Alberta budget a setback for diversification, says tech entrepreneur

Broad tax cut instead of targeted incentives reflects ’old way of doing things’ 

A prominent Edmonton tech entrepreneur says the inaugural budget of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s government is short-shrifting startups and scaleups with its “nearsighted” focus on established businesses.

James Keirstead, president and CEO of Levven Electronics, criticized the UCP government for its plan to cancel targeted tax incentives like the Alberta Investor Tax Credit, choosing instead to reduce corporate income taxes.

 “This is going back to the old way of doing things as opposed to targeted programs that can drive diversification,” Keirstead said “A broad-based tax decrease doesn’t help drive the economy. It’s really nearsighted.”

“I can’t believe I’m saying this but I kind of agreed more with the way the NDP were doing things … and I’m a staunch Conservative,” he added.

James Keirstead, CEO of Levven Electronics. (Photo by Start Alberta)

The investor tax credit was among a handful of measures introduced by the NDP that will be “eliminated ahead of schedule,” according to budget documents. Other ousted tax credits impact scientific research, experimental development and interactive digital media, such as video game development.

Keirstead said tech companies use money from these programs to hire talent and reinvest in their own and other businesses.

The government also plans to cut budgets for economic development, trade and tourism and Alberta Innovates. Many Alberta universities and colleges will lose funding, which Keirstead said will have a “knock-on effect” to businesses in the form of fewer talented graduates to hire.

Keirstead predicts the discussion over whether Alberta should have done more for diversification will continue to rear its head with every oil-and-gas bust.

“The stop-start of investment … is a sure-fire way to make sure we don’t become globally competitive,” he said.

‘Bright future’ seen for AI

Alberta’s artificial intelligence and machine learning sector will get $40.5 million over four years, a sharp drop from the $100 million over five years that had been promised by the former NDP government.

Justin Brattinga, a spokesperson for Economic Development, Trade and Tourism Minister Tanya Fir, said the ministry will fund $34 million and Alberta Innovates will fund the rest.

The NDP’s pre-election commitment was an “unbudgeted promise,” said Brattinga, pointing to stable funding of $2 million a year for the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute as an example of the UCP’s commitment to the sector.

“The fact that we are still funding artificial intelligence in Alberta shows that we do take AI and machine learning seriously,” said Brattinga.

“We had to make a lot of difficult decisions as part of our budget. Artificial intelligence … is a good sector and we do see a bright future for it.”

Tax credit, tax cut, what’s the diff?

Brattinga said the budget’s goal was to create optimum conditions for economic growth and investment in Alberta. Measures like the corporate tax cut will benefit more than 100,000 companies in all sectors, he said.

According to University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe, the UCP and NDP agree on the goals but use different approaches to achieve them.

“Lowering the statutory rate or introducing investor tax credits or allowing for accelerated write-offs — these are all ways of lowering the tax on new investment,” which in turn should spur further investment, he said.

The main differences between the targeted and blanket approaches are in who benefits, when, and at what cost to government, Tombe said.

The UCP’s corporate tax reduction is a calculated risk balancing the loss of tax revenue against the value of potential investment, he said. Budget documents show a reduced corporate tax rate will have a net cost to the government of $2.4 billion.

“Investment will rise but government revenue will fall — and will fall by more than with some alternative approaches that would also have lessened the tax on investment,” Tombe said.

On the plus side, Tombe said, lowering a tax rate is simple. “(With) the investor tax credits, you need to apply, and they need to be administered, for example, whereas just changing the statutory rate, it’s the simplest possible thing you could do.”

Horrible message, but…

Cory Janssen, co-founder and CEO of AltaML, said the Alberta Investor Tax Credit was a great idea but noted the program wasn’t perfect. He is willing to give the new government a chance on tech, saying he has had conversations that give him confidence in future replacements to the cancelled programs.

Cory Janssen, CEO of AltaML. (Photo by Mack Male)

“I do think perhaps it was underestimated what the backlash would be and the message it sends to the market,” Janssen said about the cuts and lost tax credits.

“This is clearly a horrible message to send to technology … but we shouldn’t view this government as anti-tech.”

More Information

Big ideas garner awards for Edmonton entrepreneurs

Start Alberta honours tech startups making an impact

When Anthea Sargeaunt co-founded her water monitoring company, 2S Water, she wanted to fix a problem: the lack of real-time monitoring at water treatment facilities.

