Alberta offers the ideal environment right now to launch or scale a tech company. A young, diverse and educated workforce, great quality of life and a cohesive ecosystem provide businesses with a solid foundation for success.
Record-Breaking Investment into Province
Alberta’s tech sector is maturing and investors are taking note. In 2020, the province experienced a record-breaking year for venture capital investment. Four Calgary-based tech companies, Benevity, Solium Capital (now Shareworks by Morgan Stanley), RS Energy Group (now Enverus Intelligence Research Inc.), Parvus Therapeutics have reached unicorn status over the last few years.
Alberta is well-positioned to attract global tech firms to scale up their North America footprint while attracting investment into early-stage tech startups. It is home to the second most private equity firms in the country and boasts policies and incentives that mirror its entrepreneurial mindset. Team Alberta including Alberta Innovates, Alberta Enterprise Corporation (AEC) and regional partners have recently joined forces to launch Start Alberta and a pan-provincial scaleup and growth accelerator program, as part of the broader vision to strengthen the Alberta innovation ecosystem.
Leader in AI research and adoption
Edmonton is one of three national hubs at the core of the Government of Canada’s Pan-Canadian AI Strategy — designed to leverage and grow the country’s expertise in AI and machine learning.
The University of Alberta has ranked third in the world for AI research for 25 years.
DeepMind, Google’s AI subsidiary, cited the incredible talent emerging from university when choosing Edmonton for its first research lab located outside the UK.
The province’s AI ecosystem is supported by the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii), which brings together academics and entrepreneurs to advance the adoption of AI. Amii has been critical to attracting the talent, innovation and capital needed to grow Edmonton into a global AI hub.
Alberta’s tech sector is supported by a diverse, highly educated workforce and top universities
Alberta is home to over 170,000 tech workers, 7% of all employment (CompTIA Cyberprovinces, 2020)
Ranked third in the world for AI research
The University of Alberta was ranked third in the world for AI research for 25 years
Highest ranked computer science program in Canada
86% increase in enrolment to the University of Alberta’s computer science program since 2015
50% of startups have at least one founder who identifies as a visible minority and 4% who identify as Indigenous (AEC, 2021)
Strong tech talent pipeline
Over 9,000 STEM students graduate annually from 10 post-secondary schools
Moving toward gender parity
27% of Alberta tech companies have at least one female-identifying founder — 35% higher than the global average (AEC, 2021)
Strong ecosystems are establishing in Alberta’s largest cities
Edmonton’s tech ecosystem is deeply intertwined with its academic and research institutes. With the top computer science school in the country and a global leading AI institute, Edmonton is one of Canada’s top technology hubs. Edmonton’s advantages as a tech city include:
Growing tech workforce
Edmonton counts 25,200 tech workers — a 17% growth in the last 5 years
Leader in AI
One of three national hubs at the core of the Government of Canada’s Pan-Canadian AI Strategy
Home to Google DeepMind
DeepMind opened its first research lab outside the UK in Edmonton
National Research Council of Canada’s Nanotechnology Research Centre located at the University of Alberta
Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii)
Amii brings together academics and entrepreneur to advance the adoption of AI in Alberta
Edmonton-based not-for-profit that coordinates efforts of researchers, tech innovators and entrepreneurs to develop new technologies
Calgary is an emerging tech hub. The city is leveraging its technical expertise to solve global challenges, with critical mass clustering around its established fintech and healthtech ecosystems. Calgary’s advantages as a tech city include:
Fastest 5G network
The fastest 5G download speeds of any city in the Western Hemisphere (Open Signal, 2021)
The highest concentration of high-tech workers in Canada (Brookfield Institute, 2019)
Affordable office space
The most affordable downtown office space of any major Canadian city
Advancing quantum technology
The University of Calgary’s Institute for Quantum Science and Technology hosts 15 research groups making advancements in quantum technology
Leading the digital transformation
Calgary companies expected to spend $7.5B on digital transformation from 2019-2022 (Calgary Economic Development, 2020)
As the most entrepreneurial province in Canada, Alberta connects innovators with capital to turn ideas into reality
Alberta is home to the second most private equity firms in the country. (Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, 2021)
Private equity invested in Alberta companies in 2020 (Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, 2021)
Venture capital investments made in Alberta companies in 2020 (Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, 2021)
Invested by The51 — a Calgary investment platform looking to change the gender disparity in venture capital
A strong, collaborative ecosystem
Alberta’s tech entrepreneurs are supported by collaborative ecosystems and a growing number of incubator programs, designed to accelerate the growth of small- and medium-sized tech companies.
Areas of Focus
Carbon capture, use and storage
Low-carbon hydrogen production
Solvent extraction technology
As a global energy leader, Alberta is leveraging its expertise to accelerate the global transition to a low-carbon economy. The province is a hub for the trillion-dollar cleantech industry.
IoT-based sensor networks
Satellite photography and sensors
Computer vision and spectral analytics
Home to a thriving agricultural sector, Alberta’s innovators collaborate with farmers to increase yields, find efficiencies and promote sustainability through increased connectivity and data.
Cryptocurrency & blockchain
Digital transformation of financial sector
Calgary’s growing fintech sector is made up of the world’s most prominent finance players intermixed with exciting fintech startups — all supported by a skilled workforce.
AI & Communications tech
Nanotechnology & micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS)
Artificial intelligence and machine learning
Internet of Things
Working closely with the AI and IOT sector, Alberta’s emerging robotics industry is developing integrated and responsive systems to improve supply chains, energy, healthcare and manufacturing.
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Alberta is home to some of country’s biggest tech firms and most innovative startups
Whether it’s fintech or growing sustainable food, Alberta’s tech companies are disrupting some of the world’s biggest sectors. Our tech entrepreneurs are driven, passionate and collaborative.