While there is a lot going on in the tech community along the west coast of Canada, particularly in Vancouver, that isn’t the only place where startup culture is thriving. There is a lot going on in our neighbouring province, Alberta, as well in cities like Edmonton and Calgary. We’ve gotten a lot of inquiries from Alberta over the last year from non-technical business founders and thought we’d put together a post outlining some of the resources available to support startups closer to home.
TEC Edmonton is a startup incubator and growth accelerator for early stage technology-based startups. They provide workspace for entrepreneurs as well as meeting rooms, mentors, training, and technology protection. They host and organize events and provide plenty of networking opportunities. They do not provide funding themselves but do help prepare startups for financing and assist in finding financing. Their best quality is their business mentors and array of business services and connections.
Startup Edmonton is a co-working space that helps entrepreneurs access affordable office space, a network of fellow entrepreneurs, and a variety of support services. Startup Edmonton hosts over 250 meetups, workshops, and conferences. Many of these meetups and workshops don’t require membership to attend and besides the valuable business advice they provide, they are a great way to connect with the movers and shakers of our City (source: b2bconnectedmonton.com)
eHub is a co-working space, startup community, and business clinic for entrepreneurs at the U of A. It helps startups get off the ground by giving them free access to professional business mentorship, office space, fundraising opportunities, and other support services. Unlike TEC Edmonton and Startup Edmonton which tend to prefer working with technology based companies, eHub is open to businesses operating in virtually any sector of the economy. Because of the diverse array of talent at eHub, it’s a particularly useful resource if you’re looking for partners or if you’re looking to join other startups in the City.
Capital Ideas is a local business network for Edmonton entrepreneurs seeking advice, tips, and guidance from successful business owners in the City. They host a variety of networking events, conferences, and workshops that are usually free to attend. Furthermore, Capital Ideas is funded by the Edmonton Journal and some of its members have gotten free publicity at the Journal as a result of their participation at Capital Ideas events.
The Awesome Foundation is a global not-for-profit that provides micro-grants to entrepreneurs, startups, and inventors looking to turn their ideas into a reality. If you’ve got an idea that needs a little bit of funding to get off the ground, Awesome Edmonton awards several $1000 no-strings-attached grants throughout the year to selected entrepreneurs. Awesome Edmonton’s ‘pitch parties’ are also a great way to learn about other exciting startups in the City and network with other entrepreneurs.
Make Something Edmonton is designed to help Edmontonians realize their visions and connect them with resources and people that will help them along their way. Their resources guide provides a comprehensive list of financing options, grants, crowdfunding, and startup resources.
While there are lots of online crowdfunding resources available this one is unique to Alberta. In addition to crowdfunding the platform provides lots of extra perks:
“Alberta BoostR is a rewards-based crowdfunding platform from ATB Financial designed for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Alberta. Through Alberta BoostR, businesses can raise money, test ideas, and gain exposure and market insights from the “crowd” in exchange for a reward—a product, service, or fun/unique experience. We’re taking a different approach by offering entrepreneurs not only a crowdfunding platform through BoostR but also:
- A team of supportive advisors entrepreneurs can reach out to before, during and after their crowdfunding journey.
- Coaching and guidance through monthly Crowdfunding 101 workshops in Calgary and Edmonton.
- Opportunities for exposure through pitch events and ATB’s marketing channels.
- Helpful resources for entrepreneurs (psssst! Even if you’re not crowdfunding you can tap into these!)
BoostR is ideal for businesses of all stages—from startup to well established—whether you’re looking to launch or reach the next level of growth” – Source: AlbertBoostR
While the prairies may not have access to the same hub of talented developers and tech companies that are on the west coast many Vancouver companies are happy to collaborate and extend their services across Canada, such as Gravit-e. Please contact us to find out if your project is something we can help you with.