Two years later, as Sargeaunt is getting ready to take the Edmonton company’s unique water quality sensor technology to market, she is being honoured by peers from across the province as the most promising startup entrepreneur of the year.

Sargeaunt is thrilled that the company’s “under the radar” research and development work is being acknowledged.

“We are on a mission to protect the world’s water, and we do that through monitoring and providing the data that people need to protect their water,” says Sargeaunt.

“We want to change the world.”

The Start Alberta Tech Awards recognize individuals and organizations that are making a significant impact in the province’s tech and innovation sector. Awards in nine categories were presented at an Oct. 23 ceremony at the Timms Centre for the Arts in Edmonton.

2S Water co-founder Anthea Sargeaunt
2S Water co-founder Anthea Sargeaunt. (Supplied)

Instant water analysis

Both Sargeaunt and her business partner, Anthony Nelson, have been involved with other ventures before, but she believes 2S Water is the one that will be an Alberta success story.

2S Water is developing a sensor suite that will instantly analyze water for more than 100 different contaminants, making sure a community’s drinking water is clean before it goes to the tap. It also makes sensors for industrial applications.

Sargeaunt and Nelson are aiming to scale it into a “unicorn,” one of those rare startups valued at more than $1 billion. She says the recognition from Start Alberta will be a big boost to the company’s growth.

“I’m very inspired about what we can do in this field,” Sargeaunt says.

Celebration and validation

Ryan Tucker is equally optimistic about the future of G2V Optics, which won a Start Alberta Fast Growth award for highest annual revenue growth in the under $5 million category.

“I feel like things are going crazy for us right now … so it’s a celebration,” says Tucker, CEO of the Edmonton-based business. “It’s also validating to know that our solution and our way of approaching things really is special.”

G2V Optics makes smart lights for researching sunlight applications, including solar cells, solar fuel and water splitting. Its high-tech lights are also used to help plants grow under natural conditions by simulating how geography changes sunlight.  

Tucker attributes the company’s rapid growth to an increasing demand for the technology, as well as the successes experienced by customers, including renewable energy researchers and horticulture companies growing cannabis or rare produce.

Michael Taschuk, Founder & CTO and Ryan Tucker, CEO, G2V Optics, supplied
Founder and CTO Michael Taschuk and CEO Ryan Tucker of G2V Optics. (Supplied)

High-tech lights, bright future

By combining agriculture and artificial intelligence, Tucker believes the Alberta company is perfectly located to grow even bigger.

“Over the next 12 to 24 months, we’ll be deploying more intelligent lighting solutions to grow things to a level that’s never been done before,” Tucker says.

This is the second year for the awards. Start Alberta is an online community for Alberta’s tech companies, offering a place to showcase technology, stories and successes. Its members include tech companies, investors and venture capital firms.

Other Edmonton winners are:

  • Fast Growth over $5 million: Jobber, which makes software for home services businesses
  • Most Significant Cross-Community Collaboration of the Year: Artificial Intelligence-Supercomputing Hub at the University of Alberta
  • Rod Charko Service Award: Ray Muzyka, Bioware co-founder and entrepreneur mentor through ThresholdImpact

Find the full list on the Start Alberta website.

Mover acquired by Microsoft

Local tech startup Mover has been acquired by Microsoft for an undisclosed amount.

“Together with Mover, we’ll continue to provide customers with fast and reliable migrations to the cloud, with best practices and security and more connectors to more source systems, ultimately making the move into Microsoft 365 as seamless and cost effective as possible,” wrote Jeff Teper, corporate vice president of Office, SharePoint, and OneDrive at Microsoft.

Mover co-founders Eric Warnke and Mark Fossen

“We have been partnered with Microsoft for years, so it just makes sense, we can achieve more together,” Mover co-founder Eric Warnke told Taproot. “Out of all the potential acquirers, Microsoft was the top of the list, they’ve treated us well since Day 1, we like the people and the culture.”

“We’re fans of the new Microsoft,” he added.

Warnke and co-founder Mark Fossen took advantage of a Startup Hackathon in January 2012 to build what was originally called Backup Box. The two demoed the utility at DemoCamp Edmonton 18 in March of that year. They participated in Vancouver’s GrowLab accelerator later that year and rebranded as Mover before being featured at Launch Party 3 in November 2012. Mover also participated in the Los Angeles-based Amplify accelerator the following year.

