ASTech Awards Gala: ..on Friday, we saw a Village
Thank you Everyone – it was truly amazing to see such great community support! We had a full-house for the 34th Annual ASTech Awards on Friday, at the Hotel Arts in Calgary. In fact, we had to close registration 1 day early, due to the tidal wave of registrations that was rolling in last week, and our venue capacity limitations. With a combined attendance of over 600 at ASTech Events over the last 2 weeks, we have doubled our program participation from last year – and are looking forward to what can be achieved in 2024, as we add a 3rd Alberta location, and celebrate Rural Regional Innovation.
But first – let’s celebrate 2023. The 34th Annual ASTech Awards Gala was pleased to have outstanding awards presenters to recognize our inspiring finalists – ranging from TELUS, Syncrude Research, Blue Cross, Regional Innovation Network Representation (Olds, Red Deer, Medicine Hat), Government of Alberta, Alberta Innovates, PrairiesCan, UofA, UofC, Red Deer Polytechnic, Mount Royal programs, municipal innovation entities, and more.
And the finalists – what an amazing group of researchers, entrepreneurs, and community leaders. One of the top comments was that attendees would like to spend more time meeting the finalists (More to come on this note!). Peter Kinash (long-time ASTech Advisory Board member) has often stated that it can be better to be a re-occuring ASTech finalist than a winner in a category, as a finalist can re-apply – and receive another years worth of visibility. The list of winners will be available on the astech.ca website soon – and is a cross-Alberta representation of achievement and appreciation. They recognize that they did not get to the stage on their own, and that they still have a long-way to go – with many expressing an interest in giving back, and lifting others along the way.
So what were the most memorable moments? The survey results are still coming in – but what we have heard so far are:
- Inspiration was seen from our youngest recipients – kudos to you Connor, for inspiring us all!
- General feeling in the room: “Inspiring Innovation”– absolutely!
- From our young entrepreneurs: Thank you, the understanding and connections made today with government, industry, academia, and entrepreneurs has been incredible – we have met an innovation community which really wants to help. Our attendance has saved us years of time, and will help grow our company faster – knowing we will have advice and support along the way. We were considering moving to California, but now we will stay in Alberta instead – we have community support here.
And to sum it up nicely – in the words a community-builder shared with me the next day: It takes a village, and on Friday at the ASTech Awards – I saw a village.
Thank you all – and one for all, and all for one,