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Welcome to Rainforest Alberta - yeg's Monthly Newsletter

Hi Guest,

Rainforest Pulse goes out once per month to keep you up-to-date on the progress made towards supporting the growth of Alberta's innovation-based economy!

In This Issue

  • Recap of June's events
  • Upcoming Events in July
  • Call for volunteers
  • What is the Rainforest?
  • Core Value focus: Fairness

Recap of June's Events

June Lunch without Lunch

June LWOL featured emerging entrepreneur Zack Harb. Zack is founder of Zacxon Inc., and his product protects properties from water damage due to freexing pipes. Zack shared his story of being impacted by a frozen pipe burst and how this inspired him to find and commercialize a solution to this all-to-common problem.

Zack Harb has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Power Engineering and is currently an E.I.T with APEGA. Zack acquired an instrumentation certificate at NAIT in automation for oil and gas and programming control. Based on his background and experience in residential and commercial projects, he came up with a solution to protect properties from frozen pipes through his invention WPPS - the Water Pipe Protection System. He received many awards for this idea from competitions at NAIT, TEC Edmonton and the University of Alberta. Zack founded Zacxon Inc. in 2015 at NAIT and moved to TEC Edmonton Innovation District since January 2017 and is currently working on marketing his system and initiating pilot projects. Zaxcon's WPPS automatically prevents water damage as a result of pipes freezing.

Learn more about Zacxon!

June Connector

June Connector featured serial entrepreneur Don Murphy. Don is founder and COO of Stream Technologies which he founded with his borther John. Don shared the story of his multiple experiences as an entrepreneur, and some of the amazing work they are doing with AI.

Stream has brought together the power of spectroscopy and artificial intelligence (machine learning) to make detection quick, easy and accessible. Test results normally received from a lab or those which require a certain level of expertise are now identified in near real time.

Learn more about Stream Technologies!

Upcoming Events in July

Every month, Rainforest brings entrepreneurs, investors, service providers and other innovators and changemakers together. These events are a core principle of the Rainforest - creating trust through connections and conversation.

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

Call for Volunteers

As a volunteer-based grassroots initiative, Rainforest Alberta relies on help from the community to execute on its initiatives. As we continue to expand our reach and take on new projects, the assistance of our community will be key to achieving our goals.  

There are two ways we need help right now:

  • Volunteers: help plan or execute events, or engage with the community  
  • Sponsors: help grow the capacity of the Rainforest by supporting our efforts financially
Anyone interested in volunteering or sponsoring can contact Aaron Budnick

What is the Rainforest?

Rainforest Alberta is a grassroots, community-based initiative of people working together to improve the invisible infrastructure that empowers Alberta's innovation-based economy.  We want Albertans to know that they don’t have to move away to invent, prosper, and move their ideas forward. To that end, our goal is grow the same invisible infrastructure that underlies successful, innovative communities like Silicon Valley, Denver, Boston, or Israel, right here in Alberta. The Rainforest is based on simple social principles contained in our social contract, which guides the way that individuals interact within the ecosystem. 

Core Value Focus: Fairness

Why is Fairness so important to Innovation in Alberta?

Fairness is foundational to the Rainforest. When individuals listen and are open-minded to ideas, experiences, and perspectives of others it breaks down barriers. When people feel they have been treated fairly, they are less fearful, suspicious and more motivated to collaborate. In the Rainforest, Fairness is exemplified though a Positive Sum or Win-Win mindset, rather than a Zero Sum or Win-Lose mindset. 

The Zero Sum mindset approaches negotiations or business transactions from a fixed-pie perspective; that is to increase the share of one, someone else must give something up. In an innovation mindset, individuals seek to increase value, knowing they can achieve more by working together. Not all situations are positive sum, but by embracing the value of fairness, members of the Rainforest seek first to add value for all, before deriving benefit for themself. 

You may be wondering how you can embrace the value of Fairness and a Positive Sum mindset? Consider the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. One of Covey's 7 Habits is Think Win-Win. He says:

“Think Win-Win isn’t about being nice, nor is it a quick-fix technique. It is a character-based code for human interaction and collaboration.Many people think in terms of either/or: either you’re nice or you’re tough. Win-win requires that you be both. It is a balancing act between courage and consideration. To go for win-win, you not only have to be empathic, you also must be confident. You not only have to be considerate and sensitive, you also must be brave. To do that–to achieve that balance between courage and consideration–is the essence of real maturity and is fundamental to win-win.”