2021 study shows growth in Alberta's technology sector
Alberta Enterprise Corporation’s (AEC) 2021 Deal Flow Study revealed that Alberta is now home to more than 3,000 technology companies, a 233 per cent increase since 2012. The majority (58 per cent) are located in Calgary, with 30 per cent in Edmonton and almost 13 per cent in other regions of the province.
The survey results suggest that Alberta’s technology sector is becoming more mature and established, with almost 40 per cent of the startups surveyed in the 2021 Deal Flow Study reporting greater than $1M in annual revenue (a 66 per cent increase over 2018).
"It's great to see more than double the number of companies identified in the 2021 Study. Alberta's tech sector is maturing rapidly and it is now a real driver of employment and diversification. We don't just want to be a player in Canada's tech space — we want to become a dominant player going forward," commented Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy, and Innovation.
One of the data points Alberta Enterprise was watching closely in the 2021 study was on the diversity of founders in Alberta. Two years ago, the report showed 30 per cent of tech companies in Alberta have a female founder or co-founder. The 2021 report showed almost the same proportion of female leadership suggesting inclusivity is one of the cultural advantages of Alberta.
Key study findings
In Alberta, in 2021 there are 3,083 tech companies, compared to the previous 1,238 identified in 2018. Most companies operate out of the two largest cities Calgary: 1,776 companies, Edmonton: 918 companies.
The study found that the average age of Alberta's startup founders is 43 and 68 per cent have previous startup experience. Almost 30 per cent of Alberta companies have female founders or co-founders and 35 per cent of the companies that achieved profitability in the last two years were female-founded.
The number of companies with 25 or more employees has increased by 12 percentage points up to 25 per cent, between 2018 and 2020.
67 per cent of Alberta companies are developing software, many for business-to-business enterprise applications. A significant proportion of companies are integrating digital technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) (36 per cent) and big data (27 per cent) into their products and services. Companies surveyed had customers in the following industries: 34 per cent professional services, 23 per cent in other industrials, 15 per cent in energy and mining, 12 per cent in information and media, 8 per cent health, wellness, and medical, and 8 per cent in agriculture.
AEC commissioned this study to build upon the previous reports from 2012, 2016, and 2018. The studies provide invaluable insights on the participants, types of companies, funding, founder makeup, and more.
“By thoroughly tracking key data about our technology sector, we are able to see how to wisely support a sustainable technology industry in Alberta,” said Kristina Williams, CEO of Alberta Enterprise Corporation. “Looking at a decade of data, we can see the major growth impact that greater access to venture capital has had for our homegrown Alberta technology companies.”
KX and Microsoft partner to scale up real-time analytics
, a data analysis software developer and vendor, it has become a Microsoft Partner. The two companies are working together to build a long-term technical and go-to-market roadmap to enable companies to rapidly scale up their real-time analytics and decision-making capabilities.
This announcement has followed the launch of KX Insights, which is a cloud-first platform for streaming analytics that fully leverages the benefits of cloud architecture natively to deliver fast, scalable real-time data insights via the .
“KX Insights takes full advantage of the Microsoft Azure platform to deliver the optimal performance while maintaining interoperability with existing processes and data,” Gerry Buggy, Chief Strategy Officer at KX.
“Together with Microsoft, we are offering a streaming analytics solution that is fast, secure, and flexible. It’s a game-changer for firms looking to drive operational and commercial performance through real-time analytics.”
KX Insights has been built to leverage vast amounts of real-time data in a scalable and easy-to-use manner. It has been benchmarked as the fastest in the industry to independent STAC benchmarks. The platform also operates on Amazon AWS and Google Cloud, plus on all public and private clouds and on-premises too where required.
Moving to the cloud
The recent found that 92% of respondents reported having a multi-cloud strategy. 82% are taking a hybrid approach, combining the use of both public and private clouds. More than half of respondents use the cloud heavily and have reached the advanced cloud maturity level. 21% of organisations are at the intermediate maturity level, and 19% are beginners.
The report showed that many of the advantages delivered by the cloud have proven to be especially valuable as organisations adapted over the past year to meet the rapidly evolving needs of businesses.