Here’s the latest on a wide range of innovation in the Edmonton region.
Medical imaging innovator Medo acquired by California company
Medical imaging and AI company Medo is being acquired by Exo, a California-based health information and medical device company interested in making ultrasound imaging faster and simpler so that a wider range of caregivers can use it.
“Exo’s powerful hardware and workflow technologies and Medo’s AI will dramatically reduce the challenges that have long held back the widespread adoption of point-of-care ultrasound,” Medo Co-Founder and CEO Dornoosh Zonoobi said in a release. “The ease of imaging and immediacy of diagnostic information we provide will radically transform medical care, creating a world where caregivers can image the body as easily as snapping a photo on a smartphone.”
“Some people would look at this and say it’s a bit of a loss because we’re losing another company out of Alberta to a U.S. company. But I would tell you, in the world of transactions and finance, this is putting Edmonton on the map,” he said. “This is going to create a lot more transactions in these kinds of spaces.”
Joseph pointed to the multimillion-dollar agreement between Entos Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly earlier this year as another example of the region’s growing importance in the sector and the strength of its small to medium-sized enterprises. “It’s really demonstrating that Alberta SMEs or Edmonton SMEs can actually play in the global market space.”
Funding & Support for Entrepreneurship
- The Alberta government is investing $1.8 million over three years for the Capital City Pilots project, spearheaded by Innovate Edmonton. Capital City Pilots — a collaboration with the City of Edmonton to help entrepreneurs pilot their products on public assets — will be led by Abbie Stein-MacLean and Mustafa Ali. Connie Stacey of Growing Greener Innovations hailed Capital City Pilots: “As an entrepreneur in green energy, I know how critical it is to have a flagship client and to test products in real-world conditions,” she said in a release.
- DriveWyze is hoping to welcome Edmonton’s startup community to its new headquarters on Calgary Trail. The company, which was featured at Launch Party 4 in 2013, has grown to 200+ employees looking after software in more than 2.8 million trucks and customers in 45 states and provinces.
- While venture funding slowed in most of Canada’s tech ecosystems in the second quarter of 2022, Alberta raised $268.6 million through 12 deals, which set a new Q2 record. Calgary’s Neo Financial got the lion’s share of that money with a $185-million Series C deal, while Edmonton’s DrugBank topped the list of seed deals with its $9-million raise in April. Tiffany Linke-Boyko, the Edmonton-based Principal for Flying Fish Partners, and Zack Storms of Startup TNT said they expected venture funding in Alberta to align with the cooling that other markets are seeing.
- Dr. Riya Ganguly, the University of Alberta‘s Associate Vice-President of Enterprise, spoke to the Economic Development Matters podcast about the university’s role in supporting the commercialization of innovation and how that affects economic development.
- University Affairs took a closer look at GovLab.ai, the collaboration between AltaML, the province, and post-secondary institutions to train students while exploring solutions to real-world problems in the public realm. Computer scientist Eleni Stroulia, the acting Vice-Dean of the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Science, said she was excited about the recognition of AI’s potential to solve government problems and the opportunity for students, but wished there was a more specific role for university researchers.
- The Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) and the CIO Strategy Council (CIOSC) have launched a new Artificial Intelligence Governance course to help startups and small and mid-sized businesses develop a foundation for ethical practices for AI adoption and application.
- Episode 23 of Bloom features a discussion of Truffle’s recent $2.3-million raise, as well as food innovation news from Alberta Innovates and LandView Drones. The episode also includes Part 3 of a conversation with Innovate Edmonton‘s Darrell Petras on programs offered to support innovators.
- Zipstall Founder Kevin Petterson celebrated reaching 1,000 downloads in 30 days for his parking app.
Climate Emergency & CleanTech
- ZeroAvia has announced a partnership with the Edmonton International Airport to explore opportunities to develop hydrogen infrastructure at EIA and the Villeneuve Airport. They’ll begin with gaseous hydrogen as fuel while exploring a shift to liquid hydrogen, which would be necessary for aircraft that have more than 50 seats.
- Alberta’s Hydrogen Centre of Excellence is making $20 million available over 24 months to support projects under its Advancing Hydrogen – Competition 1 program. The competition is open to a wide range of players in areas that include hydrogen production, storage, transmission, end-use, increased competitiveness, and economic diversification.
