Ken started his first venture, an interactive agency, while completing an education degree at the University of Alberta. He sold the business and went on to co-found Rocketfuel Games (game-based learning), Flightpath Ventures (early stage seed fund), and multiple community initiatives (artsScene, TEDxEdmonton). To grow his local startup community, Ken co-founded Startup Edmonton, a hub/campus that has since mobilized 50+ startups and hosts 150+ events annually. In 2014, the nonprofit company was acquired by Edmonton Economic Development, where Ken now leads the city’s entrepreneurship portfolio. He is also a national advisor to the Startup Canada Communities initiative.
Over the years, Ken has spoken at international events (Startup Phenomenon in Boulder, Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum in Hong Kong, Banff World Television Festival). He sits on the University of Alberta Alumni Council and TELUS Community Board, and has been recognized in Avenue Magazine’s inaugural “Top 40 Under 40” and Alberta Venture Magazine’s “50 Most Influential People”.
Thoughts + Writing
Return on Community
Reflecting on the adventure building Startup Edmonton, challenges for our community, and thinking about what’s next.
The Way Forward
Why the path to true diversification in Alberta is about leadership and communities, not industries and political parties.
When Founders Become Leaders
Last week, we celebrated as four founders and two longstanding companies left the nest to grow in their new offices.
Feeding the Full-Stack Entrepreneurial Community
How to rethink the role of local government and economic development organizations in entrepreneurial communities.
Canada Should Focus on Startup Communities, Not an Innovation Ecosystem
Around the world, cities are refocusing on supporting – not leading – startup community building initiatives. If you want more elite players, you need a deep farm system led by entrepreneurs. (National Post)
When Arts + Startups Collide
Why investing in artists is as important as entrepreneurs, scientists and engineers in our communities. It’s not about the product they produce — it’s about the people.
The Next Five Years
Some exciting news about the future of Startup Edmonton and what we’re doing to scale up our growth and impact.
Evolution of a Startup Community
Looking back on the last five years working to ignite Edmonton’s startup community and the story of Startup Edmonton.
Embracing Experimentation and Adventure
Why creating opportunities for experimentation and adventure help entrepreneurs overcome uncertainty as they work to build something incredible.
Startups: It’s Not a Race, It’s Parkour
Slow and steady wins the race. It’s a phrase often used in business. But to be a startup entrepreneur, I don’t think you need to be built to last a marathon. Instead, I think entrepreneurs should be built to play the game of parkour.
Unstoppable: The Power of TEDx
The first ever TEDxSummit in Doha starts a new chapter for the TEDx community, built around new friendships, peer mentoring, and a shared mission to grow a powerful global community that can activate ideas like no other on the planet.
Stay Out of the Way
The best thing that we can do to support entrepreneurs is to stay out of their way – letting them focus on their companies, their customers, and on building something great. As startups succeed, that’s how we’ll shape our communities. (Startup Canada)
Go Great or Go Home
The world doesn’t simply need big ideas. Great startup communities empower entrepreneurs with a vision to launch something good and build it into something great over time.
Featured articles + news
“Sphere of Influence: Startup Province”, Alberta Venture Magazine
“Time to Double Down”, Alberta Venture Magazine
“Faces of a Century”, University of Alberta New Trail Alumni Magazine
“GameChangers: Ken Bautista”, Global News Edmonton
“Ken Bautista Builds Something”, Business in Edmonton
“Alberta’s Big Cities Great for Entrepreneurs”, Alberta Primetime
“Meet Startup Communities: Edmonton”, VegasTech
“The Entrepreneurial Spirit in Edmonton”, Canadian Living Magazine
“Creative Space: Stabilizing Alberta’s Boom Bust Economy”, Alberta Views
“Startup Edmonton: One Year Later”, Global News Edmonton
“Keys to Building a Startup Community”, Startup Canada
“City’s Startup Community Rapidly Expanding”, Edmonton Sun
“50 Most Influential People in Alberta”, Alberta Venture Magazine
“Startup Project Puts Big Bet on Edmonton”, The Globe and Mail
“Creative Collisions”, Legacy in Action, Edmonton Community Foundation
“Edmonton’s Startup Culture Gaining Maturity”, Edmonton Journal
“Small Cities, Big Thinking”, National Post
“Mercer Warehouse’s Modern Makeover”, Avenue Magazine
“Alberta’s Business Person of the Year, 2027”, Alberta Venture Magazine
“New Facility to Boost Edmonton’s Entrepreneurs”, The Globe and Mail
“Where Ideas Collide”, Canada.com
“Next Gen Ken”, University of Alberta New Trail Alumni Magazine
“Video Game Designers Have a Game Plan”, Avenue Magazine
“Making Museums Fun for All”, The New York Times
“Top 40 Under 40”, Avenue Magazine
“Next Up: Playing to Strengths”, Alberta Venture Magazine
Interested in working together? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.