AltaML was founded in early 2018 to help organizations gain competitive advantages through applied artificial intelligence. The startup is headquartered in Alberta, with offices in both Edmonton and Calgary—a rapidly emerging tech hotbed—as well as the most recent addition: Toronto.
As the Canadian company enters its next phase of growth, its Toronto office will play an important role. To solidify its new footing, the machine learning startup announced two key hires this month.
Peter Barr will serve as AltaML’s new chief strategy officer, while Rick Makos will act as regional director of North America east and managing director of Toronto, according to BetaKit.
Barr, based in the Waterloo region of Ontario, worked at Deloitte for 40 years, and sits on the board of governors at the University of Waterloo. Makos, in Toronto, brings decades of experience in sales, marketing, and working with pre-IPO businesses.
“We want to become a global leader in responsible AI, and that doesn’t just happen from Alberta,” AltaML’s head of people, Mark Kluchky, told BetaKit. “While Alberta is very important to us, Ontario and eastern Canada [are] our pathway to growth.”
AltaML’s customers are primarily enterprise-level organizations undergoing digital transformation and looking for predictive value from their data. Many such companies are headquartered in Toronto, hence the new office, with an even bigger market south of the border, where AltaML has eyes on too.
Although AltaML is expanding its geographical footprint, the company remains a dedicated anchor within the Alberta startup ecosystem.
“It’s a no-brainer for AltaML to be in Calgary with all the decision makers, capital, and data concentrated here,” said AltaML cofounder Cory Janssen last year while partnering with The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund.
AltaML secured more than $3 million in funding from OCIF last year to create applied data science internships to accelerate artificial intelligence and machine learning skill development in Calgary. Three-month cohorts hone their skills in these fast-growing trades through hands-on, mentored work experience.
“Calgary is an innovation hub across a number of sectors,” noted Mayor Naheed Nenshi, a member of the OCIF Board of Directors, at the time of the announcement. However, he pointed to a local shortage of experienced AI and ML talent. This problem is faced both by Calgary companies specializing in delivering such high-tech products as well as local companies wanting to develop their own in-house capabilities.
Thus the initiative.
“AltaML’s internship program will help to solidify Calgary as a home that fosters data science learning and as a pipeline of data science talent for many years to come,” explained Usman Alimand Jim Stallard, co-directors of the Data Science and Analytics program at the University of Calgary.
According to Mark Blackwell, Chair of the OCIF Board, AltaML is a “proven leader in developing and commercializing machine learning software.” If that sounds like an exciting opportunity to you, be aware the company is hiring at the upcoming Tech Talent Canada Virtual Job Fair. The job fair, happening June 23, is a unique recruiting event that connects fast growing companies in Canada with top tech talent.