Does your Calgary startup need funding? Try the University of Calgary.

Plus, Calgary-based Exro made a $332-million acquisition

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Welcome to this week's Sunday Briefing. In this issue, discover the ElevateIP Alberta funding program, plus 17 other stories you may have missed. Have a great day. We'll see you again on Wednesday.

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🗳️ Question of the Week

Alberta Innovates and InnoTech Alberta were recently named two of...

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Calgary startups eligible for up to $100,000

Source: University of Calgary

The Government of Canada and the University of Calgary are hoping to help Albertan startups better protect their intellectual property with a $9.9 million infusion in funding for the ElevateIP Alberta program.

A recipient of Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada’s ElevateIP program and delivered on behalf of the University of Calgary, in partnership by Innovate Calgary and Economic Development Lethbridge, the program aims to support more than 2,500 startups in Alberta by offering comprehensive IP support.

“The impact of research lies in translating discoveries into tangible societal advantages. The ElevateIP initiative enriches the already robust and extensive support system for students and faculty with an entrepreneurial drive,” said William Ghali, Vice-President (Research), University of Calgary. “Connecting with the diverse network of innovators and startups from across the province creates more opportunities for impact – together, Albertans do incredible things.”

ElevateIP Alberta is wrapping up its pilot program, which attracted over 175 applications from diverse sectors. Applications came from a broad range of industries, including life and health sciences, clean tech, agriculture, and digital media.

The complete program rollout offers additional funding opportunities — participating startups can now access up to $15,000 for the development of their IP strategies, along with potential funding of up to $100,000 for implementing these strategies.

ElevateIP Alberta is now accepting applications for its 2024 funding round.

eBook: How to minimize third-party risk with vendor management

A robust vendor management program isn’t just required by compliance frameworks like SOC 2 and ISO 27001. It’s also a critical part of a holistic trust management strategy.

Implementing a vendor management program, however, has become more complex and challenging with the proliferation of SaaS tools and shadow IT. And many overstretched security teams are being asked to do more with less.

To stay compliant and secure — and deepen trust with customers and partners — security teams need a way to proactively manage vendor risk.

This guide from Vanta, the leading trust management platform, brings together perspectives from the frontlines of vendor security management. Get insights and best practices from security and compliance leaders. 

🤝 Funding, Deals, and Partnerships

  • Exro to acquire California-based SEA Electric in $332-million CAD EV-tech deal. Calgary-based electric vehicle (EV) tech firm Exro said the deal provides it with “a defined path” to profitability. Betakit

  • AIMCo sets up fund worth $1 billion to invest in energy transition opportunities. The investment manager says the money represents new capital and investments made through the fund will be in addition to its other climate-related investments across asset classes. Calgary Herald

  • Cnergreen secures $2M investment from Rhapsody Venture Partners. The Calgary-based startup manufactures stable foams for CO2 injection in enhanced oil recovery. Cnergreen

  • GeneNeer Secures $1 Million in Seed Funding to Revolutionize Crop Seed Innovation. The funding round was led by Tall Grass Ventures, an early-stage Agrifood Tech venture firm based in Canada, and 2b AHEAD Ventures, a repeat investor from Germany. Tall Grass Ventures

  • University of Calgary’s “venture philanthropy fund” UCeed targets pre-seed funding gap. Three and a half years since its launch, UCeed has grown into one of Canada’s most active early-stage investors. Betakit

  • Amazon Web Services, U of A join forces to streamline research using artificial intelligence. The initiative was designed to enhance research and innovation for students, researchers and industry professionals. CTV News

  • Tall Grass welcomes Farm Credit Canada among its largest fund investors. Tall Grass increased the total committed capital for the Fund three times over the course of 2023. Tall Grass Ventures


Tech Sector Community for People and Culture

TAP Network works with 250 Canadian tech companies in sectors such as Software Products and Services, AI, Data Science, Quantum Computing, Hardware Design, Development and Manufacturing, VFX, Animation, Video Game and Interactive Digital Media, Clean Tech, AgTech, Life Sciences and Healthcare Tech. 

Members have access to comprehensive tech sector salary and people practices data, mentors, industry experts, an inclusive peer community and more.

📰 Need To Know

  • Canada’s best startup employers. Forbes has released its first-ever ranking of Canada’s Best Startup Employers. Forbes

  • Communitech names six new Canadian tech companies on track to reach $1 billion in revenue by 2030. Calgary-based FinTech startup ZayZoon, which helps small to medium-sized businesses access earned money faster, was included in the listing. Betakit

  • New MRU innovation centre focused on aging population. With a focus on innovation, research, education, and community engagement informing novel approaches to health-care delivery, the Centre for Health and Innovation in Aging will help shape a future where aging is not only a natural part of life but also a period of vitality and fulfillment. Mount Royal University

  • The Better Business Bureau: Building trust in Calgary for 70 years. Today, it boasts more than 3,500 accredited businesses locally. Calgary Economic Development

  • Artificial intelligence: Governments must recognize its legal and ethical implications, says University of Alberta. Concerns are growing over whether federal laws are adapting quickly enough to artificial intelligence, particularly in the light of recent AI-generated deepfake photos of pop star Taylor Swift. City News

  • Alberta Innovates and InnoTech Alberta named one of Alberta's Top 80 Employers. This year Alberta’s Top 80 Employers’ list highlights Alberta companies that are leaders in offering outstanding work environments. Financial Post

  • Quantum City challenge inspires quantum community to solve real-world energy challenges. The Challenge is hosted by Quantum City, facilitated by AWS, and supported by the Government of Alberta and the University of Calgary.The Quantum Insider

  • Province looking to clamp down on data privacy. The province has announced that over the next 18 months, it will be strengthening privacy protections for Albertans, including a proposal to amend Alberta’s privacy legislation that will ensure that the penalties for misusing the data of Albertans or violating their privacy are the strongest in Canada. Discover Airdrie

  • Problem-solving skills key for Calgary high school robotics team headed to international competition. The team is preparing to travel to Victoria next month for an international competition. CTV News

  • Research reveals softening perceptions of Calgary among business leaders in other cities, while worker perceptions hold steady. This is according to research commissioned by Calgary Economic Development and delivered by research firm, Stone-Olafson. Calgary Economic Development

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