An Interview with Startup Mentor David Edmonds

Get to Know David

David Edmonds is a key mentor in Calgary’s technology community. For over 30 years, he has made a significant impact in the industry and on Alberta’s entrepreneurial community. In 2015, he won the Rod Charko Service Award for his contribution and dedication. 

Working in senior positions at NCR, SHL Systemhouse and Computerland, and as the Founder of Burntsand, David directed the successful introduction of new technology concepts at each of these companies. David serves as Partner at Value Point Capital and as a Board Member at nFluids and iConnectivity.

For the past four years, David has served as the Industry Chair for The A100. Every year at Launch Party, members of The A100 select winner of The A100 One to Watch Award. This year, we interviewed David to get his perspective on what it means to win this award.

What is The A100?

In your own words, what is The A100?

The A100 is a non-profit association of entrepreneurs, founders, and C-level executives who have experienced the full lifecycle of a startup. Our members span the province of Alberta with a handful of expats in Silicon Valley and London, UK. Our objective is to provide the necessary environment for Alberta entrepreneurs to build globally successful technology and innovation-based companies. We believe world-class tech companies are being built in Alberta and that our collective greater involvement can meaningfully increase successful outcomes.

Why did you get involved in The A100?

I wanted to be able to give back to the technology community in Alberta in a meaningful way that included more than investment. When I had my first startup, no one had the technology experience to provide advice, mentoring, or coaching to help me through the various growth phases of the business. It was also a way to socialize with other successful tech entrepreneurs and stay in touch with emerging new technologies.

What makes Alberta a great place to build and grow a tech company?

The entrepreneurial sprit and "can-do" attitude is number one. We now have the depth of experience and community support throughout the province to help build the next generation of tech entrepreneurs across multiple market segments.

Working with Entrepreneurs

What 3 pieces of advice do entrepreneurs need to follow to achieve success in Alberta?

Well anyone that knows me, also knows I hate to limit myself to only 3 pieces of advice, but here it goes. 

First, have a complete understanding of your market and why your solution solves the pain being experienced by your customer. Second, always hire and work with people smarter than yourself. Third, don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know all the answers and be willing to ask others for help.

What do you want Calgary's technology community to be known for?

I want it to be known for being inclusive, supportive, and willing to take chances. 

The A100 One to Watch Award

What does Launch Party do for Calgary’s entrepreneurial ecosystem?

It is a celebration for and of the community, allowing new ideas and concepts to be presented in a unbiased forum.

The A100 One to Watch Award has been around for several years. For some of our newer community members, what does this award stand for and what does it mean for companies who are selected? 

The award goes right back to the founding of The A100 and the first community launch party we had. A wide cross section of The A100 members will take a close look at the finalists. This award is the first step in engagement with The A100 and the new companies. 

The winner will receive a private helicopter ride with iNovia Capital VC, Shawn Abbott (thanks Shawn), and an opportunity to present their company to members of The A100 during a private breakfast. 

What qualities do you look for in the winner of The A100 One to Watch Award? 

The founder and team is key. Having a founder and supporting team that can adjust to what the market is demanding, and successfully deliver that product, is critical.

See you at Launch Party on November 17! 

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