This episode we're talking with Alberta's Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation, Doug Schweitzer; and Alberta Innovates CEO Laura Kilcrease about diversification and Alberta's economy and more.
Minister Doug 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. (Minister Schweitzer's bio was taken from the GoA's website.)
Laura Kilcrease is the Chief Executive Officer for Alberta Innovates, including its subsidiaries InnoTech Alberta and C-FER Technologies.
Recruited from Austin, Texas, Laura is the founder and former-managing director of the venture capital fund Triton Ventures, LP. She is widely recognized as one of the key figures in changing Austin’s economic landscape from one struggling with the economic ups and downs that come with oil dependence to a high-tech environment that is today recognized as one of the #1 Entrepreneur City and best place to live and work in the U.S.
She is the founder of the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), one of the United States’ first technology business incubators, and co-founder of the Austin Technology Council, a premier networking organization that cultivated the growth of the Austin economy. Laura also launched Capital Network, one of the largest angel investor networks in the U.S. with over $150 million in completed transactions.
Laura has more than 25 years of hands-on experience in commercializing technology, and a deep understanding of how to identify and build new business opportunities. Prior to accepting the role as Alberta Innovates’ CEO, Laura was a seven-year member of the Alberta Research and Innovation Advisory Committee, which guided the former Alberta Innovates’ corporations.
In Austin, she gave her time and expertise to a number of non-profit boards, including the Women’s Leadership Advisory Board of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, the Beyster Institute, World Congress for Information Technology 2006, and the IC² Institute at The University of Texas at Austin, among many others.
Laura has often been recognized for her outstanding achievements. She has received numerous honors and awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Austin Business Journal’s Profiles in Power Award, and the University of Texas McCombs School of Business Women in Business Leadership Conference Trailblazer Award.
Born in London, Laura received her certification as a Chartered Management Accountant in the U.K. and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas.