Where were you in 2002? You might have been making calls on the Nokia 6610, the top-selling mobile phone of the year. Maybe you were carrying around a 6-pound Apple iBook (boasting a 20 GB hard drive) while listening to music on your second-generation iPod.
Clearly, a lot can happen in 15 years, including the lifetime of the VenturePrize business plan competition. VenturePrize is older than much of the technology we use every day in 2017, including Facebook (2004), Twitter (2006), iPhones (2007), and Androids (2008).
In 2002, the debut year of VenturePrize, TEC Edmonton didn’t even exist yet – it was still referred to as the Industry Liaison Office and resided on the University of Alberta main campus.
“This year is a good reminder of how far our entrepreneurial community has developed,” said TEC Edmonton CEO Chris Lumb. “We’re grateful for the army of people and organizations that have strengthened Alberta entrepreneurship through their commitment to VenturePrize.”
The VenturePrize program was originally championed by Alan Scott, a co-founder of TEC Edmonton, as a way to showcase innovation in Edmonton while providing business mentorship and guidance to growing companies. The first VenturePrize competition was hosted by the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, and has been managed by TEC Edmonton since 2005. It has since expanded into an Alberta-wide competition with more competition streams like the Alberta student stream, TELUS ICT and most recently, DynaLIFE Health.
Since 2002, over 1,000 companies have competed for prizes cumulatively valued at $2.5 million. Of course, the program offerings and awards events over the years were made possible by more than 100 volunteers per year, serving in critical roles of mentors, screeners, judges, and seminar presenters.
VenturePrize also wouldn’t be successful without the help of TEC Edmonton’s innovation community partners: Innovate Calgary, NAIT, Business Link, TELUS and DynaLife.
The bottom line: don’t miss this year’s VenturePrize Awards celebration on May 4th! There are sure to be a few surprises in store to mark this anniversary year. Get your tickets here.