Three and a half years ago, we started the ‘Innovation Revolution’ where we launched our blog that highlighted technology companies that started right here in Saskatchewan. Since then, we’ve interviewed and celebrated—drumroll, please—100 incredible companies!
We are celebrating the explosive growth of our industry and reflecting on the true value of capturing all of these journeys. If your company has benefited from these writeups, please let us know!
In every interview, we always ask, “Why are you building your technology in Saskatchewan? What is the Saskatchewan advantage?”
Some founders are born and raised here, others have left and come back, and some people have come and stayed because they’ve fallen in love with the prairies. Anyone who has planted their roots and watched their company flourish here has amazing things to say about Saskatchewanians and our tech sector.
So what is the Saskatchewan advantage and why do founders love the prairies so much?
Saskatchewan may be a small province, but that intimacy allows us to get to know other innovators, collaborate on ideas, and create a tight-knit tech community. Taylor Fox of memoryKPR said, “Collaboration is different here, and there is a level of trust and a happy-to-help attitude. I’ve done business across Canada, and I’ve never seen it anywhere like this.”
“We might be a little smaller here, but Saskatchewan is big enough to be able to build things that scale. We’re building in an environment with great energy,” Craig Fiske of Fundraisn shared about our province’s innovation scene.
Tucked in the centre of Canada, our innovators can take the time to perfect their creation, and launch something amazing for the world. “It’s a small enough province where you get to know your community, but large enough to have support for a growing company,” said Paul Burch of EchoLotto.
Strong Ecosystem with Talented Individuals
With any expert only a shoulder tap away, you will always know someone who can help with roadblocks or make introductions. “People really understand startups here… Everyone is always asking how the business is going, happy to go the extra mile to help, and try out your product and endorse it,” said Landon Fahlman of spothot.
“The industry cares as much about the success of other founders as they do their own. If they can help, they will. We will all rise together,” Joel Pinel, former CEO and Co-Founder of Todai shared. The strength of our ecosystem is a reflection of all of the talented founders, developers, designers, and team members willing to put in the work and help each other out.
With their platform that’s focused on helping students pave their career paths and inspire even more future tech champions in the province, Gordon Heidel of RDIEC said, “We have a lot of talented people here in Saskatchewan and it is impressive to see the innovation that is taking place.”
Access to Resources
Between government funding and grants, accelerators, and local supports, there is an array of resources to go around for tech companies. “Local businesses, big organizations, and crown corporations are always looking to add their local touch, so we’ve received lots of help,” shared Brad Fekula of FIX IT UP about their experience.
“Conexus resources are awesome, and there are more and more investment opportunities, such as with STSI and the Innovation Challenges. There has never been a case when someone is not willing to help. Everyone wants to see each other be successful!” said Jon Clifford of ServiceBox.
There are endless opportunities in Saskatchewan and many ways to reach the right people or channels of support. “We have access to plenty of resources, and we’ve gotten help from our networks to face problems together,” explained Jana Ham of Fifo.
Eagerness to Help
Ask anyone a question in the tech community, and you’re bound to get an answer or pointed in the direction of someone who will find it for you. “You can always get mentorship and honest feedback here. This community really supports each other,” said Conrad Neufeldt of EmbraceTech.
“People in Saskatchewan are so eager to help see businesses develop and grow. Everyone has welcomed innovations and embraced new things,” added Koreen Mak of Myntix.
It’s not only local entrepreneurs and businesses willing to help, but larger organizations play a significant part in our tech sector as well. “With continued support from key funders and partners such as Western Economic Diversification Canada and Innovation Saskatchewan," as he stepped in as the new Executive Director of Co.Labs, Matt Stefan shared, “I’m supported by people who have been with the organization from the very beginning; I don’t have to do this alone.”
Being Part of the Innovative Tech Scene
Saskatchewanians value community over competition. It’s with this mindset that helps us launch game-changing ideas. “I’ve been given opportunities that I may not have had in other provinces and cities. Saskatchewan is on the move and I want to be a part of its success story,” said Melanie Morrison of BetterCart.
“There is such wonderful support for entrepreneurs here. Saskatchewan is a leader in tech, and there's a lot of empowerment for women in the industry. It’s an amazing place to start and grow a business,” shared Rachel Drew of Cadence of the diverse opportunities here.
“The work ethic, creativity, and resiliency of our province speak to the people we have in the province. We’re bred for innovation, so let’s show the world what we’re capable of,” Dustin Coupal of 54eDev Studios said.
Innovation Saskatchewan is constantly impressed by all of the technologies coming from our province. In the last 3.5 years, we’ve proudly celebrated and shared 100 incredible success stories, and our goal is to triple the industry in the next 10 years.
Cheers to keeping up the momentum and seeing 100 more success stories in the future!