The company uses natural language processing and a team of experts to collect, verify, and structure biomedical data, making the information more accessible for researchers and physicians.
"DrugBank has a unique history. Its conception as an academic project at the University of Alberta, spinning it out and bootstrapping it in 2016 at Startup Edmonton, and the continued support we get from so many local individuals and organizations as we scale – each lending hand along the way – has been a vital part of our journey," co-founder Craig Knox said as he accepted the award from Dr. Katelyn Petersen of RUNWITHIT Synthetics, last year's winner in the Most Edmonton Startup category.
Along with this recognition for the startup's first-of-its-kind drug platform, DrugBank has previously been named one of the best places to work in Canada and took home the Best Startup Workplace at the 2021 YEG Startup Community Awards. Thanks to $9 million in seed financing from Brightspark Ventures in April, the company has been able to expand its team and is "responsible for about 130% of the tech job openings in Edmonton," joked Taproot's Emily Rendell-Watson, who co-hosted the show with Arden Tse of Yaletown Partners.
"The startup community in Edmonton continues to get stronger every year, both in terms of the cool stuff that we're building but also the recognition of how important culture and community involvement is to success," said Knox, whose company was one of 12 individuals or organizations honoured.
The event debuted in 2021 as an online-only show, but organizers were able to put it on in person this year at Poppy Barley.
"We're a humble people in Edmonton, but the work our startup community is doing to build a strong ecosystem is worth talking about," award-show organizer Shay Barker said. The event increased its sponsor support by 1.5 times and received twice as many nominations as in 2021.
Here is the full list of winners:
- Community Champion of the Year: Colin Christensen
- Connector of the Year: Cecile Wendlandt
- Volunteer of the Year: James Keirstead
- Mentor of the Year: Allan Waine
- Student Entrepreneur of the Year: Ghalia Aamer
- Corporate Champion of the Year: RBCx
- Startup Event of the Year: Startup TNT Investment Summit IV
- Service Provider of the Year: Mawji Centre
- Best Startup Workplace: Future Fields
- New Startup of the Year: Ruth
- Pivot of the Year: Islamic Family
- Most Edmonton Startup of the Year: DrugBank
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that not all of DrugBank's information products are free-to-use.