We Can. We Will: Diversify Our Economy
May 31, 2021
In a nutshell: We’ve been talking about diversification for decades--now we’re doing it. As a board member of Calgary Economic Development and Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF). These organizations have helped Calgary rank among the top tech talent markets in North America and helped amplify private investment in emerging industries. For every $1 invested by OCIF, private investment has increased by $15.
The backstory: Back in 2018, the City allocated $100M to OCIF to attract investment, drive innovation, and activate transformative economic development in the city.
On costs: To date, $43M has been dispersed from OCIF to fund 15 projects. As a result:
- 15 companies awarded OCIF funding (12 local and 3 new entrants across sectors)
- 15:1 ratio of leveraged investments with $43 million of OCIF funds committed, leading to $636 million in new investment
- 1900 Calgary-based jobs created
- 1800+ newly trained tech talent
- 440,000 sq feet of office/industrial space absorbed
- 190 new companies started through incubators/accelerators
The bottom line: It makes sense for the City to invest in programs that create jobs, attract new private capital, and strengthen Calgary’s economy. Any way you cut it, OCIF is helping Calgary diversify, attract new investment, jobs, and businesses.