What is the <!doctype> HTML tag?

I have written a fair amount of HTML code in my day. Often times, this was quick and ugly, which served the purpose of a simple test or last minute school assignment. I usually did not follow best practices or defined standards. One standard that I have recently been encountering when viewing sample HTML code from experts on the web, yet have never fully understood, was the <!doctype> tag.

I figured since all true HTML documents are wrapped in <html></html> tags, specifying an additional document type tag was unnecessary. In this post, I will dive deeper into the purpose of the <!doctype> tag, and why its inclusion in an HTML document is vital to its proper rendering in a user’s web browser.

What is the <!doctype> tag?

The first line of every HTML file should be the <!doctype> tag. This tag provides information to web browsers about the type of document it is processing, and instructs the browser to render content differently depending on the type.


Below is an example of a valid HTML 5 document using the <!doctype> tag:

<!doctype html>


<title>Hello, world!</title>

<p>This is a paragraph.</p>


As you can see in this basic example, the very first tag is the <!doctype> tag. Immediately following is the enclosing <html></html> tags with the rest of the content for the page.



The current and most recent version of HTML, which is HTML 5, requires a very basic statement:

<!doctype html>

The html attribute specifies that the document should be rendered following HTML5 specification. In HTML5, no additional attributes or parameters are required. Nice and easy!

HTML 4.01 Strict

Older versions of HTML, such as HTML 4.01, require the <!doctype> tag to refer to the specific DTD the document adheres to. The DTDs are hosted by w3.org.

There are multiple versions of the HTML 4.01 DTD. The strict version only includes valid HTML 4.01 tags and nothing that from previous versions that has been deprecated.

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">

HTML 4.01 Transitional

The transitional DTD includes all valid HTML 4.01 tags plus all deprecated tags. Use this if you are using really old, deprecated HTML (which I guess may exist somewhere).

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">

Why is the <!doctype> Tag Important?

Modern web browsers support multiple modes for parsing and rendering content. When the browser observes the <!doctype html> statement (or the appropriate equivalent for HTML 4 and older), it renders the page in Standard mode. In this mode, the browser will render the page following the specified HTML and CSS specification.

If this tag is not present, or is malformed, it will instead render the page in Quirks mode. This mode is available in web browsers in order to support old content published before adoption of standard HTML and CSS specifications. In those times (15+ years ago), most web browsers did not implement complete HTML and CSS specifications. It was common for browsers to only implement a subset of the specification, or implement features that did not quite match the specification. There was no guarantee web browsers would render HTML and CSS precisely the same as each other. Because some of that old (practically ancient) content may still exist on the internet, quirks mode is available in browsers.


The <!doctype> is important for two reasons. Firstly, including it forces the browser to process the page using the appropriate render mode, increasing confidence that the browser will present the document to users as the creator expects. Secondly, including it adheres to the HTML specification from the W3, which is something all quality web developers and web content authors should strive toward.

Including the the tag is not necessary for the browser to render the HTML document (i.e. the content will still display). This creates a challenge (and one that I experience), because it can be quite easy to forget to include it since pages without it will, most likely, appear correct when testing. Therefore, everyone writing web content should remember to include the tag and make inclusion part of their standard process.

How to Enable LinkedIn company pages in WordPress Jetpack plugin

The Jetpack plugin is installed by default in virtually all WordPress deployments. The plugin, developed by Automattic, provides some extremely useful functions that most bloggers and WordPress site owners want to add to their website. By combining these common functionalities into a single plugin, Automattic saves site owners time by no longer having to scour the internet for compatible, reliable plugins that provide basic functions.

One of these basic functions is the Social Media Icons widget. Adding this widget places common social media icons on a WordPress site, along with links to specific social media profiles. The widget supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and several other popular social media platforms.

Unfortunately, this widget was designed to support personal social media profiles and not company profiles. Because LinkedIn uses a slightly different URL structure for company pages, any company pages added to the LinkedIn field in this widget will not work. Below are instructions to remedy this problem. Note that this will involve editing the code of your WordPress theme, so those without previous experience doing so may want to seek help from a more experienced person.