The company raised over $1 million in seed funding in the summer of 2013 from investors including Double M Partners, Yaletown Venture Partners, Amplify, Barracuda Networks, and angel investors Jarl Mohn, Rick Barry, and Dennis Phelps.

After the seed round was announced, Warnke addressed questions about moving the company. “A lot of people ask us if we’re going to move, but there are good incentives to stay here,” he said in 2013.

While the Microsoft acquisition will mean more frequent trips to Redmond, the company is staying put for now.

Mover’s website has long displayed a message in the footer acknowledging Edmonton as its home. Asked about building a startup here, Warnke said “it was hard in Edmonton, we didn’t raise a cent here.” He cited the introductions made at GrowLab and Amplify as critical for the company’s growth. They struggled to attract funding from local investors.

Still, Mover’s experience suggests that entrepreneurs can find success from Edmonton. “Edmontonians need tenacity,” Warnke said. His advice is to never give up.

Warnke was unable to talk about future plans for the product, but after the announcement was made it appears Mover is now free. More information about the integration of Mover into the Microsoft 365 offering is expected at Ignite 2019, taking place next month in Orlando, Fla.

According to the ticker on Mover’s site, the company has transferred more than 115 billion files.

“It has been a fantastic journey these last eight years,” wrote Warnke on Mover’s blog. “We have met thousands of wonderful customers and moved more data than I ever imagined. It has been an honor to be trusted by you and your fellow customers.”

Taproot joins first Edmonton cohort of ATB X

We’ve been sitting on some news for the past few weeks, and now it can be revealed — we’ve been selected for the first Edmonton cohort of the ATB X business accelerator program! 

Since Mack and I started talking about Taproot in 2016, we’ve known we wouldn’t succeed without building a sustainable business to support the local journalism we seek to do. So many media startups have failed because their founders have not focused enough on the money side. We knew we had to avoid that trap. 

Mack and Karen will be learning how to strengthen Taproot at ATB X over the next 11 weeks.

Keeping an eye on the bottom line is necessary but not sufficient for building what comes next in local journalism. Lots of smart people are working on this problem, but no one has completely figured out how to ensure we can afford to pay enough people to pay attention to our community, not only as well as local newsrooms used to, but better. There’s no map — we have to find our own way. 

We’ve gone pretty far on our own. This was very much a side project when we started; now it is Mack’s full-time job, and I contribute as much as I can while running the Alberta Podcast Network (another adventure in local media, because that’s what I do). Along the way, we have diversified our revenue streams and listened hard to our members, sponsors and customers to build a new way forward. We are on a path we could not have imagined when we began, and we think it’s going to take us where we need to go.  

Enter ATB X, a support program for startup companies that helps entrepreneurs like us level up, through expert advice and peer mentorship. There’s no equity or funding involved; this is really about making sure we have the skills to make Taproot strong enough to achieve its full potential. 

Photo by Kathryn McKenzie

We’ll be joined by a fascinating variety of local businesses:  

We look forward to learning from these teams, and to sharing what we know to help them, too. 

Thank you to everyone who has helped us along the way, whether you’ve become a member or shared our stories or sponsored a roundup or given us a chance to spread the word. You’ve invested confidence in us; we’re looking forward to paying dividends. 

Taproot joins Covering Climate Now

We are proud to be among more than 170 news outlets participating in Covering Climate Now, a worldwide project to strengthen the media’s focus on the climate crisis.

Like our fellow participants in this effort pulled together by the Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation, we have committed to running a week’s worth of climate coverage leading up to the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23.

There are 17 Canadian participants, including The Sprawl, a fellow Canadian Journalism Innovator.

Ongoing disasters tend not to get the concerted attention that sudden ones do, and this effort is meant to address that weakness in how we tend to inform people about what’s going on. We know there’s a lot going on locally on this file, and we feel we can perform a valuable service by putting it together in one place.

Taproot’s coverage kicks off with a discussion with climate-change communicator Chris Gusen on the Speaking Municipally podcast. Chris will go on to curate a climate change section in each of our roundups throughout the week of Sept. 16. Then he plans to pull all the threads together at the end of the week.

