Edmonton's startup scene thrives despite recession
Startup Week celebrates local entrepreneurs.
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Edmonton’s startup scene seems to be thriving despite – or maybe because of – Alberta's struggling economy.
Startup Edmonton CEO Tiffany Linke-Boyko said job loss has brought an entrepreneurial spirit out in some, and that spirit will be celebrated with the annual Startup Week.
“I think people either are concerned about the loss of their job or have lost their job, and thought, 'Here’s a chance for me to take that idea I’ve been thinking about for a while and start creating on it,' ” Linke-Boyko said.
“We’ve seen an increase in people being interested and starting up companies even with this downturn in the economy.”
Startup Edmonton has a series of events planned this week, including a launch party Thursday at Epcor tower to celebrate eight businesses that are launching new products.
Linke-Boyko named Jobber, Granify, Yardstick and Gfycat as recent Edmonton success stories.
Startup Edmonton is also opening the doors at its 14,000-square-foot space in the Mercer Warehouse downtown all week, for people who might be considering their own startup or just want to get a feel for what it’s like to work there.
“Maybe they feel intimidated because they feel like they have to have lots of technical skills, or be working in that industry ongoing. But instead it’s all about getting connected with a community people might not normally be connected to,” Linke-Boyko said.
“Oftentimes when people see other people doing things, they might have thought about doing it, but will then feel inspired to try it out themselves.”
Startup Edmonton launched in 2009 and was acquired by the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation in 2014.
It currently has more than 660 members, including more than 120 working out of the Mercer space.