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Calgary is becoming one of the best places to build a startup, but most of the early-stage entrepreneurs we speak to aren't aware of the local tech resources that are available to help them.

With applications for the Calgary Founder Institute now open, we're excited to release the Calgary Startup Resource Guide, which is currently in Draft v1 below! It was developed by the Calgary Founder Institute and local leaders: Sid Sharma (Founder & CEO, REHUMAN Inc.), Todd Embley (Partner, BoostXLabs)

This is just a draft, and while we spent many hours on this research, more input is needed. Please leave your comments on this collaborative Google document to help us complete the list. There are definitely omissions on this current version. 

Are you looking to build a startup in Calgary? Then apply to the Calgary Founder Institute today!

Text version included below, for ease of searching:

Startup Stages


There is no one right way to build a technology company, but for the sake of simplicity we have outlined a basic, common, sequential framework.

1. IDEA-STAGE

This is where new entrepreneurs get inspired, learn best practices, develop skills, validate ideas, and begin to build their team and product.

  1. Inspire

    1. Startup Media: Centralized local information, listings, and news. (i.e. startup blogs / publications / lists / FB groups/ newsletters, Startup Digest)

      1. BetaKit Calgary

      2. Start Alberta News

      3. Startup Calgary News

      4. Startup Digest Calgary

  1. Inspirational Events: Open, inclusive, beginner startup events (i.e. Startup Weekend, idea fairs, and inspirational meetups) 

    1. AccelerateAB

    2. ATB Transformation (Calgary)

    3. Business Success & Fail Club YYC

    4. CivicTechYYC - Tech for Good

    5. Fuckup Nights

    6. Startup Weekend Calgary

  1. Educate

    1. Best Practices: Beginner knowledge-sharing events. (i.e. beginner events that serve to educate more than inspire, like Startup Founder 101, etc).

      1. Alberta Blockchain Consortium

      2. Alberta Women Entrepreneurs

      3. Calgary Security Hub

      4. Calgary Startup Founder 101

      5. Calgary Virtual Reality Meetup

      6. ChicGeek

      7. Hyperledger Calgary (Linux Foundation)

      8. PyData Calgary

      9. Startup Calgary

      10. Startup Grind Calgary

      11. Women in Data Calgary

    1. Training & Feedback: Skill & Idea development. (Ex. bootcamps and comprehensive training programs, like Founder Institute, etc)

      1. Big Data Developers in Calgary

      2. Business Academy

      3. Calgary Agile Methods User Group

      4. Calgary Artificial Intelligence Meetup

      5. Calgary Cloud Business Meetup

      6. Calgary Deep Learning Meetup

      7. Calgary JavaScript

      8. Calgary Startup: Idea to IPO

      9. EvolveU

      10. Founder Institute

      11. Leaf Forward Cannabis Startup Bootcamp

      12. Lean Startup Machine Calgary

      13. Lighthouse Labs

      14. NetSquared Calgary

      15. PyYYC

      16. Startup Traction Calgary

      17. Women's Data Science Study Group - Calgary

      18. YYC Ladies Who Code

      19. YYC Ruby

  1. Validate

    1. Team Formation: Resources for teaming up. (i.e. events or other resources that facilitate early-stage recruitment and cofounder matching”)

      1. ATB Entrepreneur Centre YYC

      2. Calgary Entrepreneurs Network

      3. CoFoundersLab

      4. Entrepreneurs' Organization Calgary

      5. eWomen Network

      6. Founder2be

      7. FounderDating

      8. Pixels and Pints

      9. Product Calgary

      10. Universal Womens Network

    1. Build First Product: Hackathons & resources to build. (i.e. hackathons and other builder-focused events and resources)

      1. ATB Open Finance Hackathon

      2. BioHackYYC

      3. Calgary - Cognitive, AI & Data Science Meetup

      4. CalgaryHacks 2020

      5. Code Club

      6. Coding Calamity Mini-Hackathon 2020

      7. Data for Good - Calgary

      8. Fuse 33 Makerspace

      9. Google Cloud Developer Community Calgary

      10. HackerNest Calgary Tech Socials

      11. Learning Deep Learning & Mini-Hackathon

      12. Oil Sand Tech Meetup

      13. Product Hunt YYC

      14. Protospace

      15. Software Developers of Calgary

      16. SozenTech YYC

      17. Space Apps Challenge Calgary

      18. YYC Hacks App Development Hackathon

2. LAUNCH-STAGE

In this stage, entrepreneurs establish and formalize the company, develop the product, get feedback from customers, and prepare for the next step.

