Edmonton's Startup Scene Quietly Maturing, Locals Say

by Knowlton Thomas | Startups

There isn't often a lot of buzz surrounding Edmonton's startup scene. But if you ask the locals, they're just fine with that.

Ken Bautista, who is the CEO and cofounder of accelertator Startup Edmonton, insists the city isn't trying to replicate Silicon Valley. "We want to embrace what we do here," he told the Edmonton Journal, adding that he feels "Edmonton is the sleeper startup community of the country; we have the resources, the talent and the connections."

This year, a study by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business ranked Edmonton eighth in Canada for startup viability. You won't see the city make top 20 global lists like Vancouver, Toronto, and Waterloo, but Edmonton radiates pride where others may have expected shame.

Cam Linke, also a cofounder of Startup Edmonton, is certainly not embarrassed to be an entrepreneur in the city. “We have entrepreneurial roots here in the province," The University of Alberta graduate affirms. "There’s an acceptance of going out and striking it on your own and not get that oil-and-gas job. There’s also a generation of people who don’t want to design a flow valve for the next 60 years of their lives.”

Edmonton doesn't feel any pressure to meet certain expectations, like major hubs Vancouver and Toronto undoubtedly feel. Which makes it an underdog—and everybody likes to root for the underdog.

Startup Edmonton
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Founded in 2009, Startup Edmonton is a grassroots nonprofit organization focused on cultivating the tech start-up community in Edmonton. Our organizing committee is made up of experienced and connected young entrepreneurs passionate about growing a world-class tech startup community in our hometown. We’ve been involved in other next gen initiatives in town including DemoCamp and artsScene... more

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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