News / Edmonton

StartUp Edmonton co-founder Ken Bautista moving on from organization

Ken Bautista, former CEO of Startup Edmonton and director of entrepreneurship at the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, has resigned from both posts.

Ken Bautista at Startup Edmonton.

Supplied: Ampersand Grey

Ken Bautista at Startup Edmonton.

Startup Edmonton’s co-founder is leaving an organization he helped launch, marking a new chapter for the city’s tech sector.

Ken Bautista, former CEO of Startup Edmonton and director of entrepreneurship at the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, has resigned from both posts.

While it’s hard to leave, he said, it’s time for the initiative to move on without him.

“You bring it to a point where it needs to grow on beyond you,” he said.

Bautista said as much fun as it has been to help shepherd new tech companies into reality, he wants to work on his own projects.

“I had a couple of companies before and you sort of want the challenge of building something.”

He said the tech scene in the city is attracting major investors and formerly small startups are becoming big players.

Startup became a part of the city, through the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, in 2014.

At the start of the linkage, Bautista said he and others were hopeful they would keep their ethos and also inject it into the bigger organization.

“The challenge is being able to move like a startup — maintaining that identity and culture is hard when you move into a bigger culture,” he said.

He said that’s happening and he hopes going forward, Startup maintains its identity.

“I think the big challenge for it moving forward is keeping its culture, keeping focus on still being that core platform for community building,” he said.

EEDC President Brad Ferguson said Bautista would be missed.

“He’s been evangelizing the importance of startups and the startup community at a time when we, as a province and as a city, must continuously diversify the economy,” he said.

Ferguson said he sees Startup as continuing on the path it’s on and even hopes to replace Bautista from within the organization or within the community.

“I don’t see a different vision. It’s part of a community and it’s a huge enabler of a community,” he said. “It’s part of an ecosystem. It’s not an island unto itself.”

More on Metronews.ca