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Alberta’s most promising startups highlighted by pros

Alberta’s most promising startups highlighted by pros

Posted by PanamericanWorld on April 21, 2016

AccelerateAB has selected 15 Alberta companies to take part in its roundtable sessions at the end of April.

“There is no better time to be an entrepreneur,” said Cynthia van Sundert, AccelerateAB organizer. “With tens of thousands of new businesses registered in the past 12 months in Alberta, these top 15 startups are only a snapshot of the innovation happening in our province.”

The sessions will have the startups pitch their concepts to Alberta’s successful entrepreneurs, to receive feedback and mentorship.

Hobblit

Calgary’s masters of photography, athletics and gelato are passing on their skills to ambitious Calgarians ready to spend years mastering a craft to make an impact on the world.

Or more likely, it’s just a fun way to kill an afternoon.

Hobblit, a new Calgary startup, connects people who are passionate about what they do with a platform to host workshops. The platform has proven promising enough to be selected as one of 15 Alberta startups selected to go to AccelerateAB and learn from the province’s most successful entrepreneurs.

Founder Sam Chow said a number of local businesses and individuals have jumped on board – his favourite being a photographer who works with Parks Canada.

“Right now, he’s taking people to Troll Falls to show them how to do landscape photography,” he said. “So, you bring your own camera, but he’s a professional photographer and he’ll teach you how to maximize your photography.”

Chow said the program could help people launch into a new passion, but it’s more for people who want to explore Calgary and spend an hour or two on a fun new hobby.

He’s also hoping travellers to Calgary will join in on the workshops, as a way to have a local experience during their trip.

“The ethos is we want local people to come out with their skill sets and run workshops,” he said. “We’re beginning to see people using companies like Air BnB, Travelocity and Expedia looking for these experiences.”

Other Calgarians that have jumped on board to host workshops include an Olympic athlete who does skeleton racing, Fiasco Gelato with a gelato making workshop and Monogram with latte art classes.

Although workshops are running and Calgarians can sign up to teach or attend, the startup doesn’t officially launch until later this Spring.

For more information visit www.hobblit.com.

The FREDSense team has created a portable sensor that detects what’s in your water.

COURTESY EMILY HICKS

The FREDSense team has created a portable sensor that detects what’s in your water.

FREDSense

Not to be outdone by gelatos and photography, Calgary startup FREDSense has also been selected to attend AccelerateAB.

FREDSense is a portable sensor that detects different elements in the water.

The sensor can detect heavy metals like copper, zinc and arsenic in the water. CEO Emily Hicks said the technology has the potential to affect a billion people worldwide.

In November, they were selected to attend a two-month long accelerate program at Singularity University in California. For Hicks, it was an amazing opportunity to grow their product and make connections with the business community in the U.S.

She’s hoping AccelerateAB will provide her a similar opportunity to connect with the Alberta entrepreneurial community.

It’s good timing too – this summer, Hicks hopes to run a field test of the sensor.

“We’re working towards getting the first field model out there to actually get some data from the field,” she said. “It’s really exciting, and it will be a paid pilot, so it will sort of be our first source of revenue.”

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