December 20, 2019

AREF, REFBC, and Platform Calgary Announce Partnership to Address Challenges in the Real Estate Industry

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation (AREF) and the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia (REFBC) are pleased to announce the first phase of a new partnership with Platform Calgary. This partnership will explore technology solutions to support the modernization of the real estate trust account process.

“The real estate industry is evolving at an ever-increasing pace and the processes for managing trust accounts haven’t kept up. Through this partnership, we look forward to exploring how we might modernize trust accounts and adopt new financial technologies to help our foundation thrive: simplified transaction processes, less time and paper, and the highest standards of accountability.” Jack Wong, CEO, Real Estate Foundation of BC.

Working together, Platform Calgary, AREF, and REFBC will host workshops with real estate professionals in Alberta and British Columbia to understand challenges within the trust account process and how new approaches might support the industry. Partners include real estate brokers, financial institutions, government, post-secondaries, and real estate foundations. Future phases will see Platform Calgary leverage its experience with technology startups to establish a startup accelerator and incubator program. This accelerator and incubator will feature programming that prepares startups to address opportunities identified by industry partners.

“In partnering with Platform Calgary, there is an opportunity to show leadership by using technology to improve the industry. We see opportunities to improve workflows, tighten up compliance documentation, and reduce banking fees. Ultimately, we aim to increase interest revenue to the foundations to support the public good,” says Cheryl DePaoli, Executive Director of AREF. “We look forward to increased collaboration with financial institutions and diverse industry partners through this process.”

Platform Calgary has a history of incubating and growing startups, with programs like Junction and industry partnerships with TELUS. Over the past three years, over 85 companies have gone through these programs, creating new jobs and millions of dollars of economic growth in the province.

For more information on the AREF, REFBC and Platform Calgary partnership please visit

About AREF

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation invests in real estate policy, research, practices, and education that strengthen Alberta’s communities. Since 1991, the Foundation has granted over $21 million to over 620 projects around the Province. For more information , please visit:


The Real Estate Foundation of BC (REFBC) is a grantmaker working to support sustainable land use and real estate practices in British Columbia. Since 1988, REFBC has granted more than $90 million for projects that strengthen communities and protect our shared land and water. In addition to its grants program, REFBC leads on research and engagement projects that fill gaps in knowledge and collaboration. For more information about REFBC and its grants program, visit

About Platform Calgary:

Platform Calgary’s mandate is to work collaboratively to transform Calgary’s economy and identity by fostering a movement to create hundreds of innovation-driven, highly scalable companies. Platform provides access to education, coaching and connections that help people gain the entrepreneurial and technical skills needed to thrive in the new economy, helping startups grow and scale.

Calgary’s new Platform Innovation Centre is currently under construction and scheduled to open in 2021. Located in the East Village neighbourhood on 9th Ave SE, the physical space will serve as a visible and active hub for Calgary’s startup and innovation ecosystem, bringing an additional 50,000 feet of public access space to serve the community.

For more information about how you can get involved and help shape innovation in Calgary, visit


Cheryl De Paoli
Executive Director
Alberta Real Estate Foundation

Stephanie Butler
Communications Manager
Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia

Vanessa Gagnon, PDM
Director, Marketing & Community
Platform Calgary

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