  1. Add the following code to the functions.php file in your theme
    This can be accomplished either through the WordPress admin page (Appearance > Editor), or through a text editor on your webhost (such as vim or emacs).
function jetpackme_linkedin_company_icon( $html_array ) {
  $html_array +
    25 =>    // This key can be modified to change the order the new item will appear in the list
    '<a title="Pitchko Media" '
    . 'href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/pitchko-media" '
    . 'class="genericon genericon-linkedin" target="_blank">'
    . '<span class="screen-reader-text">Pitchko Media Company Profile</span></a>'
add_filter( 'jetpack_social_media_icons_widget_array', 'jetpackme_linkedin_company_icon' );
  1. Find your LinkedIn company page URL code
    This is usually the name of your company separated by dashes rather than spaces. For example if your company name is Pitchko Media, the URL code will be pitchko-media.

  2. Insert your LinkedIn company page URL code into the code
    In the example above, replace href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/pitchko-media" with href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/your-company-page-url".

  3. Change the title and screen reader to your company name
    Again, in the example above, replace <a title="Pitchko Media" with <a title="Your Company Name".
    To support screen readers, you should also replace <span class="screen-reader-text">Pitchko Media Company Profile</span> with <span class="screen-reader-text">Your Company Name Company Profile</span>

  4. Save your changes and refresh your page
    If you are using the WordPress built-in editor, press Update File. If you are using a text editor, save your file normally (ESC,:wq) for you vim-types.
    Upon refreshing your site, you should see the LinkedIn icon wherever you placed the Social Media Icons widget. Clicking on the icon should take you to your company page.

This is a quick and dirty method for supporting company pages in the Social Media Icons widget in Jetpack. The original code can be found on the WordPress.org support forum. It would be nice if Automattic built this support into the widget so it can be edited through the widget user interface rather than the code editor. However, since WordPress seems to maintain its focus on individual users and personal blogs, I do not expect to see company/business support any time soon.

Did this work for you? Please leave a comment or send me an email and let me know how you made out. If you need help, please contact me as I would be happy to help you.

The importance of hustle in your startup

This morning, I had a really great chat with Adrian Camara of Paper. He shared some great insights about the importance of hustle, momentum, and velocity in business. In my time working as an Entrepreneur Advisor with Innovate Calgary and interacting with startups and the entrepreneurial ecosystem, I have learned that the one key ingredient to a successful startup is hustle. A great startup is constantly engaging customers and validating ideas as fast as possible.

Cash is King, so Start Earning It

Hustle is important because startups only have so much cash available. Moving too slow delays earning revenue, meaning the venture either runs out of cash and implodes, or must go out and find more cash. In the latter case, many companies spends more and more resources searching for cash rather than running the business and making sales. These companies sometimes enter a slow death spiral, where their focus is no longer building product, marketing to customers, and earning revenue, but rather finding investors, doing pitches, and trying to close deals. This happens more times than one may think. Richard Leblanc, founder and CEO of eXDee, told me to “never be in the money-raising-business; remember to be in the business-business”.

Establish your Brand to Fight Off Competitors

Another reason why startups should hustle is due to speed of the market. Business and competition moves lightning quick in today’s world. For companies to create any real success, they need to establish themselves and their brand firmly and quickly. The only way to do that is to get a product that addresses customer pain into the market, followed by growing the brand through marketing activities and successful customer transactions. As the value and awareness of the brand grows and establishes its position in the market, the more difficult it becomes for competitors to displace it.

So many startups will feel energized as they consider themselves a force that disrupts the established players in the market. Most forget that, right behind them, there is another group of startups looking disrupt them. This is not such an issue for startups based on proprietary knowledge with significant intellectual property or other barriers to entry. These barriers will prevent, or at least significantly delay, competitors from entering the battle. However many startups are creating business models on value propositions that are difficult to protect, aside from brand strength. If you are one of these startups, moving quickly to establish and scale your brand is a crucial defensive tactic. Moving too slowly gives competitors opportunity to leapfrog you.


Hustle and maintaining a sense of urgency in a startup is an important, but often challenging, factor to achievement. Engaging customers and making sales is not an enjoyable activity for many people, particularly codemonkeys like myself who really enjoy building and experimenting with technology. However, for any business to succeed, it must earn revenue. For a startup that is building a new product with an unproven business model with limited resources, the best way to succeed is to talk to customers and iterate your product as quick as possible. The sooner a startup achieves validated product/market fit, the more it is to succeed.

