On October 11, 2023, Kylie Woods was recognized with the Rod Charko Service Award as part of the 2023 Start Alberta Tech Awards. The Rod Charko Service Award recognizes an individual who has gone above and beyond for the technology ecosystem in Alberta.
Kylie Woods has been dedicated to the advancement and support of women in technology for the last 10 years as the Founder and Executive Director of Chic Geek.
In the last decade, Chic Geek transformed the Alberta tech community and beyond by:
- Connecting over 14,000 women in technology as well as allies
- Hosting 160 events including introducing the Geeky Summit, the pioneering conference for women in technology in Canada
- Launching a virtual mentorship and strategic networking service, activating 255 women as mentors and helping 59% of mentees advance their career
- Playing a part in countless stories of confidence-building, networking, and career advancement opportunities for women in tech
“I started ChicGeek because I wanted to see more women working in technology. I believe that technology and innovation is a space where women can build thriving careers with lots of opportunity, and also that it is paramount that we have their voices involved,” explained Kylie Woods. “I think the work that we’re doing to forward Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and to embrace equity-deserving groups is unexpected in Alberta. I love Alberta and I believe this is a province full of mavericks, changemakers and problem solvers.”
Despite Chic Geek announcing its closure this year, the community momentum to support women in tech that the organization began continues on.
“I am humbled. It’s also hard to accept this award. There is a part of me that knows that this work has so much farther to go. But the award is a reminder that the work we have done has contributed and moved things forward so that many others can continue the torch like the A100 and Start Alberta. I am just so humbled to be part of driving that forward.” she added.
The Rod Charko Service Award was created by the VCAA and community members to honour the late Rod Charko, the former CEO of Alberta Enterprise Corporation. Rod had a vision for the Alberta Technology Ecosystem where technology companies, investors and mentors would collaborate and work towards a common goal of enhancing the ecosystem in Alberta. Rod was instrumental in the formation of many of the groups that have gone on to continue his work, including The A100, the Accelerate Fund, and the VCAA. Rod passed away mid-2012 before he could see his vision come to fruition.
The VCAA sponsors this award in an effort to support the entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to positively impacting Alberta’s tech and investment industry. The VCAA works tirelessly as the industry association for venture capital, private equity, angel investors to grow the investment industry in Alberta, and provides networking and educational opportunities and events for those interested in furthering the industry in the province.
Start Alberta is committed to helping the businesses and communities within our province’s tech sector thrive and grow. Since 2018, the Start Alberta Tech Awards have recognized individuals and organizations for their contributions to Alberta’s innovation ecosystem and those significantly impacting the province’s tech sector. The Start Alberta Platform connects our province’s innovation and tech ecosystem with data to help investors, entrepreneurs and policymakers with the insights needed to make their next, big move.
View the full list of 2023 Tech Awards winners.