  1. Start

    1. Establish: Law firms & banks for startups  

      1. ATB

      2. BDC

      3. Bennett Jones

      4. Blakes

      5. BMO

      6. Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP

      7. Canadian Western Bank

      8. CIBC

      9. Dentons

      10. Fasken

      11. First Calgary

      12. HSBC

      13. KEB Hana Bank

      14. McMillan Startups

      15. Miller Thomson LLP

      16. National Bank

      17. Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

      18. RBC Royal Bank

      19. Scotiabank

      20. Servus Credit Union

      21. Stikeman Elliott LLP

      22. Tangerine

      23. TD Canada Trust

      24. Torys LLP

  1. Workspace: Co-working and flexible workspaces (note: “official” office space goes in 3.1.a. Infrastructure) 

    1. Assembly Coworking Space

    2. Boardroom

    3. Business Lab

    4. cSPACE King Edward

    5. EFFECTIV

    6. emergeHUB

    7. HustleCo Workspace

    8. iQ Offices

    9. Mavericks

    10. No Island Co Work

    11. Notra Loft

    12. Paserium

    13. Regus

    14. ReSourceYYC

    15. Stratus

    16. The Bridge

    17. The Collective 12|12

    18. The Commons Calgary

    19. The Inc.

    20. TradeSpace

    21. WeWork

    22. Work Nicer Coworking

    23. Workhaus

    24. WRK

  1. Develop

    1. Formalize: Accounting, development and HR for early-stage startups. 

      1. Avalon Accounting

      2. Cornerstone Digital

      3. Diamond CPA Professional Services

      4. Essential Designs

      5. Hutcheson & Co.

      6. Jibe Accounting

      7. Ledgers Calgary South

      8. MNP LLP

      9. Oracast

      10. Pekarsky & Co.

      11. Resolve Accounting

      12. RSM Canada

      13. TERRAFORM

      14. Uppercut

      15. Vertical Motion

      16. Vog Calgary

      17. REHUMAN Inc.

      18. KPMG

    1. Prepare for Seed: Incubators and advanced mentorship. (i.e. advanced knowledge sharing, later stage events and resources for startup TEAMS)

      1. 321 Growth Academy

      2. BEAUSEANT Capital Partners Incubator

      3. Harvest Builders

      4. Innovate Calgary

      5. JMH LaunchPad Program

      6. Junction

      7. Life Sciences Innovation Hub

      8. Platform Calgary

      9. Social Enterprise Incubator

      10. Startup Next Calgary

      11. TELUS Technology Incubator

      12. Thrive

      13. True Incubator

      14. UC Summer Incubator Program

  1. Launch

    1. Seed Accelerators: Seed funding mentor programs (Techstars-style programs that provide funding)

      1. ATB X Accelerator

      2. Creative Destruction Lab

      3. District Ventures Accelerator

      4. District Ventures and IBM Innovation Space

      5. Foresight

      6. Futurpreneur Canada

      7. Hatch YYC

      8. Ignite

      9. InterGen ScaleUp Program

      10. Leaf Forward

      11. TELUS Technology Accelerator

      12. The Accelerator

      13. Trade Accelerator Program

      14. Tundra ACE Program

      15. WaterNEXT

      16. Zone Startups

    1. Pitch & Demo: Show local startups for investment (i.e. demo days for companies seeking seed investment)

      1. BDO VC Pitch Day 2020

      2. District Ventures 2020 Demo Day

      3. Fast Pitch Calgary

      4. Founder Hotseat: Pitch Your Startup to Calgary Startup Experts

      5. JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition

      6. Lighthouse Labs Calgary Demo Day

      7. Pitch Party YYC

      8. Startup Drinks & Pitches at Trolley 5

      9. Women’s Pitch Night Calgary


3. GROWTH-STAGE

Here, a startup proves their utility, receives recognition, and scales up. This usually requires funding, angels, VCs, and ways to connect them to startups.

  1. Recognition 

    1. Investor Networking:  Connect professional investors with founders. (i.e. events or groups that facilitate connections with professional investors)

      1. Canada Angel Investment Network

      2. Canadian Investment Network

      3. Inventures

      4. The A100

      5. National Angel Capital Organization (NACO Canada)

      6. Valhalla Angels

  1. Major Media: Mainstream local business press. (i.e. major local or regional publications that frequently champion local businesses)

    1. Business in Calgary

    2. Calgary Herald

    3. Calgary Sun

    4. Calgary's Business

    5. CBC News Calgary

    6. CTV News Calgary

    7. Financial Post

    8. Global News

  1. Funding

    1. Angels / Micro-VCs: Seed-stage investors (search AngelList, Gust, Crunchbase)

      1. Adam Cragg

      2. Alexander Von Gramatzki

      3. Brad Zumwalt

      4. Brock Bohonos

      5. Bryan Slauko

      6. Dan Belostotsky

      7. Dave Edmunds

      8. Dustin Wilkes

      9. Eric Mah

      10. James Lochrie

      11. Jim Letourneau

      12. John Tran

      13. Luke Krueger

      14. Matt Mastracci

      15. Matthew Protti

      16. Michael J. Sikorsky

      17. Patrick Lor

      18. Patrick Onyekweli

      19. R Stewart (Randy) Thompson

      20. Sandi Gilbert

      21. Travis Callaway

    2. Venture Capitalists: Series A and beyond

      1. Accelerate Fund

      2. AVAC Group

      3. Azure Capital Partners

      4. BDC Venture Capital

      5. BEAUSEANT Capital Partners

      6. Blue Sky Ventures

      7. BUILDERS VC

      8. Bumble Bees Venture Capital

      9. District Ventures Capital

      10. EnerTech Capital

      11. Evok

      12. Harvest Ventures

      13. Inovia Capital

      14. InterGen

      15. Kensington Capital Partners

      16. McRock Capital

      17. Panache Ventures

      18. Rio Investment Partners

      19. TriWest Capital Partners

      20. Valhalla Private Capital

      21. Werklund 

      22. Yaletown Partners

      23. RBC Ventures

  1. Growth

    1. Infrastructure: Office space, HR, local business insurance. (i.e. office space/ HR/ insurance providers for capital-rich companies to grow and scale) 

