Who doesn't love to ring in the New Year with lists? We've put together a list of people we think you'll need to keep an eye on in 2011. With so much happening in Alberta, it was difficult to narrow the list down, but these are the people who came out on top:
Christian MacLean - He’s already a heavy hitter on the Calgary tech scene, having been a high-end consultant for years. Christian always has a side-project or two on the go and his current one, Cardinal, is about to take flight. Having already launched the basic version, Cardinal is going horizontal across a bunch of platforms in the next 6-8 weeks, releasing a remix project for iPhone with the band Times Neue Roman and talking to some major players. Already, Cardinal is helping Metro Lyrics develop mobile projects for their brand. That's cool.
Kevin Swan – Everybody’s favourite beekeeper. While retaining his role as CEO of Nexopia, two months ago, Kevin became a Venture Partner at iNovia Capital. We love when entrepreneurs become VC and we love how iNovia invests in Canadian Startups. We’re looking forward to seeing how his year shapes up, but for now, read about his first two months as a VC
Michelle Sklar – If you can find something going on that doesn’t include Michelle Sklar, we’ll be impressed. This lady is everywhere these days, including being a video host for Techvibes. Michelle’s deep understanding for technology, marketing and events means she’s a natural fit for anything happening on the Canada West Tech scene. In addition to Techvibes and her fulltime gig at Poynt, Michelle is involved with Digital Alberta, The Missing Children’s Society of Canada and TEDxYYC.
Rodney Thompson, Stan Carney and Geoff Gordon – Vogogo, the online payment system, is launching early 2011 and we bet the three founders are on to something good. They have plans to make all kinds of payments as easy as possible for their users, but the first vertical to launch is Vogogo:Rent. Keep an eye out, you’ll probably want to use it!
Cameron Prockiw – Cornerstone Technologies is a good local place to turn to when looking for website development and development, custom applications, e-commerce systems or content management systems. With all that knowledge, Cameron and the Cornerstone Technologies team are soon to launch a social aggregation platform called Social360. Look for it in 2011!
Sean Healy – Sean is the only repeat from last year’s list. Last year, we kept a close eye on his TouchMetric project, which is close to launching version 2.0. This year, he makes it on for Robot Rhythm. A music delivery system for clubs, restaurants and coffee shops, Robot Rhythm is currently testing in Original Joe's in Edmonton. Sean seems to start projects for the love it and for that, we salute him.
Duleepa "Dups" Wijayawardhana – As the CEO of Social Media Stock Market Game Empire Ave, we’re expecting big things from Dups this year. Prior to Empire Avenue, he was the Community Relations Manager in North America for Sun Microsystems/MySQL and has been seen travelling coast-to-coast talking to universities, technical groups and conferences, trying to social network the old-fashioned way. Sign up and start trading stock on all your favourite social networking businesses and friends!
Josh Hidebrecht – iPhone and iPad games for children = so adorable! Soma Creates, the company that Josh founded is coming out with new titles in 2011 and we can’t wait to get our hands on them. They’re kid approved!
These are our top picks for who to watch in Alberta in 2011. If you know of any others, let us know and we'll be sure to check them out.