- After completing a pilot project to create a battery using lithium extracted from Alberta brine fields in the Leduc Formation, E3 Lithium is now working on drilling Alberta’s first lithium well as it works toward producing batteries for electric vehicles. Leduc is a “world-class lithium reservoir,” E3 CEO Chris Doornbos told Postmedia in a sponsored post.
- The Clean Air Strategic Alliance (CASA) is collecting data on the emissions of heavy-duty trucks this summer as part of its Roadside Optical Vehicle Emissions Reporter III (ROVER III) project. The data will be added to more than 60,000 data points collected so far to inform a report that is due in 2023. “It will come with complete recommendations on how we can collectively reduce the impacts of the transportation sector on human health and environmental health,” executive director Andre Asselin told Taproot.
Digital Inclusion & Education
- NorQuest College and CommAlert Group have partnered to offer IndTech, a project to support Indigenous students interested in working in technology.
- MacEwan University‘s growing enrolment is good news for downtown, says President and Vice-Chancellor Annette Trimbee in an op-ed for Postmedia. “Our grads become the business and community leaders who are building a more diverse and resilient future for Edmonton and Alberta,” she wrote. MacEwan plans to increase the size of its student body by 60% over the next 10 years.
Food Security & AgTech
- Derek MacKenzie, an associate professor of soil science at the University of Alberta, is leading a two-year database project studying the health of Alberta’s soil. The study will compare soil samples taken between 1997 and 2007 to new samples, testing for salinity, fertility, and organic matter, CBC reports.
- Mojow Autonomous Solutions shared video of its autonomous tractor’s transitions as demonstrated at Ag in Motion, Western Canada’s Outdoor Farm Expo.
- Nicole Matos of Oonnie is a semi-finalist for Pow Wow Pitch, a pitch competition for Indigenous entrepreneurs, in the technology and innovation category. The online marketplace for local food launched in June.
- Filomena Tassi, the federal minister for public services and procurement, toured the facilities of Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation (API) and the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology, then met with health and life-sciences leaders to discuss innovations and treatments for infectious diseases.
- Unbelts has received the “Best For The World” designation in the community impact category, which recognizes Certified B Corporations that rank in the top 5% of all B Corps. “It’s a big achievement for a small team, and we’re proud,” wrote Founder Claire Theaker-Brown.
- Ling Huang of Technology North received a special citation for societal impact from the Prairies region of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year competition.
- The Edmonton Elks have launched Project $2 Million, which will see the club donate $2 million worth of services and activations to 20 local non-profits over the next year. “We have a responsibility as a community-owned team to actively enhance the people and organizations in our city, and through Project $2 Million we will be able to share our expertise and platform with these deserving community partners,” said President Victor Cui.
Arts & Culture
- Story City has announced its contingent of Edmonton-based stories for Summer 2022, resulting from its earlier call for pitches. Among the creators whose stories will be included in the app in August are Celia Taylor, Lizzie Derksen, Bruce Cinnamon, and Ahmar Rana.
- Mile Zero Dance‘s 2022 season was defined by unconventional locations and site-specific performances after it vacated its space at Spazio Performativo during the pandemic. This innovative spirit culminated in a combination dance performance and bike tour during The Magpie Collection: A Dance Festival on July 24.
Bits & Pieces
- Submissions are open for people interested in hosting a community event at Edmonton Startup Week 2022, happening from October 17-21. This can be a panel, workshop, discussion, social or even a podcast episode. It’s an opportunity to give back, share knowledge and inspire the community around the culture of innovation in Edmonton! Submissions close September 30.
- Noorudin Jiwani of Aliya’s Foods, Leigh Newton of Homestyle Selections, and Roger Babichuk, Tim Coldwell, and Sean Penn of Chandos Construction are among the Prairies winners for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award. The national awards will be presented in November.
- Linda Hoang spoke to Carrie and Kelly Armstrong about Kikawinaw, a sparkling gin and tea drink that grew out of a chance meeting with Righand Distillery at Taste of Edmonton in 2017. The partnership, which was formalized in 2020, has expanded, as Righand’s new location near the Edmonton International Airport will include an interpretive centre designed and executed by Carrie’s other business, Mother Earth Essentials.
- TEDx Talks shared A Guide to Perfection from a Daughter of Immigrants, the TEDxUAlberta talk delivered by Ghalia Amer, Founder of TalkMaze and a member of the Innovation Growth Council.