We, as Edmontonians, are well aware of BioWare and Stantec and their massive international success. Not only have they become industry leaders, but they have also stayed where it all began – right here in Edmonton.
However, they are not alone. More tech and innovation companies are staying put in Edmonton because they believe in our city, our economy and our talent. Below are a few companies doing just that.
When you want to learn more about a new prescription and look online, chances are you searched on DrugBank. DrugBank was launched in 2005 at the University of Alberta, as a research project in Dr. David Wishart’s Computing Science lab. In 2013, co-founders Craig Knox and Michael Wilson saw an opportunity to commercialize DrugBank and develop it to meet the needs of the pharmaceutical and medical software industries.
DrugBank is a free, online drug database that has become a trusted source for millions of researchers, pharmacists and companies around the world. Users can use DrugBank in many ways from simple text queries to sequence searches – which allows users to search by protein structure. Over the past three years, DrugBank has grown from two founders to a team of 18 and, through incredible hard work, saw a 300% year-over-year increase in revenue.
When you count Philips, NASA and Toyota as a few of your partners, you’re creating a game-changing product that will affect the world. Edmonton’s own Scope AR is changing how companies train and maintain equipment with the most advanced Augmented Reality (AR) technology. Founded in 2011 by Scott Montgomerie, David Nedohin and Graham Melley, industry pioneer Scope AR has two products that can work in tandem or individually.
The first product, Remote AR, allows offsite users to virtually connect with in-house experts who can assist with clear, step-by-step instructions, additional information or in real-time. The second product, WorkLink, allows the user to receive the most up-to-date instructions for equipment setup and maintenance. Both products are compatible with iOS, Android and Window devices.
In May 2018, Scope AR announced the industry’s first AR platform that offers real-time remote assistance and AR Smart instructions that will be more cost-effective and timely than traditional efforts.
To date, Scope AR has secured $2.1 million in seed funding while maintaining roots right here in YEG.
Imagine having 22 paper assignments to grade. The sheer pile of paper is outstanding but think of all the costs associated with producing one report, from the ink to the electricity. Now, imagine grading 22 assignments from your laptop or iPad. The time and cost savings are enough to make any teacher happy. Enter Showbie, an app that assigns, collects, reviews and grades assignments.
Founded in 2012 by Colin Bramm and Roy Pombeiro, Showbie was developed due to the consulting work the pair did in developing educational software for local school boards. Little did they expect to find great success in more than 135 countries by more than three million teachers, students and parents. Besides assigning and grading assignments, Showbie also allows parents to view their child’s work.
The future is looking bright for Showbie as they have secured $2.3 million in seed funding to date and acquired Utah-based Socrative, an assessment and curriculum platform for teachers in July 2018.
This is only a small sample of the type of innovation Edmonton produces. Our tech and innovation industry is rich with talented teams, heart and drive to make not only Edmonton but the world a better place one pixel or line of code at a time. No wonder Google’s Head of Communications said Edmonton “is quickly becoming a primary mover in the global tech industry.”