Ashlyn Bernier recognized for 'lasting impact' on Alberta's tech ecosystem


Ashlyn Bernier, chief operation officer of Samdesk, was named 2021 Woman in Tech of the Year, as part of the Start Alberta Tech Awards.

"Ashlyn earned the recognition for her entrepreneurial success within the tech industry and her lasting impact on Alberta's ecosystem," Start Alberta said in its announcement.

The industry veteran, who weighed in on the tech innovation landscape in Edmonton as part of Taproot's Igniting Innovation podcast, works with Samdesk to develop and provide crisis monitoring using artificial intelligence.

"I feel so incredibly fortunate to be given the opportunity to get to a point, both personally and through Samdesk, to be able to give back to the community that's done so much for us," Bernier told Start Alberta.

This fall, Samdesk raised $13.5 million in Series A financing to expand the company and meet demand.

"We believe that our growth at Samdesk is going to impact Alberta's tech ecosystem significantly," Bernier said.

"We serve a global market and we have a global team, but we are firmly rooted in Alberta," she said. "So (we) look forward to continuing to grow and leveraging the great opportunities that come with being an Alberta company."

Start Alberta announced the winners of its 2021 awards between Nov. 8-22. In addition to last week's winners, Edmonton's Startup TNT was recognized as Ecosystem Supporter of the Year, while the Community Safety and Wellness Accelerator won Most Significant Cross-Community Collaboration.

Ashlyn Bernier is chief operation officer at Samdesk.

On Nov. 19, Start Alberta announced Ashlyn Bernier as the winner of its 2021 Woman in Tech of the Year award. (YouTube/Start Alberta)

Startup TNT, which hosted Investment Summit IV last week, was honoured for its dedication to building up the tech ecosystem in Alberta.

Meanwhile, the Community Safety and Wellness Accelerator, powered by Alchemist, "grows ventures in the community with machine learning and artificial intelligence" and offers business development, mentorship, data, funding, pilot customers, and more to participants.

"Our organization is really here to help countries from all over the world achieve their social impact from the ventures that they've created, whether it's around supporting issues of homelessness, addiction, mental health, racism, and so forth," Ashif Mawji, executive director of the accelerator, told Start Alberta.

Check out the full list of winners of the Start Alberta Tech Awards here.