Innovate Edmonton Funds, Launches and Lands Accelerators, Benefiting Edmonton Tech Companies  

EDMONTON, Alberta, Sept. 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Edmonton is soon to be home to global accelerators for startup and scaleup businesses. As part of a funding partnership with the three levels of government, Innovate Edmonton is funding three world-class accelerators, Alberta Accelerator by 500, Plug and Play Alberta, and Community Safety & Wellness (CSW) Accelerator powered by Alchemist. Concurrently, Innovate Edmonton is also funding and launching Alberta’s pre-accelerator in partnership with Platform Calgary, with a new suite of programs for early-stage founders, supporting pathways to success and economic diversification. 

Together, these accelerators will support innovators as they grow from startups to scaleups, through enhanced coaching, investment-readiness and international sales channels for Edmonton’s tech companies. This is possible due to a recent $5M contribution earmarked for accelerators from the City of Edmonton to Innovate Edmonton, and investments from Alberta Innovates, Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) to fill a gap in the province’s innovation ecosystem by supporting business accelerators in Edmonton and Alberta. 

The accelerators will contribute to Edmonton’s enduring economic resiliency and are expected to create 270 new emerging technology firms, 6,000 new jobs and $1.5 billion in technology revenue by 2030.  

They will also contribute to Edmonton’s downtown vibrancy, with workspaces and collaboration hubs drawing innovators and businesses back to the downtown core. Accelerators will augment existing business training delivered by Startup Edmonton and Scaleup Edmonton, program divisions of Innovate Edmonton.  

“Innovation is a team game and accelerators bring people together to create global opportunities, open international sales channels, boost significant investment and position Edmonton’s entrepreneurs on the world stage. Together we are ensuring that our high-potential companies have the end-to-end supports that they need for growth -- from concept to commercialization and from pitching to closing -- as they prepare to collaborate and compete in today’s impact economy.”  

  • Catherine Warren, Innovate Edmonton CEO

“Accelerators are key to nurturing and expediating business growth. Our investment in these accelerators will create jobs, attract investment and strengthen Edmonton’s economy.” 

  • Don Iveson, City of Edmonton Mayor 

“These new models of growing and scaling up businesses represent the future. The entrepreneurs and businesses that will go through these accelerator programs will have a meaningful impact on the province. A greater number of startups will drive economic diversification and growth, and more successful scaleups will create job opportunities across sectors and across the province. The quality and calibre of the companies being developed will attract companies from around the world who recognize the excellent opportunities that are emerging in Alberta.” 

  • Laura Kilcrease, Alberta Innovates CEO 

“Collaborative, province-wide accelerators are powerful tools to help us diversify our economy, create new and meaningful jobs of the future, and increase prosperity for all Albertans,” said Platform Calgary CEO Dr. Terry Rock. “Part of our mandate is to throw open the doors of the innovation ecosystem to welcome everyone--especially traditionally underrepresented communities--into Alberta’s tech economy. The Alberta pre-accelerator allows us to do that for even more startup founders in this province.” 

  • Dr. Terry Rock, Platform Calgary CEO  

"We are excited to partner with Innovate Edmonton on this global first where we can showcase the collective strengths we have in the Edmonton region, including our excellence in artificial intelligence and machine learning, entrepreneurship, social impact, community engagement and our desire to lift all those around us. This accelerator will provide entrepreneurs and creative problem solvers, all the ingredients they need to make their social impact venture successful, including data, domain expertise, funding, a proven accelerator program, mentorship, pilot customers, first paying customers and much, much more. It's Edmonton's opportunity to solve our community's most challenging opportunities and share those solutions with the rest of the world!" 

•  Ashif Mawji, Chair of the Edmonton Police Foundation and the Community Safety and Wellness Accelerator 

“We are committed to becoming a central pillar of Alberta’s economy through establishing and building a long-term presence and integrated, collaborative system. This will not only attract top technology and investment to the region, but will drive innovation and help Alberta entrepreneurs to scale and grow.” 

  • Saeed Amidi, Plug and Play CEO and Founder  

"We are both thrilled and honored to expand our international presence by bringing our startup programming to the Alberta corridor, with hubs in Edmonton and Calgary. We look forward to working alongside our partners, Alberta Innovates and Innovate Edmonton, to contribute to the Albertan ecosystem and interact with talented founders on the ground." 

