Startups pitch to celebrate and connect the community

· The Pulse
By Mack Male
in the Tech Roundup
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Another edition of the Great Alberta Pitch Marathon is in the books, with more than 100 companies taking the opportunity to make connections with fellow entrepreneurs and potential investors.

About 40 of the companies that participated in the Aug. 19 event are from the Edmonton region, including Uproot Food Collective, a marketplace for emerging food brands, and Terrapin Geothermics, which develops emission-free energy projects from waste heat.

Terrapin was the first company of the day to pitch. "We loved sharing our story alongside other great energy and cleantech groups in our community!" the company tweeted.

Participating companies were not pitching for prizes, awards, or even investment. At least not directly.

"The goal is to help these companies grow by connecting them to the right people and the right resources at any stage — whether that's expanding nationally or getting their idea off the ground," explained Zack Storms, founder of Startup TNT and one of the co-organizers of the event.

"The event also provides an unparalleled scouting opportunity for interested investors to understand the rapidly maturing startup ecosystem in Western Canada."

Story City CEO Emily Craven

Story City CEO Emily Craven participated in the Great Alberta Pitch Marathon for a second time. (YouTube)

Another benefit of the event was to connect companies with each other. G2V Optics and Story City were among the companies that pitched last year and returned to participate again this year.

"Last year I got followups from audience members on the other side of the country while the event itself has a powerfully supportive community behind it," said Story City CEO Emily Craven.

Year-over-year progress was evident, suggested G2V Optics CEO Ryan Tucker.

"Great to see so many new companies but even more so scaling and success from some awesome Alberta ventures," he said on LinkedIn.

Taproot Edmonton was a partner in the event, with managing editor Emily Rendell-Watson co-hosting the food category alongside Brigitte Legault, community manager at Rainforest Alberta.

The full list of participating companies, and a complete replay, is available on the Great Alberta Pitch Marathon website.