The Pulse: Sept. 16, 2022

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  • 22°C: Mainly sunny. Increasing cloudiness in the afternoon. Fog patches dissipating in the morning. High 22. UV index 4 or moderate. (forecast)
  • 7:30pm: The Edmonton Elks will play the Saskatchewan Roughriders. (details)
  • Royal Purple: Until Sept. 18, the High Level Bridge will be lit royal purple in memory of Queen Elizabeth II. (details)

Tim Lynn and Zack Storms smiling in their company's new coworking space

Startup TNT creates shared space for investors downtown

By Brett McKay

Startup TNT has moved into a new space on 104 Street with a vision to get more investors together in one place and get more deals flowing in the city.

"The game plan is to build out a space for investors of all types ... and have us all co-locate in one space so that we can both share deal flow, but (also change) how to be doing the deals," Startup TNT co-founder Tim Lynn told Taproot.

The project will start with getting venture capital firms into the space at 10177 104 St., and then ideally include more family offices and corporate investors. In the same way that coworking spaces are set up for startups, the new Startup TNT space is intended to foster a natural exchange of ideas and more extensive collaboration among investors, Lynn said.

"All the investors in Edmonton, by and large, are sort of operating on their own," he said, "which is fine, but it's hard to get deal flow. If we're able to coordinate deal flow in our investments into our local companies by sharing what's happening here, then it just makes it easier for us to sort of all pile in on the great opportunities that exist. Which then ideally leads to more companies here getting funding, and ultimately more companies staying and growing."

The co-locating space has the capacity for 12 to 20 firms, and Lynn said there are companies ready to join them in the months ahead, with some startups helping to fill up occupancy while the project gets moving. Further down the line, Lynn anticipates it will also act as a place where investors from outside of Edmonton could do business and make deals while they are in the city.

Lynn is confident the move makes business sense for the startup community and for Startup TNT. "Plus," he added, "it's more fun to work on things together."

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Headlines: Sept. 16, 2022

By Kevin Holowack

Portraits of Jennifer Schaeffer and Vanessa Marshall

Onlea Enterprises and Jack59 honoured at AWE Awards

By Karen Unland

Two Edmonton entrepreneurs were among those honoured at the 2022 AWE Awards, presented by Alberta Women Entrepreneurs.

Jennifer Schaeffer, the founder of Onlea Enterprises, received the Emerging Entrepreneur Award, which is presented to a female entrepreneur who has built "a strong, scalable business foundation and has achieved early success with strong market potential." The e-learning education company started as a non-profit at the University of Alberta in 2014, but it transitioned to a for-profit organization in 2020, just before the pandemic created a boom in online learning.

"Leading is always a team sport," Schaeffer wrote on LinkedIn after winning the award on Sept. 13. "My co-founders Adriana Lopez Forero and Jonathan Schaeffer have been with me through our journey from nonprofit spin-off to profitable startup, and they inspire me every day to keep dreaming and building."

Vanessa Marshall, CEO of Jack59, won the Indigenous Entrepreneur Award, recognizing someone with "a strong business concept (who) demonstrates plans for future growth, long-term business viability and commitment to the community." Her company, founded in 2015, makes shampoo and conditioner in bar form, which saves on water and plastic packaging.

"Our mission is simple," she told Women of Influence. "Increase the number of good hair days you have while decreasing your carbon footprint. From the responses we get from our customers, to how we're helping the environment — I know we're having an impact."

Innovate Edmonton presented the Upsurge Award to Breanne Everett of Orpyx Medical Technologies, a Calgary-based health innovation company. The ceremony closed with the presentation of AWE's Celebration of Achievement Award to Manjit Minhas of Minhas Brewery, Distillery and Winery and Dragons' Den, which launched its 17th season on Sept. 15.

Photo: Jennifer Schaeffer, founder of Onlea Enterprises, and Vanessa Marshall, founder of Jack59.

A bird-shaped lantern held aloft among happy participants in the Kaleido Festival's Aurora Lantern Parade]

Weekend agenda: Sept. 16-18, 2022

By Debbi Serafinchon

This weekend offers Hearts in Living Colour on Alberta Avenue; cosplay and comics at the Expo Centre; a home tour for ballet and a chance to make a home for bees; plus events involving sculpture, film, and fashion.

Find even more things to do in the Arts Roundup.

Photo: The Kaleido Festival kicks off on Sept. 16 with the Aurora Lantern Parade, starting at the Carrot Community Arts Coffeehouse at 9pm. (Kaleido Festival)