Calgary grows as fintech and AI hub

October 5, 2022
New Economy Technology Talent
Sidetrade opening 1920

Industry-disrupting fintech companies are reaching global heights in Calgary. The city is recognized as a fintech ecosystem to watch in North America by Startup Genome and placed 32nd among the Top 50 Fintech Ecosystems in the world for populations under three million.  

Global fintech firms – including Sidetrade, Xero and Binance – are looking to Calgary as a gateway city to expand into the Canadian and North American markets.  

Sidetrade, a French artificial intelligence fintech firm, chose Calgary as the business hub for its North American operations, with a plan to invest $25 million and create 110 full-time jobs over the next three years. The firm joins more than 650 artificial intelligence companies in Alberta and more than 150 fintech startups in Calgary. 

"Our new Calgary office is the perfect location to support our global ambitions,” said Olivier Novasque, CEO, Sidetrade. “This base will be a fast-growing business hub with operations spanning across all of North America.” 

With a commitment to foster an innovation ecosystem and inclusive, top livable city in the economic strategy, Calgary in the New Economy, the city is attracting skilled talent, global companies and investment. 

“Alberta and Calgary are centres for AI excellence with highly skilled talent, and as a global leader in AI, Sidetrade joins a growing roster of multinational companies that call Calgary home, where bright minds with big ideas are solving global challenges,” said Brad Parry, President and CEO, Calgary Economic Development. 

Innovators and young professionals seeking a balanced lifestyle are drawn to Calgary, ranked the third most livable city in the world, and first most livable city in North America by the Economist Intelligence Unit.  

With a high quality of life and limitless career opportunities Alberta has experienced the largest interprovincial migration in the country, with almost 10,000 people moving to the province in the second quarter of 2022. This migration is the largest net gain in almost ten years, according to analysis by ATB Economics from Statistics Canada data.  

Calgary is experiencing 22 per cent growth in tech talent and total tech jobs over the last five years, ranking 28th among the Top 50 North American markets in the CBRE 2022 Scoring Tech Talent report. The city’s tech workforce growth is the fastest in North America, according to 2022 LinkedIn Talent Insights. 

Multinational firms are creating talent hubs to further develop the tech ecosystem with in-demand skills, including the RBC Calgary Innovation Hub and the IBM Western Canada Client Innovation Centre. Along with Sidetrade, Mphasis and Infosys join the list of global firms opening regional headquarters in Calgary with plans to hire thousands. 

Local startups are staying and scaling to global heights. Neo Financial, a Calgary-based fintech firm achieved a $1 billion unicorn valuation and ranked the number one startup to watch in the 2022 LinkedIn Top Startups list.  

As a digitally connected hub for bright minds and innovative companies, Calgary is emerging as a city with solutions that change the world.  

For more information on the innovation and talent priorities in the economic strategy, visit Calgary in the New Economy. Visit Live Tech, Love Life, for opportunities at innovative companies in Calgary’s tech scene. 



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