3 Tips to Survive Startup Due Diligence Process

Successfully closing an investment round is the goal of nearly every entrepreneur. Having access to both capital and expert business mentors gives a startup the fuel it needs to scale rapidly. When seeking investment, most entrepreneurs focus on building a solid pitch that inspires confidence from investors and promises hockey-stick growth. While the pitch is crucial to earning interest from investors, most entrepreneurs lack understanding of the due diligence process that follows a successful pitch. Many deals fall apart because due diligence fails even though the founders delivered a great pitch. Read below for three tips to ensure your startup will pass due diligence, and close the investment deal.

1. Be Organized with Respect to Financial Information

In the early days of a startup, generating and maintaining financial information is likely not a top priority. Financial records of many ventures are usually in poor shape. Entries may be missing, coded incorrectly, or scattered across multiple different locations. While not ideal, this situation is likely manageable for a bootstrapped startup as long as all obligations are being met.

Poor financial records will not satisfy an investor performing the due diligence process.During due diligence, a team of accountants and finance experts will comb through your financials looking for uncommunicated risks and verifying the claims you made in the pitch. Any unexpected information found could delay, or kill, your deal.
The best advice is to have all financial information prepared and independently scrutinized before seeking investment. Standard financial statements should be audited by a third-party accounting firm. Revenue models and forecasts should be updated to ensure accuracy and appear reasonable. Your financial documents should be prepared for presentation to an investor with short notice. Above all, be confident in the accuracy and completeness of the information. All founders should hold an understanding of past and present financial statements, and be prepared to explain any anomalies. Organizing this information makes your investors feel encouraged about the venture and the team running it.

2. Ensure your Legal House is in Order

Just as it is crucial to keep financial information organized, it is also essential for a startup to maintain proper legal documentation. Early phase startups likely do not have proper oversight of their internal and external legal documents. Furthermore ,these documents were likely not drafted or reviewed by a lawyer, which could be a risk if key clauses were omitted or used mistakenly. Such unreviewed documents could cause issues during the due diligence process. Investors will be unlikely to fund a company that appears to have a serious liability that could lead to a lawsuit.

To prevent issues from arising during due diligence, startups should gather, review, and organize all legal documents belonging to the company. Start by first reviewing the foundational documents of the company, such as the articles of incorporation and unanimous shareholder agreements. Make note of any clauses that deviate from standard agreements and be prepared to explain to investors. If these documents are incomplete or missing, hire a lawyer who can properly draft these documents to a level of rigour appropriate for external investment. Also, review the corporate minute book and verify all required director and shareholder meeting minutes are present and properly documented. After reviewing these documents, begin looking at all other corporate documents, making note of deviations from standard practice and adding or updating these where necessary. This includes employee agreements, sales contracts, partnership agreements, privacy policies, and terms of service.

Clearly, this exercise can amount to a significant and intimidating amount of work, particularly for a small inexperienced startup team. The best course of action is to either form an internal audit team, or hire an external auditor to execute the work. This may cost the startup productivity or cash, but will provide an excellent payoff when the due diligence process is executed without issue.

3. Be Cautious of Minority Shareholders

As a venture and its balance sheet grows larger, it tends to accumulate a collection of minority shareholders. These shareholders come from a variety of sources. Some may be friends or family members kind enough to “donate” cash to the venture early to support the entrepreneurial dreams of their loved ones. Some may be spouses or children of founders, who were given shares for tax optimization when dividends are issued. Other shareholders may stand entirely separate from the founders. These could be universities or incubators who received shares in exchange for providing intellectual property or business consultation. Regardless of the source or disposition, founders must be aware of all minority shareholders and not treat them passively. You will need their support when investors are looking to make a serious investment.

The best way to manage minority shareholders is to maintain a positive relationship with them. The founders should provide a reasonable amount of communication with all shareholders, with the amount of details proportional to their percentage of share ownership. While monthly or quarterly emails are sufficient for sharing information about the company’s progress, an annual face-to-face meeting is ideal. During this meeting, founders can discuss the desires and concerns about the venture that the shareholders have. Founders should answer their questions and respond to their feedback respectively. Founders can also use these meetings to investigate options to buy back shares, which eliminates future concerns about minority shareholders. Keeping minority shareholders informed and involved in corporate decision-making will prevent issues from arising during investor due-diligence.


Surviving the due diligence process is a stressful time for a startup. This is coincidentally when all the minor issues come out of the woodwork and expose themselves to investors. At best, they delay the deal and annoy the founders as they work to resolve issues at the last minute. At worst, these issues could be enough to frighten an investor and steer them towards one of the other hundred quality deals on their desk.

