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Alberta puts $35M behind business accelerators to help drive tech sector growth


Four business accelerators are coming to Alberta to provide local tech startups with education, mentorship, networking opportunities and access to capital.

The retention of the business accelerators is part of the province's goal to create 20,000 jobs, and increase technology firm revenue to $5 billion by 2030.

“What we’re trying to accomplish here with this announcement is giving entrepreneurs the ability to bring their ideas forward, get the right mentorship, get the customers, and access capital, so we can solve complex problems” Doug Schweitzer, minister of jobs, economy and innovation said.

“Everything from social challenges, to government challenges, to business challenges.” 

A consortium led by Alberta Innovates, called the Alberta Scaleup and Growth Accelerator Program, is putting up $35 million over three years for the accelerators.

500 Global is a venture-capital firm that invests in fast-growing technology companies. According to the provincial government, its portfolio consists of 33 companies valued at more than $1 billion and 120 companies valued at more than $100 million.

The second accelerator, the Alberta Pre-Accelerator, is a partnership between Platform Calgary and Innovate Edmonton. It will offer business support and advice to entrepreneurs, paying "special attention" to recruiting coaches and mentors who reflect Alberta's diversity, the government says.

Plug and Play Alberta's focus is tackling the world’s energy and natural resource challenges by combining ideas from different industries and countries.

The Community Safety and Wellness Accelerator is targeted at growing ventures in the community safety and wellness space through artificial intelligence and machine learning. The program, by global accelerator Alchemist, will work with the Edmonton Police Foundation.


The aim of this unique accelerator is to tackle problems like homelessness, domestic violence, or mental health and addictions.

“If we can solve these problems and allow these grads and entrepreneurs to do what they really love to do with technology, but also have a social’s golden, that’s exactly what they’re looking for.”

“The goal behind this is to bring in entrepreneurs who have a very creative and a very different way of thinking.” 

The consortium backing the accelerators not only includes Schweitzer's ministry, but also Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund and Prairies Economic Development Canada. Top Stories

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