      1. Alpine Insurance

      2. Collis Insurance

      3. Instant Offices

      4. IT/IQ Group

      5. Jones & Salt Insurance Brokerage

      6. Krywolt Insurance

      7. Lanes Insurance

      8. LiquidSpace

      9. LoopNet

      10. Randstad

      11. Regus

      12. Rogers Insurance

      13. Strategic Group


    1. Expansion: Growth accelerators/consultants. (i.e. programs and business consultants for capital-rich companies to grow and scale)

      1. Accenture

      2. Aon

      3. Atkins

      4. Avanade

      5. Boston Consulting Group

      6. BrassRock Consulting

      7. Cenera

      8. CGI

      9. Deloitte

      10. Egon Zehnder

      11. Ernst & Young

      12. Fujitsu Consulting

      13. Gartner

      14. Grant Thornton

      15. Hatch

      16. Hill+Knowlton Strategies

      17. KPMG

      18. McKinsey & Company

      19. Mercer

      20. PwC

      21. Tata Consultancy Services

      22. Willis Towers Watson


4. SUCCESS STORIES

Successful homegrown companies that have raised significant institutional funding, employ a large workforce, or have achieved liquidity.

  1. Absorb LMS

  2. Ambyint

  3. Athennian

  4. Attabotics

  5. Benevity

  6. Blackline Safety

  7. BlackSquare

  8. Bulky Logistics

  9. Circle Cardiovascular Imaging

  10. Communo

  11. CoolIT Systems

  12. Crux OCM

  13. DIRTT Environmental Solutions

  14. Envio Systems

  15. headversity

  16. Kudos

  17. Replicon

  18. Robo Garden

  19. The Virtual Gurus

  20. VEERUM

  21. Wave

  22. Wedge Networks

  23. ZayZoon

  24. ZeroKey


Supporters


To facilitate the steps, every ecosystem needs strong supporters.

1. EVANGELISTS

Successful local founders who lead the ecosystem & frequently mentor newbies.  (i.e. Local leaders who have taken a leadership position, speak at a lot of startup events, mentor all the programs, etc)

  1. Alan Campbell

  2. Alecia Peters

  3. Alice Reimer

  4. Andrew Browne

  5. Chad Ford

  6. Chris Marra

  7. Chad Saunders

  8. Chris Jones

  9. Danielle Torrie

  10. David Chavez

  11. Heather Herring

  12. James Chepyha

  13. Jenn Delconte

  14. Jennifer Lussier

  15. Joe Martini

  16. John Wilson

  17. Judy Fairburn

  18. Kari Gordon

  19. Kevin Dahl

  20. Mary Moran

  21. Ray DePaul

  22. Rebecca (Mercedes) Klassen 

  23. Rob Mcmurty

  24. Shannon Pestun

  25. Sid Sharma

  26. Steven McIlvenna

  27. Tamara Woolgar

  28. Terry Rock


2. GOVERNMENT

Public organizations that facilitate local economic development

  1. Alberta Innovates

  2. Alberta Innovation Corridor

  3. Alberta Small Business Resources

  4. Calgary Chamber of Commerce

  5. Calgary Economic Development

  6. Calgary Innovation Coalition

  7. Calgary Regional Partnership

  8. Civic Innovation YYC

  9. Rainforest Alberta


3. TALENT

Major local business or tech universities and employers that attract and retain local talent.

  1. Local Universities (universities with prominent technical or business programs)

    1. Alberta University of the Arts

    2. Ambrose University

    3. Mount Royal University

    4. Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

    5. University of Calgary

  1. Local Employers (Major technical employers, like Microsoft or Google or large local companies, with large local offices) 

    1. Absorb LMS

    2. Amazon

    3. Cisco

    4. GE

    5. Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    6. IBM

    7. Microsoft

    8. Rogers

    9. Siemens

    10. TELUS

Note: The Startup Ecosystem Canvas is a perpetual work in progress. Learn more at http://fi.co/canvas, and comment on this document to provide your feedback.  

This community resource was created by the Founder Institute, the world’s premier pre-seed startup accelerator. If you are building a company in Calgary, learn more at http://FI.co

 

*  *  *

Learn more about the Startup Ecosystem Canvas here, and leave us your thoughts on the Calgary Canvas on this collaborative Google document (This is just a draft, and more input is needed!)

Are you looking to build a startup in Calgary? Then apply to the Calgary Founder Institute today

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