The best course of action is to take proactive steps to avoid or minimize issues before the due diligence process commences. Find and review the legal and financial information about the company regularly, at least once a year.. Make it easy for investors to understand the health of the company, and have appropriate answers to any risks that are apparent. In addition, rekindle the relationship between your founding team and any minority shareholders in the company. Discuss the deal with them, and listen to their concerns. Determine if they will be an ally or threat to the investment, and take appropriate action.

Following these recommendations will smooth the due diligence process, reduce stress for the founders and demonstrate strong leadership and business savvy to potential investors. Furthermore, a simpler due diligence process reduces work that lawyers and accountants must perform to conclude the deal. Overall costs associated with the deal are reduced and it can be completed faster. A cheaper, faster, less risky investment deal is a great way to launch the new relationship between your startup and your investors, and provides a great foundation to jointly build a successful venture.

How to Use Surveys to Build Backlinks

Here is a guest post from a partner in the UK outlining some tips for using surveys to generate interesting blog content. Read below for this great technique that will generate traffic and backlinks through cooperation with local media.

Surveys are probably my favourite method of link building. I like them for the quantity of links it brings in as well as the quality. First of all, think of an interesting topic within your niche, put together the questions you want to ask people, and then find the people you want to ask.

Although it can be pricey finding a decent enough sample of people (1000+), there are a couple of ways around it. Spend a little bit of money promoting the survey on Facebook and offer a prize draw entry for one of the participants. You can also make use of your mailing list if you have one. Failing this, you can go out in the streets and ask people who walk past. It might be hassle but it’s better than spending thousands on a survey provider.

Once you have the results, think about the spin you want to put on it, and then create a piece of content around it. In my experience, it’s not enough just publishing the results – they have to tell a story. For example, if you asked 1,000 dog owners which dog food product they use the most, instead of publishing content that reads “1,000 dog owners survey”, I would look to see which product is the most popular and use it as a title – “37% of dog owners prefer Bakers to any other dog food brand”. With that, you’re more likely to acquire a link from a big business.

Another piece of advice around surveys would be to see what’s going on in terms of news in your niche at the present time. For instance, I was working on a campaign for FreeOfficeFinder and we were going through the biggest news event in a generation in the UK (EU referendum). Although FreeOfficeFinder is not a political website, they had a database of thousands of office workers who they could quickly ask their opinion on the upcoming vote.

Be as specific as possible with the survey. If you ask two or three basic questions, the chances of your survey being newsworthy are reduced. As you can see with the Brexit survey, there was only one question asked, but the intention of the survey was to split the results into areas of the country, which provided us with something newsworthy to present to websites.


Even though your survey is finished and the content is on your site, your job isn’t done. Any link builder will tell you that the whole “if you build good content you will gain links” advice is a myth. Without outreach, you will not get links. With a survey, I split my outreach between newspapers, journalists and bloggers in the niche the survey is in.

When it’s a local survey, the local press is usually very interested in hearing what it’s about, but I’ve found that nationally, it can be extremely difficult to get the press to listen. Instead of just emailing the Newsdesk, phone them up. Find a number of related articles on news websites and use social media to contact the authors.

When sending your outreach emails, you need to remember that journalists and bloggers are busy people. It’s important that you keep your contact short and sweet. Put all your main points in a bullet list and make sure the most important point is clear when they open their email.

From my survey and outreaching efforts, the Brexit survey was mentioned in a national newspaper. Sadly this wasn’t a link but it was free publicity and it let to more people visiting the site and a few links were created from it.

With all the tips and advice, you’re ready to go. Not every survey is a success, but if you do them properly, there’s a good chance you’ll bring in some excellent links to your website.

Sales skills critical for growing startup revenue

A recent post from Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) describes 9 important qualities that all sales people should have. Sales skills are absolutely critical to the success of a startup. A product alone does not generate revenue. All companies require some sort of talented sales force in order to survive. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs that I encounter are hesitant to perform sales. The fact is that all founders are required to perform sales roles. Below, I highlight three sales skills that most of my startups clients fail to recognize, but are fundamental to closing deals and growing revenue.

Adopt an adviser mindset

A significant misconception is that salespeople are equated to used car salesmen; pushy, sleazy, dishonest, and entirely self-interested. This could not be further from the truth. Modern, quality sales is about selling the reputations of the salesperson and their company, as much as its products. Sales involves learning deeply about customers. Understand the goals and challenges for both their company and their department. Be honest and knowledgeable about your products and their benefits.

