As we foster greater entrepreneurship, bringing Startup Calgary in our organization last June has been a tremendous success. By creating a more predictable funding model, the Startup Calgary team has grown to expand their programs creating opportunities for people with a business idea. Thousands of Calgarians have participated in courses and training sessions Startup has hosted since it came under the Calgary Economic Development umbrella. The high-energy events have led to the formation of over 80 startups.
The City of Calgary initiative to support catalytic investments meant to transform the economy was launched in June in response to the historic recession. Calgary Economic Development administers the $100 million Fund, which is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of volunteers from the business community. The governance model and operating procedures were developed in 2017 ahead of officially launching the Fund in spring 2018.
Everything we undertake is guided by a long-term economic strategy for Calgary and we started the process to developing a new strategy for the city in late 2017. A committee of business and community leaders initiated a series of focus groups, competitiveness assessments and industry roundtables that identified key themes and assessed our city’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats. A new strategy will be presented to City Council in 2018.