TEC Edmonton 2007-08 Semi-Annual Report
to City Council, City of Edmonton
[A supplementary presentation will also be made to City Council Executive Committee
on April 9, 2008]
Purpose: to report highlights of TEC Edmonton’s activities, successes and achievements
since last annual report and presentation (September 5, 2007).
; TEC Edmonton was created in 2004 to combine programs from the University
of Alberta and EEDC, which were aimed at accelerating technology
commercialization in the region. The joint venture agreement between the City of
Edmonton (through EEDC) and the U of A (through the VP-Research) was
ratified in 2006.
; TEC Edmonton helps inventors, entrepreneurs, investors, and companies (U of
A spin-offs and city-wide start-ups) transform high-growth advanced technology
inventions into business opportunities. The philosophy is to ‘Capture more of the
value of the research done in our region, for our region’. We now focus
completely on economic development for our city and region, instead of
maximizing licensing revenue for the University (the principal objective of the
former Industry Liaison Office).
; TEC Edmonton offers an array of services that can help transform high tech,
high impact ideas, inventions and early stage corporations into viable business
ventures. Services include:
o Expertise (advice, consultation and specialized services that may include
technology evaluation, business evaluation, market research, patenting or
other Intellectual Property protection, legal agreement negotiation)
o Resources (ranging from business development sessions to grant strategy
advice, office/lab space, investment preparation (‘grooming’),
management team enhancement, to business plan competitions with cash
and in-kind prizes)
o Connections and introductions (includes investor forums, referral services,
technology development contacts, secured patenting support, networking
While the focus is predominantly Edmonton, TEC Edmonton’s reach also extends
regionally and even province-wide, largely through externally-funded
collaborative ventures with University Technologies International (UTI) and
Calgary Technologies Inc. (CTI)
; TEC Edmonton is funded by the University of Alberta ($1.5M per year), the
City of Edmonton ($1M per year), the Province of Alberta ($2M over 5 years),
Western Economic Diversification Canada ($2M over 5 years), agencies for
specific programs (e.g. AHFMR, AIF, IRAP, CIHR) and private-sector sponsors
for specific programs. The overall budget is approximately $5M per year.
; TEC Centre: TEC Edmonton relocated operations to the downtown TEC Centre on December 17, 2007 followed by over twenty TEC Centre tenants, who moved from the previous RTF campus facility during the first three months of 2008. thLocated on the newly-constructed 4 floor of Enterprise Square (partly funded by
the City of Edmonton) the TEC Centre is now fully operational, with 47,000 square feet of modern incubator facilities. The resources TEC Edmonton is able to provide these start-up and spin-off companies, are essential to the continued development of their business. TEC Edmonton’s goal is to be an active partner in their commercialization journey. The Grand Opening for the TEC Centre will
take place on April 11, 2008 from 11am-1pm.
; Seed Fund: Investing in early stage, knowledge-based companies. In late December 2007, iNovia Capital closed a >$125 MM seed fund of which at least $25 MM has to be invested in Alberta’s early-stage technology companies. On the
recommendation of TEC Edmonton, the U of A participated as a Limited Partner in that fund to the tune of $5 MM. Other partners (from Alberta) included IVAC, EDC and various high net worth individuals. TEC Edmonton anticipates that this will narrow (if not entirely close) the gap between technology concepts and successful businesses - representing a major step forward in improving access to capital in our region.
; TEC Source: was established in June 2007. It is TEC Edmonton’s first point of contact for technology inventors in the Greater Edmonton Region. Entrepreneurs and companies with a high growth invention/idea can contact TEC Source. The first stage is an interview process in order to determine their needs and how TEC Edmonton, or one of our partners, could assist them. The next stage is to match the inventor’s needs with experts to form the TEC Source Advisory Panel. The client presents in front of this customized panel of volunteer Professional Service Providers, and receives confidential expert advice on a no-charge basis. Since the inception of this service, TEC Edmonton has been contacted by 65 industry inventors (first stage), and 14 have participated in the Advisory Panels (second stage).
