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Rural Founders in Tech Pitch Competition to highlight Innovators in rural locations in Alberta

Oct 11, 2023

Lethbridge, AB…Economic Development Lethbridge (EDL) in partnership with Innovate Calgary, is excited to host the Rural Founders in Tech Pitch Competition and Social. The event will be held Thursday, October 12th, beginning at 5 p.m. at Tecconnect and feature pitches from founders and innovators who are located is rural Alberta or whose ideas or businesses are impacting rural communities. A first call for applicants and ideas was held in September and the final 5 pitches will take place in person tomorrow evening. 

“We’re honoured to be hosting an event that will help elevate the work of entrepreneurs and start-up businesses not only here in Lethbridge, but in all rural and remote areas across the province.” says, Renae Barlow, VP Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Economic Development Lethbridge. “Our community brand tagline is Lethbridge, Brighter Together and it’s initiatives like these where we collaborate with partners, both urban and rural, that help highlight how our city and region can help our province be a leader when it comes to innovation and technology.” 

The 5 founders/businesses that will be part of the Rural Founders in Pitch Competition include: 

·       Founder 1 – Aum Patel, Vocalaiz
·       Founder 2 – Brent Puchalski, Paramoria Agri-Science Inc.
·       Founder 3 – Tyler Bennett, Coag Tech
·       Founder 4 – Nifemi Ashani, Styled by Nif Inc.
·       Founder 5 – Gregory Robinson, Mycos 

The Rural Founders in Tech Pitch Competition is part of Innovate Calgary’s BIPOC and Rural Tech Founders event series. As part of the competition Innovate Calgary provided pitch coaching to the finalists, opportunities to learn more about access to available capital for pitching businesses and helps facilitate networking opportunities for founders throughout the province. 

“We are excited to collaborate with our partners around a pitch competition in Lethbridge to showcase and support amazing businesses being developed in rural Alberta.” commented Jerome Morgan, Social Innovation Hub, Associate Director, Innovate Calgary. “It will be a great evening of pitches, local support, local investors, and prizes that will help get Alberta companies to the next level. 25% of Canada’s GDP is generated from rural communities and we want to continue to support rural businesses to thrive.” 

Prizes will be awarded after each founder has made their pitch with the top prize of $3,000 going to the best pitch of the evening and winners will be announced shortly after the event though social media. Attendees will include founders and businesses, organizational partners and stakeholders and potential investors. 

The Rural Founders in Tech Pitch Competition and Network is sponsored by Prairies Economic Development Canada, Interac, Elevate IP, and ecommerce Canada and supported by BIPOC Foundation, Mindfuel, APEX Alberta, Edmonton Unlimited, RINSA and the Rural Development Network and Centre for Newcomers. 

Media wishing to attend are asked to RSVP. Founders who will be participating in the competition will be available for comment as well as Jerome Morgan, Associate Director, Social Innovation Hub, Innovate Calgary and Charlee Sereda, RINSA Program Manager, Economic Development Lethbridge and RINSA (Regional Innovation Network of Southern Alberta). 

About Innovate Calgary - Innovate Calgary has been the innovation transfer and business incubator centre for the University of Calgary for over 30 years, fostering entrepreneurship and bringing new technological discoveries to the world. Their mission is to:

·       Guide entrepreneurs in building innovation-driven enterprises.
·       Create value for academic and industry partners.
·       Support the innovation economy at home and abroad.
For more information, contact:   
Mark Neskar                                                                                                                                                         Director, Marketing & Communications/Economic Development Lethbridge 403-393-6376


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