Once the salesperson understands their customer, they should focus on how their products can create benefit for the customer. Explain how the products solved similar problems for other customers. Share testimonials or case studies that articulate the benefit the products deliver using quantifiable values (e.g. dollars saved, hours of labour reduced). Using real-world evidence will go a long way to both educate the customer and inspire confidence in the quality of both the selling company and its products.

Call high

When selling high-value products or doing B2B sales, it is crucial to address the key decision maker directly. Most individuals at a customer organization that a startup interacts with during the sales process do not have budget authority to make a purchase. In order to purchase a product, a key decision maker, or budget holder, must approve the purchase. The issue arises when startups do not understand their customer’s organization and focus their sales process solely on lower-level employees. Spending too much time interacting with individuals at this level may not lead to a sale, which will delay or prevent a startup from capturing revenue.

The solution is to identify the appropriate person in the target customer organization who has the authority to make the purchase. The startup must seek and engage this person during the sales process to close the deal. A startup should not neglect the lower-level employees at the customer organization they initially engage with. They may be powerful influencers or saboteurs to the budget holder. Win their support first, then move up the decision chain. Closing the deal by having allies from the customer will be much easier.

Ask for a next step

Most high-value B2B sales are not closed in a single call. In fact, the higher the value being traded, the longer the sales process and the higher the number of engagements between the salesperson and customer are required. Therefore, salespeople should prepare for scheduling multiple interactions with their customer and avoid finishing an interaction without some agreed next step between them and the client.

Subsequent interactions could range from sending a simple follow-up email with additional product information, to preparing and sharing a draft quote. This is also a good opportunity to arrange a meeting with a more senior budget-holder or key decision-maker. The point is that both parties know what the next step is, and the salesperson makes a commitment to try and move the sale forward. Never lose a sale because of a forgetful or busy customer!

Moving forward on the path to revenue

Sales should not be thought of as a talent that only a subset of the population is born with. Sales skills can be learned and developed over time. Startup teams without significant sales experience therefore should invest significant time in developing critical sales skills in their founding teams.

Startups should focus on identifying the appropriate decision-makers and budget-holders in the customer’s organization and work to engage them directly. Once the startup has the attention of the appropriate party, they should summarize what they have learned about the customer from previous engagement with lower-level workers, and present their product in context of their business to demonstrate the value product provides. After the pitch, reach an agreement with the client on future follow-up engagement to close the sale.

The sooner the startup can master these sales skills and begin earning repeating, growing revenue, the more likely it will be able to attract investment and transform into a thriving enterprise.

Deploy code using git

It is common amongst developers to deploy code using git. However, I have never done this before. I am (generally) familiar with git and source code management concepts, but using git for a deployment is something I always wanted to do. BitBucket (and I expect other repo services) allow users to add a deployment key to their repo. This key is read-only, so you can be confident when you upload it to your remote host, no malicious user can use it to modify your code.

These instructions are written for BitBucket (which is the remote repo that I use), but should apply in a general sense to all remote repos.

Generate a new public/private key pair

$ ssh-keygen -t rsa

Be sure to set a passphrase, for maximum security. After all, you will be uploading the private key to a 3rd party, so make sure a passphrase is required so anyone who accesses your key cannot access your code.

Upload public key to BitBucket as deployment key

Navigate to your repo on the BitBucket website. Under Navigation in the left-side bar, click Settings, Deployment keys. Click the Add key button, and follow the prompts.

BitBucket menu showing where to find 'Deployment keys' setting

Copy private key to host

$ scp ~/.ssh/deployment-key hostname:~/.ssh/deployment-key

Configure ssh identity on host

Edit the ~/.ssh/config file on the host, using vi/vim/nano/emacs/whatever is available to configure ssh to use the private key when authenticating git requests with BitBucket.

Add the following line:

Host bitbucket.org
IdentityFile ~/.ssh/deployment-key

Set permissions for private key on host

When I tried to clone my repo, Git on my host alerted me to a security concern that the private key had excessive privileges. Run the following command to ensure that the private key is only accessible to your user:

chmod 600 ~/.ssh/deployment-key

Clone repository

git clone git@bitbucket.org:account-name/repo-name.git local-directory-name

Note these instructions assume you want to deploy the master branch. If you want a different branch, then add the -b branch-name flag to the clone command.

