About The Program
Alberta IoT is dedicated to establishing Alberta as a worldwide leader in the Internet of Things (IoT).
The Alberta IoT Fast Track is a technology ecosystem program to help established businesses (in Calgary and surrounding areas) in IoT (running IoT as a business or leveraging IoT for their growth) to scale up, gain access to resources, and increase collaboration between tech sector businesses, with the ultimate goal of creating new jobs, expand operations, and increasing revenue in Canada and abroad.
Upcoming Program Dates:
Cohort 1 – January 4 – February 26, 2021
Cohort 2 – March 8 – May 3, 2021
Cohort 3 – May 10 – July 5, 2021
- Business expansion modelling
- Sales & Marketing
- Systems and processes
- Sourcing New Digital Technologies
- R&D Process
- PR & Positioning IoT Business Voice To Take Centre Stage
- Strategic Funding and Resource Linking for Global Expansion
- Business Collaboration Project Planning
The Fast Track Program aims to provide the right support systems and education to increase revenue for IoT companies in Alberta and position these businesses to successfully expand globally.
This will be achieved through:
- 8-week live business training program
- 1 year mentorship with cohort
- Weekly training sessions with key resource partners
- 1:1 coaching sessions over 1 year with quarterly check-ins
All business information collected from participating organizations is confidential and intended solely for Alberta IoT and government use.
Organizational participation in the Fast Track Program is public. By enrolling in the Fast Track Program, an organization agrees to be mentioned on social media and via the Alberta IoT email newsletter.
In this module, we will review business system gaps, evaluate growth challenges, assess operational and human resource systems, and determine what needs to be addressed in order to achieve successful growth.
Facilitator: Brenda Beckedorf, Alberta IoT
In this module, participants will learn the fundamental skills required to understand the many facets of process excellence and the skills needed to manage and improve business processes. Current best practices and tools covered include Six Sigma, Lean Management, and Knowledge Management will be highlighted.
Facilitator: Lucie Hamel, SAIT
This module will cover human resource matters specific to organizatonal growth; this includes maintaining HR Compliance, hiring practices, finding talent, retaining talent, company procedures and policies.
Facilitator: Shannon Friesen, ActivateHR
We will discuss the legal requirements for contracts for both national and international expansion.
Facilitator: William Van Horne, Socium Law
This module will leave you with the strategies and tools to expand into new markets, and a deeper understanding of the challenges and solutions associated with entering a new market.
Facilitator: Monica Rovers, Rainmaker
Marketing Strategy & Planning
Participants will develop a marketing plan and strategy for expansion with insights specifically into international markets.
Facilitator: Lisa Genovese, BottomLine
Fast Track Program participants will learn how to developing a consistent,
repeatable, scalable sales engine, from finding the right prospects to ongoing client care systems.
Facilitator: Hamish Knox, Sandler Training Calgary
This lesson covers financial planning topics for building your expansion and scaling your organization. Reporting and tracking will also be discussed.
Facilitator: Jillian Murdock, MNP
Securing IP & Patents
After this module, participants will understand intellectual property and patents for expansion into global markets.
Facilitator: Dan Polonenko & Luke Wang, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP
Networking & Guest Speakers
Throughout the program, participants will have the opportunity to network and attend sessions with a wide range of relevant guest speakers.
Executive Director, Alberta IoT Association
Before her time at Alberta IoT Association, Brenda Beckedorf started her career in technology with Graycon Group as Director of Business Development for Canada. She then moved on to start her own company in 2017, Launch Strategic Group, with a focus on supporting growth in technology companies through sales strategies.
As Executive Director, all of Brenda’s efforts are driven by a mission to nurture and accelerate the success of Alberta’s Internet of Things economy. Brenda works closely with companies that focus on IoT Solutions across verticals such as mining, farming, and oil & gas to increase their markets, adding process and establishing new verticals. She has a vast array of vendor and partner connections that bring increased value to those who work with her.
As President of BottomLine, Lisa Genovese supports Challenger Brands to evolve their business, creating more impact on the world around them. For Lisa, advancing a business requires more than a surface-level strategy. This is why Lisa and her team hyper-focus on their unique Impact Assessment process to uncover key insights, and help clients see what others may not. BottomLine’s global team helps clients implement kick-ass strategies centred on strong market research insights that consistently improve conversion rates, increase sales, and profit margins.
Lisa has helped many of her clients grow from local brands into globally recognized names. Having worked in global markets across a variety of sectors ranging from small business to large multinational brands, some of Lisa’s favourite Challenger clients include Whipcord Corporation, Verge Technologies, Inc., Canada Pipeline Accessories, 3D-P, PilotsFriend (as seen on Dragons Den), Home Depot and Axia Fibernet.
Continually diving deeper into the science behind Challenger Brands, Lisa uses her CDMP in digital marketing to design deeper strategies for real brand impact. When not working with Challenger Brands, she can be found travelling, skiing, hiking or enjoying the great outdoors with her husband Corey and their furchild Mickey.
