Start Alberta Tech Awards

Start Alberta Tech Awards

The inaugural Start Alberta Tech Awards recognize both individuals and organizations for their contributions to Alberta’s innovation ecosystem and those making a significant impact on the province’s tech sector.


Award categories:

  • Tech Deal of the Year
  • Most Significant Tech Transaction of the Year
  • Fast Growth Awards
  • Tech Investor of the Year
  • Rod Charko Service Award
  • Ecosystem Supporter of the Year
  • Most Promising Startup Entrepreneur of the Year


Nominations and applications are now closed. 2018 Award Recipients are listed below.



2018 Tech Deal of the Year: Circle Cardiovascular Imaging


(Pictured: Mike Little, CFO of Circle Cardiovascular Imaging and Kristina Williams, CEO of Alberta Enterprise)


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


Selection Criteria:

  • Based on capital raised between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018
  • 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


Selection Process


The award recipient was selected by the following committee members:

  • Rebecca Giffen, VCAA
  • Brenda Slauko, BDC
  • Nate Glubish, Yaletown Partners




2018 Most Significant Tech Transaction of the Year: Benevity


(Pictured: Joon Chan, Partner of PwC and Bryan de Lottinville, Founder & CEO of Benevity)


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


Selection Criteria:

  • Based on a significant transaction between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018
  • 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


Selection Process


The award recipient was selected by the following committee members:

  • Dave Edmonds, A100
  • Aaron Flynn, Improbable
  • Mark Trevitt, BDC
  • Frank Turner, Osler



2018 Fast Growth Under $5M: VizworX


(Pictured: Jeff LaFrenz, President of VizworX and Brenda Slauko, Regional Director-Technology Group for BDC)


2018 Fast Growth Over $5M: ATTAbottics


(Pictured: Brad Simpson, Director of Growth for ATTAbottics and Brenda Slauko, Regional Director-Technology Group for BDC)


The Fast Growth Awards were 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.


Selection Criteria:

  • Based on review of financial statements from October 1, 2016 - September 30, 2018
  • Must have demonstrated revenue growth of 25% or more in the past year
  • Must be a technology- focused company headquartered in Alberta.


Selection Process


Short-listed applicants were asked to submit balance sheet and income statements from October 1, 2016 - September 30, 2018 and will be reviewed by PwC Canada.



2018 Tech Investor of the Year: Accelerate Fund II


(Pictured: David Edmonds, Industry Committee Chairman A100 & Accelerate Fund II and Kristina Williams, CEO of Alberta Enterprise Corporation)


The Tech Investor of the Year was 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.


Selection 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 in the growth of Alberta’s tech ecosystem


Selection Process


Individual investors and investment firms must be nominated to be considered for the award. Short-listed nominees will be asked to complete a short application form to verify investment details completed between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018.


The award recipient was selected by the following committee members:

  • Dwayne Drager, Invest Alberta
  • Court Ellingson, Calgary Economic Development
  • Cheryll Watson, Edmonton Economic Development
  • Chris Lumb, TEC Edmonton
  • Terry Rock, Calgary Technologies Inc.


2018 Rod Charko Service Award: Evan Hu


(Pictured: Brad Charko, Allie Charko and Evan Hu)


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 and John Pinsent.


Selection 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


Selection Process


VCAA members and sponsors were invited to submit nominations.



2018 Ecosystem Supporter of the Year Award: Startup Calgary


(Pictured: Heather Marshall, Director of Business Development for Osler & Chapter Lead of #MovetheDial and Kari Gordon, Director of Ecosystem Development and Trade for Startup Calgary & Calgary Economic Development)



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


Selection 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


Selection Process


Organizations must be nominated to be considered eligible for the award. Nominees will be asked to complete an application which must be completed by Sunday, October 28 at 5pm.


The award recipient was selected by the following committee members:

  • Chris Fletcher, Thymely
  • Brad Johns, Yaletown
  • Rena Tabata, ShareSmart
  • Kristina Williams, Alberta Enterprise Corporation



2018 Most Promising Startup Entrepreneur of the Year: Bobbie Racette, CEO & Founder of Virtual Gurus


(Pictured: Shay Barker, Program Manager of Startup Edmonton; Bobbie Racette, CEO/Founder of Virtual Gurus and Kari Gordon, Director of Ecosystem Development and Trade for Startup Calgary & Calgary Economic Development)


The Most Promising Startup Entrepreneur of the Year was 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.


Selection 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, 2015 - September 30, 2018)
  • Must be able to demonstrate community involvement


Selection Process


The individual must be nominated to be considered eligible for the award. Nominees will be asked to complete an application which must be completed by Sunday, October 28 at 5pm.


The award recipient was selected by the following committee members:


  • Andrew Chau, SkipTheDishes
  • Andrea Drager, Azure Capital
  • Kari Gordon, Startup Calgary
  • Tiffany Linke-Boyko, Startup Edmonton


Questions? Contact us at info@startupcalgary.ca


Organizing Committee