Harvest announces partnership with Western Canadian Innovation Offices to build talent and intellectual property across the Prairies

Harvest in discussions with Prairie partners to develop a hub for this partnership

CALGARY, Alberta, Jan. 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Harvest, a Prairie venture builder, announced its partnership with Western Canadian Innovation Offices (WCIO) as part of a collaborative effort to advance innovation and entrepreneurship across the Prairies.

The partnership with WCIO and its network of academic institutions across Western Canada will increase the ability for academic research to grow into globally competitive companies, and for researchers and institutions to deepen their connections with top corporate entities.

As part of this process, Harvest will be selecting a region to anchor this partnership.  This hub will act as a catalyst for academic commercialization opportunities across the Harvest network and provide opportunities for startups to grow within a world-class ecosystem of entrepreneurs, business professionals, and investors.

“With these partnerships, Harvest is capitalizing on research and development opportunities, while building a platform to commercialize ideas into companies,” says Chris Simair, founder of Harvest and co-founder of startup success SkipTheDishes.  “These companies will have the potential to shape a more diversified Canadian economy.”

“For example, companies like Beyond Meat, that are fueled at its core by innovation, are being founded in Silicon Valley when the primary, world-leading research is actually being developed at home here in the Prairies.”

The partnerships with the WCIO is integral in Harvest’s mission to keep innovative companies in the Prairies, addressing the loss of talent to other competitive markets often known as the “brain drain”.

“We believe Harvest, with its management expertise and unique model will be able to increase the success rate of new technology based startups across Western Canada and are looking forward to growing connections within our network to create economic impact across the Prairies,”  says Darren Fast, Director, Partnerships & Innovation at the University of Manitoba and lead for WCIO.

Harvest recently announced its move into Calgary’s M2 Building for its pilot operations and plans to set up offices across the Prairies. The venture builder is considering Western Canadian cities to call its headquarters, including Calgary, Winnipeg and Saskatoon. Harvest’s first portfolio company, Neo Financial, is also slated to launch this year.

For more information on Harvest, visit harvest.builders.

About Harvest:

Harvest is a not-for-profit co-builder of companies in the Canadian Prairies. It does this by taking founders with disruptive ideas and equipping them with world-class talent, funding, and support to co-build their company into a successful, fast-growing business. Harvest was founded by Chris Simair, co-founder and former CEO of SkipTheDishes, which sold for $200M in 2016 and is one of the largest tech companies in Canada, with over 2,000 employees across Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Calgary. The same infrastructure that made SkipTheDishes a success is what powers Harvest today. Harvest’s mission is nothing less than to create globally competitive companies right here in the Canadian Prairies and, in doing so, make the region a better place to live for future generations.

About Western Canadian Innovation Offices:

The Western Canadian Innovation Offices Consortium (WCIO) is an initiative that has been connecting Western Canadian industry needs with the array of research and innovation resources, including promising technologies that exist in WCIO’s nearly 40-member consortium of universities, colleges and polytechnics across the West.

For Media inquiries, please contact:

Shauna MacDonald
Brookline Public Relations, Inc.