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!
Alberta Catalyzer announces second cohort
Among the Edmonton participants are Raj Rajakumar and Omar Yaqub of Islamic Family and Social Services Association (IFSSA), who will be working on Transform, an app created to increase the impact and efficiency of social services. “Oftentimes we get into the work, and we get caught up in the things we need to do. And sometimes it’s those things we need to do that take us away from the impact we initially want to have,” Yaqub told Taproot shortly after he hired Rajakumar as a product manager.
The other Edmonton-based participants include Inplico, Maple Rose Furigary’s platform for streamlining renovation projects; DeepBlue Greens, founded by Javed Shaikh to develop products for indoor farms; and Mindhub, a mental health platform from Raffela Mancuso. The program’s first cohort of 35 early-stage companies graduated on Feb. 15, and applications are open for the next one.
Funding & Support for Entrepreneurship
- Applications for the Experimental Learning in Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (ELITE) Program for Black Youth are being accepted until April 22. The program provides salaries and benefits for 35 hours/week, for up to 16 weeks starting in May, along with coaching.
- The Allies app aims to address hate-motivated attacks by allowing users to send out a beacon if they are experiencing or witnessing a hate incident, alerting nearby users and helping to coordinate bystander intervention.
- Scope AR is bringing its WorkLink platform to the Siemens Digital Industries Software Partner Program to allow customers to integrate directly with the enterprise-class augmented reality platform.
- American general contractor Davis Construction has chosen Latium Tech‘s Job Site Resourcing product to optimize scheduling for major projects.
- Internet of Things (IoT) company Visionstate announced that its WANDA platform has seen “incredulous growth and deployment results” in the healthcare and academic sectors. The most significant growth comes from the company’s mobile app, which tracks cleaning and maintenance activities.
- TradesLink, a local social platform for trades professionals, announced it has secured 15 initial founding partners. The company has seen thousands of people use their app for network and recruitment since it was released last year, according to the release.
- Carbeeza, a software company using AI to help consumers in the automotive marketplace, has officially launched in Manitoba.
Climate Emergency & CleanTech
- RUNWITHIT Synthetics has been named one of the top 40 companies that will be presenting at the 2022 NREL Industry Growth Forum (IGF) in the emerging markets category on April 13-14.
- Edmonton is steadily losing its urban green space, making the city significantly hotter than the surrounding area as temperatures rise due to climate change. Research by the University of Alberta‘s Sandeep Agrawal and Nilusha Welegedara has found that between 1999 and 2020, Edmonton lost 15% of its vegetation.
- The City of Edmonton has published a series of recommendations aimed at reducing waste and diverting it from landfill. About 450 million single-use items are thrown away each year in Edmonton, but if the recommendations are approved, that could be reduced by 20% within four years, the city said.
Digital Inclusion & Education
- The International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF) is expanding its “Women in Tech” training program to Calgary and Edmonton with support from the Rideau Hall Foundation’s Catapult Canada Access Innovation Fund.
Food Security & AgTech
- TrustBIX CEO Hubert Lau spoke with NAIT’s Let’s Do Coffee podcast about his company’s efforts to “create a world where we trust more, waste less, and reward sustainable behaviour.”
- Outdated legislation and a culture of risk avoidance are standing in the way of using the power of data in the health sector, wrote Reg Joseph, CEO of Health Cities. “The adoption of artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), and other data techniques on the vanguard of technology would enable us to be smarter and timelier in how and where we deploy resources, so that we reduce costs and improve health outcomes,” he said.
- Clinical Trials Alberta published a case study on Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation (API) and its efforts to help industry partners overcome the logistical barriers on the path to taking a drug or device to market. You can hear more from API’s Andrew MacIsaac on Startup TNT‘s 5-Minute Friday.
- With support from members of the Global Clinical Pharmacology team at Pfizer, Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation (API) and University of Alberta launched the Pfizer Applied Clinical Pharmacology Program, a multi-year program created by API, Pfizer, and University of Alberta to enhance job-readiness for students in pharmaceutical sciences.
- The Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) shone a spotlight on Ali Habib and Dr. Sharmin Habib, co-founders of Umay, which uses AI to help people find the digital rest they need.
- Pharmacologist Brian William Corrigan is among the 31 alumni to be honoured by the University of Alberta on March 16. “Being part of the team that developed the first effective oral treatment for the treatment of COVID-19, and that utilized many (model-informed drug development) approaches to bring this medicine to patients so quickly has been a highlight of my career,” Corrigan told Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation, where he serves as a member of the scientific advisory committee.
- Oncology company Pacylex Pharmaceuticals, which is developing an oral drug for use in cancer therapy, announced that the journal Current Oncology has released a paper with data from its first patient. “We are encouraged that the first patient experience with an NMT inhibitor shows the initial dose to be well tolerated and rapidly absorbed, with a PK consistent with a daily oral drug,” said Pacylex CMO John Mackey.
- Mallory Yawnghwe, Founder of Indigenous Box, spoke to CBC Edmonton’s Radio Active about being part of a growing community of female Indigenous entrepreneurs in Alberta. “We are at the very beginning of creating a movement that is going to bring good fortune to our communities, to really celebrate Indigenous communities and the legacy of greatness we’ve inherited as Indigenous people,” she said.
- The Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) at the University of Alberta is helping provide free and secure cloud storage to Ukrainian institutions. The initiative is led by the Ukraine Archives Rescue Team, an emergency effort launched on March 11 to provide data backups for Ukrainian archival institutions, librarians, scientists, and scholars.
Arts & Culture
- The Town of Devon is creating a database promoting Indigenous artists from Treaty Six and the surrounding First Nations communities. Mitch Wincentaylo, who works on Indigenous engagement and inclusion, told Alberta Native News that the database should be up and running later in March.
- Taproot Publishing co-founder Mack Male will deliver the keynote address on the power of story at the Rainforest Summit Edmonton on March 24.
Bits & Pieces
- Xudong (Terry) Song and Xudong (Sheldon) Zhang, founders of the property-service startup Yardly, received the Alumni Innovation Award at the University of Alberta’s Alumni Awards on March 16.
- dealcloser announced it will host, along with the Canadian Legal Innovation Forum, a full-day conference called dealcon in Calgary on May 19.
- DrugBank has been recognized as one of the best workplaces for women.
- Scott Harrison, Founder and CEO of charity: water, will give a keynote address at Inventures 2022 in Calgary.
- Abby Aiyeleye, founder of Clavis Studio and member of the Innovation Growth Council, has been named to the DMZ’s 2022 Women of the Year list recognizing “outstanding accomplishments and contributions to creating impact.” Aiyeleye was recognized as the Most Promising Startup Entrepreneur of the Year at the Start Alberta Tech Awards late last year.
- ATB’s podcast, The Future of, spoke with Catherine Warren, CEO at Innovate Edmonton, about innovation, space, inclusivity, and community.