Senior Manager, MNP Consulting Team
Troy Deck is a Senior Manager with MNP’s Consulting Team. He currently manages multiple training and consulting projects. Troy has over 13 years of experience consulting to industry, working with businesses and First Nations. Troy’s areas of focus include, Entrepreneurship, Business and Strategic Planning, Training Development and Delivery, Change Management, and Human Resources. Troy has helped businesses and organizations attain successful growth, change and development. He takes pride in providing clients with reliable, knowledgeable advice, and helping them navigate the challenges of business through collaborative, creative solutions.
Troy also had tremendous experience working with ALI and other Alberta Government ministries in delivering the following programs and associated services:
- Self-employment and Entrepreneurial Training from July 2007 to July 2015 and April 2019 to present date.
- Contract Readiness Training from 2009 to 2014.
- Bookkeeping Training from October 2009 to May 2010.
Role: As the Project Manager, Troy will triage submitted Business Plans for Review and Evaluation to ensure that they are matched with an appropriate MNP reviewer or evaluator. He will also oversee each phase of the Business Plan reviews, help plan and manage the tasks, and ensure quality assurance over key deliverables supported by Mariesa and Veronica. Troy will also review all Business Plan review reports prepared by our team to help ensure our methodology and approach is consistently applied. Troy when required will also assist in drafting final reports.
Partner and Business Advisor, MNP Private Enterprise Group
Jillian Murdoch, CPA, CA is a Partner and Business advisor with MNP’s Private Enterprise group and leads the technology, media and telecommunication niche in Calgary. Jillian delivers assurance and tax services to private companies and not-for-profit organizations, tailoring solutions to help them achieve their goals.
Jillian has extensive experience conducting audits and significant knowledge and expertise in auditing specific reporting requirements within the sectors she serves. She assists with compilations, audits and reviews in accordance with Accounting Standards for Private Enterprises and Accounting Standards for Not-for-Profit Organizations and advises on a wide range of business issues.
Strongly committed to her clients’ success, Jillian makes a point of providing timely, detailed responses and meeting client-driven deadlines. She also introduces clients to firm members who can deliver specialized assistance when it is in the clients’ best interests.
Jillian received a Bachelor of Administrative and Commercial Studies in finance and administration from the University of Western Ontario in 2003. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (CA) in 2009. Dedicated to her profession, Jillian facilitates in-house courses on accounting and assurance standards, audit strategy and technology for MNP.
Principal & Sr. HR Consultant, ACTivate HR
Shannon Friesen is a designated CPHR with more than 30 years of experience in her chosen field. She is also a licensed professional investigator in the province of Alberta.
Shannon has extensive experience working with unionized and un-unionized organizations to create high performing workplaces with a strong corporate culture. She has conducted many workplace investigations such as harassment, sexual harassment, bullying and working with Safety teams on incident investigations. She not only investigates workplace issues but also works with organizations to create, implement and train all employees on respectful workplace policies to ensure that all employees have a safe place to work, every day.
Shannon’s career has spanned across law firms, government, utilities, and oil and gas. She is currently Principal and Sr. HR Consultant with ACTivate HR Corp., a Workplace Investigation and HR solutions consulting company founded by Shannon and her two business partners.
Principal and Registered Patent Agent, Gowling WLG
Dan Polonenko is a Principal and Registered Patent Agent in Gowling WLG’s Calgary office. His practice involves patent drafting and prosecution in the fields of life sciences focusing on biotechnology, health, medical devices, oil, gas, and environmental technologies, and process engineering. Additionally, Dan provides business-focused strategic and tactical intellectual property (IP) services.
Dan has over 20 years of scientific and business experience in the Canadian biotech Industry with 13 years at the executive management level with responsibilities that included strategic business plan preparation and implementation, budgeting and cost management, as well as the development and management of IP portfolios. During his scientific & business careers, Dan co-authored 20 peer-reviewed scientific publications, several book chapters and in addition, was a co-inventor of six issued patent families.
Dan has been listed in: (i) IAM Patent 1000 – World’s Leading Patent Practitioners since 2014 to present, (ii) IAM Strategy 300 – World’s Leading IP Strategists during 2014-2016, and (iii) is the recipient of the 2016 Clients’ Choice award from ILO/Lexology for patent services in Alberta.
Principal and Registered Patent Agent, Gowling WLG
Luke Wang is a Principal and Registered Patent Agent in Gowling WLG’s Calgary office. His practice involves patent drafting and prosecuting patent applications relating to a wide range of subject matter, including electrical, software and mechanical engineering.
Luke has many years of experience in research and development in electrical engineering, and is skilled in finding patent solutions for high-tech and oil and gas companies. His particular areas of expertise include wireless communications, signal processing, image processing, Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), and Software Engineering, including web technologies, databases, computer networks, and audio/video codecs. He also has experience in finding patent solutions for mechanical inventions.
Educated in both Canada and China, Luke obtained his PhD from the University of Alberta, and had an extensive engineering career working in large high-tech companies prior to becoming a patent agent. He is the co-inventor of six issued patents, and has co-authored publications in top IEEE journals and conferences.
Global Partner – Latin America and Africa, Rainmaker Global
Monica Rovers is a Global Partner at Rainmaker Global, specializing in Africa and Latin America. She is an international relations/business development professional and assists organizations to grow through international connections. She was previously Head, Global Energy at Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange where she helped Energy companies across the globe to finance their international projects.
