The seven-member Innovation Capital Working Group is co-chaired by Joseph Doucet, dean of the University of Alberta’s business school, and Adam Legge, Business Council of Alberta president. (The Logic)
Talking point: The group’s formation comes eight days after The Logic reported tech firm Wattpad rejected Calgary’s bid to host its second headquarters, citing provincial tax policy and Wexit concerns. At the time, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said he was not worried other firms would skip the city. Now, his government has formed a committee armed with a $50,000 budget, and tasked with delivering a report by February on how to get more investment in the province’s early-stage tech companies. In the wake of the Wattpad snub, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the province’s cuts to tech-firm tax credits were partly to blame. He also called for more cooperation, pointing out that Halifax’s winning bid included “the city, the province’s business development agency, a university, and a local incubator.” The Alberta advisory council does not, however, include anyone from the City of Calgary. “The working group may choose to consult with Calgary Economic Development or with the City of Calgary, but the working group is made up of members who all have substantial entrepreneurship, tech or venture capital experience,” said Justin Brattinga, press secretary for Alberta’s minister of economic development. Nenshi’s office did not immediately reply to a request for comment.