The federal government has recently made some investments into Canada’s regional accelerators and innovation hubs.
This week, it committed $900,000 to support Regina’s Agtech Accelerator, alongside a $450,000 contribution to Halifax’s Volta Labs. These funds came through each region’s respective regional development agencies.
Launched last year, Agtech Accelerator is a three-month accelerator program created by Conexus Venture Capital, Economic Development Regina (EDR), and Emmertech—Conexus’ AgTech fund.
The accelerator helps early-stage AgTech companies to scale-up by providing access to resources, programming and capital investment.
“Regina is located at the centre of 80% of Canada’s farmland, with sound logistics, a robust financing and venture capital system, global ag companies, and an Agtech Accelerator that will help our start-ups grow and scale to meet the challenge of feeding the world sustainably,” said Tina Beaudry-Mellor, chief economic growth officer at EDR.
“The challenge will be to meet the demand for skilled labour. With this PrairiesCan investment and our post-secondary partnerships, we’re meeting that challenge head-on,” Beaudry-Mellor added.
Most recently, Emmertech secured an additional $15 million CAD for its AgTech fund, bringing its total size to $60 million. This surpasses its initial goal of $55 million as the venture firm aims to make Canada a “dominant” player in the global AgTech stage.
Over on the east coast, Halifax-based Volta plans to use its new funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency to enable its LEAP program to continue for another two years with added follow-up advisory services, helping startups participate in accelerator programs to scale up, increase revenue, and establish new partnerships.
In partnership with Genesis, Venn Innovation, and Startup Zone, the LEAP program was launched in 2019 to help founders of early-stage startups build a 24-month plan and support them with submitting an application to an accelerator.
Volta’s LEAP program also previously received a grant from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency worth over $660,000.
Volta also has a cohort program that provides mentorship and a $25,000 fund to five early-stage companies. Since its inception in 2017, Volta says its cohort companies have raised more than $20 million in secured investments, and received over $8 million in grants.
Most recently, the accelerator appointed Brad DiPaolo as manager of talent acquisition. He is also currently the founder and CEO of startup Candidate Hub.