Start Alberta's tech database aims to showcase provincial startup ecosystem

The A100, Alberta Enterprise Corporation (AEC), and the Venture Capital Association of Alberta (VCAA) have launched the Start Alberta Deal Flow Platform, making Alberta the "first location in North America to join a vast network of startup ecosystems" powered by Dealroom.

The open-access database will provide a source of "real-time data for founders, investors, corporate and government stakeholders, cataloguing the collective regional tech ecosystem from funding, work spaces and job listings, to accelerators, spinouts and exits," according to a news release.

Christiana Manzocco, director of industry development for AEC, and interim lead with Start Alberta, said the data from the platform will be included in Dealroom's global database, which will give Alberta companies exposure to investors beyond the province. According to the company, in the first 36 hours post-launch, there were 230 new accounts created and more than 2,600 sessions on the platform.

"It is clear that global investors are interested in what Alberta's tech industry has to offer, and through this tool they will be able to explore it," Manzocco said.

Manzocco explained there are many benefits to startups who join the platform: founders and CEOs can determine their startup's total addressable market, there's a listing of industry events, and it's a source of information about support organizations and what they offer to help startups grow. Investors can also find and track startup progress, raises, employment growth, and more.

Recently, Innovate Edmonton and Urban Living Futures also announced that they are joining forces to work on a database platform and map of Edmonton's innovation ecosystem.

Manzocco said the Start Alberta project will be complementary because "they are both seeking to elevate and showcase Alberta's ecosystem through visualization of startup data." She also explained that the database is unique due to the filters which are available, and the way in which the data can be presented either as a visual map or in report export format.

Start Alberta screenshot

The Start Alberta Deal Flow Platform was announced on June 15. (Screen capture from Start Alberta)

In addition to Innovate Edmonton, organizations like Edmonton Global, the Edmonton Screen Industries Office (ESIO), and Health City are also on board. Manzocco said that local support will be crucial to ensure the platform's success.

"This platform will have a profound impact on the way we tell Edmonton's startup and investment ecosystem story, not just with anecdotes, but with data," she explained. "The widespread support of the Edmonton ecosystem behind this initiative will ensure integration of this solution in many different ways, and will have the added benefit of allowing us to rally around a single source of truth for data in our ecosystem."

Manzocco said that Start Alberta Deal Flow Platform emerged from the need to better connect Alberta startups to capital. The first version of the platform was created three years ago and since then, the platform has expanded to include approximately 2,200 startups and more than 250 investors.

"Through having a profile on the Start Alberta platform, home-grown startups gain exposure to a global network of over 60 million people and some of the most well-known venture funds in the world via data partnerships established with Crunchbase and Pitchbook, and now also Dealroom."