Community Safety and Wellbeing Accelerator Names First Cohort


Two Edmonton-born companies are part of an international group of tech startups in the first cohort of the Community Safety and Wellness Accelerator.

Areto Laboratories and PALcares will be joined by 18 participants from Russia, New Zealand, Israel, Turkey, Argentina, the United States and elsewhere in Canada in the Edmonton-based accelerator. The 12-week program will provide them with business development and mentorship opportunities, as well as access to community service agencies and Edmonton Police Department data.

The Accelerator’s mission is to show that Alberta can do good for society, said Accelerator President Ashif Mawji. “We can bring in entrepreneurs from all over the world and help them by giving them the data, domain expertise, community partners, agencies, customer first, funding, and all the ingredients a startup needs to succeed,” he said when announcing the first cohort.

Mawji said about 65 companies have applied to the accelerator, which is a partnership between the Edmonton Police Foundation (which Mawji also chairs), Alberta Innovates and Silicon Valley’s AlchemistX, with support from TELUS and Innovate Edmonton. It is one of four programs announced as part of the Alberta Scaleup and Growth Accelerators program last fall.

“We are thrilled to take our investment in this one-of-a-kind program to create a profitable business that hires great people and positively impacts the world right here in this province,” said Lana Cuthbertson, co-founder. and CEO of Areto Labs, which uses artificial intelligence to analyze social media sentiment and moderate online abuse.

The other Edmonton company, PALcares, is an AI-based referral system that connects community members to relevant social supports while collecting data to improve social services over time.

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