Calgary: Canada's most livable tech city solving global challenges

May 31, 2023
Life in Calgary Innovation New Economy
CFMF xl 2

This article first appeared online on May 25 in London Tech Week news. 

Ranked the third most livable city in the world where the Alberta prairies and Rocky Mountains meet, Calgary is home to innovators creating solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges.

From safe and secure food to cleaner energy, data-driven health solutions, immersive experiences, the efficient movement of goods and people and technology yet to be discovered, Calgary companies are projected to lead the $20 billion spend on digital transformation across sectors by 2024.

With direct access to a strong agricultural base, Calgary and the Southern Alberta region is a hotspot for Canadian and global food and technology suppliers working to overcome supply chain challenges. Companies such as UK-based Lovingly Made Ingredients, a plant-based ingredients producer specializing in textured pea proteins, are expanding to Calgary drawn by the city’s entrepreneurial spirit and collaboration across geographic areas, industries and training institutions. 

“We took a big jump from being a United Kingdom start-up a few years ago to create another company in completely different latitudes because Calgary and Alberta as a province have such a wealth of expertise in agriculture and the scale needed for our business to grow sustainably,” said Chris Shields, President of Lovingly Made Ingredients.

Now another example of Calgary’s bright minds solving global challenges, Lovingly Made Ingredients is tackling rising global food insecurity with innovative equipment, ingredients and processes to create unique and sustainable textured plant-based proteins.

With tech and innovation working together to meet consumer demand across sectors, Calgary has experienced record-breaking venture capital investment for the past 5 years with $647 million invested through 64 deals in 2022. Despite two less deals from the year prior, this marks a total increase of 29 per cent in funding.

Not only are multinational firms moving to Calgary, they are creating talent hubs to further develop Calgary’s tech talent pool with in-demand skills, including the RBC Calgary Innovation Hub and IBM Western Canada Client Innovation Centre.  These hubs are in addition to the seven post-secondary and digital skills training institutions in the city.

Recognizing the city’s vibrant, inclusive and affordable communities, tech talent sees Calgary as a place to build a life and a career. The city is home to the third fastest growing tech market, and the fourth top tech talent market for Gen Z in North America. Last year, the city welcomed a record-breaking 49,754 new migrants, an increase of over 400% from the previous year and the largest single increase in Calgary population due to net migration in over two decades.

Building on its leadership in energy, Calgary’s economy is diverse and driving innovation across sectors. From life sciences to agribusiness, and aerospace to creative industries, the possibilities to do industry-disrupting work here are endless.

Calgary’s collaborative business environment fuels innovation. Accelerators and incubators like Plug and Play, SVG Thrive and CDL-Rockies mentor and fund local companies to scale to new heights.

The city’s robust innovation ecosystem has led to Calgary ranking a Top 30 cleantech ecosystem and a Top 50 fintech ecosystem globally by Startup Genome in 2022.

Every day, more visionaries are choosing to call Calgary home for the opportunity to make their mark and contribute to leaving the world a better place.

Read more about Calgary’s diverse economy and sectors and explore the world’s third most livable city.

For more on why Calgary is the ideal location for global entrepreneurs, tune into the Wing podcast:

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