It's here, it's here, it's finally here.
The 10th annual TEC VenturePrize Awards and Dinner is underway in just a few hours at the Shaw Conference Centre.
We're calling it the "Innovation Party of the Year" because it truly is a celebration of Alberta's technology/innovation/startup business sector and the amount of business that's now happening in the sector ... from a trickle just a few years ago to a torrent today. (In 2006 TEC Edmonton helped out maybe 20 fledgling high-tech companies. In 2011, we were advising over 80.)
The evening starts with a 10-year sponsor and volunteer reception at 4:30 p.m., honouring all the individuals who've helped out over the entire 10 years with mentoring, screening and judging, plus the sponsors who've hung in since VenturePrize originated back in 2002 as a joint awards project between the U of A and what's now the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation.
For the seven finalists in the Fast Growth, Nano and Student Competition categories, the day began earlier. They've been making their complete pitches to the judges . Each gets a last few minutes to make an "elevator pitch" at the awards dinner itself, but this is where all the details are examined.
The reception starts at 5:15 with 45 minutes for that networking thing, then the program starts at 6 p.m., dinner served at 6:30 p.m., the awards process gets underway at 7:30 p.m.
While the judges huddle in another room to make their final decisions, former Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan will deliver the keynote address, "innovation in Alberta, is it alive and well?" Ms. McLellan sat on the Premier's Council for Economic Strategy: Shaping Alberta's Future, and she has a great interest in the role technology can play in shaping that future.
Finally the judges will announce their decisions, with the lucky three category winners walking away with over $300,000 total in prizes ... all designed to speed up the progress of their fledgling businesses.
It's going to be fun and educational, with full reports coming up next week in TEC Talk.
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