Hölmetrics CEO and co-founder Chad Verity said the Red Deer area could become a tech hub. (By SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Hölmetrics CEO and co-founder Chad Verity said the Red Deer area could become a tech hub. (By SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Red Deer-area tech company attracts international attention

Focusing on economic diversity in Red Deer region

A Red Deer-area analytics startup, that helps businesses respond to the needs of employees without the delay associated with surveys, has been accepted into an accelerator program based in the United Kingdom.

“That’s a huge success for us. It involves mentoring and coaching from world-class investors all over the world,” said Hölmetrics CEO and co-founder Chad Verity about the company’s acceptance into Pi Labs accelerator program that will further boost investment in the small tech company.

Verity said in the past two years, Hölmetrics has raised $650,000 from the provincial and federal governments and local investors, and the goal is to raise $2 million by the end of summer.

He said for years companies have focused on making surveys better to identify employees’ needs. But surveys only have a 30 per cent participation rate — it’s time to move on.

The Hölmetrics approach is to connect to tools, like Microsoft, Google and Slack, that employees already use to analyze an organization as a whole.

“Hölmetrics doesn’t provide individual analysis. It provides organization-level analysis,” said Verity at Hölmetrics Gasoline Alley office.

He said Hölmetrics helps leaders build healthy workplaces, and track progress and growth of a business in real time instead of using surveys that provide information for a point in time in the past.

“If you can capture employee experience analytics in real time, that changes the game for organizational key performance indicators because people metrics can then become the predictive analytics — the predictive, leading indicators of operational success.”

He said in early 2020 a study showed that 60 per cent of employees would be willing to take a pay cut in order to work for a company that cared more about their personal well-being. That means addressing the well-being of employees helps retain employees which gives a business a competitive edge.

“(Hölmetrics) is designed to help organizations find that competitive advantage.”

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Get ready Red Deer entrepreneurs

Just before COVID-19 struck last year, Verity was part of a provincially-funded trade mission to Silicon Valley which inspired him to believe in what Hölmetrics could become.

He said Red Deer is well positioned between Edmonton and Calgary, which are global hubs for artificial intelligence and machine learning.

As the company looks to the future, Verity encouraged Red Deer students to consider a career in tech. A job in the tech sector is practically guaranteed, and Red Deer could become a tech hub for agriculture and the energy sector.

“Let’s move forward. There are incredible things we can do that are different than the things we’ve done in the past. It doesn’t mean we can’t do them, and it doesn’t mean that they won’t lead Red Deer back into prosperity,” Verity said.

Allan Seabrooke, Red Deer city manager, said companies like Hölmetrics are a good example of tech companies that can assist Red Deer and region to diversify.

“As we’ve seen in other parts of the country, the tech sector and innovation is what the future is all about,” Seabrooke said.

He said the city has been working on reducing red tape for businesses and is currently re-examining its Intermunicipal Development Plan and zoning to open up different parts of the city to businesses beyond the downtown core, including in residential subdivisions for entrepreneurs working from home.

The city has also been advocating for additional broadband internet service for Red Deer and the region.

Seabrooke said regional economic prosperity benefits both Red Deer and central Alberta.

“What’s good for every business or industry in the entire area, is good for each other. It’s about the strength of the region that will be the ticket not only for the city, but the region as well.”



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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