Here’s the latest on a wide range of innovation in the Edmonton region.


From left to right: Areto Labs’ CPO Jacqueline Comer, CEO Lana Cuthbertson, and COO Kasey Machin.

Areto Labs closes first round of venture financing

Areto Labs, the cyberbully-busting machine-learning startup, has secured $1 million in investment, with hopes for another $500,000.

The pre-seed round is led by Accelerate Fund III, with participation from ScaleGood FundThe51, and UCeed Social Impact Fund, as well as other angel investors.

Using machine learning technology such as sentiment analysis and natural language processing, Areto Labs can monitor, detect, and address toxicity by muting, blocking, and reporting accounts. It has found traction among sports teams and organizations, and will be using this funding to expand its sales in that realm in Canada and Europe, as well as investing in its product team and research.

“There’s significant brand value impact and there are significant legal risks and liabilities that organizations found to be negligent in failing to protect their people in basically what has become their workplace, which is, more and more these days, social media platforms for people who have some kind of public-facing role,” Co-Founder Lana Cuthbertson told BetaKit.


Funding & Support for Entrepreneurship

  • The latest cohort of Alberta Catalyzer‘s Engage learning stream includes Agora WorkAro RoboticsCity Lending CenterEnterra Energy Resources Inc.FenceSee Inc.Popin, and WorkSpace.
  • Jason Courtepatte, Founder of Kite Electric, was grateful to be accepted into American Express’s Blueprint program, which is launching a second year. The program offers mentorship and a grant program to help advance 100 Canadian business owners who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of colour.
  • new report published by the Business Council of Alberta recommends that Alberta become a global leader in carbon capture and storage, expand the use of new innovations in agriculture, and invest more in health and medical care advancements. Solving global challenges related to energy, food security, and wellness could lead to a more prosperous future for the province. AltaML co-CEO Cory Janssen got involved to improve Alberta’s reputation within Canada. He told CBC News: “If you believe that the best days of Alberta are in front of it, like we do, and you believe you can build it here, why don’t we look at the greatest challenges that humanity is facing and really get together and just try to get down to work and actually do it in this province?”

Tech

  • The federal government has launched the second phase of its Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy with a focus on commercialization and adoption of AI-driven innovations. “Across the country, we’ve already seen how transformational an investment like this can be in establishing Canada as a global player in AI,” said Cam Linke, CEO of the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute. Phase two provides $60 million to Canada’s AI institutes to “help translate research into commercial applications and grow the capacity of businesses to adopt AI and machine learning.”
  • HonestDoor has expanded its free digital appraisal service for residential properties across the country, which the company said makes it Canada’s largest publicly available online real estate database. “HonestDoor provides digital appraisals on practically every home across the country – both listed and off market,” said Co-Founder and CEO Daniel Belostotsky.
  • Sherwood Park entrepreneur Nicole Matos is about to launch Oonnie, a website that aims to assist consumers who are looking for more convenient ways to shop locally. The site will go live with a scavenger hunt on June 25.

CleanTech & Climate Emergency

  • The City of Edmonton has signed 20-year green energy contracts with Ontario-based Capstone Infrastructure Corporation — which owns the under-development Wild Rose 2 Wind Farm in Alberta’s Cypress County — and Calgary-based BluEarth Renewables. The power generated under the two contracts is expected to prevent more than 95,000 tonnes of carbon per year from entering the atmosphere. Both are expected to start providing power to the city in 2024. Capstone said the agreement “is the largest long-term procurement of renewable energy attributes by a Canadian city to date.”
  • Thermal Intelligence, which makes a product that combines heat, power, and lights into one smart, connected piece of equipment, recently concluded a 14-month vetting process to make BASECAMP the first-ever piece of construction equipment to achieve the prestigious Green Seal’s Certification of Environmental Innovation.
  • Peter Dushenski of GlasCurtain Inc. shared his thoughts on balancing natural light and energy efficiency with the help of innovations in building materials.

Digital Inclusion & Education

  • TELUS is deploying new 3500 MHz spectrum on its 5G network in the Edmonton area, among other places in Canada, enabling the greater responsiveness and faster speeds that it says are key to the Internet of Things and innovations in health, agriculture, energy, and transportation.

Public Health


Arts & Culture


Bits & Pieces


This Blast is brought to you by Innovate Edmonton in partnership with Taproot Publishing.