2021 Start Alberta Tech Awards

Background Information

The annual Start Alberta Tech Awards launched in 2018 to recognize both individuals and organizations for their contributions to Alberta’s tech industry. Each winner has been selected for making a significant contribution to the province’s tech sector.

The 2021 Awards feature 13 categories of exceptional winners, including two new awards honouring champions in Alberta’s technology and innovation ecosystem as well as those contributing to ESG initiatives.

Thank you to our generous sponsors of the 2021 Start Alberta Tech Awards: SAIT School for Advanced Digital TechnologyATB Financial, PwC, BDC, Alberta Enterprise Corporation, the A100, VCAA, Calgary Economic Development, Edmonton Global, Startup Calgary, Startup Edmonton, Technology Alberta, and TMX/TSX

2021 Winner Announcements

November 8: Tech Deal of the Year (presented by Alberta Enterprise) – Congratulations Jobber
November 9: Most Promising Startup Entrepreneur of the Year (presented by Startup Edmonton and Startup Calgary) – Congratulations Abby Aiyeleye
November 10: Digital Talent Champion Award (presented by SAIT
) – Congratulations InceptionU
November 11: Rod Charko Service Award (presented by VCAA) – Congratulations Zack Storms
November 12: Impact Award (presented by ATB Financial) – Congratulations Helpseeker Technologies
November 15: Fast Growth Awards (presented by BDC) – Congratulations Symend and Neo Financial
November 16: The A100 One to Watch (presented by A100) – Congratulations Syantra
November 17: Ecosystem Supporter of the Year (presented by Edmonton Global and Calgary Economic Development) – Congratulations Startup TNT
November 17: Most Significant Cross-Community Collaboration (presented by Technology Alberta) – Congratulations The Community Safety and Wellness Accelerator
November 18: Tech Investor of the Year (presented by Alberta Enterprise) – Congratulations Thin Air Labs
November 19: Woman in Tech (presented by BDC) – Congratulations Ashlyn Bernier
November 22: Most Significant Tech Transaction of the Year (presented by PwC) – Congratulations Benevity 

 

Watch for the 2022 Awards

Stay connected for the 2022 Awards by following Start Alberta on Twitter and LinkedIn and get registered in the Start Alberta database.

Digital Talent Champion Award

The Digital Talent Champion Award presented by the SAIT School of Advanced Digital Technology (SADT) highlights those who are dedicated to developing and fostering one of our province’s most critical resources: digital talent. The award recognizes companies, programs and/or individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and leadership in developing the talent ecosystem, growing the digital talent pool and, as a result, accelerating innovation and diversification in Alberta.

Judging Criteria:

  • Has developed and/or supported programs and initiatives that foster digital talent development
  • Has prioritized the hiring of local talent and initiatives to grow this effort
  • Is an avid collaborator within and champion of Alberta’s technology and innovation ecosystem 

Impact Award

The Impact Award presented by ATB Financial will be awarded to the tech company that demonstrates their commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards. This year, the winner will be evaluated on their SOCIAL standards—specifically Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. 

Judging Criteria:

  • Must demonstrate commitment and progress towards an environment that facilitates physical and mental well being
  • Must be able to prove commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in their organization and in the community more broadly
  • Must be able to demonstrate commitment and progress on equity in remuneration of women to men

Most Promising Startup Entrepreneur of the Year Award

The Most Promising Startup Entrepreneur of the Year will be awarded to a dynamic early stage founder who deserves to be recognized for their coachability, community involvement and ability to launch a technology-focused company in Alberta. This individual has a pay-it-forward mentality and is always willing to help other entrepreneurs.

Judging Criteria:

  • Must be an Alberta-based founder or co-founder 
  • Must have launched a technology- focused startup within the past three years in Alberta (September 30, 2018 – September 30, 2021)
  • Must be able to demonstrate community involvement

Most Significant Cross-Community Collaboration of the Year Award

The Most Significant Cross-Community Collaboration of the Year award is given to the year’s most significant cross-community collaboration which has moved the ecosystem forward.

