Platform Calgary, Innovate Edmonton launch new tech pre-accelerator program

The accelerator hopes to boost 180 Alberta founders in 2022

Exterior view of the Platform Calgary Parkade and Innovation Centre. MARK L. JOHNSON / CONTRIBUTED

Thirty-five entrepreneurs from across Alberta will be the first to take part in a new tech-focused pre-accelerator that’s launched out of a Calgary – Edmonton partnership.

The partnership between Platform Calgary and Innovate Edmonton, called Alberta Catalyzer, will support 180 founders over the course of 2022.

“By combining our innovation ecosystem resources and networks, we are able to bring valuable programming, mentorship, and education to start-up founders who we might not normally reach,” said Dr. Terry Rock, CEO of Platform Calgary, in a prepared media release.

“Together, we are providing key building blocks for innovation-driven start-up founders who are preparing for their next phase of growth. We’re helping to create Alberta’s future economy.”

Program participants will focus on prototyping, customer profiling, creating a minimum viable product and solidifying business models.  The initial cohort covers the food and beverage, solar, fintech and AI industries across Alberta.

It is a free, merit-based program that is divided into three phases for participants.

“The name, Alberta Catalyzer, speaks to the power of this program to supercharge our innovation ecosystem throughout our province – it is a catalyst for the economic diversification and job creation that comes with strengthening our tech-focused economy,” said Innovate Edmonton CEO Catherine Warren.

Alberta Catalyzer is a part of the Alberta Scaleup and Growth Accelerator Program. This includes Alberta Innovates, Alberta’s Jobs Economy and Innovation Ministry, Innovate Edmonton, the Prairies Economic Development Canada and the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund. Over three years, $35 million will be allocated to accelerators.

“The mentorship, education, and networking provided through Alberta Catalyzer will be instrumental to helping companies grow, attract investment, diversify our economy and create good jobs,” said Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation.

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