Seven reasons to visit Edmonton at Collision 2019

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Michelle Ferguson
May 21, 2019

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As Canada’s northernmost metropolis, Edmonton might not be the first place people look to when thinking about technology and innovation. It's a dark horse. But the growing ecosystem is already solving some of the world’s most complicated problems — from closing the global radiology gap to eliminating unplanned downtime for manufacturing and petrochemical companies.

For those looking to innovate, Edmonton’s ecosystem is poised to be the next great investment opportunity.

A leader in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Edmonton is one of three Canadian Artificial Intellegence clusters, along with Toronto-Waterloo and Montreal. The University of Alberta is ranked third globally for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning research — slightly behind Carnegie Mellon and ahead of places such as Stanford and MIT. In 2017, renowned Artificial Intelligence company DeepMind, owned by Google parent company Alphabet, chose Edmonton as the location for its first international lab.

There has been significant investment in Artificial Intelligence (more than $100M) from both the provincial and federal governments over the past year. Part of the provincial funding went to the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii), a not-for-profit that supports companies looking to build up their in-house Artificial Intelligence capacity.

Young, smart and ready

As one of Canada’s youngest and fastest growing cities Edmonton has a ready-to-go talent pool. Each year, more than 95,000 students graduate from six post-secondary institutions. More than 550 are from tech related programs. More and more of these graduates want to stay in Edmonton as it develops into a vibrant metropolitan hub, as will others when they see it was named the top city for youth to work.

A hub for health tech

Home to one of the country’s leading research universities, as well as several top research hospitals, Edmonton has long been a centre of health innovation. Over the past five years, the city has seen the creation of three health accelerators, including one with leading multinational Merck, and a health-focused economic development initiative called Health City.

But there’s still room to grow. As the country’s first and largest province-wide, fully integrated health system, Alberta Health Services is responsible for the medical information of over four million Albertans. AHS has committed to liberating its data so that innovative companies can use it to test and create a host of new health innovations. And a project between AltaML, Health City and Boehringer Ingelheim will collaborate to better predict disease risk in seniors.

The Alberta advantage is real

Alberta has long had the most business-friendly tax environment in Canada — with no provincial sales tax, no payroll tax and extremely low personal and corporate tax rates. Recently, the early-stage funding environment was given a boost through a 30 per cent investor tax credit. As for Edmonton, it was recently found to be the most affordable major Canadian city to live in.

Prairie life is far from boring

With 52 weeks worth of festivals and events, top-notch cuisine and the largest urban park in all of North America (22 times larger than Central Park), Edmonton has so much to offer. It's home to North America’s biggest and oldest celebration of innovative theatre and performance arts; neighbours to Canadian Rockies; and the only Canadian city of the Global Sports Cities Index. But it’s not all fun and games. Edmonton is Western Canada’s foremost health-care centre and the province boasts the best K-12 system in Canada.

A city that’s got your back

Innovation is in the city’s DNA. Edmonton’s mayor is a champion of tech and innovation and has been at the forefront of the municipality’s six innovation projects, which include an open data portal, the Health City Initiative, and an autonomous vehicle pilot project. In 2018, the city’s arms-length economic agency created Innovate Edmonton to assist in growing Edmonton’s innovation and technology ecosystem.

You’re not alone

The community at Startup Edmonton hosts more than 280 events, workshops, meetups, conferences, forums and parties each year; and Edmonton’s meetup scene is one of the most dynamic in the country. Edmonton counts 11 co-working spaces, three accelerators and 20+ organizations offering incubation programs and services; and is home to the third best university incubator in the world.

Stop by our booth (E180) for a donut and we'll tell you more!

Still not convinced?

Set up a meeting (in-person or video) with Startup Edmonton to learn more about what Edmonton has to offer.

Adam Danyleyko
Adam Danyleyko
Startup Edmonton Community Manager
Email adanyleyko@edmonton.com
Lauren Briske
Lauren Briske
Startup Edmonton Operations Manager
Email lauren@startupedmonton.com

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