Edmonton

New CEO at Alberta Innovates brings wealth of experience in U.S. tech sector

A British-born venture capitalist and innovation leader who helped Austin, Texas, diversify its economy away from oil and gas has been named the new head of the consolidated Alberta Innovates Corp.

Laura Kilcrease comes to Alberta from renowned high-tech centre Austin, Texas

Laura Kilcrease has been named the new chief executive officer of Alberta Innovates. (Supplied)

A British-born venture capitalist and innovation leader who helped Austin, Texas, diversify its economy away from oil and gas has been named the new head of the consolidated Alberta Innovates Corp.

New chief executive officer Laura Kilcrease will lead Alberta Innovates "as it strengthens support for research, innovation and economic diversification," the Alberta government said in a news release Thursday.

Kilcrease is credited with playing  "a pivotal role" in the growth and diversification of Austin's formerly oil-and-gas dependent economy. Austin is now recognized as one of the top technology centres in the United States.

'World-class talent'

"Laura Kilcrease has demonstrated that with the right supports, innovative researchers and entrepreneurs can diversify an economy and create new jobs in both emerging and traditional sectors," Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous said in the release.

"Alberta's world-class researchers, entrepreneurs and academic institutions can be proud their international reputation has attracted world-class talent to take on this exciting new role."

Kilcrease has more than 25 years of experience in commercializing technology and "a deep understanding of how to cultivate new opportunities to grow businesses and achieve results," the news release said.

Born in London, England, Kilcrease has lived in the United States since 1984, according to the website of Triton Ventures, LLC, a venture capital fund she founded in 1999. Triton Ventures invests in early-stage technology companies. Kilcrease is listed as the company's managing director.

From 1992 to 1997, Kilcrease headed a successful centre for commercialization and enterprise at the University of Texas at Austin. From 1989 to 1996 she was executive director of the Austin Technology Incubator.

Alberta Innovates consolidated last year

Kilcrease received her certification as a certified management accountant in the U.K. in 1980 and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin in 1992.

She's now in the process of moving to Alberta.

The government moved last year to consolidate four Alberta Innovates corporations — Bio Solutions, Health Solutions, Energy and Environment Solutions and Technology Futures — into a single entity.

The new Alberta Innovates Corp. was launched in November. Kilcrease will report to its 11-member board.

Interim CEO Pamela Valentine, who oversaw the consolidation process, will take on a new role as executive vice-president, strategic planning.

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