Calgary Stampede business
A woman takes a photo of her family as the Calgary Stampede gets underway in Calgary, Alberta, July 9, 2021. (REUTERS/Todd Korol)

Only a few days into the Calgary Stampede, business executive Terry Rock had already attended 15 networking events.

“The Calgary Stampede is one of Calgary’s superpowers,” said Rock, who is president and CEO of Platform Calgary, a non-profit that helps launch tech startups. This year, Platform Calgary is the hub for a Stampede startup pitch party on Saturday.

While the Calgary Stampede has long been a catalyst for business growth, experts say it’s within the last couple of years that the city’s growing tech industry have gotten involved too.

“Our city is very connected. And this is an annual opportunity to renew connections with people you may not have seen in a while,” Rock said. “Sharing a pancake or a cold beverage with them, with country music playing in the background, is extremely valuable when you’re trying to get things done.”

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Stephanie Babych is a journalist based in Calgary. She was a reporter for the Calgary Herald and Sun for four years, and is a graduate of Mount Royal University’s journalism program. During her time...