“Take a Risk. It’s The Most Edmonton Thing You Can Do,” and how the start-up community is facing COVID-19
The start-up, tech, innovation, and entrepreneurial communities in Edmonton have always exemplified the spirit of Edmonton; determination, resilience, innovation, adaptation, and risk-taking. It’s especially difficult to deny when we not only have that familiar mural downtown reading, “Take a Risk. It’s The Most Edmonton Thing You Can Do”, but also a start-up community that has shown us what it truly means to take on the disruptions that have arisen from COVID-19. Our local industry leaders have responded quickly to ensure their own network, aas well as the broader Edmonton community at large, can stay connected and feel supported during these unpredictable times.
A popular trend and option for small start-ups, especially those with few staff members, is to consider membership with a local co-working space. In the last few years, several locations have opened up across the City offering essential spaces for local brilliance to thrive. Co-working spaces have quickly adapted to keep members in touch online, and have pivoted their programming to include virtual coworking, seminars, or workshops for their clientele and for the general public.
Take Roundhouse, out of MacEwan University, for instance: they’ve been hosting online events in partnership with community members and groups such as lunch hour discussions with #EatWithMeYEG and various Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), or during InResponse seminars in collaboration with What I Wish I Knew. Each session allows members and attendees to hear first-hand accounts from start-up and entrepreneurial leaders about how they’re working together in these uncertain times.
The best part? These events are free to the public for anyone interested.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, or just interested in learning some new skills, these are equal-opportunity options for Edmontonians stuck at home. They’re also a great way to start thinking about alternate sources of income, and to find like-minds in Edmonton’s business crowd. We encourage you to take some time to check out this list of coworking spaces in Edmonton, to check out some of their events, and to start looking forward as we consider re-opening our doors throughout the province:
|Roundhouse||Work Nicer||Homestead||Sparrow Spaces||URBN|
|Startup Edmonton||Unit B||The Creative Hive||Timbre||Grow Centre|
Here are some other great examples of #localgoodness from our resilient start-up community:
For the Entrepreneurs Among Us
On May 7, Startup TNT (Thursday Night Tradition) celebrated their one year anniversary! The year-long tradition that gathers entrepreneurs, investors, and supporters for an old-fashioned mix and mingle on Thursday nights at Polar Park Brewery is yet another #yeglocal event that’s been affected by physical distancing. However, they too have taken a risk and shifted their gatherings online via Discord to keep their network thriving, and to offer support to one another. Get in touch and join their community, and make sure to use your voice today to amplify theirs and others success behind the hashtag #LocalGoodnessYEG.
ATB’s BoostR Program has also made a shift, to make sure entrepreneurs that anything generated off of this crowdfunding platform is able to get 100% of their money raised. Check out some great enterprises across Alberta fundraising for their products and consider investing!
Local digital media experts, Lift Interactive, have quickly diverted their attention to working on a tool for the #yegcommunity. You may have seen it yourself, or have become an active user already, and we’re proud to point to their success again here: almost overnight the Things That Are Open website has gained a lot of traction in helping folks discover what businesses are still running. Their project has spurred a dedicated effort to #supportlocal all around YEG!
Similarly inspired to create a mobile response to these times is Spontivly, a mobile app that focuses on reducing social isolation and connecting people. They’ve pivoted operations slightly to accommodate small actions of caremongering right here in Edmonton, leveraging their existing app to help individuals share and discover where they could find needed groceries and supplies nearby, amid concerns for shortages, health, and safety.
So Why Not Try Something New?
As a city, we’re discovering exactly what our start-up community can do in a pinch. We’re seeing their flexibility and strength amid a ton of disruption, and so it becomes evermore important to support the businesses and idea-makers built to withstand. They are a community all their own who care deeply about not just our economic resilience, but our community welfare as we stand together. We therefore highly recommend taking the opportunity to use your money to start that project you’ve been working on in your garage, and to find others who want to help. It’s the most Edmonton thing you can do!
Are there other stories of coworking spaces, entrepreneurs and start-ups that we missed? Share with us on social media! Don’t forget to tag us or use the hashtag #LocalGoodnessYEG.