This year’s South by Southwest conference in Texas kicks off March 10th and, thanks to Alberta Innovates, 50 Alberta ventures will be making the trip.
The companies are graduates of Alberta Innovates’ Scale-up and Growth Accelerator Program and represent the province’s strength in agri-food, sustainability, health, and digital technologies sectors.
Considerable effort has gone into preparing the companies going to SXSW to take full advantage of the opportunity, according to Laura Kilcrease, chief executive of Alberta Innovates.
“From sharpening their pitches, attending workshops, and receiving one-on-one coaching, they’ve all put in the work,” the CEO noted.
The dozens of startups will be busy across six days in the city of Austin.
“During their six days in Austin, the companies will attend curated one-on-one meetings, participate in invitation-only networking events with potential U.S. investors, customers and partners, and take in workshops and events at SXSW,” Kilcrease said.
Among the companies participating is Digital Carbon Bank.
The Calgary-based sustainability technology company promotes itself as the world’s first “joint venture enabled emissions management platform.”
Their carbon+ platform manages and validates clients’ emissions and reductions to generate high-quality offsets, according to a statement from the company. They then facilitate the allocation of emission reductions between joint venture partners and provides a platform to sell those offsets.
In order to overcome “pervasive challenges of the existing carbon offset market,” investors require transparency and credibility, Digital Carbon Bank believes.
To thus create an offset token that is transparent, credible, and investable, the company’s platform implements criteria such as legal ownership rights to the offset token; verification that the offset physically exists and achieves the promised climate benefits; and verification that the offset meets audit and accounting standards for ESG reporting.
As for South by Southwest, Digital Carbon cofounder Brian Mellor looked to make impact before even landing in Texas: his startup offered to donate carbon credits to make the delegation carbon neutral.
“SXSW is a big deal for a startup to go to,” says Mellor. “The networking opportunities for mobilizing our product in a new U.S. market are exciting.”
Mellor added that he was grateful for the support from Alberta’s innovation ecosystem.
“To have Alberta Innovates help in setting up meetings with project developers, offset buyers, and investors over a short period of time can help us grow,” he believes.