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Female participation in Alberta’s technology sector is over twice the national average and 30 per cent of tech companies in the province have a female founder or co-founder, according to a recent study by Alberta Enterprise Corporation (AEC).

AEC promotes the development of the Alberta’s venture capital industry by investing in venture capital funds that finance early-stage technology companies.

The 2018 Deal Flow Study, a yardstick for measuring the health, growth and composition of the Alberta technology and innovation sector, found that 432 new Alberta tech start-ups had been established since 2016, bringing the total number of technology companies with headquarters in the province to 1,238.

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These new companies make up 35 per cent of the total number of Alberta-owned and operated technology companies.

Kristina Williams, president and CEO of Alberta Enterprise, says while the province’s tech sector is still considered to be in its early stages of development, the study data shows it is maturing rapidly.

“The objective of this study is to provide stakeholders with a shared understanding of the strength and make-up of technology companies across sectors, stages and regions in Alberta,” she says. “I think the takeaway is that creating a viable Alberta tech sector is a slow and steady process, but one that is paying dividends."

The study also revealed that:

  • 34 per cent of Alberta technology firms are integrating Artificial Intelligence into their offering.
  • 23 per cent of firms report annual revenue of over $1-million.
  • Alberta’s tech sector is largely concentrated in Calgary (767 companies) and Edmonton (394 companies).
  • There has been a 38 per cent increase in companies with 10-plus employees since 2016.
  • 63 per cent of companies surveyed in 2018 have launched products compared to 50 per cent in 2016.
  • Software companies (40 per cent) are the most common tech firms operating in Alberta, followed by life sciences (13 per cent), clean tech (11 per cent) and energy tech (10 per cent).
  • The average age of Alberta’s start-up founders is 43.
  • 71 per cent of founders have previous start-up experience and 84 per cent have a technical background.

Produced by Randall Anthony Communications. The Globe’s Editorial Department was not involved in its creation.

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