The consortium, which also includes Jobs, Economy and Innovation, Innovate Edmonton, the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund and Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan), allocated $35 million over three years to retain business accelerators. It’s part of an overall government goal to help create 20,000 jobs and increase technology firm revenue to $5 billion by 2030.
“Having four world-class accelerators set up in Alberta bodes well for our up-and-coming entrepreneurs, who can now take their businesses to the next level. Having access to these business accelerators will help our tech sector grow rapidly,” adds Martin Long, parliamentary secretary for Small Business and Tourism.
“These accelerators bring together new sources of knowledge, capital and market connections to accelerate entrepreneurial business growth at scale, regardless of sector or stage of company,” notes Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates.
- 500 Global is a venture-capital firm that invests in founders building fast-growing technology companies.
- 500 Global has backed more than 6,000 founders representing more than 2,500 companies operating in 77 countries.
- Its portfolio has delivered outsized performance, including 33 companies valued at more than $1 billion and 120 companies valued at more than $100 million.
- 500 Global has 140-plus team members located in more than 15 countries who bring experience as entrepreneurs, investors and operators from some of the world’s leading technology companies.
- The Alberta Pre-Accelerator is a collaboration between Platform Calgary and Innovate Edmonton, with support from organizations in the Alberta Innovation Network.
- This provincewide initiative will deliver business support and advice to qualified founders, entrepreneurs and startups in the early stages of their company’s development.
- Special attention will be given to recruiting coaches and mentors who reflect the diversity of Alberta’s population.
- Governance of Alberta Pre-Accelerator will include member organizations that advocate for underserved tech founder communities.
- Community Safety and Wellness Accelerator powered by Alchemist is a first-of-a-kind global accelerator to grow ventures in the community safety and wellness space, powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning.
- Plug and Play Alberta brings together game-changing ideas from different industries and countries onto one platform to solve the world’s greatest energy and natural resource challenges.
NDP Economic Development and Innovation Critic Deron Bilous issued the following statement regarding the announcement:
“While it’s good to see these accelerators coming to Alberta, today’s re-announcement was a reminder of the UCP’s cuts to the two areas that these startups need to grow: talent and capital.
“Since forming government, the UCP has cut programs to attract investment in startups. They eliminated the Alberta Investor Tax Credit and Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit in favour of a corporate tax cut for large corporations that does nothing to help these startups. Now companies are raising the alarm that we are losing jobs and investment to other provinces due to our lack of competitiveness.
“The UCP has also cut post-secondary funding by over $700 million, making it harder for these companies to find the skilled labour they need to grow.
“Although these re-announcements are positive news, the UCP needs to reverse their cuts and support these companies that will diversify our economy and create jobs.”