Executives in Residence (EIRs): TEC Edmonton now has three EIRs. Each EIR
is responsible for investigating the commercial viability of various technological and science concepts, and then assessing whether they have the potential to evolve into actual products and/or services. This goal is achieved by establishing working partnerships with researchers and entrepreneurs in the Greater Edmonton Region. The EIRs are actively connecting with the U of A researchers and external inventors to encourage company development. Their day-to-day activities include: mentorship and consultation, ultimately working towards creating a successful technology company based in Alberta. Once a prospective venture is conceived, an EIR will write the associated business plan, along with the founders, to raise the necessary investment required to make the venture grow. At this time the EIR will transition to become the new company’s President and
Our three EIRs are noted below, as are TEC Edmonton’s funding partners for this
o Robert Murakami, our new EIR, is focusing on start-up opportunities in
the Physical Sciences and Nanotechnology field. He has over 30 years
experience in investment financing, entrepreneurship and executive
management. Funding provided by the National Research Council –
through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP).
o Randy Yatscoff, formerly the CEO of Isotechnika Inc. (TSX:ISA), is
concentrating on prospects in the Life Sciences. Funding provided by
Alberta Heritage for Medical Research (AHFMR).
o Grant Parks specializing in Information & Communications Technology.
He is TEC Edmonon’s longest serving EIR and is imminently expected to
assume the CEO position for a new spin-off, Alberta Nanometals Inc.
Grant’s EIR position is funded by Alberta Ingenuity Fund through the
Ingenuity Enterprise Program (a JV between UTI and TEC Edmonton).
; Increasing Exposure: TEC Edmonton continues its extensive activities designed to increase exposure in key target groups to demonstrate that it is serving inventors, entrepreneurs and investors in the entire community. With the appointment of a new Communications Manager, it is anticipated that these activities will expand further, beginning with the launch of the new TEC Centre thon April 11, 2008. Recent activities in outreach included:
o Community Exposure events/tradeshows/conferences: Libin CEO
roundtable (joint with UTI), Dream Big (EEDC-led trade show of
significant local initiatives in SCC Hall D); BioCluster CEO Forum (co-
sponsor); Edmonton Edge (hosting influential targets in TO); RTF Info
Session (promotion to prospective tenants in future downtown TEC
Centre); Entrepreneur Show (recruited nascent entrepreneurs to programs
such as VenturePrize in this SCC trade show); NINT Open House
(displayed TEC Edmonton services at this NINT showcase of innovators);
ASTech Awards (sponsor for Edmonton event); Banff Venture Forum
(sponsor and organizing support); Alberta Life Technologies Forum
o VenturePrize: six-week seminar series with training led by U of A School
of Business; mentor matching between program participants and 23
experienced entrepreneurs from the region. (Deadline for this year’s
business plan competition was Feb 28, with the awards luncheon
announcement of best business plans taking place on April 30th)
o TEC Connector: showcased client start-up companies to over 300
participants from local region, including investors, other technology firms,
and business community.
; Board of Directors: Guide the organization’s operations and activities. The
Board members, appointed by the City of Edmonton and the U of A, represent local leaders in the technology business community as well as senior business and financing professionals. Since September 2007, two new members have joined the board - Dr. Lorne Babiuk, Vice-President Research, for the University of Alberta
as the new Board Chair, and Oleh Hnatiuk, President of Connect Capital
Corporation, as a Board Director.
Other members of the Board of Directors include:
o (Vice Chair) Ron Gilbertson, President and CEO of EEDC.
o Richard L. Casey, former Chairman and CEO of Scios Inc., former
Executive Vice-President for ALZA Corporation, and GM for Syntex
o Bruce Johnson, retired President of Intuit Canada and Intuit UK
o Wayne Karpoff, Co-founder and CTO of YottaYotta Inc., Founding chair
of the Alberta ICT Council and co-chair of the Digital Solutions Alliance.
o Chris Lumb, President & CEO, Micralyne Inc., Chair of the Board of
Directors of CMC Microsystems, and on the Board of Trustees of the
National Institute of Nanotechnology
o Robert Teskey, Managing Partner with FieldLaw
o Dr. David Cox, CEO, TEC Edmonton, former President and CEO of
Quest PharmaTech Inc., CEO of Apotex Fermentation Inc., Synsorb
Biotech Inc. and KS Avicenna Inc.
o Doug Maley, Assistant Deputy Minister, Western Economic
Diversification Canada (named to TEC Edmonton Board in 2007)
; New Staffing Resources (see attached Organization Chart): Like many
Edmonton enterprises, TEC Edmonton has experienced challenges in recruiting
and maintaining staffing levels. That notwithstanding, the following positions
have been staffed in the last half year, or are under recruitment:
o Finance & Administration: Controller, and HR/Financial Assistant
o Communications: Manager, Marketing and Communications
o Company Development:
; Executive-in-Residence (Physical Sciences & Nanotechnology).
