In 2020, every company is a tech company, and if they’re not, they should be. Municipally funded economic development organizations should be turning their sights to innovation and tech. If they aren’t, you should be asking why.
Right now, there is an opportunity for municipalities to lean into this sector. In Edmonton, we’re fortunate our City Council saw the potential we have here and decided to harness it by creating an Innovation Authority that promotes cross-sector collaboration.
Municipalities should think of investments supporting their technology ecosystems as long-term investments in the economic future of their city or town. Because this takes time.
We talk about tech companies seeing “overnight success,” but the truth is their success came after years of hard work through many trials and tribulations. In Edmonton specifically, Jobber and Drivewyze have been growing for half a decade. In fact, Jobber was one of municipally-funded Startup Edmonton’s earliest Launch Party successes. And a decade later we’re seeing that investment pay off.
It’s these kind of long-term growth successes from the innovation ecosystem that will form the backbone of Edmonton’s economy.
Working to provide value in the innovation sector takes spending a lot of time talking to the entrepreneurial community to make sure we’re providing what they actually need, not just what we think they need.
At Innovate Edmonton, we use our municipal funding to help tech founders and their teams bring ground-breaking ideas to market by bringing together people, resources, and investment. Many cities around the world now have organizations like ours as part of their economic development work. And I think, if I might be so bold, that our organization and our partners will play a critical role in building Alberta’s prosperity for the next generation.
And none of us in Alberta have to do it alone. We’ve started talking about the Alberta Innovation Corridor as a Calgary-Edmonton partnership, positioning our province on the world stage. There’s no reason other municipalities can’t harness the same spirit of collaboration.
The more we work together and build our tech ecosystem in Alberta, the better chance we have of making a mark on the global stage.
So contact us! And Terry Rock and the team at Platform Calgary. Let’s collaborate to build resilient prosperity in Alberta.