 Judging Criteria:

  • Collaborations involve Industry (Entrepreneurial Alberta Growth SME Tech Companies)
  • Worked with Government, Service Providers, Associations, and/or Academia in a manner that has provided significant benefit to tech entrepreneurship in Alberta.

Ecosystem Supporter of the Year Award

The Ecosystem Supporter of the Year will be awarded to an organization known for its dedication to helping startups and entrepreneurs grow in Alberta.

 Judging Criteria:

  • Must be an organization with a mandate to support Alberta-based entrepreneurs in the innovation ecosystem 
  • Must be able to demonstrate entrepreneurial impact 
  • Must be able to show collaboration among other support organizations

Fast Growth Award - Under / Over $5M

The Fast Growth Awards will be presented to two tech companies that have demonstrated the highest annual revenue growth. One award will be presented to a company under $5M in annual revenue and one award will be presented to a company above $5M in annual revenue.

Rod Charko Service Award

The Rod Charko Service Award is presented by the VCAA on an annual basis to an individual that has gone above and beyond for the venture capital and technology ecosystems in Alberta. Past winners include David Edmonds, Brad Zumwalt, Alice Reimer, John Pinsent and Ray Muzyka. 

Judging Criteria: 

  • Must be able to demonstrate a commitment to entrepreneurial impact   
  • Must be able to demonstrate the impact of activities on the ecosystem 
  • Must be able to demonstrate a long term, consistent commitment 

A100 One to Watch Award

The A100 One to Watch Award recognizes one of Alberta’s early-stage companies that will be the “most likely to succeed”, as voted by the A100 membership. A collection of early-stage companies considered for this award was compiled from Launch Party companies from Startup Calgary and Startup Edmonton. 

Woman in Tech Award

The Woman in Tech Award will go to a dynamic woman who deserves to be recognized for her entrepreneurial success and ability to launch a venture-backable technology-focused company in Alberta. This individual has also demonstrated a passion to support gender equity and promote the advancement of women making a lasting impact on Alberta’s technology ecosystem.

Judging Criteria: 

  • Must identify as a female in the Alberta technology and innovation space
  • Must hold a leadership role in an Alberta-based startup (founder, co-founder or C-level executive) and has been in her role for more than 12 months
  • Must have launched a venture-backable technology-focused startup within the past three years in Alberta (September 30, 2018 – September 30, 2021)
  • Must demonstrate year over year revenue growth (based on review of financial statements from September 30, 2018 – September 30, 2021)
  • Must be able to demonstrate a passion to support and promote the advancement of women in tech in Alberta

Tech Investor of the Year Award

The Tech Investor of the Year will be awarded to an individual or investment firm that has displayed the best investment acumen over the last year in Alberta’s tech sector. This could be demonstrated through an exit, early investment in a notable tech startup or realization of an earlier investment in the tech sector. 

 Judging Criteria: 

  • Number of tech deals
  • Amount of capital invested
  • Number and dollar amounts of impact in Alberta
  • Preference given to those who have a strong history of investing in Alberta
  • Preference given to those who have had a significant impact on the growth of Alberta’s tech ecosystem

Most Significant Tech Transaction of the Year Award

Most Significant Tech Transaction of the Year Award

 The Most Significant Tech Transaction of the Year will be awarded to the tech company that has had the most significant acquisition or exit.

Judging Criteria:

  • Based on a significant transaction between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021 
  • Transaction must be publicly reported and verifiable 
  • Preference will be given to companies that have made a significant impact on the Alberta ecosystem
  • Must be a technology- focused company headquartered in Alberta

Tech Deal of the Year Award

The Tech Deal of the Year will be awarded to the tech company who has raised the largest amount of capital in its most recent fundraising round. 

 Judging Criteria: 

  • Based on capital raised between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021
  • Capital must be publicly reported and verifiable 
  • Preference will be given to companies that have made a significant impact on the Alberta ecosystem
  • Must be a technology- focused company headquartered in Alberta