Alberta Innovates invests cumulative $9.1 million to 15 projects focused on tech ecosystem growth

Alberta Innovates also set to invest $2 million into program for reusing plastics.

Provincial-government-backed Alberta Innovates is providing a total $9.1 million CAD investment to 15 projects dedicated to supporting the province’s tech sector growth.

This financing was made through the research and innovation agency’s Ecosystem Development Pilot Program and announced at Alberta Innovates’ 2022 Inventures conference this week.

The recipients, which include the likes of Alberta IoT, the Canadian Blockchain Consortium (CBC), and the University of Calgary (UCalgary), range from short-term, collaboration-building projects for technology hubs to three-year, cohort-based projects that directly support growing companies.

All of the projects have a province-wide focus and are expected to work with other programs under Alberta Innovates, such as the Alberta Scaleup and Growth Accelerators Program and Regional Innovation Networks to help scale Alberta tech companies.

Founded over a century ago, Alberta Innovates is an economic development agency that provides technical expertise, partnerships opportunities, and funding to research projects and companies.

Through the first installment of its Ecosystem Development program, Alberta Innovates hopes to strengthen the province’s emerging technology ecosystem by supporting small and medium-sized firms.

Laura Kilcrease, CEO of Alberta Innovates, said that the agency created the program to “address gaps in the innovation continuum from ideation to commercialization, to reach rural and under-represented populations, and to bring additional specialized knowledge.”

Not-for-profit organization Alberta IoT was awarded $600,000 for its Alberta Science Park program, as well as its Fast Track accelerator program.

RELATED: Alberta IoT secures $1.5 million from PrairiesCan, Alberta Innovates for accelerator programs

Earlier this month, Alberta IoT received $1.5 million from Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) and Alberta Innovates to fund Alberta IoT’s Fast Track and New to Canada Startup Visa programs over the next three years.

Powered by Silicon Valley venture fund GrowthX, The Alberta Innovates Revenue Accelerator (TAIRA) is set to receive $1 million from the Ecosystem Development initiative. GrowthX touts TAIRA as the only accelerator in the province that is solely focused on helping founders acquire customers and grow revenue.

Edmonton-headquartered Startup TNT was awarded with $750,000 for its Investor Training and Access to Capital Program. The organization noted in its website that it plans to raise over $1.5 million for prairie startups on June 23. To date, Startup TNT claims that it has invested $6 million in 42 companies across Western Canada.

RELATED: Prairie startups secure investment at Startup TNT summit showcase

UCalgary is set to receive $500,000 for its Nurture program, which was created to help entrepreneurs at an earlier stage than Creative Destruction Lab Rockies (CDL-Rockies).

CBC, which has its head office in Calgary, will be getting $175,000 to accelerate Alberta’s blockchain innovation through collaboration.

Other organizations and institutions that received funding from the total $9.1 million investment include the European-Canadian Centre for Innovation and Research ($300,000), Lethbridge Economic Development Initiative Society ($500,000), and the University of Alberta ($90,000).

Here is the full list of recipients:

  • Alberta IoT Association Ltd. ($600,000)
  • Canadian Blockchain Consortium Corp. ($175,000)
  • Central Alberta: Access Prosperity (​​$900,000)
  • Cybera Inc. ($1,343,697)
  • Digital Media Association of Alberta ($600,000)
  • European-Canadian Centre for Innovation and Research ($300,000)
  • GrowthX, LLC ($1,000,000)
  • Intrinsic Innovations ($390,638)
  • Lethbridge Economic Development Initiative Society ($500,000)
  • Mount Royal University ($1,393,755)
  • ScaleUp Concierge Inc. ($105,940)
  • Start Up TNT Organization ($750,000)
  • The Natural Step Canada-Energy Futures Lab ($500,000)
  • University of Alberta ($90,000)
  • University of Calgary-Creative Destruction Lab Rockies ($500,000)

A spokesperson for Alberta Innovates told BetaKit that the organization is now planning to launch Ecosystem Development Program 2.0, an opportunity for new applicants to take part in the initiative.

At Inventures, Alberta Innovates also announced that it’s investing $2 million to Badische Anilin und Soda Fabrik’s (BASF) reciChain initiative through Alberta Innovates’ Bioenergy – Circular Economy program. reciChain aims to incentivize the reuse of plastics by producers while supporting the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program.

SVG Ventures, a California-based investment firm that invests in early-stage AgTech and food tech companies, announced up to $500,000 investments to the winners of Thrive Demo Day at Inventures.

Photo by Thiago Terleski on Unsplash

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a staff writer for BetaKit.

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