Here’s the latest on a wide range of innovation in the Edmonton region. Feel free to share it and let us know how we can improve the Blast. Let’s begin!

Photo Credit: (Supplied)

Edmonton ranks third in Canada for VC-backed employment

Edmonton is one of the top three cities in Canada for venture-capital-supported employment, says the VC year-in-review from the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association. More than 7,000 employees in Edmonton are employed by venture-backed companies, with only Toronto and Montreal ranking higher. The vast majority are in information and communications technology, with a few in life sciences and agribusiness.

Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation, said Alberta saw record levels of venture capital investment in 2021, with 87 deals totalling $561 million.

The Alberta Enterprise Corporation noted that this is the fourth year in a row for record-breaking VC activity in Alberta, with more than twice as many investments in life sciences as the previous year.

Funding & Support for Entrepreneurship


Climate Emergency & CleanTech

Digital Inclusion & Education

Food Security & AgTech

  • The Edmonton International Airport’s Ag-celerator program, which aims to develop local food and beverage companies, made it possible for Calgary-based vertical farming company groHERE to open the first commercial strawberry facility at the airport. Hear more in Episode 6 of Bloom, the podcast about innovation in Edmonton.

Public Health

Social Impact

  • The Edmonton Queer History Project has launched its new interactive website, walking tours, and podcast series. A new map marks 27 historically-significant landmarks. The first episode of the From Here To Queer podcast features Michael Phair. “We want young people to be able to learn this history,” he told CTV News. “To be able to understand that the rights and the privileges that they enjoy today as queer young people were only here because of the brave and courageous people who fought for them.”
  • Birdie Break is an Edmonton-made app that connects parents to pre-screened babysitters in their area. It is now available in Edmonton, Calgary, Banff, and Canmore – plus, as of February, Toronto. “We saw that there was just a glaring hole in the support system for parents to find conveniently, high quality sitters,” co-founder Cressida Raffin told CBC.

Arts & Culture

  • Mayor Amarjeet Sohi, wearing a blue cape emblazoned with “Super Sohi” on the back, joined students at City Hall School to read The Builders, a comic book about how everyone is a city builder and “how everyone who builds our city is a superhero.” The comic book is available free in PDF.

Bits & Pieces

The Blast is curated by Taproot Publishing and published by Innovate Edmonton.