying as a visible minority. The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program provides an entry pathway for immigrants.
Quality of Life
Calgary is a welcoming, inclusive, and vibrant city less than an hour from the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked it the third most livable city in the world, and #1 in North America in 2022. No doubt this has something to do with its access to large urban parks and the most extensive outdoor pathway and bikeway network in North America.
Selected Startup Organizations
Startup Genome Members
Platform Calgary is an impact organization whose members are tech companies, large and small, united in a vision of inclusive, innovation-driven prosperity for Calgary. Platform Calgary connects entrepreneurs to a network of 110+ partners focused on helping startups launch and grow at every step of their journey, from ideation through to scale. The Platform Innovation Centre is the front door to this community — a single point of access for people as they navigate Calgary’s innovation ecosystem.
Calgary Innovation Coalition
The Calgary Innovation Coalition (CIC) is a group of organizations in the Calgary region that support innovation-driven entrepreneurs, startups, and enterprises. Our collective presents a single vision and voice regarding the priorities of Calgary’s innovation community, a unique model for collaboration in Alberta's innovation ecosystem.
Key Ecosystem Players
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