The Pulse: June 14, 2024

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

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  • 22°C: A mix of sun and cloud. 30% chance of showers changing to 70% chance of showers or thunderstorms in the afternoon. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming northwest 20 gusting to 40 in the afternoon. High 22. UV index 6 or high. (forecast)
  • Teal: The High Level Bridge will be lit teal for Okîsikow (Angel) Way Day 2024, which is being celebrated with the official renaming of 101A Avenue, between 96 Street and 97 Street, as Okîsikow (Angel) Way. (details)
  • 3-4 The Edmonton Oilers lost to the Florida Panthers in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals on June 13. The Panthers lead the series 3-0. (details)
  • 6pm, June 15: The Oilers play the Panthers at Rogers Place for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. (details)

A person extends their hand to shake another's hand in front of a screen that says "Startup TNT" wins at Startup TNT summit by showing traction

By Tim Querengesser secured at least $150,000 at Startup TNT's ninth investment summit on June 13 as founder and CEO Daniel Kamau used his company's growth to land his third pitch since 2021.

"We've seen some early traction with expanding into the U.S.," Kamau told Taproot at the event at Edmonton Unlimited. "My hope is we can take these funds and invest in marketing and sales, and continue to grow and deliver the early value that we've started to uncover for these companies." applies artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate estimates in the construction industry, a space Kamau knows well as a structural engineer. Kamau first pitched a pilot to Startup TNT in 2021, and a second pitch in 2022 landed a side deal. Since then, he said his company has grown to 16 customers, a trajectory that was persuasive at the summit.

"I think it's showing progress over time," Kamau said.

The summit was Startup TNT's ninth in Edmonton since its founding in 2019, though the group has also hosted three sector summits in the city. The organization has held 30 summits across the Prairies that have collectively funded more than 90 companies and raised nearly $13 million in the process, the Startup TNT website reads.

Of that total, $3.9 million has gone to 29 Edmonton companies before the deal, Startup TNT co-founder Zack Storms said.

Five finalists pitched at the Edmonton summit, including Finalist Aqua-Cell Energy manufactures a battery that uses saltwater to store electricity created by solar panels. CityScan Technologies uses emerging technology to offer monitoring and management solutions for the owners and operators of transportation networks. Northernmost works to modernize logistics for kidney transplants. Swift Charge, a recent Edmonton Edge Fund recipient, offers microgrid tech for charging electric vehicles.

Storms also announced a side deal with Northernmost at the summit.

Fifteen companies also pitched at Startup TNT summits held in Calgary, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg on June 13, or five companies in each city. QuoteToMe, which streamlines purchasing in the construction industry and has offices in both Edmonton and Winnipeg, also won investment at its pitch in Winnipeg.

Storms said concrete progress and a great opportunity convinced the Startup TNT group to invest at least $150,000 in, though deals can grow from here. "They're the first company that previously raised in Edmonton as a side deal, came back a year and a half later, and we can see the progress," Storms said. "This is a founder that went from having almost no customers, maybe one or two, (to) making things happen."

Photo: SketchDeck founder Daniel Kamau, second from left, extends a hand toward a friend as Startup TNT co-founder Zack Storms, left, looks on. (Tim Querengesser)


Headlines: June 14, 2024

By Kevin Holowack

  • The Edmonton Police Commission is requesting a mediator in its dispute with city council over the commission's refusal to share audit information about the Edmonton Police Service. The move comes after the commission wrote council a letter on April 19 explaining why it would not provide information about its audit plan for the police. Several councillors reiterated this week that the information would improve transparency, while police Chief Dale McFee told reporters the police service is "very transparent" and "there's nothing hidden." Commission members also refused to attend a council meeting at city hall this week, and council voted not to accept the commission's letter as information.
  • The City of Edmonton is launching a free bike valet this summer, which will give cyclists a way to securely park their bike while they visit downtown. Located at 100 Street NW and 102 Avenue NW, the service will able to hold up to 19 bikes in a secure parking lot on a first-come, first-served basis from 11am to 11pm. The program will run on Saturdays from June 15 to Aug. 24.
  • Some long-term head and neck and cancer patients of the Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine, based in the Misericordia Community Hospital in Edmonton, are worried about the clinic's future. Covenant Health, which runs the clinic in partnership with Alberta Health Services, said it is not closing or considering privatization, but patients said the clinic has been phasing out physician contracts, reducing services, and may lose its last specialist.
  • Some Dunluce residents are upset over the City of Edmonton's renewal plans for their neighbourhood, arguing certain aspects of the renewal plan are a poor use of money. Janina Syrnyk, chair of the Stop the Destruction of Dunluce group, told Global News some residents want infrastructure to be maintained, rather than upgraded with wider sidewalks and bike lanes. Ward Anirniq Coun. Erin Rutherford said the upgrades are needed to meet modern guidelines for sidewalks, lighting, and traffic safety, adding the changes are informed by "intensive public engagement" around neighbourhood renewal.
  • Explore Edmonton said the first three rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs generated about $179 million for Edmonton's economy, mostly downtown. Data suggests about 60,000 hotel visits have been booked in Edmonton across the three rounds. The organization also wants to capitalize on the city's moment in the international spotlight by buying advertising in Florida that features Edmonton.
  • The City of Edmonton has decorated 12 traffic control boxes with the winning designs from the most recent Vibrant Streets Art Contest. Nearly 100 designs were submitted, which were narrowed to 28 finalists for the public to vote on. One design will be installed in each municipal ward.
  • A motion from Coun. Tim Cartmell, which requested information on how much the City of Edmonton could make by selling undeveloped parts of Blatchford to private developers, died because council did not get to it within meeting time this week. Cartmell said he will continue exploring ways to sell parts of the neighbourhood, suggesting Blatchford could grow at the same rate as other new areas. Council's utilities committee, which Cartmell chairs, will discuss Blatchford utilities later this month.
  • A new post on the City's Transforming Edmonton blog spotlights the work of Christie Smith, a registered social worker acting as a Community Safety Liaison with the City's Residential Inspection Safety Compliance (RISC) Team. The RISC team also includes police and health officers as part of a wrap-around services model.
  • The UCP government has dissolved the Canadian Energy Centre, also known as the energy 'war room', which was created by former premier Jason Kenney in 2019 to counter what he called misinformation about Alberta's energy industry. The province says the centre will be absorbed into its Intergovernmental Relations office. Premier Danielle Smith said large campaigns, like ads against federal policies, should be directly led by the province. CBC's Jason Markusoff wrote an analysis the "long doomed" war room.
A title card that reads Taproot Edmonton Calendar:

Happenings: June 14-16, 2024

By Debbi Serafinchon

Here are some events happening this weekend in the Edmonton area.

And here are some upcoming events to keep in mind:

Visit the beta version of the Taproot Edmonton Calendar for many more events in the Edmonton region.