Posted tagged ‘Alberta’

Alberta’s Bioeconomy Potential

April 7, 2009

The current global economic meltdown could easily crush inventors looking for investment capital.

But according to Juan Enriquez, out of crisis comes opportunity. And Alberta companies focused on life sciences can profit from the emerging knowledge economy.

He is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the business of life sciences, a founding director of the Harvard Business School’s Life Sciences Project, and author of As the Future Catches You.

While in Edmonton recently for the Ingenuity in Our Community symposium, Enriquez offered his perspective. “The economic meltdown is in the financial and credit institutions, in the old economy. If you look at the top 10 performing stocks of last year, the ones that are doing very well, five or six of them are life science companies because people still get sick. People still need to be treated. People, if they have an additional dollar, probably want to spend it on a quality of life. So these are companies that have continued doing well, and that I expect will continue doing well despite the economic meltdown.

Enriquez says Alberta can build a life sciences industry based on its strong capacity in research, resources and entrepreneurship. √  

                                            ~ Cheryl Croucher

 Learn more about Juan Enriquez at www.biotechonomy.com

Why Edmonton is better than Vancouver and Toronto

November 25, 2008

It’s funny how Toronto and Vancouver always seem to be suggested as a couple of the best places to do business in Canada, at least when it comes to technology companies.

What everyone doesn’t realize is that it’s actually Edmonton. This city far outstrips those other two cities in terms of quality of life and a number of other factors.

If you’re thinking of starting any kind of technology company, the Edmonton tech community is the perfect place to set up shop.

Why not Vancouver?

Quality of life is one thing. Resources are another. Sure the mountains are great, but Vancouver is a polluted valley with terrible traffic problems. And do you really want an office looking out at those mountains? Your employees will either want to climb them or ski them. They won’t be focused on work. Oh, on those rainy days they might want to work. So, that will account for half the year. And if you want to live in a shoebox, go for it. That might be all you can afford there with Vancouver’s real estate prices!

Toronto? Puh-lease!

Where do I begin? If you would like to be a human air filter to clean up the big brown smog dome over the Greater Toronto area, go for it. You’ll be doing it while you’re stuck in traffic or recovering from a car accident. Toronto might think it’s the centre of the universe but it’s go less going for it than Vancouver.

So Edmonton is better?

Yes, I am being a little tongue in cheek, but Edmonton really is a great city. From a quality of life perspective, the air quality is far better in Edmonton. If you’re looking for an attractive city, Edmonton is. Yes, a prairie city can be beautiful. The city is full of beautiful architecture, it’s nicely treed, there are great walking trails throughout the river valley and other parts of the city and if you like festivals, Edmonton has more than its fair share.

Who wouldn’t want to live in one of the 21 smartest cities in the world? Edmonton is on the cutting edge when it comes to developing its high tech infrastructure. Governments are on board when it comes to supporting and developing the high tech community in the province, and the Edmonton tech community is the province’s technology hub.

With world-leading educational institutions like NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) and the University of Alberta, life sciences discoveries and other technological achievements are announced regularly. Both of these institutions provide a steady stream of creative and energetic grads that are eager to work and contribute in the Edmonton tech community. Angel investors should take note of this. Edmonton has a strong tech community with great investment opportunities.

Economic fundamentals are good

From an economic standpoint, Edmonton has experienced an incredible boom that is still continuing. The slowdown felt in so many places hasn’t really been felt here yet and will likely not affect the province as much as other jurisdictions. Unemployment has remained stable. The same can’t be said for many other places.

While the boom has led to increases in real estate prices, the market is still strong, but prices are still better than in places like Vancouver.

The province is blessed with abundant energy and other natural resources and Edmonton, Alberta’s capital, is an important hub that services the energy and other industries. Edmonton’s growth prospects remain strong for the foreseeable future.

The Edmonton tech community is vibrant, the economy is strong, Edmonton has great educational institutions, many successful tech companies and more. Why wouldn’t you want to come here?

