The Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC), which conducts Startup Edmonton, is receiving $250,000 in the City of Edmonton to help it to hire new members for local campuses.
The money will go to Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, which conducts StartUp Edmonton, to employ people to work local campuses, the city council decided Tuesday.
Cheryll Watson, vice-president of Innovate Edmonton, informed the council that employers from different cities are hiring graduates here, taking local talent tech firms so badly need.
Coun. Aaron Paquette noted that $250,000 isn’t a large appeal but wondered why the job could not be accomplished by universities, tech firms or with existing resources at EEDC.
“I don’t understand why we need three full-time employees to let students know that StartUpEdmonton exists,” he explained.”I think that for an organization that’s all about innovation, maybe it would be nice to see some of that in action.”
Startup Edmonton provides mentorship, apps, workspace, and talent to assist Edmonton-based startups. The company claims its associates and affiliate companies have developed over $100 million since 2009 and have observed over 70,000 attendees in its various events, programs, and workshops, for example, its 1,500 members since launching its campus at 2012.
“Edmonton has some of the world’s greatest post-secondary institutions,” Watson told BetaKit. “We hear the time, and again that talent retention is a problem Edmonton needs to overcome. We have some of the best and brightest students and look forward to harnessing their potential.”
“Before founding Granify, I was CEO of two other technology companies between 2002 and 2008,” said Jeff Lawrence, founder, and CEO of Granify. “The level of readily available support for startup and growth stage entrepreneurs is truly night and day between then and now. Startup Edmonton has been the major driver of this change.”
Council accepted $647,000 for the city’s share in designing a centralized energy program, connecting ten buildings downtown to start. Produced by ENMAX using natural gas to make heat and electricity, the system is meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through greater efficiency.
The first buildings include City Hall, the downtown library, Chancery Hall, the Edmonton Conference Centre, and Citadel Theatre.
The initial phase is projected to cost $45 million, with the bulk of the investment coming from ENMAX.
The city estimates it would contribute roughly $2 million total while looking for $15 million investments from other levels of government.