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

Startup veteran welcomes influx of accelerators

For Jason Suriano, The Alberta Innovates Revenue Accelerator (TAIRA) run by GrowthX was exactly what he needed as he worked on shifting TIQ Software into the software-as-a-service realm.

“The program has just helped me clearly identify what our customer is, what they need, and now it’s just a matter of me going after the first five or 10,” he said on Episode 26 of Taproot’s Bloom podcast. “It doesn’t seem like some crazy mountain that I have to climb now.”

The next information session on TAIRA is scheduled for Sept. 19. Applications are due Sept. 30 for the 16-week program, which starts on Oct. 17.

It’s been great to see the influx of accelerators to Alberta, said Suriano, a member of the Innovation Growth Council. He didn’t have access to such programs when he started his first company, Rocketfuel Games, in 2010.

“I think it’s awesome that they all exist,” he said. “I just think that entrepreneurs like me have to be more focused on interviewing the accelerators, not just accepting them for who they are, to see if they are a fit.”

Here’s what’s happening with other accelerators available to local innovators:


Climate Emergency & CleanTech

Digital Inclusion & Education

Food Security & AgTech

  • The National Observer profiled Isha Datar, the Edmonton-based Executive Director of New Harvest, a donor-funded American non-profit that connects and funds researchers working in cellular agriculture. The organization recently raised $1.3 million at a conference in New York and has embarked on a campaign to raise $18.5 million more.
  • Faaiza Ramji spoke to Canadian Business about the birth of Field Notes, her Alberta-based spirits company, whose first product is a pea-derived liqueur called Don’t Call Me Sweet Pea. “Now that we’ve got the liqueur on the shelf, we want to go after some investment to see how we can scale,” sheApplications close Aug. 26 for the THRIVE Global Impact Challenge, which invites startups at the seed to Series A stage to pitch solutions related to soil health and biodiversity, increasing food security, or reducing and offsetting emissions.
  • Future Fields, a company that pivoted from growing meat in the lab to making the necessary growth factor, is seeing additional opportunities in recombinant protein for industries other than cellular agriculture. “We truly believe that industry has so much potential in terms of sustainability,” Co-Founder and COO Jalene Anderson-Baron told Episode 25 of Bloom. “But we also realized that our platform has incredible potential to do a lot more things.” The company isn’t ready to jump into pharmaceutical manufacturing, she said, but there is other low-hanging fruit to capture with its biomanufacturing platform, which uses fruit flies instead of energy-intensive bioreactors.
  • The results of a collaborative project between Ceapro and University of Alberta researchers will be published in The Journal of Supercritical Fluids, the company announced. The peer-reviewed research is related to the use of an extract of brown algae as a delivery system.

Public Health

Social Impact

Arts & Culture

Bits & Pieces

Other Mentions

  • Board member Aaryn Flynn of Inflexion Games spoke to Gamereactor about his studio’s Victorian-tinged fantasy game called Nightingale. “This is our own universe that we’ve created, taking some lessons from our experiences working on games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age and others,” he said. “But this is our chance to create a new universe.”

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