2022 is in the books and despite what we’ve all been through, it was a pretty good year for the Calgary tech community and the provincial scene as a whole.
Tech companies specializing in everything from robotic fulfillment systems to data-driven customer insights, and from corporate purpose software to legaltech have been leading an unprecedented unicorn stampede for the local economy.
We have much to look forward to across the province in 2023 and what better way to kick off the calendar year than to highlight 10 homegrown startups Calgary.tech will be watching closely this year.
Founded in 2018 by former CDL-Rockies’ site lead Alice Reimer, Fillip calls itself the first digital payment platform built for business fleets. With Fillip, business owners can empower drivers to pay for fuel and maintenance expenses with a secure digital wallet, spend controls, and real-time transaction notifications.
In addition to raising capital from Thin Air Labs and The 51 Ventures, Fillip took home the top prize of $250K at the inaugural Calgary Fintech Awards in 2022. Look for Fillip to put that capital to work in 2023 as the startup scales its products and solutions for customers ranging from from small businesses to major fuel retailers.
Galatea Technologies seems on the verge of substantial growth. The company is helping the energy industry digitize, optimize and automate transportation workflows. Helmed by Calgary entrepreneur Chad Hayden, the company built their team up, completed seed round financing with Natural Gas Innovation Fund as lead, and prepped for growth in 2022. A Foresight 50 ranking solidified its linkage to the cleantech space.
Watch for new technologies and bigger clients in 2023. The software enables companies to better source waste management technologies and drop-off locations – a major need for energy companies as they operate smarter and more efficiently.
Founded in 2019, the tech startup Goodlawyer is making legal help more accessible to entrepreneurs. Founder Brett Colvin worked at a big law firm where he saw firsthand that most people found legal services too expensive. Colvin teamed up with a developer and a designer, left the firm, and started Goodlawyer.
The company entered 2022 fresh off a round of seed funding. Expansion continued through the year as the company tackled new markets. This culminated in an ATB Small Business of the Year award from the Calgary Chamber of Commerce plus Colvin was noted as a Top 40 under 40 performer in Calgary’s business community. We should expect further advances in 2023.
Just a year old, the AgTech innovator is led by Darren Bondar who built and sold the Spiritleaf network of retail cannabis stores. For this venture he’s jumped into hemp processing and products. With a plant in Calgary, he’s taking Alberta-grown hemp and running it through a high-tech HempTrain unit. Out comes sustainable products like food preservation pads, cat litter and animal bedding.
Bondar tapped his network which includes Prairie Merchant Corporation for initial funding of over $3 million and then ran a Frontfundr crowdfund campaign in late 2022 to raise an additional $1 million. Foresight 50 recognition cemented their slot in the cleantech space and now he’s seeking new investors to broaden markets and bring on new products in 2023 such as hempcrete for commercial and residential building.
This content is sponsored by Calgary’s own WCD.
WCD recently invested in an HP Indigo 15K Digital Press — the first in Western Canada. This game-changing technology will help WCD disrupt the print fulfillment industry by providing customers with a greater range of capabilities, higher degree of quality, improved order speeds, and more sustainable options.
Founded in 2017 by two former vac truck operators working in the oil fields of Alberta, Shawn Marten and Adam Jessome saw a need in the marketplace and jumped in. The entrepreneurs built a SaaS tech platform for producers and energy companies. Most recently, they began to scale up to enter the U.S. market and are now deployed to every major basin in Canada and the U.S.
With funding from ARC Financial, they have raised money over a couple funding rounds including in late 2022 and are putting them to good use – hiring talent in Calgary and Edmonton. Next up for 2023 will be additional updates to the software and to increase market penetration in the U.S.
Cofounded by Julian Mulia and Megan Leslie in 2020, NanoTess is tackling high rates of amputations with NanoSALV technology, an advanced wound dressing for the management of chronic wounds.
For this effort, the early-stage material science company was named The A100 One to Watch at the Start Alberta Tech Awards and won the Alex Raczenko Pitch Award at Platform Calgary’s Launch Party. The startup recently received regulatory approval from Health Canada for the NanoSALV technology which bodes well for its growth in 2023.
Tagged as the Shopify of real estate, Ownly was founded in 2020 by Jason Hardy and Ray Yip. Ownly allows customers to shop, pre-qualify, finance, and buy new homes—online, from any device. Working with ERP, CRM, and lot management software, Ownly enables transparent online home shopping while delivering data analytics into customer shopping behaviours and buying experiences.
In late 2022 Ownly, raised a $2.5 million seed round, partnered with HonestDoor and Homewise, and announced a new collab with AIR MILES to gives consumers a chance to earn Reward Miles through each step of the home-buying process.
Proptech platform Propra offers an end-to-end property management solution focused on improving the rental management process for both landlords and tenants. Propra impressed the crowd at the Platform Calgary’s Launch Party in 2022 and was crowned the People’s Choice Award winner.
Propra’s founding team is led by Craig Adam, former SkipTheDishes and experienced executive leader in technology and engineering, and Calgary local Al-Karim Khimji, who brings global management consulting experience from McKinsey & Company and over a decade of experience in real estate, hospitality and development.
Syantra is a precision healthcare startup that’s changing the way cancer detection and treatment are undertaken. Its flagship product is a screening blood test for the detection of breast cancer that utilizes a suite of biomarkers and proprietary artificial intelligence-generated algorithms to provide a positive or negative result.
In 2022 Syantra raised a $6.8 million Series A fundraising round that was led by a consortium group of doctors in Canada through Rejuvenation Health and included Plug and Play Alberta. Previous investors include Thin Air Labs and The51 Ventures.
Calgary became a haven for crypto startups due to the province’s progressive policies on digital assets. One of these companies Tetra Trust came out of the gates in 2021. Although 2022 was a wild year for the sector, this company kept its head above water with a new CEO Didier Lavallee and announcements on new clients, new assets under management, and all-important regulatory approvals.
The coming year should be a challenging one for the crypto space. The importance of safety and security for all firms in the digital assets space should bode well for Tetra Trust and its growth in 2023.