International speakers help innovators chart the course to the future

Foodies, tech-savvy farmers, entrepreneurs, and investors will gather in Calgary to explore new ideas that will help feed a hungry planet during Inventures, Calgary's must-attend innovation conference, June 5-7.

The event is hosted by Alberta Innovates, a provincially-funded corporation with a mandate to deliver 21st-century solutions for the most compelling challenges facing Albertans. The organization provides innovators with funding, commercialization support, and mentorship with a focus on high-potential companies that will provide economic and social benefits for Alberta.

Their efforts are working. Alberta is a hub for innovators. Alberta small businesses contribute more GDP per capita than small businesses anywhere else in the country and inject about $100 billion a year into our economy.

Every Albertan knows that agribiz is a key sector. It contributes about $6.5 billion (2017) to Alberta's real GDP.

Inventures offers agribiz entrepreneurs a roadmap to success

A keynote address from Temple Grandin is just the beginning.  Honoured in 2010 by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, Temple is a pioneer in improving the handling and welfare of farm animals. Her many achievements include a New York Times best-selling book, Animals in Translation, and the Meritorious Achievement Award from the Livestock Conservation Institute.

Other sessions cover everything from breaking into the food and beverage industry, technology that is revolutionizing Africa, and cutting-edge work that is disrupting the protein industry.

Inventures includes standout speakers like Jack Bobo, Vice President of Global Policy at Intrexon, a synthetic biology company developing revolutionary solutions to the world's most pressing problems. In 2015, he was named by Scientific American one of the 100 most influential people in biotechnology.

Successful startup founders will offer inspiration and share their wisdom from the trenches. Inventures features a panel that includes Wellthy & CoCEO Shizu Okusa, CEO and cofounder of SIPTIP, Stuart Murphy and Alex Cohen, the founder and CEO of TwentyTables, winner of the SXSW Best Bootstrap Award.

A session on the future of protein will also draw a crowd. It includes corporate leaders like Jeffrey Fitzpatrick-Stilwell from McDonalds and Gurneesh Bhandal from Cargill Protein. David Moss, from the Canadian Cattlemen's Association and Dr. Robyn Metcalfe, founder of Austin-based Food+Cityround out the discussion.

Inventures is hosted by Alberta Innovates.

For Alberta, Inventures provides an opportunity draw leading startups and innovators from around the world to Calgary, showcase the best the province has to offer, and attract new business.

With an annual investment of $286 million, and another $80 million in technical support for greenhouse gas emissions reduction projects, Alberta Innovates is one of several organizations working hard to advance new technologies in the province.

Innovators operating in Alberta are eligible for funding and tax credits, as well as supports from organizations like the Alberta Clean Technology Alliance, Innovate Calgary and TEC Edmonton, one of the world's top incubators.

Tickets for the three-day event are available for just $599 until June 4.