Insights and Analysis

Talking Tech: A Conversation About Alberta’s Booming Tech Sector

Talking Tech: A Conversation with Minister Doug Schweitzer  
Alberta’s tech sector has experienced enormous growth in recent years. To support that progress, the Alberta Government is committed to helping the province’s information and technology companies become dominant players within Canada’s innovation ecosystem and on the global stage. In this latest Prairie Sky webinar, you’ll hear Mark Blackwell, general partner of Builders VC and chair of Calgary’s Opportunity Investment Fund, interview Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs Economy and Innovation, about the Government’s strategy, what’s working, and what may be next.

Please join us for a free live webinar on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 from 4:00pm – 5:00pm MST via Zoom to get an opportunity to hear exclusive insights from the Honourable Doug Schweitzer, with time for questions and feedback.
Guest Speaker:
Honourable Doug Schweitzer – Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation

Minister Schweitzer was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta on April 16, 2019, as the MLA for Calgary-Elbow. A dedicated husband, father of 2 young girls and a long-serving community volunteer, Schweitzer has a strong record of public service, including previously raising funds for military families and serving as Vice Chair of the Calgary Drug Treatment Court. He is passionate about restoring Alberta’s promise – an Alberta in which, no matter where you came from, if you worked hard, you could succeed.
Schweitzer was a partner at a leading Alberta law firm as a restructuring and bankruptcy lawyer. This experience gave him a first-hand view of the staggering impacts of failed policies that have led to job losses, economic stagnation and a loss of hope.
Doug Schweitzer was appointed as Alberta’s Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation on August 25, 2020. Schweitzer will oversee the implementation of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, its sector strategies and Alberta’s growth agenda.
Schweitzer previously held the position of Alberta’s Minister of Justice and Solicitor General where he made important progress tackling rural crime, advancing aspects of the fair deal panel report recommendations, and creating a faster, fairer and more responsible justice system.
Mark Blackwell – General Partner, Builders VC

Mark Blackwell is a General Partner and lead of the Canadian Office at Builders. Previously, Mark was a Product Manager at SolarWinds, which develops IT monitoring and network management tools. Mark joined SolarWinds when it acquired GNS3 Technologies ($30MM), an enterprise networking startup where Mark was the Chief Operating Officer. While there, Mark contributed to over 1MM monthly active users, 16MM downloads, and a customer base that included the US Department of Defense, AT&T, Walmart, Google, and Facebook.

Prior to GNS3, Mark was an Investment Manager at Cenovus Energy’s corporate venture fund, where he led the financing in HiFi Engineering and Skyonic Corporation and was a Board Observer for both. Earlier in his career, Mark worked in the technology investment banking division at CIBC World Markets and as a Business Development Analyst at Enbridge, an energy transportation company; both roles were based in Calgary.
Mark is a graduate of the University of Calgary, where he studied Business. He was honored by the Order of the University, Rising Star Alumni Award & recently the 2021 Rising Star with Venture Capital Magazine. Mark is also very active in the Canadian ecosystem as the current Board Chair of the $100MM Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund & Board Member of Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta.

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