Originally published by Harvest’s Managing Director, Chris Simair at https://www.harvest.builders.

Before enjoying the harvest, you have to put in the work. It goes without saying that Harvest Builders has been diligently planting and nurturing the seeds of the Prairie’s emerging tech ecosystem over the past year. And we’re continuing to add to our crop.

This month, we’re thrilled to announce the addition of two new companies, One Wealth and Propra, to our studio’s fintech portfolio. …


Startup on the Prairies profiles emerging tech companies and their founders. We highlight startups that we’ve worked with, learning more about the entrepreneurial journey, market opportunity, and how we’ve supported the launch and growth of innovative companies from the Canadian Prairies.

What’s the secret to catching your big break as an entrepreneur?

We had the opportunity to ask a Canadian female-founded business in the Prairies how they transformed their ideas and passions into reality.

Birdie Break is an on-demand, pay-per-service app that allows parents to book trusted childcare and tutoring services anywhere from two hours to two months in advance.


Sometimes posting on a job board just won’t cut it.

This is especially true when you’re looking to recruit data scientists, software engineers, or any tech-related roles. If you’ve ever had to chase down an app developer, you’d understand the struggle.

These specialized skill sets are highly coveted, and you can bet every other company is after them. A survey by Indeed revealed that eight of the top 15 roles in their annual ‘Best Jobs’ of 2020 survey belonged in the tech space. What makes these roles so difficult to source isn’t just the competition but the talent gaps.

Even…


At a glance…

  • Neo Financial, a fintech company in Calgary increased its headcount from 36 to 139 in 2020, only two years after it started. It then raised $50M in their Series A in December 2020.
  • The founding team avoided the traditional hiring mindset to treat candidates as part of a transactional hiring funnel and instead, focused on relationship building.
  • Neo’s first senior-level positions were sourced from a variety of existing connections, which increased the quality of hires, average time to fill a position, and the onboarding process.
  • They continued sourcing talent from within their team’s networks and actively nurtured passive candidates to…

The world’s population has acquired a taste for carbon-fuelled living. Convincing it to live otherwise is a tricky undertaking. But it’s essential for addressing long-term climate change according to one company in Alberta.

“Energy producers are just meeting consumer demand,” says Andy Harris, Director of Strategic Engagement at Radicle. “This means there needs to be a shift in consumer behaviour to reduce demand.”

To some, this may sound like a pipe dream. While 65 percent of consumers express interest in buying “purpose-driven brands” only 26 percent of them put their money where their mouth is. …


If you view marketing as a cost centre or necessary evil, it’s time to turn that on its head.

From now on, consider marketing a revenue generator. This is the mindset shift required to embrace growth marketing. It’s also the mentality required to bring in more investors.

When it’s time to raise that Series A and beyond, investors will want to know how every marketing activity helped move the business forward. It’s up to you to take all of your growth marketing activities, whether they’re in lead generation or content marketing, and tie them back to their impact on revenue…


At a glance…

  • Neo Financial, a fintech company in Calgary increased its headcount from 36 to 139 in 2020, only two years after it started. It then raised $50M in their Series A in December 2020.
  • The founding team avoided the traditional hiring mindset to treat candidates as part of a transactional hiring funnel and instead, focused on relationship building.
  • Neo’s first senior-level positions were sourced from existing connections from the co-founders’ time at SkipTheDishes, which increased the quality of hires, average time to fill a position, and the onboarding process.
  • They continued sourcing talent from within their team’s networks…

At a glance…

  • Nude Solutions, an insurance SaaS company in Alberta, more than doubled their headcount from 29 to 62 people during 2020
  • They ensured their talent growth kept pace with their business growth by adopting talent management best practices
  • The founding team invested in a dedicated people function to ensure they had the processes in place to streamline administrative HR activities, so they could focus their energy on people and culture‍
  • Before hiring new employees, Nude clearly articulated the company’s values, so they could identify candidates who were the right fit and would enhance the company’s culture
  • Business unit level leaders, such…

Builder Story is a series where we get to know members of the Harvest team and their roles. We sat down with former Olympian Adam Froese, who leads our Venture Builder Program, to understand how he plays a hand in co-building globally competitive companies.

Q: Tell us about your background.

A: My career started in investment banking and corporate finance. I’ve spent the last five years working with public and private clients in the mid-market space, and developed a passion for helping them with raising capital, strategy and growth, and mergers and acquisitions.

At Deloitte, I gained firsthand experience valuing and assessing companies that were constantly…


When you think of AgTech, the first thing that probably comes to mind is unmanned farming equipment, IoT sensors, or robotics and drones for precision agriculture. Chances are FinTech isn’t on the list.

In reality, FinTech offers a number of solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing farmers.

Increasing farmers’ access to funding and streamlined payment methods

For many farmers, the decision to grow crops during the season, invest in more efficient farming methods, or purchase new equipment relies on their access to funding. Despite the importance of the agricultural sector, financial institutions are historically reluctant to provide services to this group. The rural location of farmers…

Harvest Builders

Co-building globally competitive technology companies in the Canadian Prairies

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