Sayed says Health City’s support in
announcing the deal was “absolutely 100
per cent crucial.”
“We would have done a small little
function in our office, but Health City
became involved and the event grew in
size,” he adds. “They made sure that the
Microsoft executives were welcome.”
Welcoming people is a Health City
priority, Wichuk says. “I want people
to be able to say, ‘If you’re engaged in
health innovation or if you want to build
health business, go to Edmonton because
they roll out the red carpet for you.
They’ve developed an ecosystem, they
navigate you through their system, they
embrace and support the talent, they’re
creative, and they work hand-in-glove
That message resonated with Edgar
and Devam when they were planning
to raise funds for Aris MD in California
in 2016. They’d done most of the
groundwork for the company but they
hadn’t been able to enter a professional
network in Edmonton.
Then they learned about Health City
and contacted Wichuk.
“We met with her, she saw our product
and got excited and put us in touch with
big companies. She gave us a bit of the
fuel we needed,” Devam said. “It was
almost like a concierge service. We said,
‘here are the things we need,’ and they
got things rolling for us.”
Today, Aris MD has a staff of five, but
Devam plans to hire hundreds more:
programmers, medical advisers, and
marketing and development specialists.
She won’t have to look far.
Edmonton has an educated, intelligent
population that’s being underused, and
she wants to use it.
“Innovation is a renewable resource
and we should be intellectually
prospecting, not energy prospecting,”
she says. “I don't like to use the term
‘the next Silicon Valley’—nothing’s
ever going to be the next Silicon Valley.
Edmonton needs to be its own thing, and
it’s in a position to be. That’s why we’re
I want people
to say, ‘If you’re engaged
in health innovation, go