Good time to be an angel investor?

November 19, 2008

With the obviously weak economy, I wonder what angel investors are thinking right now. Is it really a great time to start a business and invest in speculative ventures?

You’d think that right now would be a great time to be an angel investor. Layoffs and a bad economy spur creativity in many ways, even just for survival. There’s a growing pool of creative people out there that now have some free time to be able to work on their ideas. That’s not necessarily a positive thing from one perspective, but opportunity grows from adversity.

From an angel investor perspective, you don’t want to be putting money in at the top of the economic cycle, if you can help it. It’s better to invest at the bottom to be able to maximize your returns.

Yes, it is a good time to be an angel investor

It’s a timely subject, as it’s Global Entrepreneurship Week and according to this article it would seem that being a startup right now is a good thing. There are more employees available and better quality candidates. Looking at the economic side of things, it’s better because there’s less emphasis on high wages, people are willing to work for equity and basic expenses like rent are more affordable too.

The credit crunch has tightened credit up to the point where even established businesses are having trouble getting the funding they need, as witnessed by Linens ‘n Things and Circuit City.

While that may be the case, if you’ve got a solid business model, good management and have the groundwork in place, you might be able to find the right angel investor to come along. By the time we’re out of the woods on this recession, you could be well placed to profit from the next upswing in the economy. It feels like the end of the world now, it always does, but it always rebounds.

Edmonton angel investment

Edmonton is a good place for angel investors to be looking for their next deal. Many of them already are, from what I’ve heard. The Edmonton tech community is active and creative. Perhaps some people write off Alberta as all oil and gas, but there is a lot of creativity in the Edmonton tech community and they’re not just working for the oilfields.

Edmonton might not be Sand Hill Road, but it could be the Sand Hill Road of the future. The city has a lot going for it. The University of Alberta is a life sciences sector leader and it seems like there are important life sciences discoveries announced there every week.

NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) is a leader in the tech education community, turning out highly skilled grads in a number of fields. NAIT grads are certainly out there shaking up the world.

While the rest of the world’s economy is weak, Alberta still has a strong economy and has good prospects to weather the recession well.

If you’re looking for a pool of creative talent in a vibrant and successful city, Edmonton might just be the right place to start your next venture or find your next angel investment deal.

Investors are Seeking Safe and Practical Investment Opportunities

October 26, 2008

 

 

 

 

Recently Edmonton was named one of the 21 Smartest Communities in the world by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF).   Yet the technology and life science sectors of Edmonton seem to have fallen below the radars of many economic strategists in the past.  However, in the state of the current economic crisis facing the world today, along with the commitment of Edmontonians Visionaries and Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC), more and more economic strategists are becoming aware of the financial and investment potential of Edmonton. 

 

Raising this awareness, Edmontonians Visionaries has an eighteen year history of promoting the economic and social energy of Edmonton and the surrounding areas.  Publisher of Edmontonians, a monthly publication aimed toward the commerce leaders and individuals of the community, Edmontonians strives to develop effective mediums that promote the commerce aspect of Edmonton.  Also raising awareness and owned by the city of Edmonton, Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) is a non-profit organization responsible for many things, including the economic development of Edmonton.  But what exactly are these two institutions promoting?   

 

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), a prestigious technology institute, is an investors’ paradise.  Northern Alberta Institute of Technology has been noted for its many achievements, including creating and operating Canada’s first commercially operated fuel cell, providing the institution with 8% of their energy needs.  And more green products and programs at NAIT are underway that are expected to save the institution over $100,000 a year per program in energy costs. 

 

NAIT is active in twenty-three countries and is currently serving as one of Alberta, Canada’s top thirty-five employers.  They pride themselves in having a 95% graduate placement rating, as well as a 98% employer satisfaction rating.  In short, NAIT possesses the necessary resources as well as the potential to develop new energy technology that the world so desperately needs.

 

More about NAIT and other Edmonton investment possibilities coming in future posts.