Ms Rovers was the Business Development Manager, International at Calgary Economic Development where she helped Alberta companies to expand their operations into international markets. She has also spent many years in International Marketing in the education industry. Monica has 20+ years of international relations & business development experience in non-profit, private and public organizations.
Monica facilitates global development by assisting Canadian companies to grow internationally and encouraging foreign companies to enter the Canadian market. She led and hosted numerous incoming and outgoing international trade missions and has built a strong network of local, national and international colleagues and organizations.
President, Sandler Training Calgary
A member of the global Sandler network, Hamish and his team supports private organizations in Southern Alberta create and maintain scalable, repeatable, consistent sales engines and differentiate on *how* they sell not *what* they sell.
In March 2020, Hamish became the first Canadian winner of the David H. Sandler Award, which recognized his embodiment of the Sandler principles, the spirit of David Sandler, the Sandler brand and his outstanding dedication to supporting his Sandler colleagues and the Sandler organization as a whole. He was the first two time author in the Sandler network. His first book was on accountability and his second on change. Hamish is regularly invited by Sandler Home Office to speak at Sandler’s train-the-trainer conferences and Sandler’s public Sales and Leadership Summit in Orlando.
Committed to giving back so other entrepreneurs can enjoy the same opportunities he had when he launched his business, Hamish is an active mentor with Futurpreneur Canada, is a Maple Leaf Club donor to Enactus Canada and is a volunteer judge for regional and national student entrepreneur competitions.
Will Van Horne
President, Socium Law
From 2002 to 2017 Will worked at leading Canadian law firms in the areas of corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and securities regulation. In 2017 Will founded Socium Law, a law firm focussed on supporting the growth of technology companies and entrepreneurs generally. Will is a passionate builder of innovative businesses, acting as a board member or officer of several private and public companies, and is a member of both the National and Alberta Advisory Committees of the TSX Venture Exchange. Will obtained his Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Business Administration (Electronic Commerce) from the University of New Brunswick.
An Expert Facilitator and Specialist in collaboration, knowledge management, business strategy, change management, innovation, and communication, Lucie has held leadership and management positions in various industries, both domestically and internationally including: government, advertising, pulp & paper, software and Oil & Gas. Lucie developed her skills over 30 years working with leaders who aspired to continuously improve their organizations for the benefit of their employees, to improve organizational efficiency with a strong focus on improving team effectiveness and creating a culture of continuous improvement.
Lucie has a passion for bringing teams together providing guidance and facilitation to draw on the collective knowledge and experience of the team, to identify ways to continuously improve their business processes, exploit their captured learnings with the goal of creating future value to the organization. At a Strategic, Operational or Tactical level Lucie always challenges Stakeholders and Teams to consider, “what we do”, “why we do it”, and “how we do it”. Lucie uses her skills and passion for collaboration and continuous improvement to help teams to reach for and achieve improved results and best in class performance.
CEO, The Grant Sherpa
Denise has been both an instructor, and business coach to hundreds of SME’s In Calgary through a government funded Self Employment program. Denise has been a visiting instructor to many faculties at SAIT on Extreme Networking. Denise is a business and grant strategist. She helps entrepreneurs scale up assessing gaps in business systems to grow. She supports them in planning and executing their expansion plans through grants and business resources. Key areas she targets in helping businesses scale up are: research and development, hiring, training, export, and expansion. She serves fast growth technology businesses in: healthcare, technology, marketing, construction, oil and gas, finance, advanced education, publishing, agriculture, telecommunications, transportation, green energy, and manufacturing. She currently helps align clients to resource partners such as IRAP, Alberta Innovates, BDC, EDC, Alberta Trade, CED, Western Diversification, and Trade Commissioners around the world. She has also aligned her fast growth clients to collaborate in initiates resulting in 2 joint ventures so far in 2020 (including first nations partnerships). The Canadian clientele she works with are doing business or expanding into: USA, India, Netherlands, Vietnam, Singapore, Germany, France, UK, UAE, Qatar, Africa, Columbia, Peru, and Australia.
Denise has been involved as a busines partner in international healthcare and other export ventures, and has been on a variety of boards such as The International Executive Association, Doors Open YYC, Bow West Community Resource Centre, and currently serving on the board of The Gold Mind Project (grass roots venture to help unemployed Albertans transition to new sectors and opportunities).
Denise is a collaborator in community getting active over the years with nonprofit organizations and industry associations: Calgary Women in Energy, Inn From The Cold, Human Resources Institute of Alberta, Economic Development Association of Canada, Alberta Occupational Health Nurses Association, Enactus Canada, Faculty of Graduate Studies (University of Calgary), African Canadian Golfers Club, and the Calgary Stampede.
Denise speaks on business topics and grant strategy for industry associations such as: Calgary Construction Association, Mechanical Contractors Association, Calgary Real Estate for Women, Alberta International Development Office, International Executive Association, Young Leaders in Construction, SAIT Women in Trades and Technology, Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and Alberta IoT.