Chris Gusen
Chris Gusen at Green Drinks, photo by Troy Pavlek

If you already subscribe to our roundups, watch for Chris’s contributions, and feel free to share the newsletters and the podcast on social media. If you don’t, now is a good time to signal your interest in this topic and our effort to better inform our community. Sign up today.

Finding $500K for TEC Edmonton is ‘easy for us,’ says EEDC

EEDC Offices

But where the money will come from remains unclear

The Edmonton Economic Development Corporation will come up with an extra $500,000 in its operating budget for TEC Edmonton, even if it means taking the money from another program or finding “efficiencies” elsewhere, says the agency’s chief executive officer.

“I’m not worried (about finding the money) because it’s a clear priority,” Derek Hudson said in an interview with Taproot Edmonton on Friday about topping up TEC Edmonton’s budget to make up for a drop in funding from the City of Edmonton.

“It’s easy for us to find funding for clear priorities.”

The city has provided $1.5 million in annual funding to TEC Edmonton through EEDC since 2014. Starting in 2020, the city’s financial contribution will drop to $1 million annually.

On Aug. 19, Hudson told Edmonton city council’s executive committee that EEDC — an arm’s-length corporation that gets roughly $20 million per year from the city — will bump up its funding for the tech business accelerator to make up the difference.

EEDC CEO Derek Hudson
EEDC CEO Derek Hudson


TEC Edmonton is a partnership, founded in 2006, between EEDC and the University of Alberta with a mandate to help emerging tech companies scale up. The top-up means that the city’s contribution will continue to match the $1.5 million in annual support from the U of A.

Hudson said matching levels of support was an important point noted by the TEC Edmonton task force, formed in 2018 to review TEC’s mandate and provide direction for its future.

The nine-member group, which included representatives from EEDC, the University of Alberta and industry, released its business plan recommendations for “TEC 2.0” last month.

“Everyone on the task force felt that we really wanted to emphasize that it was this equal partnership,” said Hudson, who was one of the members.

“The objectives were to take the best of the university and the best of the business community and maximize the economic value that came from that,” he said. “The task force saw that fundamentally the partnership between the two organizations was important and all of the other recommendations that came out were based on that assumption.”


His early inclination was to go hat in hand to city council.

“My first thoughts were, ‘OK, then we’ll go to the city and tell them how important it is and ask for the extra $500,000.’ But when I thought about the city’s financial situation, I thought that would be counterproductive and not recognizing fiscal realities,” said Hudson.

Instead, EEDC will find money in its ongoing operating budget, which is typically set at the end of November, to make up the difference.

“I think [council was] relieved that we didn’t ask them for more,” Hudson said.

When asked how EEDC plans to make up the $500,000 gap, Hudson said the entire budget would be reviewed and priorities reallocated.

The money could come from “some other program or efficiencies in how we deliver things, or even efficiencies in working with TEC Edmonton,” he said. “There’s all kinds of factors that go into us setting our budget.

“I can’t tell you what that’s going to be and I’m not sure I’ll be able to tell you ever what it is.”


EEDC is under continued pressure from city council to clarify its role in light of the increasing congestion of Edmonton’s economic incubator space. Councillors have asked how its mandate and funding squares with that of Edmonton Global, a non-profit established by 15 regional municipalities to promote the capital city metro region.

Hudson said the process of gaining greater coherence and clarity between various city-funded players could “produce efficiencies” but stressed that what matters is getting economic results and “not to talk about who does what.

 “Behind the scenes, on multiple levels, the EEDC people and the Edmonton Global people work together every day to try to do good work,” he said. “If there’s confusion in the community and at the municipal level we want that sorted out for sure, but our real focus is on getting the results and using the unique aspects of each organization to play into that.”

Whatever happens on that front, Hudson says keeping the “unique relationship” with the University of Alberta, with its prowess in artificial intelligence, medicine, dentistry and pharmacy, is crucial.

“It’s one of the key assets to the Edmonton economy,” he said. “We have an actual partnership agreement between the university and the economic development agency. That’s a treasure and we want to maintain that, and maintain that thinking, and so we want to fund it at that level.

“And then we’ll figure the rest out.”


