Starting a new company can take seemingly endless energy and resources. The path is arduous but holds great rewards when an idea finds solid footing and a company is able to grow and expand. Choosing just the right place to invest that time and energy is key, and entrepreneurs seeking fertile ground for new companies would be wise to give Calgary serious consideration. This city is a great place for young startups to find their footing. The community here nurtures new companies in a genuine way, and there are dozens of organizations already in place to help.
What sets Calgary apart? The support is genuine, and personal. It goes beyond polite introductions at events and into territory typically reserved for personal connections. There are offers of advice, a helping hand, and in Calgary, one can pick up the phone and call another entrepreneur to discuss a challenge. This personal touch is rare and creates strong bonds. The city’s entrepreneurial spirit and energy have created a thriving startup culture that easily welcomes newcomers.
Chaordix, based in Calgary, is a great example of a company that has benefited from the open and generous community of startups in the city. They are a software provider specializing in innovation and design to create a unique offering in private community management, going beyond market research and exploring deliverables in market intelligence instead. Their success in creating sustainable, authentic communities for clients such as Lego proves that this type of insight is enormously valuable for brands looking for new ways to connect with their fans. Shannon Allen, chief operating officer of Chaordix, offered this insight: “If you want to thrive in the future and reach full potential, you have to tap into the knowledge and experience of your best customers.”
In Allen’s opinion, few people know that Calgary has such a healthy startup community. The community and culture are alive and well, but ready for more startups to discover the support that awaits. While always a challenge to change how investors see a city, Calgary continues to move the spotlight from oil and gas companies to more tech based innovation, helping shift perceptions. There are huge resources of talent with easily transferable skills, and Calgary is making the most of what it has. This will build its reputation across more sectors, and boost its reputation as a prime location from which these companies can launch.
One of the community members that Chaordix has been able to count on is Benevity, a technology startup with a mission to change how people give back, and how organizations can encourage their initiative. The opportunity to learn from companies that have navigated through similar experiences, from hiring to accessing different markets, can help shorten the time it takes to ramp up.
Benevity has also benefited from the startup community in Calgary, growing from a small startup to a rapidly expanding firm helping clients like Nike power their corporate giving programs. Now employing over 400 people, Benevity is another great example of a Calgary startup achieving dramatic growth.
No matter where a new company decides to put down roots, they’ll face similar challenges. Raising capital, educating the market, expanding operations, and finding the right people will always take time and energy. Facing these challenges alone only hurts companies who otherwise are ready to bring unique ideas to market. Companies looking at Calgary as a potential launch location can feel confident knowing a welcoming startup culture is ready and waiting to bolster their growth.