Great Alberta Pitch Marathon to showcase provincial startup community

There's only a couple days left to apply to pitch at The Great Alberta Pitch Marathon on Aug. 19 — an opportunity for entrepreneurs to get hands-on pitching experience, exposure, and peer-to-peer support.

Co-organizer Zack Storms said health innovation companies, in particular, should apply to showcase the local health tech startup community.

"The pandemic has brought health innovation to the top of our minds in a way that wouldn't have been possible without it," said Storms.

"If we expect global investors to take us seriously, if we expect top global talent to apply for jobs working in our startup ecosystem, if we want the best and most ambitious entrepreneurs in the world to move to Alberta to launch their health tech startup, we need to give them a reason. There's no better way to do it than to amplify our voices together and give them a taste of the Alberta startup community."

The idea to host the first edition of the event in 2020 originated from an Edmonton Regional Innovation Network (ERIN) sub-committee meeting about access to capital.

"Everyone around the table was lamenting the lack of great local pitch events in Edmonton," recalls Storms. "I said, 'What the heck! Let's make ourselves a province-wide pitch marathon showcasing the great things our local startups are up to and bring our two communities together'."

The pitch marathon is feedback-based, although investors are invited and participating companies can also be referred to accelerators and local programming that may be of interest, like Propel, or Platform Junction.

The Great Alberta Pitch Marathon in 2020

The Great Alberta Pitch Marathon in 2020. (Courtesy of Startup TNT)

Storms said roughly 50 participants from the 2020 Great Alberta Pitch Marathon applied to the Startup TNT Investment Summit last fall, with three companies raising money, including the Calgary winner, Arolytics.

"It really taught us the power of having so many startup supporters, service providers, and activators working together to funnel companies to the resources they need to succeed," Storms explained.

"One of the best resources for entrepreneurs is other entrepreneurs - and so we try hard to help them teach each other where to go to solve their pressing business challenges."

The second edition of the event will feature more co-hosts, as well as reorganized categories to reflect the current state of the startup community. Pitches will be online with each company getting three minutes, and after-parties are in-person in Edmonton and Calgary. The deadline to apply is Aug. 12.