; Executive-in-Residence (Life Sciences)
; Executive-in-Residence (Information & Communications
technology – under recruitment)
; Tech transfer professionals (2)
The organization now employs 24 substantive employees, 5 contractors and 7
Technology Transfer Program
FY 2008 FY 2008 Indicator FY 2007 (Target) (YTD)
Invention 98 110 77
Licenses issued 22 28 24
* For 2008, this program has accepted over 10 non-U of A company development opportunities.
VenturePrize Business Plan Competition
2006-07 2007-08 Indicator (total year) (YTD as of March 9)
# Participants mentored 24 26
#Business Plans submitted in
29 competition 11
Sponsor $ (private sector) Cash only: Cash only:
Cash with in-kind: Cash with in-kind:
Awards Luncheon to showcase the best business plans in Alberta – for Fast Growth and Student Business Plan - will be held on April 30 at the SCC.
**Sponsorship for 2008 may increase as part of the awards event.
JumpStart Company Development Program
; New Spin-off Companies in 2007-08 (YTD)
UKALTA Inc. UA spin-off
Oncometabolics Inc. UA spin-off
Ezseer Corp. UA spin-off
; New Candidate Start-up Clients
(New companies or new clients) 2007-08 (YTD)
Exciton Technologies Inc. Edmonton start-up
Triple D Technologies Inc. Edmonton start-up
; Objective was to add 5 new companies to the portfolio in 2007-08, so the goal has
already been achieved.
; Some of the start-up companies previously established through TEC Edmonton or
its progenitor organizations have also enjoyed some considerable successes in
recent months. Notable examples include: BioMS Medical, MMRL, Cevena
Bioproducts Ltd. and Cardiometabolics Inc. Further mention of these will be thmade in the TEC Edmonton CEO’s presentation on April 9.
Alberta Deal Generator Program
Indicator 2007 2008 YTD
Companies applying 82 21
Companies mentored 36 21
Companies presented to forums 10 3
Funds offered by ADG members to at least 0 presenting companies $850,000
Funds raised from ADG members, 0 0
This program is a joint venture of TEC Edmonton and Calgary Technologies Inc., but is led out of Edmonton.
Financial Position (see attached statement)
; As at January 31, 2008 TEC Edmonton had revenues of $4.7 MM and expenses of
$4.5 MM. Both these figures are approximately $800,000 below budget. The
budget variance is largely a result of the challenges of recruiting and retaining
qualified staff and a shortfall in project-related government grant revenue
(concomitantly matched by reducing or eliminating the relevant projects).
; TEC Edmonton is on track with the installation of a new financial system. The
new system will be the cornerstone in improved financial management and
tracking processes. Once installed, TEC Edmonton’s financial management
systems will be fully independent of the University. A new financial system was
one of the recommendations arising from last year’s financial audit.
; As provided for in the by-laws, TEC Edmonton will provide an Annual Report
and audited financial statements to the City within 120 days of TEC Edmonton’s stfiscal year end (March 31).
D. J. Cox
CEO, TEC Edmonton
March 13, 2008
Attachment 1 TEC Edmonton
TEC Edmonton CEO Org Chart March, 2008 David Cox VP Finance & VP Company Senior Legal Director Director Manager Co-ordinator Administration Development Counsel Technology Deal Generator Communication Venture Prize Transfer & Marketing Ken Gordon Laine Woollard Will Sawchyn Pamela Freeman Kazuo Adachi (acting) Nadia Andersen Kendel Ferrier
IT Administrator Assistant Assistant Assistant Assistant Controller CompuVision Shelley McDonald Brenda Holt Charlotte Cave Shelley McDonald Cindy McKay
Financial RTF/TEC JumpStart Executives in TEC Source Legal/Asset Legal Intern Health Science Natural Assistants Centre Manager & Residence Manager & Co. Manager Manager Sciences Randy Yatscoff Senior Dev. Advisor Manager Alexandra Bayley Kerry Hynes Grant Parks Market Analyst (Manager) Jennifer Alexander Robert Murakami Brenda Service Lavinia Hogan Hugh Wyatt Bernadette Oreski Jayant Kumar Ben McClure
Company IP Assistant Joanna Preston Darrell Petras Reception Development Vacant position Vicki Lui Officer Farid Foroud Trevor Prentice (AHFMR) Darlene Kramps Vacant Jan Somers
Market Analyst Andrew Pryor