With $3.5 million in support from the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF), Finger Food Advanced Technology Group is opening up an advanced technology centre in Calgary, which will lead to the creation of 200 full time jobs in the city by 2023, according to the B.C.-based enterprise solution provider.

“Our expansion to Calgary is more than just an investment. It’s a call to action to tech companies across the world to invest in Calgary. There is significant opportunity there with a market that is ripe for innovation,” indicated Graham Cunliffe, chief strategy officer of Finger Food Advanced Technology Group, following the announcement in September.

The new jobs will be for management, software design and development professionals. Finger Food, a long-time Microsoft partner, is mainly looking for C++, .Net, Java, Unity, React and Full stack Developers and UX/UI designers.

Cunliffe confirmed in an email that all of the positions will be filled with local talent from Calgary.

“We’re also committed to re-training those hires that need it,” he wrote. “For example, someone who may have worked in big data, machine learning or automation in the energy sector would be easily deployed into a new business vertical with minimal training.

The availability of commercial space at a very competitive price, the low cost of living, and the enormous talent pool in Calgary are among the reasons Finger Food chose it to open up a new tech hub, he added.

OCIF chose to support Finger Food based on three factors, said Barry Munro, chair of the board of directors for OCIF.

“The company demonstrated strong desire to create highly skilled technology jobs in Calgary in order to support its global client base; its focus on applying its proprietary suite of technologies and processes to solve global issues in areas such as food, health, energy, and transportation; and the positive impact that the creation of the advanced technology centre is expected to have on the Calgary innovation and technology ecosystem,” he said in a press release.

OCIF was launched by The City of Calgary in 2018 with the aim of supporting investments that create jobs and promote growth in strategic sectors identified in the Economic Strategy Calgary in the New Economy. Finger Food is the sixth submission to be approved for funding.

“This would be a welcome addition to Calgary’s tech and business ecosystem,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who is a member of the OCIF Board. “By combining engineering expertise and design thinking, their business model lines up perfectly with Calgary’s existing talent pool. I believe opportunities like this are exactly what this fund was created for; delivering innovative solutions globally that are effectively ‘Made in Calgary.’”

More recently, Cunliffe said the company’s focus is on using Hololens and Azure Cloud services. But their expertise go well beyond those areas.

“That’s just part of the story, we engage in just as much business related to machine learning, blockchain, robotics, IoT, Infrastructure, and web and mobile application development,” he explained. “It’s important to note, we don’t start off with a tech solution in mind, we start by trying to understand the specific business problem then developing a solution.

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