Canada

Edmonton

MEMBERS:
Innovate Edmonton

"The world needs what Edmonton offers: a passionate and vibrant innovation ecosystem committed to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion, aimed at solving some of the world’s biggest challenges - climate emergency, public health, digital education and inclusion, food security and social and cultural innovation."

Catherine Warren
Innovate Edmonton CEO
#4 North American Ecosystem in Affordable Talent
Top 25 North American Emerging Ecosystem in Funding

Highlights

Alberta saw a record year in 2021, with venture capital investment pulling in CA$561 in deals. This reflects Edmonton’s growing reputation as a low-cost, high quality-of-life destination for startups looking to access young, educated talent. 


The Edmonton ecosystem is anchored by the University of Alberta, which is known for its particular excellence in AI and machine learning. It is also home to more than 20 startup support organizations and incubators, including Innovate Edmonton, Edmonton Startup Week, and ATB Entrepreneur Center. 


In November 2021, the Alberta Scaleup and Growth Accelerator Program announced that it is investing CA$35 million over three years to launch four new accelerators. One of these is Alberta Catalyzer, a pre-accelerator run by Platform Calgary and Innovate Edmonton. It welcomed its first cohort of 35 startups in January 2022 and intends to support 180 founders through the year. The Community Safety and Wellness Accelerator, a program that will work with the Edmonton Police Foundation, is targeted at AI and machine learning startups in the community safety and wellness space. Plug and Play Alberta is focused on developing the Alberta Innovation Corridor — an emerging hub of industries including AI, Life Sciences, and Cleantech across Edmonton and Calgary. The fourth, Alberta Accelerator by 500, is powered by 500 Global and will nurture seed-stage tech companies in Alberta. 


Prominent funding deals in Edmonton include service scheduling software maker Jobber’s $60 million equity round in January 2021 and 3D-printing tech company Otech’s $30 million debt financing deal in March 2021.

Ecosystem by the Numbers

TOTAL EARLY STAGE FUNDING
(2019H2-2021)
$134 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$687 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
(2019H2-2021)
$641 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$28.6 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$588 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$671 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$2.1 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.7 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY (2021)
$54 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$46 k
283 m
GLOBAL AVG.
11.3 bn
24
GLOBAL AVG.
101
Amount ($)
Count (#)

Exits

(2017-2021)
EARLY-STAGE FUNDING GROWTH TIER (2018-19 VS 2020-21)
7
Calculated on a scale of
1 (lowest) to 10 (highest)
TOTAL VC FUNDING (2017-2021)
$212 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.5 bn
TIME TO EXIT (2017-2021)
8.8 years
GLOBAL AVG.
9.4 years

Sub-Sector Strengths

AI, Big Data & Analytics

The University of Alberta is ranked #3 in the world for AI and machine learning research, and the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) is a world leader in research and part of the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, the world’s first national AI strategy. Google DeepMind set up its first international office in Edmonton, and Edmonton.AI is building a business ecosystem for AI and machine learning-based products and services. Crisis alert startup Samdesk raised a CA$13.5 million Series A in September 2021.

Life Sciences

Alberta Health Services has its headquarters in the Edmonton region, making the city a strategic location for Life Sciences startups. In June 2021, Alberta Enterprise announced it invested $5 million in Amplitude's precision medicine venture fund to support the growth of Life Sciences companies in Alberta. Support organizations include Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation, which provides expertise, services and infrastructure to support researchers and startups in drug development, and the University of Alberta’s Health Innovation Hub.

Reasons to Move Your Startup to Edmonton

Affordability

The cost of living in Edmonton is 49% less expensive than in San Francisco, and 24% less than in Toronto. The combined federal/provincial corporate income tax rate is 23% for general businesses and 11% for small businesses with revenues below $500,000. This is the lowest tax rate in Canada and among the lowest corporate tax rates in North America.

Skilled Talent

With seven post-secondary institutions and over 100,000 enrolled students in the region, Edmonton offers startups a ready pool of highly skilled talent. The University of Alberta is a global leader in high-tech research and is home to one of the world’s largest nanotechnology research centers. Edmonton’s diverse and welcoming atmosphere attracts many international students, who bring fresh perspectives.

Selected Startup Organizations

Startup Genome Members

Key Ecosystem Players

Startup Genome
Partners

Advanced Technology Centre
Edmonton Research Park
Startup TNT
University of Alberta Health Accelerator
Valhalla Private Capital

Featured Articles from
Local Ambassadors

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