  • Bedy Yang, Managing Partner at 500 Global 

About Innovate Edmonton 
Headquartered in Alberta's capital city, Innovate Edmonton leverages, unites and promotes home-grown innovation as a gateway to solving the world’s most pressing problems. We harness the power of the public and private sectors, ground-breaking academic research and purpose-driven investment to build a shared prosperity and open international markets. From sustainable climate solutions to public health and digital education, Edmonton is a leading global centre for inspiration, ingenuity and inclusion. Learn more about Innovate Edmonton and Startup Edmonton, a division of Innovate Edmonton.  

About Platform Calgary 
Platform Calgary brings together the resources of Calgary's tech ecosystem to help startups launch and grow at every step of their journey, from ideation through to scale. We focus on making all parts of Calgary’s startup ecosystem better resourced, connected, efficient, effective, and prominent.  
Through collaboration and targeted programming within a purpose-built home for innovators—the Platform Innovation Centre—we are a hub for a community focused on inclusive tech-led economic diversification and job creation. Learn more.  

About Alberta Innovates 
Alberta Innovates is the province’s largest and Canada’s first provincial research and innovation agency. For a century we have worked closely with researchers, companies and entrepreneurs – trailblazers who built industries and strengthened communities. Today we are pivoting to the next frontier of opportunity in Alberta and worldwide by driving emerging technologies across sectors. We are a provincial corporation delivering seed funding, business advice, applied research and technical services, and avenues for partnership and collaboration. Learn how Alberta Innovates.  

About Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) 
Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) is the federal department that supports economic growth in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Its programs and services help businesses, not-for-profits and communities grow stronger. Its mandate is to support economic growth and diversification in the Prairie provinces and advance the interests of the region in national economic policy, programs and projects. 

About Alberta’s Pre-Accelerator 
Alberta’s pre-accelerator is a merit-based series of programs supporting founders and their startups from anywhere in Alberta. Divided into three phases, the Alberta pre-accelerator to be launched later this year is an unprecedented realignment, harmonization and expansion of startup support in Alberta. In partnership with Alberta Innovates, the pre-accelerator is being developed and delivered by Platform Calgary and Innovate Edmonton, with support from partners and organizations in all eight regional innovation networks across the Alberta Innovation Network, with a focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion. Learn more.  

About Alchemist Accelerator 
Alchemist is a venture-backed accelerator focused on accelerating the development of seed-stage ventures that monetize from enterprises (not consumers). CB Insights rated Alchemist the top accelerator based on median funding rates of its grads (YC was #2). The accelerator’s primary screening criteria is on teams, with primacy placed on having distinctive technical co-founders. The organization provides seed investment into companies it admits and provides founders a structured path to traction, fundraising, mentorship, and community over the course of a 6-month program. Our backers include many of the top corporate and VC funds in the Valley -- including Khosla Ventures, DFJ, Cisco, GE, next47(Siemens), and Salesforce, among others. The accelerator seeds around 75 enterprise-monetizing ventures / year. Notable alumni include LaunchDarkly, Rigetti Quantum Computing, mPharma, Matternet, and Mightyhive.  

About Community Safety and Wellness Accelerator 
The Community Safety and Wellness Accelerator (CSW) is sponsored by the Edmonton Police Foundation in conjunction with various partners, including ATB Financial, TELUS, Motorola, U of A, AMII, Edmonton Police Service and others. Using a combination of data, artificial intelligence and machine learning, entrepreneurship, mentorship, domain expertise, funding, structured accelerator programming and other key ingredients to help create successful social impact ventures, its mission is to help solve our community’s challenges and create a sustainable model to help bring those solutions to the world. Being one of the first in the world with this unique combination will allow the CSW to demonstrate the social impact power of Albertans. Learn more.   

About 500 Global 
500 Global is a global venture capital firm that invests early in founders building fast-growing technology companies. We focus on markets where technology, innovation, and capital can unlock long-term value and drive economic growth. 500 Global has backed over 6,000 founders representing more than 2,500 companies operating in 77 countries. Our portfolio includes 33 companies valued at more than $1 billion and 120 companies valued at over $100 million. Our team members are located in more than 15 countries and bring experience as entrepreneurs, investors, and operators from some of the world’s leading technology companies. Learn more.    

About Plug and Play 
Plug and Play is the leading innovation platform, connecting startups, corporations, venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we're present in 35+ locations across five continents. We offer corporate innovation programs and help our corporate partners in every stage of their innovation journey, from education to execution. We also organize startup acceleration programs and have built an in-house VC to drive innovation across multiple industries where we've invested in hundreds of successful companies including Dropbox, Guardant Health, Honey, Lending Club, N26, PayPal, and Rappi. Learn more.   

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