Startup Calgary Launch Party 2016

Our first 15 months at Catalystica have been a whirlwind. It feels like just yesterday that we organized our first large-scale networking event. Now, 34 events and 4,000 attendees later, we have hosted our first “sequel” event - Launch Party 2016.

“Launch Party has become the best networking event in the city for tech entrepreneurs” - Ray de Paul Director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Mount Royal University

About Launch Party

Launch Party is an annual Startup Calgary program of events that provides Calgary’s tech and tech-enabled startups with a platform to validate their business and gain credibility. In its 7th year of operation, we attracted 46 startup applicants, 16 semi-finalists, 10 top startups, and 700 attendees.

A committee selected 16 semi-finalists who received private pitch coaching from local Calgary mentors in order to prepare for Pitch Night which was held on October 18,  2016, during Small Business Week. These companies pitched to an audience of over 250 people, who then voted for the Top 10 that moved on to showcase at Launch Party on November 17, 2016. 

From 30 people at pitch coaching to 250 people at Pitch Night, Launch Party grew to fill a room with 700 members of Calgary’s community made up of startups, investors, government, media, and supporters during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Community Reach

We assist with Startup Calgary’s social media and digital marketing year-round, which is why we get so excited to ramp up for Launch Party! The amount of engagement with Startup Calgary’s Twitter profile leading up to Launch Party can be seen below. 

Launch Party’s hashtag #SCLP2016 also got a lot of attention and reached over 420,000 users on Twitter and Instagram in the ten days surrounding Launch Party.

In addition, both Pitch Night and Launch Party were covered by Metro News Calgary in the following articles:

Community Support

This event relies on several engaged community players to pull it off. We worked with 27 sponsors, 30 promotional partners, and 65 volunteers from the local community.

Calgary Impact

Now more than ever, Calgary is focused on diversifying its economy and employing a knowledgeable workforce. Launch Party continues to provide opportunities for members of Calgary’s entrepreneurial community to connect and collide.

Through the awards, presenters, and community supporters, startups gain access to the people they need to validate their business and grow.

“I was very proud to introduce a number of the finalists and other startups to our panel of VCs. Each of our panelists expressed their very positive impressions of the event and the companies in attendance. I would be very surprised if some of those companies did not obtain funding from Microsoft, Vanedge Capital, or Silicon Valley Bank over the next 12 months.” - Frank Turner, Partner at Osler

Why We Love Launch Party (& Startup Calgary!)

Launch Party combines education and support for startups, providing a platform for them to show the Calgary community what they do and gain access to the mentors and connections they need to help grow their business. Launch Party brings together people from all spectrums of Calgary’s startup community. It’s the best way to get your feet wet in the startup community and to reconnect with those you only see a couple times a year.

Working with Kari Gordon, the Executive Director at Startup Calgary, is always a blast! We enjoy supporting her tireless efforts to craft meaningful experiences for Calgary’s startup community. (And we’ve found the trick to getting her to accomplish her to-do-list tasks: digital unicorn emojis!)