Edmonton’s official population rises to 972,223

Edmonton’s official city population is 972,223 as of April 1, 2019, an increase of 72,776 over the last municipal census in 2016. The City of Edmonton said that represents an average growth rate of 2.6% annually.

"This is a great sign for Edmonton," said mayor Don Iveson as he announced the results of the 2019 Municipal Census at City Hall on Thursday, Sept. 5. "One of the highlights of our census is that we continue to have one of the youngest populations in Canada."

John Rose, the City’s chief economist said he is projecting a growth rate of 2.1% for 2019, which is still higher than Alberta’s 1.9% and Canada’s 1.3%. "Edmonton remains a centre of economic growth," he said. Rose is confident that Edmonton will hit the milestone of 1 million residents late next year.

Iain Mac Lean, director of elections and census at the City of Edmonton, said only 7,558 of the roughly 420,000 addresses in Edmonton failed to respond to the census. "We are proud of that number," he said. Using a mathematical formula similar to the one used by Statistics Canada, City officials extrapolated to account for households that did not respond to the census to arrive an unofficial total population of 992,812.

This year, 39.7% of households completed the census online, double what officials have seen in the past. Mac Lean projects the cost of the census will be just under $2.5 million.

This year’s census was the first to include gender options beyond male and female, with six choices total including an option for residents to choose their own term. “We all want to feel included in our communities – this means having a sense of belonging and feeling valued for your uniqueness,” Barb McLean, equity specialist with the City of Edmonton, told Global News back in March when the census launched. “Including more gender options in the census gives representation to residents in our city who have been invisible for a long time.”

Mayor Don Iveson

The census "is a critical tool to advocate for our fair share," Iveson told reporters. "We are continuing to drive Alberta’s economy and these numbers are a very strong indicator of that."

An updated draft of the City Plan was also released today. That plan "includes bold recommendations on how we will grow and develop to a city of two million people." The update is scheduled to be presented to Urban Planning Committee on Sept. 17.

The most recent federal census, conducted in 2016, determined the population of the Edmonton metropolitan region to be 1,321,426 and the city itself to be 932,546.

The Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board’s Growth Plan projects a doubling of the regional population to 2.2 million people by 2044, "a significant transformation that will result in a complex metropolitan region requiring deliberate and determined collaboration and leadership."

"Over the past 40 years, the Region has doubled its population from 500,000 people to 1.2 million people, while tripling its urban development footprint from 22,260 hectares to 69,930 hectares," the plan says.

Calgary’s 2019 municipal census counted 1,285,711 residents as of April 2019, an increase of 1.45% over April 2018.

Full results of the 2019 Municipal Census are available at and in the Open Data Catalogue. Edmonton’s next municipal census is scheduled for 2020, with another federal census scheduled for 2021.

A commitment to transparency

In early 2015, Edmonton’s City Council adopted the Open City Policy, an important document that articulates the City of Edmonton’s commitment “to bring to action the Open City principles of transparency, participation, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation.”

Yet policies don’t implement themselves, and that’s often where the heavy lifting needs to be done. For an organization as large as the City of Edmonton (with 14,000+ employees) it’s clear that writing a set of principles is a very different challenge than applying them to everyday work. Truly becoming “open by default” requires persistence. A little public pressure doesn’t hurt, either!

Edmonton Journal columnist Elise Stolte has demonstrated again and again her commitment to this work. Most recently, she shared a “win” involving the construction of the Valley Line LRT. Stolte asked the City for the non-conformance reports it files to track TransEd’s performance, but the City refused to provide them. She appealed to the City’s freedom of information co-ordinators and was again rebuffed. So she appealed to the provincial commissioner, who determined Stolte is right and the City should release the reports.

Unfortunately, she still doesn’t have the reports. Facing a leave of absence that will take her out of the city, Stolte concludes that “transparency cannot depend on individual journalists, especially now that newsrooms are smaller, and it can’t depend on this formal, legal structure with deadlines, extensions and co-ordinators.”

Stolte concludes:

“A city that shares information freely is admitting it will never have everything perfect. When it shares, it’s inviting the rest of the community to come along. It’s an act of humility that builds bridges.”

Stolte’s persistent effort on behalf of Edmontonians is incredibly important work. Others deserve recognition here as well, such as CBC Edmonton’s Janice Johnston who led the effort to have Edmonton police share the names of homicide victims.

