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Welcome to the last Rainforest Pulse of 2018!

Hi Guest,

We’re sending you this newsletter because you are part of a pivotal group of change makers and innovators, who care about this province’s future in the 21st century economy.

The Rainforest Alberta journey in the Spring of 2016 and came to Edmonton in June 2017 - what progress we have made! This newsletter is meant to highlight our progress made up until the end of this year.

The book that started it all

As most of you know, Rainforest Alberta is based on the book written by Victor Hwang titled “The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley”. It emphasized the necessity for collaboration and trust in order for innovation to thrive in a community. Alberta was lacking these pillars of success.

The first Summit

The Rainforest Alberta journey started with a Summit - a gathering of leaders from across the innovation ecosystem, in Banff September 2016 with 60 members from across the Province. After coming together and analyzing the state of Alberta’s innovation networks and processes, we concluded our Innovation Scorecard ranked 464/1000.   That’s 46.4%, a failing grade. In response, we set a goal for our scorecard to reach the 800s (80%) by 2020.

Including that first Summit, Alberta has held 8 immersive sessions, and will continue running these gatherings twice yearly province-wide. 

Rainforest Alberta - yeg in 2018

In 2018, Rainforest Alberta - yeg moved from two monthly events - Lunch without Lunch (LWOL) and Connector, by adding a second LWOL every month. Both events serve to increase the number of collisions in Edmonton by bringing together a diverse group of like-minded individuals interested in supporting innovation. 

We were fortunate to hear from some amazing entrepreneurs over the last 12 months, and we will continue bringing entrepreneurs from all stages of their journey together so that you can learn from their success, or failure.

2018 is the year we got social. It may have taken us a long time to get on social media, but we got there :) 

Follow us to stay up-to-date as events get announced, when we share info about Rainforest and the Social Contract, or just share interesting things relevant to supporting innovation in Alberta:

Edmonton also hosted our second and third Summit this year. From an initial Scorecard Assessment score of 557 in September 2017, we ended 2018 with a score of 649. This represents modest improvements to be sure, but barely moves the needle to a C+ grade from our initial D+. There is a significant amount of work to come, and 2019 represents the next opportunity to continue improving this score towards the goal of 800 out of 1000 by 2020! You can read about any Edmonton summit, including the associated Scorecard Assessment results, here.

To achieve this goal, we will need to be very intentional about executing on the initiatives identified within past and future summits. Fortunately, this has been done at least once already. Pitchfest, which ran in December, was an idea first identified at the March Summit and was executed by the amazing team at Sprout Fund who have committed to continue running Pitchfest twice annually. You can apply now for the opportunity to pitch on May 17th!

Also in 2019, we will be making Rainforest more accessible than ever before (at least in Edmonton). LWOL will now be every Wednesday, starting January 16th, hosted by our friends at Work Nicer in their historic Beaver House location! This change aligns Edmonton's LWOL with Calgary - meaning you can now attend a LWOL event every Wednesday, in either city. 

Connector will continue running once monthly to ensure that we remain accesible to those individuals either unavailable at lunch, or who just don't want to venture downtown (we understand). 

Who should attend a Rainforest event?

  • Anyone interested in starting or growing an innovation-based business in Alberta
  • Former entrepreneurs and business owners looking to share their experience and give back to the community that helped make them successful
  • Anyone exploring entrepreneurship as a potential career path
  • Individuals or companies who provide services to entrepreneurs at any stage of growth, from pre-start to growth to succession
  • Anyone interested in improving the culture of innovation and trust in Alberta, making a meaningful impact on the growth of the emerging innovation economy, or individuals who want to be part of the solution
  • Researchers, inventors, or makers who are looking for help in making their idea a reality

The Rainforest is based on simple social principles contained in our social contract, which guides the way that individuals interact within the ecosystem. 

Will you consider signing the Social Contract and committing to innovation in Alberta?