There is a renewed energy in 2023 as events fully return to normal—that is to say, in person.
The excitement matches the high momentum of Alberta’s innovation ecosystem.
Let’s take a quick look at two of the most anticipated tech events of the year in Alberta.
Coming up in just one week is the mesh conference. The national event is set to offer a range of opportunities to learn from others.
“Calgary is a hub of incredible startups, scale-ups, and corporate innovators—and we’re thrilled to be bringing mesh back in a city full of leaders and great ideas,” stated Sheri Moore, cofounder of the mesh conference.
Moore noted mesh had been targeting Calgary in 2020 before the Pandemic sideswiped plans.
This year’s theme is focusing on digital transformation, or DX. The digital-first sweep of traditional industries continues unabated and mesh wants attendees to understand the transformation from every angle.
“Digital transformation is the reimagining of business in the digital age, where technology is creating new—and modifying existing—business processes,” organizers state.
DX “transcends the technology and is reshaping strategy, talent management and development, culture and providing new ways to pursue customer engagement,” according to a statement.
“Everyone brings a different perspective on DX to the table,” organizers say. “At mesh, we’re bringing those perspectives together.”
The Calgary event will take place at the Platform Innovation Centre.
“The Platform Innovation Centre was intentionally designed to facilitate collisions that lead to innovation, new ideas, and meaningful connections,” said Jen Lussier, COO of Platform Calgary. “We’re thrilled to be hosting the mesh conference this year, and look forward to seeing the impact that comes from bringing so many innovators together under one roof.”
The mesh conference produces sessions that are designed to encourage active and engaged conversation.
The conference is “a no-Powerpoint event,” according to organizers. “Everything we do is conversation-driven and involves a lot of audience engagement.”
More than 30 thought leaders across four streams present over two days, which include practical workshops and discussions.
“Our format is part of the magic,” say organizers of mesh. “We blow your mind on day one with ideas and inspiration, and on day two we produce practical workshops so you can tackle digital transformation when you get back to work.”
The event features a combination of expert keynotes, workshops, cross-industry panels, and on-site demos and networking.
“We are the only digital transformation event that brings people from multiple industries, so you’ll cross-pollinate and find inspiration and ideas from people you don’t typically connect with—creatives, public sector employees, technologists, developers, business strategists, and more,” mesh states online.
We now go from the all-lower mesh to the all-caps INVENTURE$ 2023, which is set to take over Calgary this May and June across three days of learning, inspiration, and creative collisions.
“From rousing keynotes and expert panels, to startup pitch competitions and informal networking opportunities, Inventures is the must-attend event of 2023,” organizers state online. “It’s a one-stop opportunity to gauge fast-growing players through pitch competitions and discover investment gems across the entrepreneurial landscape.”
The event grants access to investors, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs through keynotes, panels, pitch events and informal networking opportunities, alongside multiple programming streams for discovery, sharing, and deeper learning in emerging and transforming industries, according to organizers.
With a theme of “Innovation Overdrive,” this year’s tracks include The Metaverse, Future of Work, Computing Infinity, Health Innovation, and Ag-Tech.
Speakers include Matt Baron-Anderson, who cofounded Future Fields, a startup based in Edmonton looking to change the world with fruit flies.
Also speaking is Dr. Timnit Gebru, founder of the Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute. Her organization considers how AI intersects with privacy, surveillance, bias, and discrimination.
“We are incredibly lucky to have Dr. Timnit Gebru participate in this year’s INVENTURE$ conference,” stated Laura Kilcrease, CEO of Alberta Innovates, which sent an army of startups to SXSW this year. “INVENTURE$ tackles the tough questions and addresses issues at the forefront of technology, innovation and industry.”
Other keynote speakers include Matthew Ball, managing partner of EpyllionCo, and Michio Kaku, a theoretical physics expert from City University of New York.
Investor and Metaverse expert Ball will reveal what web3 means for the world’s biggest industries, while Dr. Kaku will share his vision of what the next 30 years look like in computing, medicine and space travel, and how these changes will affect our economy and our way of life.
INVENTURE$ was launched in 2018 as a global innovation experience hosted by Alberta Innovates to bring together the world’s brightest minds, angels, venture capitalists and industry leaders.