We’re doing our part too. While live-tweeting Executive Committee on Monday, it became clear that councillors were going to move an important discussion about role clarity in Edmonton’s innovation sector to the November shareholder meeting, which is private. I tweeted my dissent to a few members of the committee.

The next day, Councillor Andrew Knack and Mayor Don Iveson agreed the discussion should be public.

On Wednesday afternoon, Councillor Knack filed the following notice of motion:

“That EEDC work with TEC Edmonton, Health City, and other stakeholders and report back on the status of the recommendations in the YEG Innovation Compass Report. This report should specifically address opportunities to reduce overlap, clarify roles and governance, accelerate the technology economy, and better serve the municipal innovation ecosystem.”

Assuming his motion is carried at next week’s council meeting, a report will come back providing the public with more information and importantly, another opportunity to participate in the discussion.

I know I wasn’t the only one who reached out to members of council to let them know how important it is that this discussion be held publicly. And that’s the point. It’ll take the persistent effort of all of us to ensure that the City of Edmonton and City Council adhere to the principles of transparency they’ve articulated. We’ll keep at it.

Introducing the Regional Roundup

The Edmonton Metropolitan Region is made up of 15 municipalities that — ideally — work together to compete on the global stage. It helps if all of us know what’s going on with our neighbours and partners, so we’ve started a Regional Roundup to keep everyone up-to-date.

Thanks to the support of Edmonton Global, we’re able to put together a weekly summary of the headlines and happenings in the region. That includes what’s going on with the metro region itself, as well as news from Beaumont, Bon Accord, Devon, Fort Saskatchewan, Gibbons, Leduc, Leduc County, Morinville, Parkland County, St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Strathcona County, Sturgeon County and, of course, Edmonton.

Edmonton Metropolitan Region via Edmonton Global

We published our first two editions on Aug. 14 and Aug. 21, and we’ll put out a new one every Wednesday. It’s curated by Mack Male, co-founder of Taproot and the curatorial force behind the Tech Roundup and the Council Roundup.

You may have noticed some of our roundups are sponsored by specific entities. That is the case for the Regional Roundup (sponsored by Edmonton Global), the Health Innovation Roundup (sponsored by Health City), and the Arts Roundup (sponsored by the Edmonton Arts Council).

These sponsors have provided enough funding to allow us to launch and maintain a roundup. Think of them as underwriters — they have made the roundup possible. They don’t exercise any control over the content. If you want to support the creation of a roundup or underwrite one of our existing ones, get in touch at

Our roundups are also supported by a number of “cultivators” who contribute funds to make it possible for Taproot to pay sustained attention to a file. If that’s of interest, we’d love to hear from you.

Meet our new Business Roundup curator

Edmonton's skyline under construction, by Kurt Bauschardt

We are excited to bring veteran journalist Paul Cashman on board to curate the Business Roundup.

Paul Cashman, our new Business Roundup curator.

Paul brings a wealth of valuable experience. He was a reporter and editor at the Edmonton Journal for 33 years, and served as the business editor for much of that time. After he left the Journal in 2012, he worked in communications for industry associations representing homebuilders and heavy construction. And now we get to share his talent for spotting news and conveying it efficiently in our weekly wrap of what’s happening in Edmonton’s business scene.

We launched the Business Roundup on March 29 to keep track of the companies, entrepreneurs, employees, investors, leaders and others shaping Edmonton’s economy. Mack is happy to hand the reins over to someone of Paul’s stature, and this will give him more time to focus on building our own business here at Taproot.

The Business Roundup comes out every Friday, and Paul’s first edition will be published Aug. 16.

We’re proud of our growing roster of roundup curators who are working hard to keep you informed about what’s going on in Edmonton:

  • Arts — Fawnda Mithrush
  • Business — Paul Cashman
  • City Council — Mack Male
  • Food — Sharon Yeo
  • Health Innovation — Catherine Griwkowsky
  • Media — Linda Hoang
  • Music — Emily Rendell-Watson
  • Regional – Mack Male
  • Tech — Mack Male

Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an edition. You can get up to two of these roundups for free if you join as a Taproot Reader.

If you become a Taproot Member, you can get as many roundups as you like, along with other perks. Plus you’ll be helping us pay for high-calibre local journalism from our curators and the freelancers we commission for original stories. We’re building what comes next — join us.