Alberta Enterprise Corporation celebrates 10-years of building Alberta’s tech ecosystem under the guidance of a new board.
This year, Alberta Enterprise Corporation (AEC) celebrates 10-years of supporting the Alberta technology sector by building and fostering a strong Venture Capital (VC) presence in the province. AEC’s accomplishments are highlighted in the 10th Anniversary edition of its newly released Annual Report.
Alberta Enterprise Corporation was created 10-years ago, to attract Venture Capital to Alberta and to invest in VC funds that invest in Alberta technology. Our model of investing in VC funds rather than directly subsidizing business (and picking winners and losers) is a best practices approach: one that is arms-length and market driven. It allows us to leverage private capital, which can then be accessed by private-sector Alberta-based technology companies. All of this is achieved with relatively limited government involvement.
This market-based funding model is critical to the growth, sustainability and success of a healthy, local technology sector. Today, Alberta is home to over 1,200 technology start-ups.
“When we started, there was a limited VC presence in this province. Over the years, AEC has invested in 17 VC funds, attracting over $494M of investment into 42 Alberta technology startups. More than 1,400 direct jobs have been created in the province as a result of these efforts,” said Kristina Williams, President and CEO of Alberta Enterprise.
A new Board of Directors has been appointed to build on the success achieved under the founding board, whose members had reached their mandated term limits. Paul G. Haggis, who has led the Board since its inception, remains on as the Chair to December 31st of this year.
Alice Reimer (Vice Chair), Jim Gibson, Neil Sadaranganey, Tracey Scarlett, Sharilee Fossum and Patricia Johnston join the AEC Board of Directors. Stepping down are founding directors Barry Heck, Geoffrey Brown, Vicky Sharp and Brad Zumwalt.
According to Paul Haggis, creating a strong VC presence is a process that takes time and patience.
“Learning from Silicon Valley and other jurisdictions around the world, we know the first decade is absolutely vital to the creation of a self-sustaining technology sector – and in seeing a return on investment. The founding board played a central role in steering AEC through this important period.” “The new board is starting from a very strong position. I look forward to seeing how Alberta Enterprise and our home-grown technology sector continues to grow under their vision and guidance,” Haggis said.
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