CDL-Rockies ends 2022 on a high note

Plus, 10 other stories you may have missed.

Welcome to this week's special edition Thursday Briefing – the last of 2022. In this issue, dig into the success of CDL-Rockies, read about a flood of funding for programs to scale up Calgary startups, and explore the war for talent led by Benevity and mCloud. Have a great day. We'll see you again next year.

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🏔️ CDL-Rockies ends 2022 on a high note

“If you’re a founder in Canada — or are involved in the Canadian tech scene in any way, shape or form — then you’re familiar with the letters CDL.” That was Chris Neumann, a Western Canada-based partner at Panache Ventures, writing on his blog earlier this year about Creative Destruction Lab.

In that post from the Spring, he was sharing insights on what he believed to be the genius of CDL, an accelerator program that, in his words, is more recognizable than any other, “save maybe Y Combinator.”

The first time he attended a CDL activity in 2017, he said he was “blown away” by what he saw. “Billionaire CEOs, top investors and world-renowned subject matter experts sitting in a single room, laser-focused on mentoring first-time founders,” he recalled.

It’s been “a game-changer" for Canada, Neumann argued.

His initial evidence for why that might be? “In 10 years, the program has helped create more than $19 billion in equity value," he wrote back in May. But now, that number has surpassed $22 billion – and ventures from CDL-Rockies at the Haskayne School of Business in Calgary can claim $2.3 billion of that value, according to a recent report. What makes that latter number even more impressive is that it’s more than 100% higher than in January of this year.

It’s no wonder why new CDL-Rockies site lead Heather Marshall recently wrote that “as a CDL-Rockies community, we have much to be proud of.” But its ventures’ total valuation is not the only number she has a right to applaud. Here are the other significant digits from 2017-2022:

  • $773 million in capital was raised by CDL-Rockies’ alumni companies.

  • $328 million was raised specifically by Alberta-based firms in the program.

  • 1000+ jobs were created by participants.

The results have “exceeded our initial dreams,” boasted Haskayne Dean Jim Dewald.

🤝 Funding, Deals + Partnerships

  • Combine Venture Builders was awarded $1.9 million from OCIF to scale up Calgary tech startups. The venture studio aims to transform 20 ideas into six or more promising startups. Read more in Calgary Tech Journal.

  • UCalgary, Innovate Calgary and Economic Development Lethbridge are among a slate of organizations splitting $90 million in IP program funding. Five clusters across the country were chosen to support startups with intellectual property education and strategy through ElevateIP. Read more in Calgary Tech Journal.

  • Alberta-based Accelerate Fund made follow-on investments into DrugBank, Userful and PayShepherd in 2022. Details.

📰 News To Know

  • Benevity Inc. made its first major European acquisition and Vancouver-founded mCloud Technologies Corp. is establishing itself in Calgary's downtown. Chris Varcoe / Financial Post

  • UCalgary's Academic Entrepreneurs in Residence program is supporting postdoc innovators. Mark Lowey

  • Local navigation app Pedesting is giving $50 Amazon gift cards to the next 25 people who complete the testing process for the Beta version of its app. Learn more.

  • Reality check: Will Calgary’s ebuses stress electrical grid? Paula Tran / 770 CHQR

  • Avatar Innovations is helping grow other new energy startups. Riley Fonger / Calgary Journal

  • Arbor is driving consumer awareness on a product’s environmental impact. Darren Krause / Livewire Calgary

📊 By The Numbers

  • Alberta’s population is up by 1.3 percent in the last quarter, the highest rate in the country — an increase of 58,203 people. "Despite inflation pressures across the country, Alberta’s cost of living remains much lower than other major cities in Canada." Josh Aldrich. Calgary Herald 

📸 Photo Of The Week: Party Time

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