Sunday Briefing: By far the city's biggest tech event... Inventures 2023.

Welcome to this week's Sunday Briefing. In this issue, read about a recent ecosystem exit and a new venture capital fund, plus 10 other stories you've probably missed. But first, take our weekly survey. Have a great day. We'll see you again Wednesday.

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Inventures 2023: Five speakers to watch

Later this month, Calgary hosts Inventures 2023. A massive networking event, it brings together the best and brightest in global innovation for three days of learning, inspiration and creative collisions. But with so much happening, how do you know what to focus on or which speakers will be the most compelling? To be honest, there’s no right answer, but here are some of our top picks for who to watch out for.

Duncan Wardlem, Independent Innovation & Creativity Consultant

  • Duncan Wardle is the former Head of Innovation and Creativity at the Walt Disney Company, where he worked for 25 years. He’s a multiple TEDx speaker and contributor to Fast Company Magazine and teaches Innovation and Design Thinking Masterclasses at Yale, Harvard and Edinburgh University.

Shelley Kuipers, Co-Founder, Co-CEO, Chief Growth Officer, The51

  • Shelley Kuipers is a founder, early-stage investor and activist in business. She collaboratively runs her family office, Adventure Capital, with her partner and two sons. Shelley also serves on the boards of Rival, Virtual Gurus, ReUpp, as well as the A100, and University of Calgary USeed, Social Impact Fund.

Matthew Ball, Managing Partner, EpyllionCo

  • Matthew Ball, international expert on the metaverse and best-selling author. Ball is the Managing Partner of EpyllionCo, which operates an early-stage venture fund, as well as a corporate and venture advisory arm. Ball is also a contributor to The Economist, a producer behind Genvid Technologies’ Rival Peak, a more than three month-long interactive video event that was played by millions and is an advisor to start-ups such as Dapper Labs, The Athletic, and more.

Heather Chalmers, President & CEO, GE Canada

  • At GE Canada, Chalmers she leads International Advocacy for GE’s suite of technology and products across power, renewables and digital for the recently announced GE VERNOVA, GE’s portfolio of energy businesses. A recognized Canadian thought leader, she is co-chair of the Canadian Chamber’s Net-Zero Council (2021-23).

Carol Anne Hilton, CEO, Indigenomics Institute

  • Hilton is an award-winning, best-selling author of Indigenomics – Taking A Seat at the Economic Table. Her work has been recognized with several awards, including the Mastercard Game Changer Indigenous Entrepreneur Award in 2022, the inaugural Nation Builder Award from the National Angel Capital Organization in 2022, the BC Achievement Foundation’s Award of Distinction in Indigenous Business, as well as the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business’s national Award of Excellence in Aboriginal Relations.

Weekly Poll: What kind of networking events are missing from Calgary's tech ecosystem?

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🤝 Funding, Deals + Partnerships

  • KKR, a global investment firm, to acquire Calgary’s CoolIT Systems. The investment is meant to support its growth as demand for energy-efficient data centre cooling grows. Details

  • AVAC Group (AVAC), a multi-faceted venture capital firm, launched a new $15 million venture capital fund, Carrot Ventures Fund I, L.P. (Carrot Ventures). The fund's financial backers include AVAC Ltd. and Farm Credit Canada (FCC). Details

📰 Need To Know

  • The51 and Alberta Innovates are pleased to present HerStory: a unique, storytelling-based pitch competition designed for women and gender-diverse entrepreneurs. 30 founders/co-founders will take the stage to share their story-pitch to a panel of Capital Champions, where there will be multiple opportunities to attract investment of up to $51,000. Applications close today, May 7. Learn more and apply here.

  • Avenue Calgary Magazine’s Innovation Issue featured multiple innovative emerging companies, including Fillip, Woveo, and Toast. Redpoint Media

  • TalentED YYC aims to connect students with Calgary employers. New online platform helps university students jumpstart their careers in the city. Calgary Tech Journal

  • Carrot Ventures announced the launch of Cellar Insights. It is the second company emerging from Carrot's AgTech company formation model. Details

  • Calgary researchers building one of 'key centres in the world' for neurological disorder therapies and tech. “The RESTORE (Researching Strategies for Rehabilitation) Network is bringing together resources from the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine and Alberta Health Services to research new ways to improve the quality of life for those with neurological disorders.” Calgary Herald

  • With tech incubators bringing investment and inspiration, Black entrepreneurs feel they can 'change the world'. Innovate Calgary, which is part of the University of Calgary, ran a contest to help raise the profile of Black tech entrepreneurs last year, and one for BIPOC women in tech this spring. The finalists in both competitions received business support from experts. CBC

  • Monthly webinar offers encouragement to budding social entrepreneurs. “Once a month, five Alberta panellists with extensive knowledge of the social enterprise landscape come together on Zoom to host Ask Me Anything About Social Enterprise, affectionately referred to as “amaze” (AMAASE) webinar.” Details

💡 POV: Ideas and Insights

  • Calgary’s adventure in office conversion. “Eyes are turning to Calgary’s ambitious plan to reduce office vacancy by converting some Class B and C buildings into residential uses.” Globe and Mail

  • Impact of inflation is harsher in Alberta, says economist. Pins blame on population boom. CBC

  • Foresight Canada CEO and Cleantech Forward host Jeanette Jackson is joined by Jocelyn Campbell, Director of Business Development at CarbonCure Technologies and Emily Hicks, President and co-founder of FREDsense Technologies on the Cleantech Forward Podcast. Listen now

  • Yvette Wu, CEO of Yield Exchange, shares insights on her experience in the Calgary tech ecosystem. Details

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