On July 6, 2020, Edmonton City Council endorsed Naseem Bashir as Board Chair candidate for the soon to be created innovation entity. The Chair and new Board will form and finalize the direction, strategy and values of the new innovation entity. One of their first initiatives will be to select a new Chief Executive Officer.


“Edmonton has a tremendous opportunity to continue to build on the strengths of an active and creative entrepreneurship ecosystem. As a business leader and member of the community, I am excited to work with the innovation community and contribute to the new innovation entity,” said Naseem Bashir, endorsed Board Chair for the new innovation entity. “I’m passionate about leveraging technology companies in Edmonton to improve the productivity of legacy companies and prepare them for a post COVID-19 world where innovation and diversification will be essential. When we amplify the voice of our immensely capable technology sector and focus on getting the basics right, we can achieve substantial growth in many sectors.”


“With a board chair experienced in governance and leadership, Mr. Bashir—along with his fellow board members—will grow and articulate the vision of our Edmonton’s reset innovation ecosystem,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “This work is vital to a more resilient economy—especially as a key pillar in leading our city’s economic recovery from COVID-19.”


Naseem Bashir is an Edmonton business leader and engineer. He is currently the CEO and Executive Chair of the Williams Group of Companies and also serves as Chair for several other organizations including: DB Technologies LP and Edmonton Airports (YEG and CZVL).


The process of creating the new innovation entity and selecting the remaining seven board members will continue over the summer. The filings to create the new entity are still being processed and, once complete, Mr. Bashir is endorsed to become the first chair. The City of Edmonton will be the shareholder of the new entity and City Council is the representative of the shareholder. Once the entity is officially created, a shareholder meeting is required to formally approve the Chair. This is anticipated to happen in September 2020. 


About Edmonton’s new innovation entityOn May 11, 2020, Edmonton’s City Council approved the formation of a new entity that will focus on championing innovation in Edmonton. With our city being one of the youngest and fastest growing cities in Canada, innovation plays a crucial role in building a diverse, resilient, and creative economy. The future of Edmonton’s economy will benefit from creative entrepreneurs and this new non-profit entity has an opportunity to support and guide these entrepreneurs to succeed and grow here.