The Pulse: Jan. 12, 2022

Here's what you need to know about Edmonton today.

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Essentials

  • 6°C: Cloudy. Clearing near noon. Wind up to 15 km/h. High 6. Wind chill minus 3 in the morning. UV index 1 or low. (forecast)
  • 708: Alberta now has 708 patients who are hospitalized due to COVID-19 — the highest number the province has seen since Oct. 29. There are also 80 patients in ICUs, the most since Nov. 25. (details)

Innovate Edmonton CEO Catherine Warren shares highlights of 2021, including "Alberta is home to a new province-led accelerator fund that's attracted four global accelerators to our city."

New Alberta pre-accelerator announces first cohort


By Emily Rendell-Watson Emily Rendell-Watson

Alberta's new pre-accelerator for tech-focused startups has announced its first cohort and its official name.

Alberta Catalyzer, a collaboration between Innovate Edmonton and Platform Calgary, has identified 35 early-stage companies to take part, spanning across a variety of industries: food and beverage, solar energy, fintech, and artificial intelligence. The participating entrepreneurs will be offered education, mentorship, programming, and resources to build their businesses and prepare for future growth.

"This kind of innovation corridor is essential to our economy," said Catherine Warren, CEO of Innovate Edmonton.

AFRO FACTS, Akose, Allyze.io, AltaSPS, Budsee Inc, Constructschon Sustainable Urban Development Inc., Edging AI, Printing Manufacturing Solution, and Ur Transporter will take part from the Edmonton region.

Two companies from outside of Alberta are also participating: Vancouver's Wire Financial and a startup out of Lagos called Goldbridge Foods Limited, which is in the process of relocating to Canada.

Warren said the pre-accelerator is an opportunity for all of the entrepreneurs to build connections that will be valuable for problem-solving, networking, market research, and more.

"We're trying to cross-pollinate international with local, for the benefit of all," she said, adding that she's hoping companies who participate from outside of Alberta will consider Calgary or Edmonton as places to set up and build their businesses.

The first cohort of the Alberta Catalyzer will graduate on Feb. 15 with a demo day.

Continue reading

Headlines


By Mack Male Mack Male and Doug Johnson Doug Johnson

  • EPCOR confirmed that Monday's blackout — which left 45,000 Edmontonians in south Edmonton without power — was caused by a transformer tripping. However, the company is still unsure why it happened.
  • Edmonton Public Schools and Edmonton Catholic Schools reported 737 total teacher absences on Jan. 11, the second day of school after the winter break. "I would say that in this moment, we're hanging on," said EPSB chair Trisha Estabrooks.
  • Residents in The Meadows in south Edmonton say they are frustrated with the windrows left by city crews after they bladed the area to remove ice on the street. The city said that crews have been working hard to tackle the issue of packed snow on roads, but also that Edmonton streets have seen a lot of precipitation this winter.
  • With 28 active cases of COVID-19 among transit drivers, some bus trips are being missed, according to Amalgamated Transit Union Local 569 president Steve Bradshaw. "It's all hands on deck right now and they're not filling all those bus seats and the possibility of trimming the service is very much there," he told Postmedia.
  • Local skiing enthusiasts and Ward Papastew Coun. Michael Janz are concerned about access to the trails near the Royal Mayfair Golf Club. The club's parking lot is open to the public, but construction in the lot is pushing skiers to other parks nearby, functionally keeping skiers away from the trails, they argue.
  • With the team in a funk, Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland is open to the idea of snagging controversial player Evander Kane after the San Jose Sharks terminated his contract. Kane has a rap sheet of alleged bad behaviour from abusing his now estranged wife to using a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.
  • Albertan courts have mandated that, as of Feb. 1, supervised consumption sites will be required to collect the personal health numbers of the people who use them. Harm reduction organizations are challenging this decision, and argue that this move would deter people who use drugs from the potentially life-saving service.
  • Alberta Health Services is experiencing a historic demand for paramedics thanks to a 30% increase in emergency calls. "Our EMS system is stretched to a point where we've never been," said Mike Parker, the president of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta.
  • Alberta has enacted a new public health order which allows employers to self-assess whether their services are critical and permit COVID-positive employees to work if deemed essential. "This order is unique in its stupidity, and unique in terms of its just sheer disregard for workers' rights," said Ubaka Ogbogu, an associate professor in the faculty of law at the University of Alberta. While the order was enacted on Jan. 3, details were only made public last week.
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