That’s it! Once the repo is cloned, you can simply run git pull to grab the updates in BitBucket. Follow these instructions each time you wish to deploy code using git.

SOLVED FaceTime camera on Thunderbolt Display does not work

Ran into an issue this evening trying to use my FaceTime camera via my Thunderbolt Display. After launching the video conference software and connecting to the call, camera would not share any video. It simply showed a black screen.

Some quick Googling revealed the answer. Run this command in your terminal:

$ sudo killall VDCAssistant

Then restart your video conference software (FaceTime, Skype, whatever). Your camera should begin sharing video right away.

Putting ‘Minimum’ in Minimum Viable Product

Many startups struggle with the concept of a minimum viable product (also known as an MVP). A number of clients that I work with believe that they need to have a perfectly functional and polished product before they show it to anyone. As a result, they will spend countless hours and significant amounts of money developing and refining their product without any input from a customer. In many cases, these entrepreneurs end up building something that nobody wants, and as a result, their startup collapses due to poor sales.

Instead, entrepreneurs need to think about what truly constitutes a minimum viable product. An early stage startup must focus on iterating their product quickly while spending as little cash as possible. The idea is to experiment as much possible, as quickly as possible. An entrepreneur must ask himself or herself, “What are the 5 most important ideas to be tested in a minimum viable product?” and “How can I test these ideas with spending the least amount of money and time?”.

The development from minimum viable product to commercial product is a progression. For initial experimentation, startups can receive significant value from a simple hand-drawn wireframe of their software or model of their physical product. After receiving feedback from customers, startups can upgrade from a sketch to a functioning prototype, or what I like to call the ‘garage prototype’, meaning an ugly but operating digital or physical product that may have exposed wires or buggy code. Again, after receiving customer feedback on this version, a startup can develop a more refined version.

Mike Kitchen, from WealthSimple, gives a great talk on how to build, and iterate, your MVP. Notice how WealthSimple began with a minimum viable product of a basic Excel spreadsheet that was used to gather feedback from a small group of users. Using that feedback, Mike improved his product, added more features, then sought more feedback from a larger group of users. As a result, WealthSimple built a very successful startup built upon real customer needs without over-engineering the product.

The Calgary Startup Ecosystem

The Calgary startup ecosystem consists of a large collection of government agencies, non-profits, incubators, and accelerators that provide various support and resources to start-ups. I feel a major challenge with the entrepreneurs in Calgary, particularly the early-phase ones, is that they find it difficult to find these ecosystem players and understand how they can benefit their startup.

To remedy this, below is a list of various participants in the Calgary startup ecosystem.

First, I will recommend that all entrepreneurs start with the Alberta Innovators Network (albertan.com); a web portal with links to nearly all of the public and private startup support organizations.


Calgary Economic Development

Calgary Economic Development

Responsible for developing and executing Calgary’s 10 year economic strategy.

Sustainable Development Technology Canada

Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC)

Promotes sustainable development technology and startups in Canada. Focuses on startups solving problems related to climate change, air technology, clean water, and soil.


Startup Calgary

Startup Calgary

Serving early-phase startups from idea to MVP. Creates and maintains a community of startups and entrepreneurs. Seeking to connect people together to create ‘sparks’ of innovation in Calgary.

The A100


A group of C-level tech entrepreneurs and founders who seek to inspire and support the next generation of technology entrepreneurs in Alberta.

Innovate Calgary

Innovate Calgary

Serving clients at all stages between idea and investment-ready. Innovate Calgary offers applied education programs, mentorship opportunities, bespoke consultation services, intellectual property management, and a co-working space. The company operates closely with the University of Calgary and serves researchers, students, and community clients.

TEC Edmonton

TEC Edmonton

Joint organization between the City of Edmonton and the University of Alberta. Offering various educational and consultation services for early and mid-phase entrepreneurs. TEC Edmonton serves clients from all industries, but operates an accelerator for health technology startups, in partnership with AHS.


District Ventures

District Ventures

An accelerator lead by Arlene Dickinson for consumer packaged goods, such as food and beverage. Manages a $40m venture fund. Connects its client companies with retailers and distributors.

Zone Startups Calgary

Zone Startups

A collaboration between GE and Ryerson Futures. Focuses on startups in the energy, clean tech, smart cities, power, and internet of things (IoT) spaces. Includes a $8-10m seed fund for clients.