I have been back in Edmonton for 3 years and dove into the tech scene from the minute I returned. At that time things were pretty quiet. Fast forward 3 years and we now have Startup Edmonton, a strong DemoCamp community and additional community building initiatives driven by both the public and private sectors. More importantly, we are starting to see more people who appear to “get it”. “Getting it” consists of the realization that thriving tech communities are built from the bottom up by individuals and not by throwing money and programs at it from the different levels of governments. These can be used to accelerator growth, but they will not create it.
With all of this in mind, I was encouraged to see the Edmonton tech scene get some fantastic exposure last week.
- It started on Wednesday with a great post by Jevon MacDonald on Startup North summarizing his visit to Edmonton and what is happening in the local tech community.
- On Thursday, TEC Edmonton CEO Chris Lumb came to the defense of the tech sector in Edmonton after a local columnist wrote about his disappointment in tech. I will refrain from sharing my thoughts on TEC Edmonton and their approach to building tech companies, but will say that I truly appreciated Chris’ passionate defense.
- Lastly, on Friday local startup Empire Avenue received headlines from numerous media outlets, including the pinnacle of tech news – Techcrunch, on their recent funding. The funding was led by Boris Wertz of W Media Ventures and I am very excited to be part of the round as well! I first met Dups when they were just getting started and it has been awesome to watch what they have accomplished since then.
It was definitely a great week in getting the Edmonton tech scene some well deserved exposure. Hopefully this is just a sign of the things to come!